Pick an A/C With a Variable-Speed Air Handler for More Energy Savings

June 18, 2015

Imagine trying to get around town if your car had only two speeds: "pedal to the metal" and "stop." That's how a traditional on/off air handler works. When the system cycles on, you get full-blast air volume through your ductwork. When it cycles off, you get nothing. Temperatures inside the house can swing 10 degrees above or below the desired thermostat setting as the system alternates between the extremes of on/off air circulation. Comfort's not the only issue, either. Single-speed air handlers incorporate an inefficient permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor that contributes a major part to the total electrical consumption of your air conditioner. A variable-speed air handler, on the other hand, delivers a controlled volume of conditioned air to your home and does it more consistently than a single-speed unit. Programmed Output Variable-speed air handlers available with new air conditioners utilize advanced electronically commutated motor (ECM) to control blower output. Pre-programmed to accommodate your house and specific HVAC system, a variable-speed model initially ramps up slowly to a high output to achieve temperature control in living spaces. After a few minutes -- instead of shutting off -- the unit softly reduces speed and runs continuously across a programmed range of lower output to fine-tune temperature and comfort. Efficient Operation Unlike the outmoded PSC motors in many existing air handlers, ECM technology incorporates a brushless, DC motor that sips electricity instead of gulping it. While a typical PSC motor consumes about 550 watts, a programmable ECM motor in a variable-speed unit uses only about 80 watts. This represents major savings on your monthly cooling costs. Other benefits of a variable-speed air handler include:
  • Improved humidity reduction. Air conditioners extract humidity more efficiently at lower speed airflow.
  • Quieter operation. No more air blasts as the system cycles on and off.
  • Continuous filtering. Because the air handler runs almost continuously, system air filtration is also prolonged and indoor air quality improves.
For more info about the efficiency and comfort of a variable-speed air handler, in Des Moines contact Lozier Heating & Cooling. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: "docstockmedia/Shutterstock"