Variable-Speed Furnaces Can Improve Home Efficiency

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Modern furnaces, such as a variable-speed furnace, feature myriad technological innovations that allow them to deliver unmatched energy efficiency and optimal indoor comfort levels. Therefore, if you’re looking for a new furnace, a variable speed furnace should be at the top of your list. Here’s everything you need to know about variable-speed furnaces, including how they work to improve home efficiency.

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What Is A Variable Speed Furnace?

As the name implies, variable-speed furnaces are able to operate at different speeds to optimize indoor quality. They are able to do this because they contain an electronically commutated motor (ECM) blower motor. In fact, the term “variable speed” refers to the aforementioned ECM, which is basically a direct current (DC) motor that uses a built-in magnet rotor and inverter. This configuration allows an ECM to deliver better energy efficiency than an alternating current (AC) motor. Moreover, ECMs are generally cheaper to operate and maintain. Therefore, while the upfront cost of a variable speed furnace will be higher than a traditional (single-stage) furnace, the former typically has a shorter payback period, ranging anywhere from four to five years.

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How Do Variable Speed Furnaces Work?

Using advanced HVAC technology, a variable speed furnace monitors and analyzes data from your HVAC system, and automatically makes the necessary speed adjustments to optimize your indoor comfort. It regulates the amount of air circulating in your home, compensating for factors such as blocked vents and dirty filters by adjusting the fan speed as necessary. Moreover, unlike traditional furnaces, variable speed furnaces typically take a while to attain full speed. This allows them to run smoother and quieter than traditional furnaces. Additionally, because variable speed furnaces only run at top speed when necessary, they consume less energy compared to conventional furnaces, which always operate at full speed.


The Differences between Single-Speed, 2-Stage, and Variable Speed Furnaces

A single-stage furnace operates at full capacity all the time. This means that it doesn’t consider the flow of air inside a home when working to attain the thermostat’s temperature setting. A two-stage furnace, on the other hand, has two phases of operation, low and high. The low phase is basically an energy conservation mode. When in this mode, the furnace tries to use as little energy as it can to heat your home. When it requires more heat to heat your home due to lower outdoor temperatures, it ramps up energy consumption, causing it to move to the second phase, and therefore, distribute warm air evenly throughout your home. On average, a two-stage furnace operates at 25% capacity most of the time. Because of this, it not only runs much quieter than a single-stage furnace but also produces less carbon dioxide.

Variable-speed furnaces offer even better efficiency and energy savings. Equipped with a computerized blower motor (ECM), variable-speed furnaces are able to monitor and automatically regulate the air flowing in your home. The computerized blower motor enables a variable-speed furnace to deliver unmatched energy efficiency, indoor comfort levels, and more consistent heating output.

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Variable-Speed Furnaces Can Improve Home Efficiency

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  • Because of its ability to control airflow precisely, a variable-speed heating system distributes heat and humidity evenly throughout the home, improving indoor comfort levels.
  • A variable-speed heating system consumes about two-thirds less electricity and performs better than a single-speed furnace.
  • Because a variable-speed furnace runs at a low capacity for most of the time, it ensures quieter operation. It ramps up speed gradually, which allows it to minimize air fluctuations.
  • Variable-speed furnaces typically come with smart thermostats that automatically control the speed of the blower motor. You can use your smart thermostat to add zoning to your HVAC system, allowing you to heat different parts of your house as needed without wasting energy or blocking vents, which cause your HVAC system to malfunction.
  • A variable speed heating system offers you better and more precise temperature control inside your home. Longer running cycles and varying speeds means the furnace will respond more efficiently to changes in indoor temperature, delivering a consistent supply of hot air throughout your home. This will reduce the chances of warm air collecting at the top of rooms
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Other Benefits Of A Variable Speed Furnace

Some of the other benefits associated with variable-speed furnaces include:

  • Clean indoor air – As long as the blower motor is running, a variable-speed heating system will continue to push air through your HVAC system, allowing your system’s air filters to trap more contaminants. This results in cleaner, healthier indoor air.
  • Humidity control – Compared to single-stage heating systems, variable speed furnaces offer better indoor humidity control. More specifically, variable-speed heating systems are more efficient in terms of removing humidity from the air. Because of this, they are the ideal choice when it comes to preventing the problems associated with high indoor moisture levels, such as increased allergen concentrations, as well as mold, and mildew growth.



Unlike a single-speed furnace, a variable-speed furnace uses a computer to monitor and analyze the flow of air in your home and then adjusts its motor speed automatically to optimize your indoor comfort levels. Compared to conventional heating systems, a varying-speed system is more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and offers better and precise temperature control. It is cheaper to run and maintain, and more durable.

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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 HVAC maintenance, heating and cooling installations, repairs, ductless systems, energy audits, 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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