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The Scoop on Variable Speed Motors

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The rising demand for energy-efficient models, increased home comfort, and better indoor air quality has pushed the heating and air conditioning industry to incorporate variable-speed motors into many of its product lines. But what are these motors anyway? A variable-speed motor is simply a component of an air conditioning and heater system that allows the unit to run at any speed at or between its maximum and minimum speeds.

Introducing the product to the average consumer took a little longer than expected. In fact, this product has been around for a long time but didn’t get its start in residential homes until the 1990s. The reason: price. Variable speed motors enable an air conditioner to do a lot more than ever before, but when they were first introduced, they were costly. Nowadays, the price for a variable-speed motor is not earth-shattering, and the units are standard in residential and commercial settings.

Why Variable Speed Motors Are Standard

For many years, the single-speed blower motor was the standard in the industry. When your thermostat told your air conditioner it was too hot or too cold in the home, your system would turn on abruptly, and the air came out at one consistent speed until the thermostat was satisfied. Then the whole system would shut down just as quickly as it started.

Then the multi-speed blower motor came along. This is not to be confused with the modern-day variable-speed motor. A multi-speed motor, in many cases, had three speeds. Depending on the load, the motor could run on speed 1, 2, or 3. This was a huge step up from the single-speed and required a circuit board that was much “smarter” and could tell the blower motor what speed to use at what time.

Finally, the variable-speed motor entered the playing field. The new motor could achieve the desired temperature faster and more efficiently than ever before. Instead of limiting itself to one or even three speeds, the motor could run anywhere from 0 RPM to the max RPM of the particular model.

Types of Air Conditioners that Use Variable Speed Motors

One of the most popular applications of variable speed motors is in central air conditioning units. This type of air conditioning system is ideal for cooling your entire home, as it can effectively distribute cool air to every room. With a variable-speed motor, the central air conditioner can adjust its speed and output based on your unique needs.

Another type of air conditioner that relies on a variable-speed motor is the heat pump. These innovative systems use a reverse air conditioning cycle to provide both heating and cooling to your home. A variable speed motor enables the heat pump to adjust its output based on the temperature requirements. This ultimately saves energy and reduces your energy bills.

Why Should You Use Variable Speed Motors?

There are three main reasons why you should use an air conditioning unit with a variable-speed motor.

  1. Energy Efficiency: The variable speed motor can ramp up or ramp down to the necessary speed based on the load required for the home. This means extra electricity isn’t being spent during times where the temperature is milder. Secondly, since the circuitry in the system has been upgraded, it knows that after the compressor stops running, the air conditioning coil (evaporator coil) is still cold. So in order to take advantage of that, the circuit board will tell the blower motor to keep running for a little while to blow a little more air across that coil and get every last bit of cold air into the home, making the system much more efficient. The same is true on the heating side.
  2. Comfort: When a system with a variable-speed motor starts, it starts very slowly. In most cases, the homeowner cannot even hear it start up. It also does not immediately start blowing really warm or cold air. The temperature slowly increases or decreases, so by the time the system reaches full force, the homeowner may not even realize it’s on because they have gotten used to it. This is opposed to the older systems that sounded like a freight train every time it started up.
  3. In addition, with conventional motors, most people do not use the “Fan On’ setting because it makes the fan run continuously and is fairly loud while using a lot of energy. With a variable speed motor, when the user sets the thermostat to the “Fan on” position, the circuit board will tell the motor to run at a very low speed continuously. This allows the system to constantly circulate air for a lower cost. That prevents warm and cool spots in the home because the air is constantly moving, creating a consistent temperature throughout the house.
  4. Indoor Air Quality: When an air conditioner is on, it cycles air through an air filter, which then releases clean air. In the HVAC industry, we call this “washing the air.” Since a variable-speed motor can run constantly and efficiently, it can continuously wash the air. A frequently changed and high-quality air filter paired with a variable-speed motor will make your indoor air quality improve every minute. Of course, the best way to improve indoor air quality is to have an air purifier installed in your home.

Is Variable-Speed AC Worth It?

Variable-speed air conditioners have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their energy efficiency and ability to provide superior comfort. However, whether or not they are worth the investment depends on individual needs and circumstances.

Every home is different, which means every home has unique needs. By assessing your preferences and lifestyle requirements, you can determine whether a variable-speed air conditioner is the right choice for you. Below, we will explore when installing one of these variable-speed systems might be the best option.

High Energy Costs

Homeowners in areas with high energy costs will say a variable-speed AC is worth it because it can help you save money in the long run. Unlike traditional air conditioners, which operate at a fixed speed and cycle on and off throughout the day, variable-speed air conditioners can adjust their output to match your home’s cooling needs. This means they use less energy and can help reduce your monthly energy bills.

Control Over Temperature

If you’re someone who likes to have precise control over the temperature in your home, a variable-speed air conditioner might be the best option for you. These systems are designed to maintain a consistent temperature in your home by adjusting their output to match the fluctuating demands of your indoor environment. They also offer a wide range of customizable settings, such as fan speed and humidity control, giving you even greater control over your home comfort.

Extreme Temperature Conditions

If you live in an area with extreme temperature conditions, a variable-speed AC is worth it in most cases. Unlike traditional air conditioners, which may struggle to keep up with the demands of extreme temperatures, variable speed systems can better handle these demands. They can adjust their output to match your home’s cooling needs and maintain a consistent temperature throughout the day, even during periods of extreme heat.

Extreme heat can not only be uncomfortable, but it can also have negative impacts on your health and well-being, as well as your home’s energy efficiency. That’s why it’s essential to have an air conditioning system that can handle these demands effectively.

Contact the HVAC Experts at Lee’s Today!

All-in-all, variable-speed motors are an efficient and cost-effective option for heating and cooling your home. While there might be a higher initial cost to install one of these systems, a variable-speed AC is worth it in most instances if you want to save money in the long run by reducing energy consumption. To learn more about variable speed blower motors or to learn about how to get one installed in your home, call Lee’s Air to set up a free consultation.

When it comes to selecting the right HVAC system for your home, there are many factors to consider. From the size of your property to your individual comfort preferences, it can be overwhelming to navigate through the array of options available on the market. Fortunately, as a leading AC installation company in Fresno, we are here to guide you through the decision-making process.

We understand that every home is unique. We take pride in our personalized approach to AC installation and offer a range of options to accommodate your specific needs. Our team of experts is highly knowledgeable about different heating and cooling systems and can provide you with the guidance you need to make an informed decision. Whether you’re interested in installing a central AC unit or a heat pump in Sacramento, be assured that we have what it takes to meet your needs.

Are you ready to get started with your air conditioning services? Know that our technicians care about your comfort and keeping you cool. So don’t hesitate to give us a call. Contact us today to schedule an appointment! We look forward to assisting you.

Thomas Howard

Written by Thomas Howard

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