If you've been shopping for air conditioners, you may have noticed that some of them are described as two-stage. These air conditioners can operate the compressor at either a low power setting or a high power setting, and it chooses between them based on cooling demands. A single-stage air conditioner, in comparison, only has the high power setting. It either runs at full power or doesn't run at all.
Single-stage air conditioners have been the standard in the air conditioning industry because they're much easier to manufacture, which leads to lower prices. However, they have a number of drawbacks when they're compared to two-stage air conditioners, and they can end up wasting a significant amount of energy. If you have an older single-stage air conditioner, read on for three reasons why upgrading to a two-stage unit is a great idea.
1. Avoids the Wasted Energy From Frequent On/Off Cycles
Electric motors require a significant energy draw in order to start up. Once the motor has some momentum, it requires much less energy to keep it running. The motor in your air conditioner's compressor is no different—when your air conditioner turns on and begins to cool your home, there's a large spike in energy usage.
For overall energy efficiency, it's better to have an air conditioner that runs consistently rather than one that frequently starts and stops. A two-stage air conditioner is a perfect solution because it can run the compressor motor on its low power setting when cooling demands aren't high. In this situation, a single-stage air conditioner would be forced to start cooling at full power and then shortly stop — wasting energy.
By running constantly at low power, a two-stage air conditioner is able to avoid the excess energy consumption that occurs when the compressor starts—it can just coast on the momentum. This allows two-stage air conditioners to operate more efficiently than older single-stage ones, reducing your energy bills.
2. Provides Continual Dehumidification
In order to cool the air in your home, your air conditioner blows air over the evaporator coils contained in the indoor unit. The evaporator coils contain refrigerant, which expands inside the coils and rapidly cools them. As part of this process, condensation will form on the cold coils. This draws moisture out of the air in your home. In this way, air conditioners act as a dehumidifier in addition to cooling your air.
This presents a problem with single-stage units who are required to constantly turn on and off. When no refrigerant is expanding within the evaporator coils, no moisture is being drawn from the air and no dehumidification is taking place. As a result, the humidity in your home will slowly rise over time while the air conditioner is off.
A two-stage air conditioner, which can run constantly, will give you continual dehumidification throughout the day. This makes your home more comfortable, and it even helps you save money on energy costs. When the humidity in your home is low, sweat evaporates from your skin more readily. This helps to keep you cool, even when temperatures are high.
If you upgrade to a two-stage air conditioner, you may find that you can set the thermostat a few degrees higher and retain the same comfort level. When combined with the constant operation described above, this allows a two-stage air conditioner to dramatically slash your energy costs during the warmer months.
3. Quietly Operates
A common complaint from homeowners with older air conditioners is simply that they're noisy. The noise you hear from the outdoor unit comes from the compressor, and it can become quite grating when you hear it constantly start and stop throughout the day. When a two-stage air conditioner is operating in its low power mode, the compressor is quieter.
In addition to the quieter operation, the fact that a two-stage air conditioner can run constantly means that the noise is better able to blend into the background. When a single-stage air conditioner frequently cycles, the change in background noise is significantly more noticeable.
Overall, the biggest benefit of upgrading to a two-stage air conditioner is in the area of energy usage—being able to run at low power and avoid frequent on and off cycles can result in substantial energy savings on its own. However, you also have the additional benefit of quieter operation and a drier, more comfortable home. If you're considering a two-stage air conditioner, contact a company in your area for professional ac installation services.Share