What is a Variable Speed Furnace?

By: Brian Schutt  |  December 13, 2017

Many Indianapolis area homeowners have never bought a new comfort system for their home. In trying to figure out what is going to be best, you are going to hear about a variable speed furnace fan. The fan or blower in question is the fan that provides airflow to all the registers in your home throughout the year, and variable speed fans are the best available.

Variable Speed Furnace Comfort

Most Indianapolis area homes have at least one area that doesn’t heat or cool as well as others, in addition, you may find yourself putting on a sweater, then taking it off over and over again in your home as the furnace cycles. In the summer time, your home may be cool, yet clammy and cave like. These are big reasons why Homesense clients and people all over the world are investing in variable speed fans. The variable speed fan can adjust its speed to provide more even temperatures from room to room and minute to minute. In the summer, slower fan speeds help your air conditioning system dehumidify the home up to 50% better than the old standard fan (PSC).

variable speed furnace

Furnace Efficiency

Variable speed fans use much less energy than the old standard fan (PSC). In the Indianapolis area  the electric savings are around $80 per year. In addition, a variable speed fan can increase your outdoor air conditioner or heat pump efficiency by up to 2 SEER.

Noise Level

Variable speed fans will run on their low speeds most of the time, only reaching the highest speed on the most extreme weather days (like today its only 3°F outside). Fortunately, most of the time we are not at 3° or 95°. When the fan runs at full speed, you’ll hear the air rush through the registers like your old furnace does. The rest of the time it will be much less noisy and you might not even know its running. Variable speed fans are usually paired with indoor units that are built with sound in mind. These systems have heavily insulated cabinets and sealed doors to cut down on noise.

Variable Speed Furnace Reliability

The heating and air conditioning repair industry is a profitable business and replacing PSC fan motors is a big reason why. Most companies (including Homesense) keep PSC fan motors on every truck. It’s not hard to justify why. Those truck fans will need to be restocked several times over the winter. Variable speed motors are unlikely to be stocked on any service van. The reason? They will probably still be in inventory a year from now. Variable speed fans are more flexible and robust. They can adjust to situations that aren’t ideal.

In the HVAC business, there are more choices than ever. As you look through the available options, you’ll be alerted to the fact that variable speed systems are more expensive that the old standard (PSC) systems. If one or all of the issues listed above are factors in choosing a new system, then it is likely worth it. A new furnace is a long term investment, expected to last ~15 years.

If you have more questions or concerns about which fan is right for your Indianapolis area home call 317-203-8149.

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