What about Multi-Stage or Variable Capacity Compressors? – Part 2

In our previous blog we began our discussion of compressors, starting with a brief description of how a single-stage compressor operates. Now we want to provide you with the details on variable speed air conditioners and multi-stage or variable capacity compressors to help you make an informed decision if it’s time to seriously think about replacing their old and inefficient central cooling system with a new one.

Two-Stage Compressors

Two stage air conditioners are pretty common these days. Think about two stage as high speed and low speed. High speed to handle the extreme temperatures and low speed for the milder weather. However, there are some differences in practice of how manufacturers accomplish two-stage. Some manufacturers use one, 2-speed compressor inside the condensing unit. Whereas other manufactures use two separate compressors (one large and one small) inside the same condensing unit.

There are advantages and disadvantages to the two-compressor design. Pro: the total run time of each compressor is less than if there was only one compressor, theoretically extending the life of the unit. Con: if there is a compressor failure, this tends to be a very expensive repair since this tandem arrangement often means both compressors need to be replaced. These factors should weigh into your decision when comparing products and brands.

Multiple Stage Compressors

A multi-stage compressor is a variation of the two-stage compressor, rather than a high and low speed, the motor is designed to have several speeds, usually up to five. A few manufacturers even market their multiple stage compressors as “variable speed” when in fact they are “multi-speed”, meaning they can step the speed up or down. This is great technology, although it is being quickly overshadowed due to the major advantages of variable speed compressors.

Variable Speed Compressors

The latest technology in air conditioners now offers a variable speed compressor also known as a variable capacity compressor, an inverter driven AC, or an inverter compressor. This type of compressor allows the air conditioning capacity, to ramp up or down in tiny increments from 100% down to 40% or even 30% depending on the manufacturer, all based on how much cooling is needed to cool your house down, or just keep it cool.

This technology is highly recommended in areas that can get very hot and/or humid. In such areas, you may need a 5-ton unit to handle the load in mid-July during the dog days of summer. But later on, in late summer and early fall, a 5-ton unit is overkill. With an inverter driven variable speed compressor you only use what you need, thereby saving you money by not consuming energy you don’t need. In the case of heat pumps, the same idea applies where temperatures can get extremely frigid during the peak of winter.

We here at GAMA Air feel we should educate our clients and provide multiple solutions, looking at the pros and cons of each, so our clients can make an informed decision as to what is best for them and their families. We have lots of happy customers in and around Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino. We would like you to be one of them. Give us a call at (310) 651-6936 or use our online form to schedule a visit for a free quote on a new system.

Do you have other questions that are nagging you? Visit our Ask an Expert page, fill out the form, and our resident expert will get back to you quickly with an answer.

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