One technological advancement that has significantly increased energy efficiency in central cooling and heating systems in recent years is variable and multi-stage operation in air handlers, compressors and furnaces. If you're shopping for a new A/C this summer, you'll want to select one with a variable-speed air handler.What Is a Variable-Speed Air Handler?In a split-system air conditioner or heat pump, the air handler is the component that blows air across the evaporator coil and then circulates conditioned air through the house before drawing it back into the system. In cold winter climates, the furnace blower often serves as the A/C air handler. When the air is blown across the evaporator coil, heat energy is removed, along with humidity contained in the air. This creates cooling comfort in your home.A standard air handler has only two modes of operation: off and 100 percent on. This means it operates for a short period until the home is cooled, then shuts down until it receives the signal to turn on again. In a variable-speed air handler, the motor adapts its speed to conditions in the home. It will typically ramp up to full operation until the thermostat setting is achieved, then slow down to continuous, low-level operation to maintain that temperature. It doesn't short-cycle like it does with a standard air handler.What Are the Advantages?
Energy savings: Low-speed continuous operation uses less energy than stop-and-start high-speed operation. The technology in a variable-speed air handler motor is also intrinsically more efficient than an old-style standard motor.
Improved comfort: The continuous operation allows for better air circulation in the home with fewer hot and cold spots.
Quieter operation: Low-speed continuous operation makes less noise than the stop-and-start racket of a standard air handler.
Superior humidity control and air filtration: When the system is running steadily without stopping, household air runs through the system many more times in a day. This allows for more air filtration and humidity removal.
To discuss upgrading your Tulsa area home's air conditioning system with a variable-speed air handler, please contact us today at Air Assurance.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “GSPhotography/Shutterstock”