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Westland Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing Blog

Westlake Air Conditioning Tip: Variable Speed Fans and Energy Efficiency

One of the great improvements in air conditioning and heating technology is with the variable speed fan.  Westland Heating and Air Conditioning has years of experience working with Westlake air conditioning and heating systems that utilize this wonderful technology and as such can help you understand how variable speed fans provide great energy-efficiency.

Variable speed fans are just that: fans inside air conditioners and heaters that provide multiple levels of speed for optimal comfort and energy-efficiency.  The fan is the part of the system that moves the cooled or heated air through the ducts of a building.  A variable speed fan is actually controlled by a variable speed motor that can be run on a range of speeds in order to accommodate a specific need at any given time.

Since the fan inside these systems is used quite often, the more efficient it is the more efficient your heating or cooling system will be.  Variable speed motors ultimately save money on energy bills since they consume less power to run them than standard motors.  The higher efficiency air conditioning and heating units all use variable-speed blowers and fans.

Variable speed blowers can work at different speeds.  When temperatures outside are more temperate it will run at a lower fan speed, using less energy to do so (normally half the electricity needed during harder usage times).  When the temperatures outside skyrocket or drastically drop, the fan will run at a higher speed, offering the most amount of indoor temperature change possible in a shorter amount of time.

Here is an example of how the variable speed fan runs:

  • When the thermostat turns on the variable speed blower during cooling or heating, the blower will begin by running at half-speed.  This gets the coils cooling down properly without using excess energy to do so.  At this speed the fan is using 50% less energy than a standard fan.
  • After a few minutes the variable speed fan will adjust to working at ¾ speed and hold that rate of speed for much longer.  At this speed it is still using 25% less energy than a standard single-speed blower.
  • Temperature checks are taken periodically.  It may take a few minutes of blowing the fan at top speed to get temperatures right, or it could remain at ¾ speed the full time the system is running.  Once the building is within 2 degrees of the desired temperature it will stay at the ¾ speed until the proper temperature is attained.  This process saves money in power bills to run the air conditioner or heater every time it is used.

In this scenario, if you keep your building at a standard temperature all the time, you will hardly ever have to use the fan at full speed because temperatures will remain fairly constant throughout the day.

An additional benefit of a variable speed fan is improved air quality.  When a variable speed fan is set to “on” or to constantly operate, even after the heating or cooling portion is completed, the fan will work at half speed in order to circulate the air in a building and ensure that there is even distribution of cooled and heated air, even after the proper temperature is reached.

The Westlake air conditioning and heating professionals at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning are always ready to help you in your search for the most energy efficient indoor comfort options available to you – call us today for more information!

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