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Variable Speed Air Conditioner Pros and Cons

If you’re looking for the most energy-efficient air conditioner for your home, someone has probably recommended a variable speed model to you. But what exactly is a variable speed AC, and how is it different from what you have now?

Below, we’ll explain how variable speed air conditioners differ from single- or two-stage models.

HOW IS A VARIABLE SPEED AIR CONDITIONER DIFFERENT FROM A SINGLE-STAGE OR TWO-STAGE MODEL?

Air conditioners are not only made in a variety of sizes—there are also models that can run at varying capacities (or speeds). Here is a basic explanation of the different types of air conditioners you can buy for your home:

  • Single-stage. This air conditioner can only run at full power. It’s either on or it’s off.
  • Two-stage. This air conditioner can run at full power or at about 60 to 70 percent of its maximum capacity.
  • Variable speed. This air conditioner can run at many different capacities, depending on what your AC system needs to do to maintain your home’s desired temperature.

When deciding which system is best for your home, you’ll need to consider factors such as upfront cost, energy efficiency, your home’s size, and energy savings over time.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF INSTALLING A VARIABLE SPEED AIR CONDITIONER?

Choosing to install a variable speed air conditioner comes with advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

  • Highest energy efficiency. Because these air conditioners can run at numerous speeds, they spend less energy overcoming temperature fluctuations in your home. This translates into lower energy bills than you could get with single-stage and two-stage models.
  • More precise temperature control. Because these models can make such minute adjustments to their speed, you’ll have more consistent temperatures in your home than you would with a single-stage or two-stage model.
  • More even temperatures throughout the home. Single-stage and two-stage models can shut off before cooling your home evenly, especially if your home is large or has two or more stories. A variable speed AC can run at a lower speed, so it can run for longer cycles to cool your home evenly without straining itself or using up a lot of energy.

Cons

  • Upfront cost. Because of their superior capabilities, variable speed air conditioners come with a higher price tag than single-stage or two-stage models.

In some cases, the upfront cost of a variable speed AC may not be worth it to you. For instance, if you own a small, single-story home, a single-stage or two-stage model may be perfectly adequate for your cooling needs.

Professional AC Replacements in the San Joaquin Valley

At Monarch Home Services, we’re dedicated to helping you find an air conditioner that meets your cooling needs and your budget. Contact us online today or call us at (661) 271-6099. Don’t forget to ask about our financing options!

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