Your air conditioning system is your lifeline in summer, but it can also be an energy hog when it is very hot or cold. Traditional HVAC units can also be quite noisy as they depend on a huge fan to evacuate and then return conditioned air from a house. New options are available that are more efficient and often quieter. It is a thought if you are in the market for a new heating and cooling unit.
The newest option is the two-stage cooling system. Actually, it has been around for a little while but is increasingly becoming miniaturized. In the past, increasing the complexity of an air conditioner increased its efficiency in line with regulations. A two-stage system is even more complex and could help you cut your utility bill.
Two-stages mean that the system has two circuits it can run. The refrigerant could be pumped through a single circuit on mild days and through both circuits on hot days. The compressor is also modified to suit this system. What this basically means is that your cooling system can act like a smaller or larger device based on the needs. This equates to cash savings in fall and spring.
Helping To Tackle Variable Demand
Air conditioners traditionally operate by turning on the compressor when the temperature is above the target range and then turning it off once the indoor temperature is cooled. Simple compressors might only have one speed of operation and can not vary their speed according to needs. In short, there are a lot of starts and stops, and starting takes a surge of electricity.
Bicycles are simple devices, but they have gear ratios that make it easier to climb a hill. The speed during ascent is much slower, but your leg muscles do not tire from heavy exertion. You can go longer without feeling worn out. A compressor can be designed with the same logic. A lower amount of power can be used to start the system, and then it can rev up to a more powerful setting without a sudden demand for power that might also shorten the life of the compressor.
A much more significant gain comes from the fact that many homes have an HVAC system that has a lower capacity than is needed during the hottest days of summer. The only options for these homes are to add insulation or just suffer warmer indoor temperatures to prevent their air conditioner from wearing out. An oversized unit would create a larger utility bill in all seasons. Being able to adjust the effective size of your unit is the key to being comfortable in summer and efficient throughout the rest of the year.
Further Exploring The Benefits of Two-Stage Cooling
If this system runs longer than a regular unit, this just means that it is working to save you money. When it runs at the lower stage, it cools more slowly and uses substantially less energy per hour. It is like using a window unit and allowing that to cool a house in mild weather. Since less power is used, the lower stage will run for a fairly long time. The higher stage would get the job done faster but would use more electricity and be less efficient.
Perhaps the biggest perk is that the air temperature is consistent throughout the day. A larger unit will kick on and then cool the air to somewhere below the target range and then will stay off until the temperature climbs somewhere above the target range. The wider the acceptable range, the fewer times the HVAC unit needs to kick on, but it will turn on and off more frequently in summer with varying personal comfort.
With a two-stage unit, the highest stage can be used to quickly reduce the temperature, and then the lower stage can be used to maintain the temperature. In the hottest weather, the lower stage will run fairly frequently while the higher stage will only kick in operation when the sun starts winning the battle. The only way to be more efficient is to add extra insulation or plant trees.
The final advantage is just that it keeps the air free from excess moisture in summer. Since hot air holds more moisture, it contributes to discomfort by making it harder for sweat to evaporate. A unit that constantly operates in a lower setting has the added effect of stripping more moisture by condensing it out of the air.