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AC Compressors

Most air conditioning units have a scroll compressor although some still use a reciprocating. Scrolls are more energy efficient and now we have two stage scroll compressors. Two stage compressors are called two stage compressors because they have a high and low stage. If the thermostat is within 2 degrees of the desired temperature, the compressor will typically run in low stage. When operating in low stage the compressor runs at about 70% capacity. This equates to a significant reduction in energy costs. When testing for SEER, compressors are run in high stage so the anticipated energy costs of a 16 SEER single stage condensing unit compared to a 16 SEER two stage condensing unit is going to be substantial. You can use our energy savings calculator to see the difference.

As the efficiencies have increased over the years, so have standard manufacturer warranties on compressors. Most come with a five year warranty that is double to ten years when registered online. It is now common to see them exceed ten years by going to twelve and even lifetime. The compressor is typically the most expensive repair for a HVAC system so many of these warranties even have a unit replacement attached to them. You can find out more about compressor repairs and our air conditioning repairs section.