How a Variable Speed Furnace Keeps Homeowners Warm
When it’s time to replace or upgrade your furnace, it’s a good idea to add as many efficiency-enhancing features as possible. One of the most effective is a variable speed blower motor for air distribution. A variable speed furnace with this component is more energy efficient, quieter to operate, and better at providing even heating throughout your home.
Variable speed furnaces contain an air handling unit with an ECM, or electronically commutated motor. The air handler uses a powerful fan to direct heated air from your furnace into the ductwork and out at registers at the ends of the duct network. Unlike older permanent split capacitor (PSC) motors that would always run at their highest and most energy-consuming level, ECM units can operate at different speeds depending on indoor heating needs. For example, the air handlers in variable speed furnaces usually start at about two thirds speed. If more heating is required after about 10 minutes, the unit switches to full speed. Since the motor runs more often at a lower speed, it uses less energy and, over time, costs less to operate. ECMs typically use about 60 percent less electricity than other types of motors and can trim monthly hearing costs by about 20 percent.
Benefits of variable speed furnaces also include:
- Quieter operation: Since the fan motor operates at a lower speed more often, the unit is quieter than one always running at its highest speed. The shifts between speeds are also quieter and more gradual, which reduces the amount of noise coming from the furnace.
- Better temperature control: Variable speed furnaces allow homeowners to achieve more precise control over the temperature inside their homes. The ability to shift speeds and the longer running cycles means the unit will respond more efficiently to indoor temperature changes, providing more consistent heating throughout your home. It also means warm air won’t have as much opportunity to collect at the top of rooms.
Better air quality. With more continuous operation, a variable speed furnace will do a better job of filtering and humidifying the air as it’s blown through the air filter and/or whle-house humidifier more often.
For more information on how a variable speed furnace can save money and energy while keeping you comfortable this winter, contact us today at Sobieski Services, Inc. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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