The Variable-Speed Furnace: Are You up to Speed on Its Many Benefits?

The Variable-Speed Furnace: Are You up to Speed on Its Many Benefits?

The Variable-Speed Furnace: Are You up to Speed on Its Many Benefits?Innovation usually comes at financial cost, so we end up having to conduct a balancing act. Sure, the product performs better, but are the extra costs justified? Here in Georgia, our July high is around 90 degrees, while the January low regularly hits freezing. Anything that can bring our HVAC costs down is surely worth considering, which includes a variable-speed furnace. Now’s a good time to get up to speed on its many benefits.

Defining Variable Speed

The air mover, or blower, in your furnace is most likely shared by the air conditioner; it moves warmed air through the heating season, and cooled, dehumidified air in the summer. Savings made at the furnace, therefore, are year-round. Conventional air movers have only two settings, on and off. This is inefficient, comparable to a car that can only be stationary or driving at 70 mph. Not good on gas.

A variable speed furnace allows your system to match capacity with load, and savings are equally applicable to owners of heat pumps as to furnace users. When weather is a mildly cold, it supplies a gentle current of warmed air to level things out. When a cold snap hits, it can ramp up to keep your family warm. The fan speed must be matched by an increasing and decreasing supply of heat, which can be accomplished with a two-stage burner.

Inherent Savings

Less electricity will be consumed by a variable speed blower that most often runs at a slow, continuous speed, rather than frequently starting and stopping, with full-blast operation in between. Also, the ECM technology used in variable-speed furnaces is intrinsically more efficient than a traditional blower motor. In addition, components that aren’t turning off and on in an unnecessarily rapid sequence wear out less quickly, and may also need less maintenance. Further, when a home’s treated air circulates more smoothly, hot- and cold-spots are eliminated, so less fuel is burned.

If you’re contemplating an HVAC upgrade, a variable-speed furnace is well worth considering. To learn about more of its many benefits, please contact us at Powers Heating and Air to arrange a free in-home consultation. We serve all of Fayette and Coweta counties.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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