Single Stage Vs Variable capacity AC for Tempe Residents

single variable AC Tempe

If you’re a savvy homeowner thinking ahead, you might be using the very early parts of spring to consider your upcoming cooling needs. In cases where your air conditioner system is older, you could be considering replacing it now, while there’s less demand for this sort of service and you might be able to get better deals.

At Accurate Air, we’re proud to offer a huge range of air conditioning service, from basic AC repairs up to air conditioning installation and replacement for those considering an upgrade to their system. If you’re going with a new AC, one of the simple decisions you’ll have to make during the selection process is whether to choose what’s known as a single stage or variable capacity AC unit – what does this area refer to, and which of these is best for your Tempe home? Here’s a basic primer.

Basic Differences

Technically speaking, what we’re really talking about when we break down single stage versus variable capacity air conditioning is the way the compressor within the AC functions. For those who are unaware, the AC compressor refers to a vital core component of any air conditioner, one that circulates the cooling refrigerant throughout the system and allows heat to be consistently removed from the home and replaced with cool air.

As its name suggests, a single stage AC compressor is only capable of running at a single speed. A variable stage model, on the other hand, can run at multiple different speeds and capacities, often featuring a range from 25% capacity all the way through 100%. A single stage compressor, however, has only two such settings: 0% and 100% capacity.

Pros and Cons of Single Stage AC

The most notable benefit of the single stage AC to many homeowners: Its lower costs to install. The upfront expense here is much lower than a variable capacity AC, so those who are on tight budgets often go in this direction.

The drawback of these models is their relative lack of efficiency compared to variable capacity models. Single stage units use short cycles, meaning they’re turning on and off quite frequently through the day, wasting energy and running up your utility bill. So while they might be cheaper upfront, they often cost more in the long run.

Pros and Cons of Variable capacity AC

As you may have guessed, variable capacity AC compressors are much more energy- and cost-efficient. These models can sense when the home only needs a small amount of additional cooling to reach the desired temperature, using a lower-capacity setting for these cases instead of running at 100% capacity and wasting energy. These systems also cool the home more precisely.

Their downside, naturally, is their costs. Both installation and repairs for these systems are more expensive than for single stage models. However, when you consider the efficiency savings you get from using these types, this cost area can be viewed in a different light.

For more on the differences between single stage and variable capacity air conditioning, or to learn about any of our HVAC repair or replacement services in Tempe, speak to the staff at Accurate Air today.

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