The type of compressor will indicate how the unit will perform. There are 1-stage, 2-stage and modular compressors. The most efficient of the three is modular, which runs between 40 and 100 percent capacity until more power is needed. This delivers balanced, reliable cooling with little fluctuation. This type of compressor offers the most precise temperature control as well. These are the most expensive types of units. A 2-stage central air conditioner also runs at low capacity, about 65 percent. Thus, its cycles are longer and quieter. These units do a great job of dehumidifying and filtering the air. Single-stage models run at full capacity all the time, making them the least efficient. They typically produce slight temperature fluctuations, but they are far more affordable than more efficient alternatives. Please keep in mind that any air conditioner, regardless of its compressor type, will make your home more comfortable when used with a variable-speed blower in the furnace.
For many homeowners, cost is the most important consideration when selecting an AC unit. Top-of-the-line units are compared to budget units in each brand price list, allowing you to easily compare features and pricing. You can also compare brands to learn more about how each one differs. Split systems can be either a traditional air conditioner and furnace or a heat pump and air handler – or a heat pump and furnace in very cold climates. For a split system, check out gas furnace price lists for these brands. Don’t forget about the oil furnace price lists if oil makes more sense based on where you live.