Although we rely heavily on our air conditioning units to keep us cool during the hot summer months, many homeowners know very little about them. One of the biggest unknowns is the difference between single-stage and two-stage cooling. It may sound confusing, but the number of stages a unit has simply refers to the levels of operation. Every homeowner should understand the pros and cons of each option before purchasing a new unit.
Most households have a single-stage air conditioner because the technology is older and more affordable. Single-stage units can only operate at 100% capacity and as a result, constantly cycle on and off. If the temperature in your home rises above what the thermostat is set to, the unit turns on. Once the unit achieves the set temperature, it turns off until there is another increase. Single-stage air conditioning is effective, but when you compare single-stage with two-stage cooling you can see a big difference in the level of efficiency.
Two-stage units are a newer technology and allow your AC unit to run at two levels of capacity, full and reduced. On hot summer days, the system will run at full power to keep up with the high temperatures. When the weather is mild, two-stage units run at a reduced capacity, usually around 70-80%, for an extended period of time. Reduced capacity translates to improved efficiency, which means lower hydro bills. Longer cycles can also reduce humidity and improve the air quality in your home.
Which Unit is Right for You?
When homeowners decide between single-stage and two-stage cooling, the cost of the equipment is a big factor. Single-stage units are initially much cheaper but cost more to operate. Two-stage units cost more upfront but can save you money on your monthly bills. That being said, you would still see a huge improvement in efficiency if you replaced an old unit with a newer single-stage model. Both styles can effectively cool your home, so it comes down to your home’s needs and what you are willing to spend upfront.
Choosing a new AC can be overwhelming, but Team Harding’s home comfort specialists can help make the decision easier! Contact us for more information and find the right air conditioner for your needs.
Team Harding has been serving Ottawa’s home comfort needs for over 25 years. Our certified technicians are there for you every step of the way, from installation to repairs and service; customer satisfaction is our #1 priority!