Multistage Vs. Single-Stage System
Single-stage systems are best described as “on-off“.
They are blowing hot or cold air at full force, or they are off entirely. Single-stage systems tend to be older HVAC models. They can also be new models found in smaller homes or milder climates.
Multistage systems have steps, such as low and high.
A 3-stage system might have low, medium, and high, like a hairdryer. Multistage systems are more common in bigger or newer houses. They are often found in regions with very cold or hot weather.
The advantage of multistage systems is that they are more energy-efficient.
Running at full capacity might get the house to temp faster, but you can reap better energy savings by getting to your desired temperature more gradually. Smart thermostats are sophisticated enough to make this determination for you, so you do not need to micromanage which stage is currently in use.
No matter what type of air conditioner you have, it needs to be maintained regularly. Be a responsible owner and schedule its cleaning at least once a year.