When choosing between single and two-stage ACs, people usually have 2 burning questions:

  • What’s the difference between a single-stage air conditioner and two-stage air conditioner?
  • Is a two-stage air conditioner worth the extra money?

As Georgia’s home comfort expert, we’ll answer the former than the later.

Single vs. two-stage: What’s the difference?

Single-stage ACs are the “basic model.” They can only run on one mode: full blast.

Two-stage ACs, on the other hand, can run at 2 different modes or ‘stages’:

  • high on very hot days (this is the equivalent of full blast for single-stage ACs)
  • low on moderately hot days.

While it will automatically switch between these 2 modes, a two-stage AC will typically run on the energy efficient low setting 80% of the time.

The low setting gives you these 4 benefits:

  • Lower utility bills because the AC cycles on and off less often.
  • Increased comfort because the AC runs longer and therefore distributes air more evenly throughout the home.
  • Better humidity control. Because the AC runs longer, it’ll dehumidify your home more (a huge benefit for us Georgians).
  • Fewer unwanted blasts of cold air when paired with a variable speed blower. When the two-stage compressor runs on a low setting, the variable speed blower reduces its speed.

While the two-stage offers these awesome benefits, it does cost more than a single-stage AC.

How much more? It depends on the size of the AC, so it’s hard to say.

Is a two-stage air conditioner worth the extra cash?

Let’s summarize. A two-stage AC system:

  • Is more efficient in cooling your home
  • Will make a significant difference in the level of comfort in your home
  • Is generally of a higher build quality and comes from the factory with a longer warranty

So is it worth the extra money? Depends on if you find one or more of the above points worth it. Every person and situation is different.

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Ragsdale Heating, Air, Plumbing & Electrical has been serving the metro Atlanta area for over 25 years. Contact us online for more information on how we can help you.

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