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What Is the Difference Between Single-Stage and Variable-Speed ACs?

upgrading your ac.

With the warmer weather peeking its head around the proverbial corner, now is the time to think about your air conditioner in your Portland home.

The International Energy Agency predicts the number of air conditioners worldwide will increase from 1.6 billion units today to 5.6 billion units by 2050. No matter what else is going on in the world, your comfort is always a priority.

At ESI Heating, our professionals want to help with all your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) needs. Keeping your air conditioner operating at peak efficiency helps control the energy expenses in your Michigan home, maintain your indoor air quality, and reduce your carbon footprint. Whether your air conditioner needs a repair or is due for maintenance, our experts are always available to assist you.

Sometimes repairs and maintenance are not enough. You need to take the plunge and buy a new air conditioner. If you are at this juncture, there are several decisions to consider before settling on the one best-suited cooling system for your needs. Our team of trained experts specializes in guiding you through these choices.

One such decision is whether you want a single-stage or a variable-speed air conditioner. Here are a few factors to consider to help make your choice. 

What Do Single Stage and Variable Speed Mean?

In general, these refer to the different speeds at which your air conditioner’s compressor and blower motor will work. Your compressor pumps your unit’s refrigerant throughout the system, and your blower distributes the air throughout your ductwork.

Single Stage

A single-stage system offers one speed and is either on or off. When turned on, it operates at 100 percent capacity until it reaches a target temperature, then it shuts off. This cycle repeats to maintain your desired temperature. If your current air conditioner runs like this, you have a single-stage air conditioner.

Variable Speed

A variable-speed system operates at different speeds to reach your target temperature. Variable-speed systems can ramp up or down to get the job done. Most of the time, it operates at a low speed to maintain your home’s indoor air temperature. It’s a much more energy-efficient type of air conditioner on the market today

What Are the Benefits of Each Type?

As with anything else, these two types of air conditioners each have their benefits. Carefully examining these benefits, and how they might apply to your lifestyle, can help you decide on what will be the optimum fit for your home and budget.

Single Stage Benefits

Least expensive to purchase and install Oldest cooling technology, sometimes considered tried and true
  • Less chances for something to go wrong due to simpler technology
  • Variable Speed Benefits

    • Reduced indoor humidity or moisture
    • Lower energy costs to operate
    • More precise and even temperatures throughout your home with less hot and cold spots
    • More efficient in energy, also due to less short cycling
    • Ideal for zone control systems
    • Quieter operation since it typically runs on low speed
    • Usually higher indoor air quality since fan continually circulates the air
    While the variable-speed air conditioners offer more overall benefits than single-stage systems, budgetary needs do come into play when making a purchase of this size. One of the primary benefits of a single-stage unit is its lower upfront costs. If pricing is the top factor in determining which system to choose, a single-stage air conditioner is the forerunner in this category.

    Contact ESI Heating for Your Air Conditioner Needs

    Here at ESI Heating in Portland, our highly trained and experienced team of professionals would like to help you with your air conditioner. We are here for all your replacement, installation, repair, and maintenance needs. Call us today at 517-647-6906 or request service online to make an appointment or to ask a question. 

    Need HVAC Service?

    Contact the experts at ESI Heating.

    Call us at 517-647-6906!

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