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Two-Stage Cooling: What’s It All About?

Two-Stage Cooling: What's It All About?If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it may be time to consider replacing it. Models on the market today are much more energy efficient than anything available a decade ago. One of the things to look for in a new, efficient air conditioner is a model with two-stage cooling. Two-stage cooling allows the A/C to adapt to your temperature demands with some flexibility, which means more efficient (and cheaper) cooling. 

Two-stage cooling systems have the following features:

  • A low and high compressor setting. The compressor in a traditional air conditioner only has one setting, “high.” That means it’s either running at full-blast or it’s completely turned off, no matter how much cold air is needed. The compressor in a two-stage cooling system has a low setting and a high setting.  For most days during the cooling season, the compressor runs at a low output, emitting a consistent stream of cool air over long periods of time to maintain a constant temperature. On hot days, the compressor switches to the high output setting until the desired temperature is reached, and then reverts back to the low setting to maintain it, resulting in lower energy costs.
  • Variable air output. In addition to the compressor settings, two-stage cooling systems usually come with variable speed air handlers to make sure that your house is at the optimum temperature at all times.
  • Improved humidity control. Because the air conditioner is running for longer periods of time, it can take more humidity out of the air than one-speed A/Cs.
  • Quieter operation. Since a two-stage system operates on low most of the time, it is generally quieter than a regular air conditioner.
  • More service life.  Because a two-stage cooling compressor doesn’t turn on and off nearly as often as a one-speed air conditioner, the compressor doesn’t take as much wear and tear.  With proper annual maintenance, it can have a longer service life than a traditional A/C.

For more expert advice on two-stage cooling, or how to keep your home comfortable this summer, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We’ve been providing cooling solutions for the Fresno area for 40 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about two-stage cooling and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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