When it comes to your HVAC system, most people never consider the mechanism by which the air-conditioning unit conditions and cools the air. After all, so long as the air conditioner does its job, many people aren’t concerned with how it does it. However, an understanding of the way it works can help shed light on the benefits offered by two-stage air conditioners. If you’re considering AC installation in Dacula, GA, you may want to familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of both single-stage and two-stage air conditioners before deciding which is right for your needs.
While you should always consult with the professionals at a reputable company before deciding which is right for you, it’s a good idea to gather information about the benefits of single-stage and two-stage air conditioning to prepare yourself for the conversation. Keep reading to learn more about both and which option will work best for you.
To understand the difference between the two types, you must first understand a few basic concepts about the way your AC works. The cooling and drying effects occur due to the presence of a refrigerant. That refrigerant is a liquid at extremely cold temperatures, and when heat from your interior air is transferred to it, that liquid becomes a gas. Your AC passes the liquid refrigerant through the system where it removes ambient heat from the air. As it does so, the refrigerant warms and changes phase to become a gas. To restore the cooling power of the refrigerant as it cycles through the system, it must be compressed to return it to a cold liquid state. The compressor is the component in the system that achieves that goal. With a single-stage system, the compressor has one power setting, and when your AC is running, it’s always at maximum capacity. Air is compressed in a single piston stroke then placed in a storage container. A two-stage system allows for air to be compressed in one chamber, transferred to another, and compressed again before being moved to storage. That effectively gives a two-stage compressor two speeds that can be used to better manage the cooling power of your AC.
Single-stage compressors are very common, mostly because they are less expensive to manufacture, and they’re easier to repair. In most applications, a single-stage compressor works well enough, though it’s not nearly as efficient as a two-stage or variable-speed compressor. Because they always run at maximum capacity, they use more energy and experience more wear due to their constant operation. From a performance perspective, single-stage air conditioners also don’t cool the air as evenly and they aren’t as good at removing moisture from the air than the other types of compressors. The initial cost of a single-stage compressor is significantly less than that of a two-stage compressor, but over the long term, the reduced energy costs and longer lifespan of a two-stage AC may level the expense.
Because of their design, a two-stage compressor has two power settings that can help it match the power requirement to the cooling need. The first setting is considered low and uses only about two-thirds of the compressor’s capacity. There is also a high setting that can bring the full power of the compressor to bear during periods of high temperatures. The strengths of the two-stage AC represent direct answers to the weaknesses of the single-stage units. They are more efficient because they can use less power for routine cooling tasks. They cool more evenly and are better at removing moisture from the air than their single-stage counterparts. Because they don’t run at full power all the time, they experience less wear and tear, which means they have a longer lifespan. They are also more energy-efficient, which is appealing in warmer climates. They’re more expensive up front and more expensive to repair, though their longer lifespan can offset the difference in initial cost between single-stage and two-stage air conditioners.
If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, make sure to consider these characteristics when deciding whether a single-stage or two-stage AC best meets your needs. To learn more about the characteristics of single-stage and two-stage air conditioners, contact Triad Mechanical at (770) 682-0075.
Year Founded: 1991
Lifetime Customer Satisfaction: 97%
BBB Rating: A+