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, a comparison of single-stage, two-stage, and variable air conditioners has got you also wondering which is the best choice.
In this article, I’ll delve deeper into two-stage air conditioners, to help you make up your mind if they are worth installing in your home. You can also check our article on Single-Stage vs. Two-Stage air conditioners. Enjoy.
- What is a Two-Stage Air Conditioner?
- How a Two-Stage AC Works
- 2 Stage Air Conditioner Benefits
- 2 Stage Air Conditioner Problems
- Variable Speed ACs
- Is it Worth it to Upgrade to 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.
Stages in air conditioning refer to the operational mode of the compressor. The compressor, which is the heat of your air conditioning system, helps in cooling your home’s air.
Like 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 overall less wear and tear on the compressor plus other parts of the AC.
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.
As opposed to a single-stage air conditioner that runs on full blast, which 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, while 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 with time, can lead to more tear and wear, and lastly, breakdown.
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 over time is slowed down, plus there are fewer repairs and maintenance over time.
3. Lower Energy Bills
Traditional AC’s are notoriously uneconomical over time. However, one thing about a two-stage AC is it consumes less energy overall, thus helps lower your monthly bill.
This is because of its dual compressor speed. The constant on-off of a single Ac means when starting the unit, an electrical surge is needed. Because two-stage air conditioners do not start or stop frequently, it means they consume less energy.
4. 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.
This is because as the two-stage air conditioner continuously runs, the AC coils have enough time to steadily draw excess moisture in your home efficiently and funnel it outside. This prevents mold from thriving, improves the quality of air in your home, eliminates dust mites, and makes your home comfortable, instead of stuffy.
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. It may also be hard to find a well-trained technician who can handle this new technology.
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 AC’s come with a hefty initial price. Not to mention the high costs of repair and maintenance.
When doing your research about air conditioners, some of the factors you should consider include the price, quality, and design.
As aforementioned above, two-stage air conditioners incur lower operational costs over time. They are also energy efficient, and a longer lifespan can help you save on bills and maintenance costs over time. Though it is a costly investment to make upfront, over time it will pay off in energy savings and as a bonus make your home more comfortable.
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 on energy and makes living in your home much more desirable.