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How a Variable Speed System Can Save Me Money

Today’s HVAC equipment incorporates many advanced features, but nothing has improved comfort and efficiency more than variable speed system technology.


Variable Speed Basics

HVAC designers must engineer every heating and cooling system to provide sufficient capacity to keep the indoor environment comfortable in the most severe conditions. Since conventional systems are either off or running at 100 percent capacity, they operate inefficiently in most weather conditions.

Adjustable speed technology affects two different components in an air conditioning or heat pump system: the indoor blower motor and the compressor. An adjustable speed blower can be matched with a single-speed compressor, but an inverter compressor must always be paired with an adjustable speed blower.

How a Variable Speed Blower Can Save You Money

If you’re living within the constraints of a tight budget but still want to maximize the performance of your HVAC equipment, an adjustable speed blower may be the answer. When installed in an HVAC system, the fan speed will increase or decrease based on the changing weather conditions outside. Adjustable speed fans provide a variety of compelling benefits even when matched with a single-speed compressor:

  • Cooling Efficiency: Adjustable speed fans enhance efficiency and can raise an air conditioner’s SEER rating by up to 1.5 points. Furnace heating efficiency is also improved, which is reflected in higher AFUE ratings.
  • Electrical Efficiency: Adjustable speed blowers consume less electricity than standard models because they rarely operate at 100 percent capacity. Therefore, every time the system cycles, it draws less power, which lowers your utility costs.
  • Temperature and Humidity Control: A fan that runs at lower speeds will typically cycle longer, which helps control humidity more effectively. You can raise the thermostat without compromising comfort, which helps save energy.

Variable Speed Compressors Provide the Ultimate in Savings

Adjustable speed compressors rely on a specially engineered motor control drive system. The drive employs frequency modulation to regulate the power output of the compressor to match the cooling and heating requirements of the building. The compressor can modulate up or down in increments as low as 1/10th of one percent to keep the indoor temperature within one-half degree of the thermostat setting. In combination with an adjustable speed blower, an inverter compressor provides a variety of money saving benefits.

  • Enhanced Efficiency: By regulating the output from the compressor in lieu of simple on-off functionality, the system provides substantial cost savings throughout the year. Depending on the age and efficiency of your current system, you can save as much as 40 percent on your annual energy utility costs.
  • Lower HVAC repair Costs: A condensing unit equipped with an adjustable speed compressor runs longer cycles at lower speeds instead of constantly starting and stopping. This significantly reduces the wear and tear on the equipment, resulting in lower repair costs and less downtime.
  • Longer Equipment Life: Traditional air conditioners and heat pumps are subjected to numerous hard starts over the life of the equipment, which places a great deal of stress on critical internal components. Running longer cycles at lower speeds reduces the number of times the system must hard start. Over time, this can help extend the service life of the equipment.
  • Improved Comfort: When paired with an adjustable speed fan, an inverter compressor provides the ultimate in temperature and humidity control. Longer cycles at lower speeds help maintain even temperatures throughout the building, and hot spots and stale air pockets are eliminated. In many instances, you’ll enjoy a better level of comfort at a higher thermostat setting.

Learn More about Adjustable Speed Technology

HVAC systems with adjustable speed blowers and compressors are well-suited to work with other energy efficient upgrades like smart thermostats, zoning controls and indoor air quality products. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of installing a unit with adjustable speed technology, call the pros at Ellington Air Conditioning and Heat today at (386) 260-2633.

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