The Big Difference Between a Single- vs. Variable-Speed Air Conditioner

by | Aug 18, 2020

Air Conditioner Repair Tools

There’s a lot that goes into choosing a new air conditioner. From deciding between ductless and central AC to unit sizing and system speed, it can seem overwhelming. Gross Heating & Air Conditioning wants to help make your decision easier. Our experts are here to explain the pros and cons of a single vs. variable-speed air conditioner. Read on to find out which will work best for you (and call us at 262-783-6000 for installation).

What Is a Single-Stage AC?

Single-stage or single-speed means your cooling system only has one setting: on. When the temperature in your home gets warmer than your thermostat setting, the unit kicks into action, working at full speed to cool everything back down. Once it meets that desired temperature, the system shuts off. These are the most common type of central air conditioner, as they cost less to purchase and install than multi-speed models.

And What Does a Variable-Speed Air Conditioner Do?

Variable-speed HVAC systems are more complex than their single-stage counterparts. Rather than simply turning on and off when needed, these units run at multiple speeds through out the day to provide as much comfort as possible. In fact, they rarely turn off—instead, once your ideal temperature is reached, these models drop in speed (going as low as 25 percent capacity) to better maintain your comfort.

Are Variable-Speed Air Conditioners Worth It?

They’re worth it for two reasons: energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

Air conditioners use up the most energy when they turn on and off. Because a variable-speed AC runs in longer cycles—and in some cases, continuously—it will use less energy compared to a single-stage system, even as it fluctuates between speeds. That efficiency will save you money over time on your utility bills, even if variable-speed units do cost more up front. Those longer cycles can also help dehumidify your home and improve its overall air quality.

Need a Helping Hand? Turn to the Experts at Carrier® and Gross Heating

Whatever you decide, know that Gross Heating will help you find the perfect-size Carrier air conditioner that fits your needs. We’ll walk you through your options and explain everything along the way so you can feel comfortable with your setup.

Call us today at 262-783-6000 or contact us online to talk installation.

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Gross Heating & Air Conditioning
3260 N. 126th Street
Brookfield, WI 53005
Phone: 262-783-6000
24-Hour Emergency Service Available
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