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Two Stage Vs. One Stage Air Conditioner

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Hydes American Standard Heat Pump

What’s the Difference and Which One is Right For Your Coachella Valley Home?

When you’re choosing a new air conditioner for your Coachella Valley home, there are a number of features that you can look for that will greatly improve the performance and efficiency of your system. One of the most effective of those features is a two stage compressor. Today we’re going to talk about the difference between a two stage vs. a one stage air conditioner and how to decide which one is right for your home!

Two stage vs. one stage air conditioner: How they operate

A one stage air conditioner is a traditional system that operates at a single, full capacity. This type of air conditioner is either running on full blast during a cooling cycle or it is completely shut off.

A two stage air conditioner, on the other hand, has a compressor that operates at two separate capacities. During milder days, a two stage air conditioner runs at a “medium” capacity that uses less energy and cools your home more gradually. When it’s very hot outside, a two stage air conditioner runs at its full capacity (like a one stage system) in order to meet the cooling demands of your home.

Two stage vs. one stage air conditioner: Efficiency considerations

Since a one stage air conditioner is always operating at its full capacity, it is always using the maximum amount of energy. In addition, a one stage air conditioner goes through briefer and more frequent cooling cycles than a two stage system. Since an air conditioner uses up the most amount of energy when it’s starting up and shutting down, a one stage system uses a lot of energy throughout the day.

Because a two stage air conditioner has a “medium” capacity that is used during milder days, it is able to consume less energy when cooling demands are not as high in your home. A two stage air conditioner also has longer and less frequent cooling cycles, so it doesn’t spend as much energy starting up and shutting down as a one stage system does.

Two stage vs. one stage air conditioner: Comfort considerations

The differences in cooling cycles for one stage and two stage air conditioners directly affects the performance of each type of system. Since one stage air conditioners have more frequent and more powerful cooling cycles, they can result in some big temperature swings in your home throughout the day. In addition, a one stage air conditioner’s shorter cooling cycles makes it more difficult to dehumidify your home’s air.

A two stage air conditioner’s cooling cycles are much longer and less powerful, so they can cool your home in a gradual manner and your system has more time to dehumidify your home’s air. Both of these factors allow two stage air conditioners to make your home more comfortable throughout the day.

Two stage vs. one stage air conditioner: Installation costs

The primary advantage that a one stage air conditioner has over two stage air conditioners is that a one stage system costs less upfront. However, a one stage system costs more to operate throughout its lifetime, so much of those cost savings are lost after years of use.

Which one is right for you?

If you don’t mind the slightly higher upfront costs of a two stage air conditioner, then a two stage system is definitely the right choice for your home. Not only will you recoup much of the higher installation costs throughout the system’s lifetime, but you’ll also have a more comfortable home. A one stage system is a better choice only if upfront installation costs are your primary concern.

If you have any questions about a two stage vs. one stage air conditioner, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Hydes, your Indio, CA, air conditioning contractor.

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