Two Stage vs One stage AC: Which One Is Right For Your?

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Two Stage vs One stage AC

For Texans, going without air conditioning isn’t really an option. The summers can get extraordinarily hot down here, and living in a home without AC isn’t just uncomfortable — it’s dangerous. Constant exposure to high temperatures can result in heat cramps, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. To avoid these heat-related dangers and maintain a comfortable living environment, it’s important to have a functional air conditioning system. The question is, which type of air conditioner is right for your home? 


With so many types of cooling systems on the market, it can be overwhelming to pick out an AC system on your own. Fortunately, you don’t have to. When you need the best air conditioning Cedar Hill, Texas, can provide, call Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating. We’ll help you find the best air conditioner for your needs. Keep reading to learn about two-stage and one-stage air conditioners and how they differ. 


At Dial One Johnson, our mission is to keep our customers safe and comfortable year-round. Whether you need air conditioning repair, maintenance or installation, we’re here to help. Contact us online to schedule service or give us a call at (469) 518-2809. 

How Two-Stage and One-Stage ACs Work

When you start researching different types of air conditioners, you’ll encounter both one-stage and two-stage ACs. The terms ‘one-stage’ and ‘two-stage’ actually refer to the operation mode of the compressor, a critical AC component that is responsible for moving the refrigerant between the evaporator and condenser coils. 

One-Stage vs. Two-Stage Compressors

A one-stage compressor has only one operating mode, meaning it runs at 100% capacity all the time, regardless of the cooling demand. If it’s on, it’s on at full blast. Two-stage compressors have two functioning capacities: medium and high. The high mode runs at 100% capacity, just like the one-stage compressor, and the medium mode generally runs between 60% and 70% capacity.

Two-Stage vs. One-Stage Air Conditioners

Two-stage air conditioners have several obvious advantages over one-stage air conditioners, the most distinct being versatility. Two-stage ACs can produce cool air at a rate that is appropriate for the outdoor temperature. When it’s mild outside, a two-stage AC can run at medium capacity instead of full blast, but can still reach full capacity in hot temperatures. However, versatility isn’t the only factor to consider when comparing one-stage and two-stage AC systems. 

Energy Efficiency

When a one-stage air conditioner is on, it’s operating at full capacity. That means it’s using the maximum amount of energy, whether or not it needs to do so. As you might have guessed, that’s not very energy efficient. Additionally, one-stage air conditioners go through frequent and brief cooling cycles, alternating between blowing cold air on full blast and shutting down. This is important to note because air conditioners use the most energy when they’re starting up and shutting down.


Two-stage air conditioners operate in the opposite way; they generally have longer and less frequent cooling cycles than one-stage ACs. As a result, they waste less energy in the starting up and shutting down processes. Two-stage ACs’ ability to operate at a medium capacity on milder days allow them to consume less energy than one-stage ACs when cooling demands are low. 


An air conditioner’s energy consumption affects homeowners in two distinct ways: carbon footprint and utility costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air conditioners use six percent of all electricity produced in the United States. As electricity is primarily generated by fossil fuels, homeowners can do their part to reduce emissions by buying a more energy-efficient AC system. By doing so, homeowners will also spend less money on utility costs. 


Efficiency winner: two-stage air conditioner

Comfort Considerations

When you’re searching for the best air conditioning replacement, comfort needs to be one of the factors you take into consideration. The frequent and powerful cooling cycles of a one-stage air conditioner can cause big temperature swings in your home throughout the day. For many homeowners, this fluctuation is less than ideal. 


Additionally, the short cycles of the one-stage air conditioner can inhibit its ability to dehumidify your home’s air, leaving you in a potentially muggy, fluctuating climate. The two-stage air conditioner’s gradual cooling process gives the system time to properly dehumidify your air, which means a fresher smell, cooler feel and better air quality. Its longer cycles and less powerful blasts allow for a more even distribution of cool air throughout the home. 


Comfortability winner: two-stage air conditioner

Installation Costs 

When it comes to installation costs, one-stage air conditioners have the advantage; they require a smaller upfront investment to purchase and install. If you’re running low on cash and need an AC system fast, a one-stage air conditioner is your best option. However, one-stage air conditioners may cost more in the long run, as their inefficiency can drive up utility bills. 


Installation cost winner: one-stage air conditioner

Air Conditioning Cedar Hill, Texas

There are many factors to consider when trying to decide which type of air conditioner will work best for your home. This can be a daunting process for people unfamiliar with the pros and cons of each system. Luckily, homeowners don’t have to make the decision alone. If you’re looking for the best air conditioning Cedar Hill, Texas, can provide, consult a HVAC expert at Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating for help. 


At Dial One Johnson, we know that air conditioners are a big investment, and not everyone can afford to pay a lot of money upfront. Although less efficient systems like one-stage air conditioners require a smaller initial investment, they can end up costing homeowners more in utility bills than two-stage systems. One way that homeowners can avoid being penalized for a lack of liquid funds is by buying an air conditioner through a financing plan. That’s why Dial One offers multiple financing options that require no out-of-pocket expenses. 


Whether you need air conditioning repair, maintenance or replacement, Dial One Johnson’s got your back. Considering an air conditioner replacement? We’ve partnered with Lennox HVAC systems to provide Cedar Hill homeowners with highly efficient, affordable air conditioning solutions. Visit us online to schedule service, or give us a call at (469) 518-2809. 

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