Single Stage Air Compressor vs Two Stage - AC Repair San DiegoLooking for a new air conditioner for your San Diego home, you may have come across terms like “single stage” or “two stage” air compressor or AC system, and had no idea what they mean or how they could affect your choice. Unbeknownst to you, this choice could make all the difference when it comes to the cost, efficiency and comfort, which is thy the experts at Carini Heating & Air, the premier San Diego air conditioning repair company, have decided to give a thorough explanation of the difference between the two.

Single Stage Air Compressor vs Two Stage Air Compressor: The Basics

A single stage air compressor is the one most commonly found in San Diego homes and operates at a single speed: full speed. When the temperature in your home is above the one set on your thermostat, the AC kicks in and supplies cold air until the two match. Once it has achieved the desired temperature, it turns off and continues this cycle throughout the day.

In contrast, the two stage air compressor has two modes of operation or two speeds: high speed and low speed. When the temperatures are mildly warm, the air conditioner unit will run on a low speed setting for longer periods of time. When the outdoor temperature increases, the AC unit will switch to high speed setting to match.


Two stage air conditioners usually cost more than their one stage counterparts, and the price is higher due to the components that make up each type. This fact initially turns most homeowners away from buying a two stage AC unit, but the latter might prove to be a more cost-saving option in the long run.


As we previously mentioned, the single stage air compressors run at full capacity in cycles throughout the day. These on and off cycles significantly reduce the AC system’s efficiency. Imagine you had to turn your car on and off every time you hit a red light. The car would use up significantly more gas and would be a lot more time consuming to drive.

With two-stage air compressors the home is cooled at a lower speed for a long period of time. As far-fetched as it may sound, the two stage AC unit saves a lot more by constantly running. Naturally, when the extremely hot days set in, the two stage unit can run just as fast and efficient as the one stage counterpart.


Two stage AC variants are easily the winner in this category as well, as running throughout the day ensures that more fresh air permeates your home and that the temperature is even no matter where you are.

Trust the Leading San Diego Air Conditioning Experts’ Advice

If you are looking to replace your old AC system, make sure you get the value for your money. While a two-stage AC might not be your first choice because of the price, investing in a two stage air compressor is investing in your home and your comfort. And if you ever have any issues with your two stage air compressor, you know who to call.