If you’re thinking about upgrading your cooling system this year, you need to know your options—after all, a new air conditioner is an investment. For instance, is a single-speed system better than a variable-speed unit? What does system speed even mean? The experts at S&R Heating & Cooling share the answers in our blog.
How Does a Variable-Speed AC Compressor Work?
“Variable speed” refers to the blower motor in your system and how much air it can move through the ductwork. Unlike traditional single-speed systems, where the unit is either on and running at full capacity or completely off, a variable-speed system can switch between fan velocities, allowing it to maintain precise control of temperature at all times.
What Are AC System “Stages”?
“Stages” refer to a unit’s air treatment capacity—basically how much cold air it is able to produce. With a single-stage compressor, the system either turns completely on or off until the temperature changes enough to trigger another cycle. Two-stage, however, has “high” and “low” options, and automatically selects the best one based on current conditions.
Advantages of a Variable System
There are clear cost and comfort advantages to a variable-speed, two-stage system in climates like ours where temperatures vary greatly, too. For example, typical summer temperatures can range from 70 to 100 degrees—when it’s closer to 70, a variable-speed air conditioner can adapt to work longer at lower capacity, without overdoing it and wasting energy and money. When temps rise, the system is also ready to respond with just the right output to maintain your comfort.
Additional advantages include better humidity control and air quality, because the system runs at lower speeds for longer to continually remove moisture and pollutants from the air. It’s also quieter because it runs more smoothly, without the “kick” of constant starts and stops. Efficiency is also greatly improved. As with most systems, your HVAC system requires a surge of energy to restart, and that shows up on your utility bill.
Is a Variable-Speed System Worth the Cost?
Because these systems don’t waste power constantly switching on an off, they use much less energy. You’ll see that efficiency reflected in your monthly energy bills. Over time, those savings will really add up—if you choose to install a variable-speed air conditioner, it will end up paying for itself in the long run.
These units are also worth the cost in terms of comfort. Multi-speed systems are constantly working to maintain your ideal temperatures. You won’t have to wonder when the AC is going to kick on to keep you cool—you can rest assured knowing that it’s working around the clock to do that.
A Formula for Savings
At S&R Heating, we believe there is an art to helping you be comfortable, but there is also a science to choosing the best heating and air conditioning system for your home. As a Bryant® Factory Authorized Dealer, we can offer a number of solutions and show you how to evaluate the pros and cons of each, measure your return on investment, and estimate annual savings and cost to own. Call us today at 651-429-0001 or schedule an appointment online.