Is a Two Stage Air Conditioner Worth It?

By Samuel-N •  Updated: 07/26/22 •  5 min read

If you’re looking to replace or upgrade your current air conditioner, there are several factors you need to consider. The air conditioner sizing, energy efficiency, seer rating, and other features should influence your preferred choice.

In your search, comparing single-stage, two-stage, and variable air conditioners has got you wondering which is the best choice.

What is a Two-Stage Air Conditioner?

A two-stage, two-speed, or dual-stage system air conditioner means it has a compressor that works at two different speeds. One speed is high for the hot summer days, while the second is low for the milder/cold days.

two-stage-air-conditioner

How a Two-Stage AC Works

Stages in air conditioning refer to the operational mode of the compressor. The compressor, the heat of your air conditioning system, helps to cool your home’s air.

As earlier said, a two-stage air conditioner has two operating modes, i.e., low or high. The high mode functions like a single-stage air conditioner running at full capacity, while the low mode runs at about 60-70% capacity. Mostly, a two-stage air conditioner runs on the low mode, but on hotter days, it switches to high mode to beat the heat and make your home comfortable.

The low mode in a two-stage air conditioner is the secret weapon. By switching to low mode, the air conditioner saves you money by consuming less energy. It also gives you better temperature control and less wear and tears on the compressor plus other parts of the AC.

2 Stage Air Conditioner Benefits

1. Even cooling throughout the home

Since a two-stage air conditioner runs for a longer time at a slower pace, it allows cold air to settle evenly in your home. This eliminates those annoying hot or cold spots in your home.

A single-stage air conditioner that runs on full blast cools your home fast but cannot push air efficiently around your home.

2. Improved Temperature Accuracy

Apart from effectively cooling your home, an air conditioner’s ability to produce and maintain a precise temperature is important.

Two-stage ACs can get within +/-2 degrees of the set temperature. At the same time, a single-stage unit only manages about +/-4 to 6 degrees F. Maintaining and keeping a precise temperature helps adapt quickly to a sudden change in heat. For some larger businesses, like data centers, maintaining a precise temperature is crucial in their daily operations because it prevents fluctuations.

3. Longer AC lifespan

Air conditioners operate on average for about 15-20 years. However, different factors can lower or increase the lifetime of your air conditioner. One of these factors is the wear and tear of the AC over time.

One-stage air conditioners run at full capacity all the time. This can lead to more tears, wear, and breakdown with time.

Two-stage Acs neither stop nor start as often as single-stage units. This helps keep the AC compressor from undergoing too much strain. Because of this, deterioration is slowed down over time, and there are fewer repairs and maintenance.

4. Lower Energy Bills

Traditional ACs are notoriously uneconomical over time. However, one thing about a two-stage AC is it consumes less energy overall, thus helping lower your monthly bill.

This is because of its dual compressor speed. The constant on-off of a single Ac means an electrical surge is needed when starting the unit. Because two-stage air conditioners do not start or stop frequently, they consume less energy.

5. Better Dehumidification

If removing excess moisture in your home is a priority, then a two-stage air conditioner can be a real delight to have in your home.

As the two-stage air conditioner continuously runs, the AC coils have enough time to steadily draw excess moisture into your home efficiently and funnel it outside. This prevents mold from thriving, improves air quality in your home, eliminates dust mites, and makes your home comfortable, instead of stuffy.

2 Stage Air Conditioner Problems

1. Expensive to Purchase

Let’s face it, a two-stage air conditioner is not everybody’s cup, and this is because of its purchase price. Compared to the standard air conditioner, a two-stage AC costs more to buy upfront. The estimated purchase price can range between $1000 to $2500 or more than a single-stage AC unit.

2. Difficulty to Repair

Because of their complex technology, two-stage air conditioners also require complex repairs. A larger number of components, plus the new technology, means they are difficult to repair in case of a breakdown. Finding a well-trained technician who can handle this new technology may also be hard.

Variable Speed AC

Variable-speed air conditioners are the best in home cooling. They run efficiently, operate with the least noise, and you’re going to save the most in energy costs. They also have the best degree of control over the temperature in your home.

Though they are the best in air conditioning, variable ACs come with a hefty initial price. Not to mention the high costs of repair and maintenance.

2-Stage Air Conditioner for Your Home

Overall, saving energy is one of the best reasons to install a two-stage air conditioner in your home. This saves on the bill over time. In addition, it makes your home more comfortable. So, is a two-stage air conditioner worth it? Yes, it saves energy and makes a living in your home much more desirable.

Samuel-N

Samuel is the founder of Cozy Indoor and has been in the home renovations industry since 2013. Since then, his mission is to make home cooling, heating, and air quality easier for everyone to understand. Read my guides and reviews here on cozyindoor.