How A Modulating Air Conditioner Controls Temperature And Humidity More Effectively

image of a modulating air conditioner installation

Air conditioning is fast evolving, especially when it concerns its energy efficiency requirements. This is why standard units are quickly being replaced by modulating or variable-speed AC designs.

A modulating air conditioner offers intelligent energy consumption, stable performance, and much more. These units are built to control temperature more effectively and to reduce humidity for better comfort. In this article, we share some information on variable-speed air conditioning systems.

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Standard Units vs. Modulating Air Conditioners

To fully understand, and appreciate, modulating technology, you need to compare it to standard units. Standard or traditional AC units feature a compressor that functions at a fixed speed. You turn it on, and it functions at 100% capacity. When it is off, it completely shuts down.

Although this might not seem like a problem, an air conditioning system like this consumes a lot of energy. Starting cycles “from scratch” each time requires plenty of power. This power ultimately results in a high energy bill.

Because standard units operate at a fixed speed, heating and cooling temperatures are not flexible. The airflow is usually intense and extreme, making the space very hot or very cold. This system also tends to produce hot or cold spots.

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How Is A Modulating Air Conditioner Different?

image of a homeowner feeling comfortable with variable-speed air conditioner

Instead of running at 100% capacity all the time, modulating units can be modified to run between 40% and 120%. This means the temperature in your home is less extreme and more even. Balanced temperatures increase comfort and the general quality of airflow.

Modulating air conditioners feature a compressor with variable speeds or capacity. You can adjust or modify this speed to meet your varied heating and cooling needs. By controlling the system’s output, you also control the amount of energy it consumes.

Fixed vs. Flexible Temperature Control

“Blast the AC” is a common phrase that describes how standard units typically work. You switch it on, and it blows air into the room at full speed. The temperature of the air is generally the same – hot or cold.

In addition to limited temperature settings, the airflow is usually too strong. Areas in your home with little airflow can have hot or cold spots. This can make the space uncomfortable, especially at night.

HVAC modulating technology fixes this by providing adjustable settings. Variable speed units are designed to adjust the airflow to the needs of the home. Because its output is less intense, extreme temperatures are effectively eliminated. So are hot and cold spots.

Air conditioners with two or more speeds provide a more consistent, steady airflow. They can be customized according to your preferred temperature. The ability to control their output means you can match them to your cooling preferences.

It is worth noting that the quality of airflow is affected by other factors. For a modulating air conditioner to perform at its peak, it needs to be installed according to your home’s specifications. Please speak to a professional HVAC service provider for more information.

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High vs. Low Humidity

portable dehumidifier

Standard air conditioning systems require more frequent on and off cycles. As the unit stops and reboots, it may not get the opportunity to cycle enough moisture out of the air. The result is higher humidity in your home.

It is not uncommon, therefore, for traditional units to leave the home feeling uncomfortably warm and clammy. Humidity not only reduces comfort but also promotes the growth of mold. Mold can damage your home and negatively impact your health.

Modulating or variable speed air conditioners are made to prevent mold growth. Because they require fewer cycles, the AC units are able to effectively reduce moisture. Less moisture means less humidity. You are then able to increase the temperature on the thermostat without worrying about clamminess or mold. Overall, this means that since they run for longer, they are able to filter indoor air pollutants out of the air. This is an excellent way to improve your indoor air quality.

Most modulating designs do not allow humidity to exceed 50%. This is highly recommended by regulating authorities. Unfortunately, standard fixed-speed air conditioners can enable 60% humidity. Because they create a breeding ground for mold, the units may eventually need to be replaced. However, with good maintenance, this issue can be avoided altogether.

Bear in mind that modulating air conditioners are not all equal. You are not guaranteed that a model will automatically reduce humidity. The only way to make sure is to consult with a professional technician and discuss available options.

Set vs. Smart Energy Consumption

image of energy efficiency and air conditioners

If you have a standard air conditioner, high power consumption is likely the norm. This may be true especially during months of extreme weather temperatures like summer.

Homeowners often have to resort to adding extra insulation or boosting airflow some other way to cut energy costs. Unfortunately, traditional air conditioning units offer no escape from high energy bills except just to use them less. This is not cost-effective.

Modulating ACs were designed to solve this problem. Variable speeds mean varying outputs. A unit operating at 40% capacity will not use the same power as if it were functioning at 100%. Homeowners now have the option to not only control the amount of power used but can keep the air conditioner on without consuming much energy.

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Maintenance Costs vs. Short Payback

With modulating air conditioners, what you ultimately save in energy costs can comfortably cover the price of the equipment, installation, and maintenance. Therefore, these units have a relatively short payback period.

Although there are ways to cut AC maintenance costs, standard models still cost more over time. Fixed speed ACs endure more strain and pressure than variable speed types. When systems are repeatedly strained, HVAC repairs and part replacements are more likely.

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With energy efficiency on the rise, the transition from standard ACs to modulating air conditioners is inevitable. Innovations in inverter technology offer low-cost heating and cooling solutions. In addition to shaving costs, variable speed designs control temperature and humidity effectively to make your home greener, smarter and comfortable.

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McAllister Energy

McAllister Energy offers high-quality HVAC services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire only the best professionally certified technicians who conduct superior heating and cooling services. Some of our HVAC services include indoor air quality solutions, HVAC maintenance, heating and cooling installations, repairs, ductless systems, and much more. All our techs provide accurate HVAC services on time, every time.

Our company guarantees affordable heating and cooling service rates. Our maintenance services can increase your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. We can also provide you with a highly energy-efficient HVAC replacement system that fits your budget. Your satisfaction is important to us, so all our work comes with a guarantee. Book a service appointment with McAllister Energy today. We provide free, in-home estimates.

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