As technology in the HVAC world continues to improve and develop, you’re probably wondering what the new technology can do for you and how it can improve the comfort of your home. One of the newest advancements of technology in the HVAC world today is variable speed compressors. Variable speed technology is now being integrated into AC units and is considered tomorrow’s technology today.
What is variable speed, how does it work and what are the benefits?
For years the only option for an AC unit was the single stage type of technology. Standard single stage AC units are just like an on-off switch on an appliance. The system is either on and running at 100% capacity or completely off, there’s no in-between speed or different stages that the system runs on. This leaves gaps in comfort when the system is in-between cycles, which most likely causes either a hot spot or cold spot during a typical day. Variable speed systems run on multiple stages of cooling or heating and avoid the temperature swings of single stage systems.
Some of the major benefits of variable speed technology include improved efficiency, better comfort and greater reliability. Typical single stage systems use up to 8 times more energy because of all the starting and stopping throughout the day. In fact, a single stage system will start and stop up to 72 times during a 24 hour period during peak season and takes up to 20 minutes of run time to reach full capacity. The variable speed system for Trane has 700 or 750 stages of cooling & heating so this allows the system to only run at the capacity that’s needed and keeps the temperature 1/10th of a degree of the thermostat set point, avoiding the large temperature swings and the constant starting and stopping that causes higher energy use and more wear and tear on the components. The system is also much quieter because it runs at minimal sound levels for most of the day so it will even “sound” more comfortable.
Some other benefits of the variable speed technology that provide energy efficiency and overall comfort in the home are precise load matching, less cycling on & off and low amp gradual compressor motor start up. This can translate to a significant amount of savings in energy on your electric bill for your home over the course of a year. And the precise temperature control, humidity control and extra capacity during extremely hot conditions are all reasons for improved comfort with variable speed technology.
A common analogy for variable speed technology is it’s just like cruise control for comfort. You set the thermostat at the temperature you’re comfortable with and the system automatically adjusts its speed and conserves fuel while maintaining the comfort you set.
So the next time you’re looking for a new AC system, be sure to look at the variable speed systems as an option and get tomorrow’s technology today.