The Basics Of Variable Speed Technology
Conventional motors in an air handler (the part of your air-conditioning system that moves air through the ducts in your home) are only capable of running at full speed. Even if the motor doesn’t need to run that hard to cool your home, it will. This means that it is always using the maximum amount of energy to function.
Variable speed motors are a recent innovation in air conditioners. As the name suggests, these motors are capable of running at a variety of speeds and not just at the highest setting. This allows them to run using far less energy than the old-style motors.
The Basic Benefit Of Variable Speed Motors
Of course, the biggest benefit of variable speed motors is their increased energy efficiency. Running a fan motor at full speed requires eight times as much energy as running it at half speed. Unlike a conventional motor, a variable speed motor can take advantage of the lower energy cost of running at slower speeds. A fan running at half speed uses the same energy in eight hours as the same fan running at full speed for one hour.
When the homeowner only wants the house to be a few degrees cooler, a variable speed motor will run at less than full speed. This allows it to keep the home comfortable with less energy expenditure. If a major change in temperature is required, then and only then will the fan use the energy necessary to run at its highest speed.
Another upgrade that makes variable speed motor air conditioners more efficient is an upgrade to the circuitry. In older systems with conventional motors, the fan and the evaporator coil will shut down at the same time, even though the coil is still cold. A new air conditioning system will shut down the evaporator coil first, but keep the fan running for a while longer to get the maximum amount of cool air from the energy used to cool the coil.
Other Benefits Of Variable Speed Motors
Aside from being more energy efficient, variable speed motors have a few other benefits over conventional motors. Variable speed motors offer increased comfort and fewer distractions than older motors offer. Unlike the other motors, variable speed motors start slowly and pick up speed, making it very quiet and almost unnoticeable. These new systems also gradually build up to blowing air of the desired temperature, rather than suddenly starting to blow hot or cold air.
Variable speed motors can drastically increase a home’s air quality. One of the most critical factors to ensuring healthy air quality is keeping air moving to keep it from becoming stagnant. Conventional speed motors use up a lot of energy as long as the fan is running, so they cannot practically be left on continuously. However, variable speed motors can be set to the “Fan On” setting and will run at a low speed with extremely little energy used. This keeps the air circulating and raises air quality considerably.
The only downside to variable speed motors is that they cost a little more than traditional motors cost. However, their more-efficient use of energy means they will pay for themselves in short order. If you would like to learn more about this innovation in air conditioning, please contact Advent Air Conditioning Inc. today.