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Learning the Basics of Variable Speed Motors

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What are Variable Speed Motors?

There are many different types of motors used in heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. A single-speed motor, the most common type in homes, is one that operates in two speeds: on or off. When the temperature drops below the setting, the heat turns on full blast until it reaches the programmed temperature, at which time it turns off completely. A multi-speed motor has a "low" or "high" setting depending on the severity of the temperature drop or rise within the home. While these two motors are functional and get the job done, the best type of motor, especially for large buildings, is the variable speed motor.

What is a Variable Speed Motor?

A variable speed motor is one that is used in furnaces and allows the system to run on a more consistent basis. Instead of having a constant change in temperature as the system turns on and off, you can enjoy the ideal temperature at all times. A variable speed motor regulates the temperature of the room or building in conjunction with the programmed settings and works at different speeds to maintain a comfortable temperature with as little change as possible.

What are the benefits of a Variable Speed Motor?

1) Comfort - A variable speed motor can make the temperature in the home or building more comfortable and consistent. You no longer have to be cold one minute and turn up the heat only to get hot the next minute and want to turn it off.

2) Consistence - With a one-speed motor, the rooms nearest the thermostat are always regulated, but the other rooms might be hotter or colder. A variable speed motor helps regulate the temperature throughout the entire home or building.

3) Energy Efficient - Because a variable speed motor does not have to work so hard to heat the entire building over and over, it is much more efficient than a single- or multi-speed motor. This may seem backwards since the variable speed motor is constantly running, but it is actually doing a lot less work.

4) Air Quality - The air circulating through the vents is also being filtered. A variable speed motor has air circulating constantly rather than intermittently, resulting in a much higher air quality as well as greater humidity control.

5) Less Noise - A single- or multi-speed will be noticeably louder as it turns on and off. A variable speed motor will offer a very low hum that you will not even notice.

As you can see, a furnace system that uses a variable speed motor is something that you should greatly consider for your home or building if you are in need of an upgrade.

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