Summers in Wichita can be uncomfortable and expensive. We’ve always had muggy and windy summer months, but the last several years we’ve also had record breaking days of 100-plus degree heat. Just this past May we had the earliest 100-degree temperature in the city’s recorded history. Unfortunately, energy prices haven’t gone down, and each year, the state grants Westar Energy a new rate hike. If you’re looking for a way to keep the house cool and dehumidified while lowering your bills, two-stage cooling might be right for you.
Two-stage cooling is different from standard cooling systems in that it runs at variable speeds and continuously. By running continuously and at variable speeds, two-stage cooling is more efficient, better at dehumidifying the air while keeping the entire house cool, and it’s more durable than standard systems.
During a Kansas August, a standard A/C will cycle on/off dozens of times throughout the day. This consumes a lot of energy and wears down the unit’s compressor. Standard systems also waste energy by always running at 100 percent. While it might seem like running at full blast would cool the house quicker, in fact, more energy doesn’t equal cooler temperature. Standard systems are limited by their fan speed and the size of the house being cooled.
Two-stage cooling is more efficient than standard systems because it doesn’t consume extra power in the on/off cycle and it typically runs below max power. For most of the day, the two-stage system runs at about 67 percent, rising to meet demands during peak temperature increases. Though the two-stage system runs longer, it saves money by using less energy during its operation and eliminates wasteful on/off cycling. In addition, because the two-stage system is continually running, its coils have more time to draw moisture from the air, dehumidifying the home. Finally, two-stage systems reduce the wear and tear caused by repeatedly shutting down throughout the day. With regular preventive maintenance, your two-stage system will save you on your energy bill and repairs.
For more information about two-stage cooling and A/C services, please contact us at Comfort Systems.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).