If you have an older furnace, with a single-speed blower motor, consider a variable-speed blower motor when you replace your heating system. Knowing about this particular feature is worthwhile for Portland-area homeowners because it will help you save energy and money.
Variable-speed motors make sense because they save you money long term, with delayed furnace replacement cost and lower utility bills throughout the life of your system. Here’s how:
With a single-speed system, your furnace has two settings – off and on. The installer sets the furnace’s fan operating speed, and it’s hard wired as your the “on” setting. As a result, many are set too high and since there is no intermediate setting to accommodate those “in-between” days when you only need a little heat, energy and money are wasted.
Two-stage heating systems offer output control making them much more efficient at keeping your home comfortable. The stages generally work this way: the first “on” setting, when the thermostat prompts the furnace to kick on, runs the fan motor at a medium-high speed. If this level is sufficient, the system never goes up to “high” if it’s not necessary. The furnace will go up to it’s full strength only if the temperature is still too low in the home after ten minutes. This is a much more intelligent use of energy and it’s how your savings are achieved.
Two-Stage Variable Systems
The variable aspect of the blower-motor feature allows you to leave your furnace on continuously at low speed, without wasting energy. A furnace’s useful life is shortened if it is shut off and on often, and it can be noisy and inconvenient to continually do the off-on-off dance. This is excellent if your home comfort system includes an air cleaner or air filtration equipment, since these only function while air is circulating. .
To learn more about new furnace technology, talk to the experts at Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical by calling us at (503) 994-9924. We’re happy to offer professional advice and complete HVAC life-cycle services.