Single-Stage vs. Two-Stage Air Conditioner for Kansas Homes

June 17, 2015

When buying a central air conditioner, it’s easy to get lost in the confusing jargon.

For example, many Kansas homeowners don’t know the difference between a single-stage and two-stage air conditioner.

They have questions like:

  • What’s the difference between single-stage and two-stage ACs? 
  • Why would I want one AC type over the other? 
  • What’s the price difference between a single-stage and two-stage AC?

We’ll answer each of those questions in detail.

What’s the difference between a single-stage and two-stage air conditioner?

The difference is how they work to cool your home.

  • Single-stage ACs have a single cooling level: full blast.
  • Two-stage ACs have two cooling levels: low for mildly hot days and high (full blast) for sizzling hot summer days.

What’s so special about having a ‘low’ cooling setting?

Well, let’s look at the problems of NOT having a low cooling setting.

An AC running only at full blast can cool the home too quickly, leading to:

  • More starts and stops, meaning higher energy bills.
  • Higher humidity levels at home (meaning you feel more “sticky”)
  • Less comfort because of uneven temperatures around your home. (In other words, one room is too cold while another is too hot.)

The low setting helps reverse all that. On mildly hot days, the two-stage AC will:

  • Run longer, helping eliminate starts and stops and therefore use less electricity. 
  • Help improve dehumidification (so long, stickiness!)
  • Promotes more even temperatures around the home.

In Kansas, which only gets really hot in the summer, a two-stage AC will usually run at the “low” setting 80% of the time. So you’ll literally feel the full benefits of a two-stage AC most of the time.

Why would you want one AC type over the other?

Here’s the summary:

  • Single-stage air conditioners are cheaper upfront.
  • Two-stage air conditioners offer more comfort and long-term savings through better energy efficiency. 

So, what’s more important to you: getting a new AC at the cheapest price or being more comfortable at home?

The answer will tell you which system you want.

What’s the price difference between a single-stage and two-stage AC?

It depends on the size of the AC system you’re replacing.

To get an accurate comparison between the two systems, first you’ll need an AC technician to do a Manual J Heat Load Calculation to see what size you need. Then your tech can compare single-stage and two-stage ACs at that size.

Get a free AC cost estimates in Kansas

Contact Santa Fe Air Conditioning and Heating for free air conditioner estimates. We’ll show you the price difference between a single- and two-stage AC so you can make an informed decision. 

Santa Fe Air Conditioning and Heating serves the Kansas City area. For more information, contact us online