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Are Multi-Stage Air Conditioners Better than Single Stage Air Conditioners?


A question we get asked about quite often is: Are multi-stage air conditioners better than single-stage air conditioners? I think the best answer to that is it depends on what part of the country you live in.

  • Use multi-stage air conditioners in some areas to intentionally run the air conditioner for longer in an effort to remove more humidity as the air conditioner is running.
  • In areas that have no humidity issues whatsoever, the only thing you want to do is cool your house as quickly as possible.

Benefits and Downsides

  • There is no harm in installing a multi-stage air conditioner in an area that, in our opinion, doesn’t need one. There are other benefits besides additional humidity removal such as:
    1. A lower noise level outside as it’s running
    2. More cold air distribution because the fan will run for a much longer period of time to cool your
      home. So, you will generally get a better temperature distribution throughout the house.
  • The downside to having a multi-stage air conditioner where one is not needed is
    1. Additional potential repair costs with having more parts inside the machine (oftentimes, multiple
      compressors inside of the air conditioner itself).
    2. The high stage on a two-stage air conditioner is noisier than a single stage air conditioner would be.
    3. And of course the additional upfront cost of owning the unit.

Confusion and Solution


Conversely to the Pacific Northwest, if you’re in areas like much of the east coast where humidity is a primary concern, a multi-stage air conditioner is a fantastic solution. The confusion for the consumers comes with the assumption that spending more money on equipment is always the better choice. Oftentimes, it is a better choice, but not every time. This is a good example of more expensive equipment not being the best choice depending on what region of the country you’re in.