The Difference Between One-stage and Two-stage Cooling
- AC, Air Conditioner Tips, Energy Efficiency, Fahrhall, Home Comfort, Windsor
You love your air conditioner, but have you ever taken the time to get to know it? The reality is most homeowners know very little about the AC units responsible for keeping them cool and comfortable throughout the scorching summers. One of the most common questions we get is about the difference between one-stage and two-stage cooling.
The number of stages simply refers to the levels of capacity at which the unit can be operated. When deciding which option best suits your home comfort needs, there are three key factors to consider.
One-stage units are only able to operate at 100% capacity, which means your air conditioner will constantly cycle on and off. When the temperature in your home rises above what your thermostat is set to, the AC unit will cycle on at full power until the set temperature is met and then turn off. Two-stage units have the ability to operate at full power or at a reduced capacity, usually 70 or 80%, for an extended period. Eliminating constant cycling by running your unit at a reduced capacity for an extended period increases its efficiency, which is why some homeowners choose two-stage cooling over one-stage.
One-stage and two-stage cooling systems can achieve the same temperatures, but they do so at very different rates. The short bursts of cool air that result from the all or nothing function of a one-stage system leaves some homeowners feeling too cold when the air conditioning cycles on. Two-stage systems operate at full capacity to keep up with high temperatures during the dog days of summer, but they can be run on the low setting for the majority of the year when the weather is milder. When the unit operates on the reduced setting it cools your home at a constant rate, which results in a more stable temperature.
The difference in price tags is what stands out to most homeowners when they are deciding between one-stage and two-stage cooling. The initial cost of a one-stage unit is much lower, but it will cost more to operate. Two-stage units are the more expensive option up front, but they save homeowners money on their utility bills. Although two-stage units are the better long-term investment, you would still see a drastic increase in efficiency if you replaced your old unit with a newer one-stage unit.
If you’re considering replacing your air conditioner and want to learn more about which type of unit best suits your home comfort needs, contact us for more information.
Fahrhall has proudly serviced the home comfort needs of the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent regions since 1967. From installations to maintenance and repairs, our expert team of certified technicians can handle all of your HVAC needs.