Originally published in Nov. 2017, updated May, 2020.
If you are planning to install a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, advances in technology have made HVAC systems more energy efficient, quieter and better at improving indoor comfort. Variable speed technology saves fuel. It also better regulates humidity, a factor in indoor comfort in the humid summers in North Carolina.
How Variable Speed Technology Works
A traditional, single-speed compressor runs at full blast until the desired temperature is reached. At that point, it shuts off. As the temperature rises to the set point, the system comes on again. Your indoor air may begin to feel too warm and humid just before it comes on again.
Two-stage compressors offer a high and low setting of operation. Variable speed motors allow heating and cooling systems to run in response to variations in air temperature and humidity. When temperatures increase in the heat of the day, the motor gears up to respond. When temperatures fall, the unit runs at lower speeds.
Variable speed blowers are often paired with 2-stage compressors, allowing users to regulate the amount of air flowing through a building. When running continuously at half speed, variable speed equipment can reduce power usage by up to 75 percent.
Advantages of Variable Speed Motors
Variable speed technology offers a number of benefits. The most obvious is reduced energy usage. For 80 percent of the time, low speed is adequate to meet comfort needs. When a system stays on for longer periods of time, less energy is used in starts and stops. This also saves wear and tear on equipment.
Another important benefit is a more comfortable indoor environment.The unit runs for longer periods of time, which results in more even temperatures and better humidity control. With better humidity control, indoor air quality also improves. Reduced indoor moisture reduces the potential for growth of biologic particulates. Variable speed units are also quieter.
At Sandhills Heating and Refrigeration, we analyze your heating and cooling needs. We then make recommendations for equipment that is compatible with your budget and indoor comfort requirements. Our technicians undergo regular training on state-of-the-art equipment.
For more information about how variable speed equipment can help keep you comfortable and save on utilities, call us to schedule a consultation with one of our service technicians.