May 15, 2024
Benefits of Two-Stage AC Units

A two-stage air conditioning system is a slightly different approach to the age-old problem of maximizing both efficiency and peak performance. Rather than try to maximize both aspects of the process in a single system, the idea is to break the two demands into separate stages. If you’re curious about the two-stage approach to air conditioning, here are seven things you should understand.

1. Two Situations

The primary argument for a two-stage system is that it allows each stage to be better at one thing. Its first stage maximizes efficiency, and it typically provides most of the cooling for a house throughout a given year. However, the second stage is ready to take over on particularly hot or humid days. Perhaps the weather just isn’t letting up for a week with nights not dropping below 70 degrees Fahrenheit and with the humidity nearing 100%. The second stage has extra power to handle those stretches during the summer when you need performance.

You also might want the second stage for times when the weather is fine, but the conditions in the house aren’t great. Suppose you’ve been cooking all day, and then you’re going to have many guests for dinner. The second stage can cool the house more effectively.

2. Longer Operating Times

The high efficiency of the first stage makes it ideal for operating for long periods. Once you have the humidity level under control, it can run in a low-capacity mode that keeps the humidity at an ideal level. Many single-stage systems keep cycling because the humidity drops and triggers a stop. This is less efficient than letting a highly efficient and low-capacity stage maintain the humidity level.

3. Easier on Components

With each stage aimed at a particular problem, the overall system should last longer. If you buy a single-stage system that’s focused on efficiency, it can struggle to keep up with demands on hot and humid days. Consequently, the components will likely wear out faster. Similarly, a high-capacity system with one stage can keep turning on and off as it quickly cools a house. Repeated cycling can wear the components, too.

4. A Unified System

It might sound like this is the same as installing two systems. It is not. Think of the two stages as part of a unified system, not unlike the gears in a vehicle. Some gears help you save on fuel economy while the vehicle is coasting, but other gears offer more power to get your vehicle up a hill or to pull a loaded trailer. It is all one system, but different components do different jobs.

Note that everything runs through a single control unit in a two-stage AC system. You can set everything through a single thermostat.

5. Quiet

Overall, the operation of a two-stage AC unit should be quieter. This is because the low-capacity stage will run slower and longer during each cycle. Moving parts make most of the noise in the system, so this approach reduces noisiness. Likewise, the high-capacity stage is better suited to working under a heavy load than a single-stage unit. Consequently, it should still be slightly quieter because it won’t strain as much.

6. Control

A notable advantage of a two-stage AC unit is that it provides much tighter control over temperature and humidity levels. Particularly when operating in low-capacity mode, the system won’t experience wild swings as it turns on and then off repeatedly. If you find that your home’s current AC hits you too hard with an initial cold blast, then you may want to look into installing a two-stage AC setup.

7. Compatible With Numerous Design

Finally, the two-stage design is compatible with most modern AC system designs. If your home has AC zones, for example, then you can typically use a two-stage solution. You also can easily incorporate a two-stage solution into a smart home design. Using a single control unit, the system simply knows when to trigger one stage or the other.

WK Mechanical, Inc. handles many kinds of HVAC issues for people in the Hudson Valley, including installation, maintenance and repair for furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps. Whether you want to install a new system or maintain an existing one, our technicians are prepared to help. Contact WK Mechanical, Inc. today to learn more about two-stage AC solutions.

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