Are you looking to purchase a new AC system for your home? Trying to decide between a Single-Stage and a Variable Speed AC unit? If you can’t decide, or just want to know more about the options, please keep reading! We’ll tell you about these three main differences; how they work, the benefits, and the prices.
How They Work
- A single-stage compressor operates at one speed. It’s either 100% on, or 100% off – there is no in between.
- A variable speed compressor operates at different speeds. This allows the AC to cool your home at lower speeds for longer periods of time, while still maintaining higher speeds when the outdoor temperature gets hot.
The variable speed air conditioner definitely beats out the single-stage air conditioners when it comes to these two benefits: Energy efficiency and home comfort.
- A single-stage air conditioner has shorter, more frequent on and off cycles
- A variable speed air conditioner runs at a lower setting, which uses less energy, for longer periods of time. It also has fewer on and off cycles. This system costs less to operate.
Moreover, longer run times (Variable Speed) increases your home comfort in two ways:
- Reduced humidity – Longer running times means your system has more time to remove the humidity from the air.
- Even temperatures throughout your entire home – As the fan blows for longer periods of time, your home benefits from better air circulation and fewer hot/cold spots.
It’s pretty clear that the variable speed option is going to be the most expensive upfront. However, as a consumer you’d get more bang for your buck! A single-stage system is a great option, but the variable speed system is the best option. In the long run, the variable speed AC unit will actually cost less! Less energy = lower utility bills.
In conclusion, if you’re on a tight budget and need a cheaper upfront cost, then a single-stage can get the job done. If you want the lowest energy cost and reduced humidity, then a variable speed system is probably what you are looking for. Maybe you’re looking for something in the middle, like the two-stage system – this system offers some of the benefits of a variable speed at a lower cost.