Variable-Speed Furnaces Can Improve Home Efficiency

image of efficiency rating and home variable-speed furnaceThe modern furnace, like the variable-speed furnace, is equipped with numerous technological innovations that let it provide optimum indoor comfort and unmatched energy efficiency. Therefore, a multi-speed furnace should be one of your top choices when facing a furnace replacement. Read on to know more about variable-speed furnaces and how they work to enhance your home’s efficiency.

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What Is A Variable Speed Furnace?

Variable-speed furnaces can run at varying speeds to achieve optimal indoor air quality. They are fitted with an electronically commutated motor (ECM) that allows them to operate at different speeds. This component is where the term “variable speed” comes from. It is a direct current (DC) motor that has a built-in inverter and magnet rotor. This layout lets the ECM provide higher energy efficiency than an alternating current (AC) motor. In addition, ECMs have a more cost-efficient operation and maintenance. Although a variable-speed furnace has a higher upfront cost than a conventional (single-stage) furnace, a variable-speed one has a shorter payback period of around four to five years.

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How Do Variable Speed Furnaces Work?

A variable-speed furnace is equipped with advanced technology to monitor and analyze data coming from your HVAC system. It also automatically adjusts the speed so you receive optimal indoor comfort. Moreover, it regulates how much air is circulating throughout your home and compensates for dirty filters, blocked vents, and other factors by making fan speed adjustments when needed. Variable-speed furnaces, unlike traditional ones, take several minutes to reach full speed. This means they have a smoother and quieter operation than conventional furnaces. They also consume less energy because they only run at full speed when needed, unlike a traditional furnace that always runs at full speed.


The Differences Among Single-Speed, 2-Stage, & Variable-Speed Furnaces

A single-stage furnace always runs at full speed, so it doesn’t consider the airflow throughout your home when working to reach the temperature you set in your thermostat. Meanwhile, a two-stage furnace operates in either low or high phases. The low phase is its energy conservation mode, wherein the furnace uses as little energy as possible when heating your home. Lower outdoor temperatures may push your furnace to heat your home more, so the furnace ramps up its energy consumption. The furnace then moves to the second phase and distributes warm air evenly in your home. A two-stage furnace generally runs at 25% capacity most of the time. This allows a two-stage furnace to run more quietly and produce less carbon dioxide than a single-stage furnace.
Variable-speed furnaces provide higher energy efficiency and more savings. It has an ECM or a computerized blower motor that allows it to monitor and automatically regulate the airflow in your home. The ECM lets a variable-speed heating system deliver a more consistent heating output, unmatched energy efficiency, and better indoor comfort.

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Variable-Speed Heating Systems Help Improve Your Home’s Efficiency

image of scissors cutting bill depicting low home heating costs and multi-speed furnace

A variable-speed furnace has precise airflow control that allows it to distribute humidity and heat evenly, improving indoor comfort in the process. Moreover, it consumes around two-thirds less power and has better performance than a single-speed furnace. It also operates more quietly because variable-speed furnaces usually run at a low capacity. It also increases speed slowly, so air fluctuations are minimized.

Variable-speed heating systems come with smart thermostats most of the time. This smart device automatically controls the blower motor’s speed. Smart thermostats can be used to add HVAC system zoning, so you can heat different areas around your house without wasting energy or closing vents. These issues can result in HVAC system malfunction.

A variable-speed furnace offers more precise and better control of the temperature in your home. It has longer running cycles and varying speeds that let the furnace respond more efficiently when the indoor temperature changes. This means the furnace can deliver hot air consistently throughout your home, reducing the likelihood of warm air building up at the top of rooms.

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Other Benefits Of A Variable Speed Furnace

Here are two more advantages you receive when you have a variable-speed furnace:

  • Clean indoor air – A variable-speed furnace will force air through your system as long as the blower motor runs. This means your system’s air filters catch more dust, dirt, and other pollutants, so you can enjoy cleaner and healthier indoor air.
  • Humidity control – Variable-speed heating systems let you control indoor humidity levels better than single-stage furnaces. These systems offer more efficiency when it comes to removing humidity from the air. This feature makes them the ideal choice to prevent issues linked with high indoor humidity levels, including mold, mildew growth, and increased allergen concentrations.



A variable-speed furnace is equipped with a computer for monitoring and analyzing your home’s airflow. This allows it to make automatic motor speed adjustments so you get optimal indoor comfort levels. A variable-speed furnace offers better temperature control, is environmentally friendlier, more energy efficient, and is more durable. It’s also more affordable to run and maintain.

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For high-quality heating and cooling services in the Poconos and the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, call R.F. Ohl. All our professionally certified technicians can provide you with superior HVAC services, including mini-split tune-ups, air conditioner repairs, boiler replacements, furnace installations, and more. Our friendly techs have the knowledge, skills, and experience to service your HVAC system promptly and correctly.

R.F. Ohl offers highly competitive HVAC service prices in the area. If you want to have increased energy efficiency and comfort while lowering your energy costs, rely on our maintenance services. We can recommend the best HVAC repair or replacement system that best fits your home and budget. All our work is guaranteed because your satisfaction is always our priority. Call R.F. Ohl and schedule your next service appointment today to receive a free, in-home estimate.

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