What is Variable Speed and how does it work?

Variable speed air handlers and furnaces move air at more than one speed. They ramp up slowly providing for virtually silent operation and increased energy savings since they operate at a fraction of the energy required by single speed units. Variable speed can also help overcome some, but not all, duct problems. They can operate at a higher static pressure (see next question) that can allow them to push air through ducts where the air normally would not go. This can help solve situations where some rooms are difficult to heat and cool. Variable speed units coupled with certain thermostats have the ability to automatically switch to a lower speed after the temperature setpoint has been satisfied to pull more humidity out of the air without additional cooling. During the warm weather months, lower humidity equals better comfort. For every degree reduction in temperature, relative humidity will rise 2 percent. If humidity is not controlled, the thermostat may say 68 but the comfort level is poor because it feels sticky. Proper humidity control will make 68 feel cold. The result is energy savings as you will feel more comfortable at a higher thermostat setting. In our climate, we always recommend variable speed systems. By reducing humidity, you increase comfort, energy savings and remove a critical source of indoor microbial growth and dust mites.

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