3 Types Of Central Air Conditioning Units

When you are ready to install an air conditioner (AC) to either replace a broken one or upgrade your existing system, there are generally three options available. Single, dual, and variable-stage ACs each have their own unique properties and benefits.


A single-stage AC can be considered your average or classic AC. When you turn your system on, it runs at full power and continuously blows out cool air until your home reaches the desired temperature. One advantage of this system is its price. Since it is a common form of AC, it is more readily available and a more affordable option. This type of system may be ideal if you live in an area without significant temperature fluctuations. People who live in areas with very hot summers may find they are better off with a single-stage AC because it works at a higher level of power. Unfortunately, this high level of power also means it is less efficient than a dual or variable-stage AC.


The dual-stage AC runs at two levels of power, or stages. Your AC will run at full power when it is hotter and switch to a lower amount of power for milder temperatures. Unlike a single-stage system, a dual-stage system does not cut on and off as frequently, it simply switches to a lower-level of power when needed. The major advantage of this type of AC is its efficiency. Since it is not running at full power constantly, it tends to be more energy-saving. Additionally, people who experience abrupt changes in their indoor temperature with a single-stage system will find a dual-stage AC reduces these extreme temperature fluctuations. A dual-stage system may be a good choice if you live in an area with significant temperature swings during the warmer months. There may be several times throughout the warmer months where you just need some cooling and other times where the AC needs to be at full power to moderate extreme heat.


A variable-stage AC has similarities to a dual-stage system, because it can work at more stages than either a single or dual-stage system. Variable-stage systems are the most efficient of the AC systems, but this efficiency comes at a higher upfront price. You may want to invest in a variable-stage system if you live in an area with significant temperature swings and high humidity. Variable-stage units are considered to be better at reducing indoor humidity because the system stays on longer than either a single or dual-stage unit, allowing it to better pull excess moisture out the air. A variable-stage system is even better at moderating the indoor temperature because it can fluctuate in its power usage as the indoor temperature changes.

The three types of AC systems each have unique advantages that may sway your decision when selecting the best unit for your home. Finding a good compromise between upfront price, efficiency, and monthly costs is the ideal strategy to selecting the right system.

For more information about which unit to choose for your air conditioning installation, contact a local HVAC company.

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