5 Advantages of a Variable Speed Furnace
The technology of heating has grown by leaps and bounds over the last century, but for many homeowners, it still seems like it’s difficult to achieve the perfect temperature. When the temperature drops and you switch the furnace on, your furnace generates heat that is then transported to each part of your home with a blower motor. So far, so good, right? The problem that most heating systems face—even many modern, cutting-edge ones—is that they’ll cycle on and off inefficiently, tending to make a room too hot and then too cold, in turn.
Enter the variable speed furnace. The furnace itself is actually much the same as other types, but the blower motor is different. Because the speed is “variable,” the temperature is never allowed to dip below what you set on the thermostat. While most other methods of heating cycle the furnace on once it becomes cold, a variable speed furnace gradually introduces more heat. This prevents the temperature from dropping.
There are plenty of benefits to this method of heating the home. We’ve listed our top five below.
1. You’ll Save Money
Most furnaces aren’t subtle when they generate heat. They are either off, producing no heat, or operating at 100 percent, generating a great deal of heat. This tends to burn a lot of fuel, even if you only want to heat the house up a little bit. Each time the heater cycles on and off, it burns even more fuel, leading to a doozy of an energy bill, even if it’s not that cold outside.
This method of heating is comparable to cooking food by cranking the stove up to high, turning it off once the food starts to burn, and then cranking it back up to high once the food starts to get cold again. Modern technology allows for a little more nuance. Instead of constantly running your heater at its highest setting, a variable speed furnace will allow you to use exactly as much fuel as you need and no more.
2. It’s Much Quieter
Unless you’re a particularly heavy sleeper, chances are you’ve been woken up in the middle of the night by the loud blast of your heater cycling on. Once again, this is because most furnaces don’t have a middle setting. They’re simply off or they’re operating at full blast until your room matches the temperature you set on the thermostat. This can be especially obnoxious if you’re trying to sleep at night, because furnaces operating at 100 percent power are loud.
A variable speed furnace doesn’t have this problem. Because it will gradually work its way up to its full power, rather than immediately blasting everything it has into your room, it never makes a great deal of noise. Instead, it’s as quiet as a whisper.
3. Variable Speed Means Cleaner Air
The longer your blower motor is on, the more contaminants are circulated through the air. These are normally caught by your filter, but over time, as the filters become clogged and backed up with dust, dirt, pet dander, and other particulate matter, they become less efficient. Eventually, all of these contaminants have nowhere to go but back into the air, where they can cause health problems such as allergies and asthma. You can lessen this problem by regularly changing the filter in your furnace, but utilizing a variable speed furnace can do the job even more effectively.
Because the fan on a variable speed furnace isn’t plugging away at full power the entire time, it’s not blowing dust and dirt around the whole time either. This means that your filters can do their job more effectively, catching pollutants and irritants so that they don’t end up in the air of your home.
4. Better Humidity Control
Excessive humidity can wreak all sorts of havoc on your home. It can promote the growth of harmful mold, damage wood, and cause other belongings in the house to rot. On the other hand, too little humidity can also damage property and lead to health problems for the inhabitants of a house. Ordinary, low-efficiency furnaces tend to do a poor job of controlling the humidity in the home. As a result, these furnaces can eventually damage their surroundings.
Because of the precise control they have over the temperatures they create, variable speed furnaces can also control the humidity in the home a lot more effectively. As a result, installing one will help to save you money on repairs and cleaning up mold.
5. A More Comfortable Home
Increased efficiency, more quiet operation, reduced humidity, and much more precise control over temperature all combine to mean one thing: a more comfortable home. Too many other methods of heating a home will leave you variably sweating and shivering, but with a variable speed furnace, you can avoid this problem altogether.
Because a variable speed furnace is so precise in the temperature control of your home, it will help to eliminate a great deal of the problems caused by uncomfortable temperatures. This will directly translate to better health, improved sleep, and a more relaxed mindset. The cost savings won’t hurt either.
How Do I Get One?
If you’re intrigued by the possibilities opened up by these advanced methods of heating, your first step should be to contact a top HVAC contractor in your area. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, Entek is a great option. With certified technicians and 75 years of experience in the field, Entek is well-suited to answer your questions about purchasing and installing a variable speed furnace. We’ll also be able to maintain your furnace after the fact, which can help extend its life span for years to come.