If you’re in the market for an AC upgrade, you’ve probably come across the terms “variable-speed” and “single-speed”.
Wondering which one is better?
Our answer: If you can afford the higher upfront price, a variable-speed AC is the “better” option because it offers precise temperatures, better humidification, and lower energy bills.
In this article we’ll show you the 2 big differences between variable-speed and single-speed ACs:
But first, it’s important to understand that “variable speed” can actually refer to 2 different components in your air conditioner: The blower motor and/or the compressor.
Let’s take a closer look at why this is so important...
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Like we mentioned, variable-speed technology can refer to 2 different motors in the AC:
Your blower motor is located inside in the air handler, and the compressor is located inside the outdoor unit.
Why is this important? Well, when a tech or manufacturer refers to an AC as “variable speed”, it could mean any of the following:
The bottom line: Knowing what “variable speed” is actually referring to is important for your wallet and your comfort.
So how do you know when a tech/manufacturer is talking about one motor vs. the other?
If the tech/manufacturer is talking about a blower motor, you may hear/see these keywords:
If the tech/manufacturer is talking about a compressor, you may hear/see these keywords:
Now let’s look at how variable-speed technology works compared to single-speed technology...
Think of a single-speed blower motor like a regular light switch; it just turns on or off with nothing in between those 2 settings.
Think of a variable-speed blower motor like a car’s gas pedal. The gas pedal precisely controls the speed of the car, allowing it to ramp up or down to the exact speed needed: 32 mph, 57 mph, or 100 mph—and any speed in between.
For example, if you only need to cool your home a couple of degrees, your compressor and/or blower motor can compensate its speed accordingly so it doesn’t overexert itself by running at 100% when it only needs to run at say, 30%. This allows the system to consume less electricity which lowers your monthly power bills.
Give us a call and we’ll schedule a time for one of our techs to visit your home and give you an honest quote—whether you need new compressor, blower motor, or a new AC system.