Dangerous heat waves across the country have many homeowners thinking about the best way to beat the heat. While central air conditioning systems can help keep your home cool and comfortable, you might find that your current system isn't up to the task of dealing with particularly hot summers. Extreme heat can be dangerous, so having a comfortable and cool refuge is crucial.
If your home's air conditioner can't seem to maintain a comfortable temperature, it may require repair or be undersized to meet more intense heat waves. In the latter case, replacing your existing system might be the best way to keep up with the summer heat. Multi-stage systems can be an excellent option if you're considering an upgrade, but do you need one of these high-end units to beat the heat?
Understanding Multi-Stage AC Systems
Standard air conditioning systems are typically single-stage units. A single-stage unit will run its compressor at full power whenever your home needs cooling. In other words, these air conditioners will pump as much heat out of your home as possible. Once the air conditioner has satisfied your thermostat, it will shut off and wait for temperatures to rise again.
Multi-stage units can operate at more than one speed. The most common options are variable-speed compressors and two-stage air conditioners. A two-stage unit will have a low-power mode to maintain temperature and deal with lower cooling loads. On the other hand, a variable-speed unit can constantly vary its output to meet your cooling needs.
How Multi-Stage Systems Can Benefit You
The primary advantages of multi-stage systems are improved comfort and increased efficiency. Since a typical air conditioner can only run at full power, it is not always the most efficient option for days that don't require as much cooling. These air conditioners can also be inefficient in well-insulated homes since they may only need to run in short bursts to maintain temperature.
Adjusting their speeds allows two-stage and variable-speed units to run more efficiently when intense cooling isn't required. They can also help keep your home more comfortable by avoiding the sudden shift from hot to cold when a single-stage air conditioner suddenly kicks on at full power.
When to Choose a Multi-Stage System
Ultimately, any properly sized air conditioner should keep your home cool. If your current system isn't keeping up, you may need an HVAC contractor to perform a load calculation for your home and recommend a larger system. However, two-stage and variable-speed systems can still be beneficial for dealing with intense heat waves.
Since these systems can run at low power to maintain temperature, they can be an effective option for keeping your home consistently cool on hot days. Instead of constantly blasting you with cold air every time the temperature increases, a multi-stage system can maintain a precise interior temperature even as exterior temperatures soar.
Reach out to a local service, such as United Refrigeration Heating & Air, to learn more.