Before you jump into inquiring about getting a central A/C unit installed, you’re going to want to be aware of all of the different options you have. Central A/C units come in single-stage, two-stage and variable-speed selections. But when it comes to the different types of central air conditioning options, how do you know which one is best for your home or business? Well, in this post you’re about to find out!
What Are The Types of Central Air Conditioning?
Let’s explore all of the types of central air conditioning so you can get a better understanding!
Single-Stage A/C Units
Single-stage A/C units are commonly used in residential homes. These units use a single-stage compressor which turns on when the temperature inside exceeds the temperature you have your air conditioner set to.
These units operate at 100% capacity which pretty much means full blast! They’re great for those who don’t want to worry about turning their machine on and off. Essentially, your air conditioner is either operating or it’s not. This tends to be the cheapest option when it comes to central air conditioning. However, it’s also less efficient than other options and might not have the cooling capacity you need in your home.
Two-Stage A/C Units
Two-stage or dual-stage A/C units are considered a step up from single-stage units. They’re a more versatile and efficient option. They can help you save on your monthly energy bills, but they do tend to cost more than single-stage units. A two-sage A/C unit offers two levels instead of just one like a single-stage A/C unit. It can run at either high or low. Like a single-stage unit, they cycle on and off, just a lot less frequently!
This way, when the weather fluctuates, you can still cool your home according to how much air conditioning you need. This is useful in climates like South Florida when air conditioning can be used all year-long.
Variable Speed A/C Units
Variable speed A/C units maintain the temperature you set them to. They work continuously but at a much less capacity than other units. This means they can run at longer cycles rather than blasting and turning off.
You can think of the air flow of a variable speed A/C unit as smooth and steady!
Pros and Cons of the Different Types of Central Air Conditioning
Now you know more about the basics of each type of central air conditioning it’s time to further explore the pros and cons of each option.
Single-Stage A/C Units
Pros: The advantage of this option is that it’s the cheapest of all types of central air conditioning.
Cons: These units need to operate at full power to operate at all so your long-term energy bills will be higher. The sound of these machines stopping and starting can also be an annoyance to many homeowners. Additionally, they aren’t necessarily the best option for big spaces.
Two-Stage A/C Units
Pros: These units provide a nice middle ground when it comes to cost and efficiency between single-stage and variable speed A/C units. They can help you save money on your energy bills if you upgrade to this system from a single-stage unit.
Cons: If you kick your two-stage A/C unit into high gear on a regular basis, you could be missing out on the benefits of having a slower option to choose from. This also means more wear and tear on the system which can lead to a shorter lifespan.
Variable Speed A/C Units
Pros: These are considered the top-tier option when it comes to the different types of central air conditioning. They offer more power and efficiency than single or dual-stage units, along with a lot more versatility. Additionally, they’re quieter than other options because they can operate at as low as 40% of their maximum power capacity. Thanks to having more control over the temperature in your home, your heating and cooling bills will be less vulnerable to
Cons: The initial cost of installing a variable speed A/C unit can turn some homeowners off. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these costs can ultimately be earned back in lower energy bills over the years.
What Else Should I Know About the Different Types of Air Conditioning?
When it comes down to choosing the right A/C unit for your home, there’s so much more to consider than just cost. Of course, the size of your home will play a big role in the type of unit that suits it best. But keep in mind, there are a number of other factors that influence the air conditioning needs in your home. This includes how many windows your home has, how big they are, and where they’re placed. It will also depend on the materials used in building your home, including the type of insulation.
Even things like where the trees around your property are placed can affect your air conditioning needs!
The other factors that affect your new system’s size include the number of individuals living in your residence, the kind of insulation you have, how many heat-producing appliances you have in your house, the direction your house faces, your home’s total square footage, the number of windows in your house, humidity level, and your region’s climate. We know this can all seem pretty overwhelming, but you don’t need to decide between the different types of central air conditioning on your own!
The team at AC Care can do the right calculations in order to determine the appropriate cooling or heating unit for your lifestyle and home.
Installing Central Air Conditioning
We know you might also have a number of questions about what the installation process looks like for the different types of central air conditioning.
If you are installing a new system into a house that hasn’t had central heat and air before, you will need to have ductwork installed.
Additional equipment that will need to be installed includes:
- An evaporator coil
- Drain pans
- Chimney liner
- Flue terminations
- Flue piping,
- Condensate piping
- Electrical service
- Refrigerant piping and insulation
As far as ductwork, it consists of two parts: return and supply. The supply duct attaches to the new system’s outflow, which delivers air into each zone in your house. How much air reaches each of the zones? The ductwork supply that connects to your system determines this. Our team members can help you with determining the size of the ductwork supply into your house.
The return duct attaches onto the new system’s inlet and draws air from the spaces that are to be cooled or heated. The filter is attached to the system’s return duct. The filter needs to be placed as close to the air handler or furnace as possible. The ductwork can be made out of either metal or fiberglass and needs to be sized properly so that it evenly distributes the right amount of air into every room.
Learn More About the Different Types of Central Air Conditioning
Still not sure which A/C unit is going to be the best option for you and your space? Get in touch with us today! We can run through the options with you and help you find the best one for your needs.
At AC Care Heat & Air, we aim to be your total home comfort experts on the Treasure Coast and in the Palm Beach areas. We provide air conditioning services in a number of areas in South Florida, including: