If you’re shopping for new HVAC equipment to maximize energy efficiency and home comfort, a variable-speed air handler is a feature worth investigating. The air handler contains the blower fan that’s responsible for pushing conditioned air to all the rooms in your home. In a variable-speed model, the blower is equipped with an electronically commutated motor (ECM) that’s designed to automatically modulate its speed between low and high.
Comparing Standard and Variable-Speed Air Handlers
A standard air handler only has one operating speed — high. When it’s activated by the thermostat, the fan cycles on and operates at maximum capacity until the temperature setting is met. In comparison, variable-speed air handlers are built to operate at a wide range of speeds and adjust intuitively to meet your heating and cooling requirements. Variable-speed units can also make precise airflow output adjustments to compensate for efficiency-impairing issues like closed registers, a clogged air filter or inefficient ductwork design.
Key Reasons to Consider Variable-Speed Technology
Choosing a variable-speed unit offers these significant benefits:
- Lower energy bills – An air handler with variable-speed technology operates on low roughly 75 percent of the time and only ramps up to higher speeds when extra output is needed. This translates into energy savings of up to 90 percent compared to a single-speed model.
- Improved comfort – Although it’s operating on low, a variable-speed fan runs almost nonstop. This continuous operation provides a more comfortable living environment with fewer temperature variations and hot or cold spots.
- Less strain and wear – Running for longer periods on low reduces equipment strain and on-off cycling that wears out system components, so the equipment requires fewer repairs and lasts longer.
- Effective humidity control – During the muggy summer months, a variable-speed air handler’s long cycles help the air conditioner dehumidify more effectively.
- Better air quality – Extended run times also boost the system’s filtration capabilities, so there are fewer allergens, mold spores and other undesirable particles floating in the air your family breathes.
To learn more reasons why a variable-speed air handler is a good choice for your Cleveland area home, contact Stack Heating & Cooling today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about variable-speed air handlers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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