When you buy a new air conditioner, you have a lot of factors to consider, such as size, energy-efficiency ratings, brand, and price. You also have to choose the type of compressor for your new AC. The type of compressor you choose affects how well the AC works and its price. Here's why a compressor is important in an air conditioner and the types to choose from.
The Role Of An AC Compressor
The air conditioning compressor plays a role in distributing refrigerant through the coils of the AC. It does this by compressing the refrigerant as part of the cycle of the refrigerant changing from a gas to liquid and back as the refrigerant moves through your air conditioner and pulls heat out of your house. Without the compressor, your air conditioner wouldn't cool down your house, so this is an important part of your AC system. Your air conditioner keeps your house cool in two ways. Refrigerant pulls heat out of your house to lower the temperature and the AC also decreases humidity in your house, which helps you feel cooler. The different types of compressors get the same results in different ways and with different degrees of efficiency.
The Three Types Of Air Conditioner Compressors
When you buy a new AC, you can choose a single-stage, two-stage, or variable-speed compressor for your unit. The single-stage compressor is the original type and might be what's in your air conditioner now. It's the least expensive option, so it's a good choice if you have a smaller budget for a new AC. It's more suitable for climates with lower humidity than for humid areas. It works on one speed that blows with full force. It reaches the thermostat setting quickly so a single-stage compressor will turn on and off frequently throughout the day. Your AC won't run as long each time, but the AC starts up and shuts off more often than with other compressors. This can cost more money in operating costs since appliances use the most energy during the start-up phase.
A two-stage compressor has two speeds: high and low. When your AC kicks on, it will run much longer with each cycle so your air conditioner turns on and off less frequently. This could reduce your cooling bills, keep your home cool uniformly, and control humidity better. A variable-speed compressor is the most expensive option, but it gives the best control over the climate and air quality in your home. Instead of just having a low and high speed, the variable-speed compressor adjusts itself over a range of settings. This type of air conditioner may run most of the day, and while that may sound like it would run up your energy bill, it actually lowers it since the AC turns on much less often.
Plus, the AC may run at just a fraction of its capability, so it uses less energy while maintaining the comfort of your home. A variable-speed compressor is also the best at controlling humidity, and since air cycles through the filter all day, you may notice an improvement in the air quality of your home.
Your HVAC contractor can help you choose the right type of compressor for your new AC. Depending on your climate and home, you may not need the most expensive type of compressor. The goal is to choose the best unit for your budget that will keep you comfortable during the hot days of summer.