The cost of electricity is not getting any cheaper. On national average, it’s actually increased significantly since 2016. The number one thing homeowners are looking for is how they can stay comfortable in their home while spending less on utility costs. If that sounds like you, upgrading to a variable-speed air conditioner might be a good fit for your home.

What is a variable-speed air conditioner?

Here’s a fun thought exercise: think about running your air conditioner unit like you would drive your car. When you’re driving down the freeway doing about 65 MPH, you usually don’t put the gas pedal all the way to the floor to try and speed up to 75 MPH just to let off the gas again to get back down to 35 MPH. This kind of driving would wear out your car pretty fast, potentially cause an accident, waste a ton of gasoline, and make the other passengers in your car crazy. It’s pretty much why cruise control settings were invented.

Just like a car, a variable-speed air conditioner can make small speed changes for performance.


But, that is how almost every single and two-stage HVAC systems work. They only have one speed, so they’re either on running at that high speed or off altogether.

Your home rarely needs your HVAC system to be running at full speed. Studies have actually shown that, on average, most homeowners in the United States see the need for 100% AC capacity less than 5% of the entire year. This means that most of the time you’re using your air conditioner, your unit is probably over-working, over-producing, and costing you unnecessary amounts of money.

This is where a variable-speed HVAC system comes into play. This type of system will quickly take your home’s environment to the proper temperature and then use just enough “throttle” to keep it in that zone. A variable-speed system can determine when your home does not require the unit to run at full capacity and will adjust itself to provide incremental operation. This will provide an extra layer of home comfort while also saving you significant amounts of money on your monthly electric bills.

How variable-speed systems use less energy

Base HVAC models or single-speed HVAC systems only have one way to work, and that is cycling ON at 100% capacity and then switching completely OFF. The equipment within the variable-speed units will use less energy because they are specifically designed to operate within multiple capacity levels.

Variable speed technology refers to the kind of compressor inside of your air conditioner or heat pump. This compressor is the heart of your air conditioning or heat pump system. It will create the cooling capacity for your system. These variable-speed compressors allow your unit to run at essentially any speed between 30% and 100%, so not just always at the full 100%.

By operating like this, it allows for various levels of output depending on your specific cooling demands. Basically, full capacity for hot summer days or reduced capacity for milder, cooler days. This is a fantastic energy-efficient option when you compare it to a single-speed unit.

Another huge perk of a variable-speed system, is that it eases the demand on the unit. This alone will allow the unit to work less than a single speed, which will make it last longer when considering the overall lifespan of the unit.

Call Southern Air for a free in-home estimate on a new Carrier or Trane air conditioner

When you choose to partner with Southern Air Heating & Cooling on your next AC installation, you will get the opportunity to choose between two of the top companies in the HVAC world. We are proud to offer both Carrier and Trane systems. Call us to get started with a free in-home estimate and start saving money today!