Can a Variable Speed Furnace Help You and Your HVAC System?

The HVAC industry over the past couple of decades has intensified its efforts to develop more efficient ways of cooling and heating, while also optimizing comfort. Variable speed furnaces are a prime example of this blending of efficiency with comfort.

What Are Variable Speed Furnaces?

These furnaces run at a range of speeds rather than just one. Instead of getting that big blast of heat at one continuous speed, the furnace capable of various speeds may run all the time at a low speed, but when more heat is needed, it revs up and makes blower motor speed adjustments as needed. The result is a much gentler, less obtrusive flow of air. Gone is that shiver you feel when the heat goes off for what can seem like too long and which makes you reach for a blanket. Then, the heat blasts on and you feel too warm. Variable speeds deliver the heated air just as you need it, so there is no wasting fuel in order to reach thermostat set points.

This type of system also works well with zoned systems, as the varying speeds can control temperatures in various zones of the house so you can maintain different levels of comfort throughout the home.

Variable speed blowers are not to be confused with multiple speed blowers or electronically commutated motors (ECM). Multiple speed blowers have a speed for cool and a speed for heat; ECMs are motors designed to improve the efficiency of the HVAC. The variable speed technology uses the ECM but operates with a speed controller so that it blows continuously, providing more precise heat or cooling.

Other advantages of this type of technology:

  • Noise reduction.
  • Better fuel and electricity efficiency.
  • Better air-quality control.
  • Better humidity control.
  • Clearer air throughout the house.
  • Lower maintenance costs, as there’s less wear on the parts.

Variable speed can also refer to the technology that operates the air conditioner compressor. So you could have a new system installed where both the AC and the furnace operate at variable speed.

For more on variable speed technology, contact NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating.

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