Although you can find plenty of heating and cooling options available for your living space, variable-speed HVAC systems offer some of the most versatile and efficient solutions.
While some HVAC systems rely on a single-speed motor, variable-speed blower motors are capable of switching speeds as necessary. The system’s sensors and thermostat constantly monitor current temperature conditions, and then the unit adjusts the fan speed whenever necessary to circulate heated air. The fan motor can continue to deliver filtered yet non-heated airflow as well, ensuring clean air for you and your family regardless of the season.
Comparison to Single-Stage and Two-Stage Furnaces
Of course, variable-speed systems aren’t the only ones on the market. Single-stage furnaces produce a consistently high heat output, no matter what the temperature is in your home. The result is a system that is either operating at full power or not operating at all. To keep your space comfortable as well as energy-efficient, you’ll need to keep a constant eye on your heating and air conditioning unit.
Many two-stage furnaces operate at roughly half their potential output unless cold temperatures persist. If extra heating is required, the furnace powers up to its full capacity. This option is more energy-efficient than the single-stage furnace, and requires less of your attention, but it still falls short of a variable-speed system.
Energy Efficiency with Variable-Speed Systems
Traditional blower motors can use up to 400 watts per hour. On the other hand, due to the self-monitoring nature of the unit, a variable-speed motor can drop energy usage down to 70 watts per hour. By shaving off 325 watts every hour, variable-systems have the potential to save you hundreds a year in energy costs.
Keep in mind factors such as home insulation and climate will also play a role in energy usage. In addition, consider the upfront cost of an advanced variable-speed system and compare it to your potential savings before making a decision.
Energy efficiency is just one of many benefits of a variable-speed AC unit. The unit's sensors are often precise enough to detect hot and cold spots around your living space. The system then distributes airflow in a way that restores temperature balance and ensures comfort.
In terms of noise, a variable-speed system is quieter than other systems because the fan isn’t constantly running at full power. These systems can also gradually increase or decrease fan speed, so start-up noises are kept to a minimum.
A variable-speed system also offers several health benefits. Whether or not the unit is heating up your home, the fan can continue to circulate air, collecting and containing air contaminants in its filter. Similarly, the system reduces moisture in the air that would otherwise lead to mold. During the summer months, you will notice a decrease in humidity, resulting in an environment that is not only more comfortable but healthier as well.