A scroll compressor is a specially designed compressor that works in a circular motion, as opposed to up-and-down piston action.

Scroll compressors are becoming more popular for use in HVAC systems, as they are more reliable and efficient than reciprocating types. A scroll compressor has one fixed scroll which remains stationary and another moving or orbiting scroll that rotates through the use of a swing link. When this happens, the pockets of refrigerant between the two scrolls are slowly pushed to the center of the two scrolls, causing the reduction of the volume of the gas. It is then discharged though the center port to the condenser.

The advantage of a scroll compressor is that it has fewer moving parts and less torque variation compared to the reciprocating compressor. This advantage is translated to a smooth and quiet operation. The scroll compressor is also known as scroll pump or scroll vacuum pump.

Scroll compressors can be applied in several different ways to meet a homeowner’s needs for efficiency, comfort, and affordability.

Single-stage compressors are found in most home cooling and heating systems. The simplest and least expensive type, they operate at only one speed. Single-stage units can cool or heat a home efficiently.

Two-stage compressors operate at two different speeds, more closely matching their cooling or heating output to the exact needs of the home. The ability to run at a lower, more efficient speed helps remove excess humidity from the air while saving energy and the compressor can switch to its full capacity if needed to hold temperatures steady. Two-stage systems are typically more energy-efficient than single-stage systems.

Variable-capacity compressors provide exceptional control of home temperatures and humidity, because instead of operating at one or two settings, they can modulate their capacity in very small increments throughout a wide operating range. This allows for very precise control of cooling and heating, keeping temperatures even throughout the home and saving energy in the process. While variable-capacity systems tend to be more expensive, they provide exceptional savings on monthly energy bills and can be up to twice as efficient as single-stage models.

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