Jan 24

How Variable-Speed Furnaces Improve Home Efficiency

image of efficiency depicting variable speed furnace

Variable-speed furnaces and other modern furnaces boast many technological innovations that enable them to provide unequaled energy efficiency and the best indoor comfort levels. So if you have plans to buy a new furnace, you should consider a variable-speed furnace. In this article, we share some information about variable-speed furnaces, including their key benefit of improving home efficiency.

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What Is A Variable Speed Furnace?

As implied by the name, this furnace functions at different speeds to enhance indoor quality. It can achieve this because it comes with an electronically commutated motor (ECM) blower motor. Actually, the term “variable speed” is a reference to the ECM, which is essentially a direct current (DC) motor. This motor makes use of a built-in magnet rotor, as well as an inverter. Because of the configuration, the ECM is able to deliver enhanced energy efficiency when compared with an alternating current (AC) motor. Plus, it is typically cheaper to operate and maintain ECMs. As such, although you can expect higher upfront costs with a variable speed furnace than with a traditional (single-stage) furnace, generally the former comes with a payback period that is shorter, which ranges between four to five years.

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How Do Variable Speed Furnaces Work?

Variable-speed furnaces monitor and analyze data from the HVAC system using advanced HVAC technology. They make speed adjustments automatically to improve your indoor comfort. The furnace can control the amount of air circulating in your house. Because it can adjust the fan speed, it is able to compensate for factors like dirty filters and blocked vents.

A variable speed furnace generally takes some time to reach full speed, not like traditional furnaces. That is why they run quieter and smoother than a traditional furnace. Plus, a variable speed furnace runs at top speed only when necessary. Therefore, it uses less energy than a conventional furnace, which always functions at full speed.


Difference Between Single-Speed, 2-Stage & Variable Speed Furnaces

Single-stage furnaces function at full capacity at all times. This means that it doesn’t take the flow of air into account when working to achieve the temperature setting of the thermostat. This furnace is either on or off.

On the other hand, two-stage furnaces have two operation phases, high and low. The low phase is essentially an energy-conserving mode. In this mode, the furnace attempts to make use of as little energy as possible to heat your house. In the event that it needs more heat to warm your home because of lower outdoor temperatures, it increases energy consumption. This causes it to go to the second phase, allowing the even distribution of air throughout your home. Two-stage furnaces function at an average 25% capacity at most times. This is why it is a lot quieter than the single-stage furnace, and it also generates less carbon dioxide.

A variable-speed furnace provides even more energy savings and efficiency. It features a computerized blower motor (ECM), which allows it to monitor and automatically control the amount of air circulating in your house. This blower motor allows the furnace to deliver unequaled indoor comfort, energy efficiency, and heating output that is more consistent.

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Variable-Speed Furnaces Can Enhance Home Efficiency

image of scissors cutting bill depicting low home heating costs and variable speed furnace

Because a variable-speed heating system can regulate airflow precisely, it is able to distribute humidity and warm air throughout the home, enhancing indoor comfort levels. Variable-speed heating units use roughly two-thirds less electricity than single-speed furnaces, and they also perform better.

A variable-speed furnace also makes less noise because it runs at low capacity most of the time. It is able to reduce air fluctuations because it increases speed gradually.

Generally, variable-speed furnaces feature smart thermostats that regulate the speed of the blower motor automatically. Homeowners can use their smart thermostats to add zoning to their HVAC units, enabling them to heat different areas of their homes as needed, without blocking vents or wasting energy.

Variable speed heating systems provide better and more accurate temperature regulation inside your house. Because the furnace has varying speeds and longer running cycles, it responds more effectively to indoor temperature changes. Therefore, it supplies warm air consistently throughout the home. This helps to minimize the likelihood of warm air gathering at the top of rooms or hot/cold spots in the house.

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Other Advantages Of A Variable Speed Furnace

Other advantages associated with a variable-speed furnace include:

  • Clean Indoor Air: Variable-speed heating units continue to force air through the HVAC system as long as the blower motor continues to run. This allows more contaminants to be trapped by the unit’s air filters. The outcome is indoor air that is cleaner and healthier.
  • Humidity Control: A variable speed furnace provides better indoor humidity control than a single-stage heating unit. A variable speed heating system is more efficient when it comes to getting rid of humidity from the air. So this is the best option if you want to avoid issues to do with high levels of indoor moisture, like mold, mildew growth, and increased allergen concentrations.



Variable-speed furnaces utilize a computer to monitor and evaluate the flow of air in your house. They automatically adjust the speed of their motor to improve your comfort levels. They are more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient than conventional heating units, and they also offer more accurate temperature control. They also last longer and are cheaper to operate and maintain.

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Call Skylands Energy Service For All Of Your HVAC Needs

image of skylands energy service logoSkylands Energy Service provides outstanding cooling and heating services in central New Jersey. We only hire technicians that are certified, who can give you superior HVAC tune-ups, replacements, installations, and repairs. All our technicians have the skills and experience to service your HVAC unit properly.

Skylands Energy Service guarantees the cheapest heating and cooling services in the area. We offer maintenance services that can enhance your comfort levels and improve energy efficiency. Our services aim to minimize your home heating and cooling expenses. In the event that you require an HVAC repair or replacement unit, we are there to recommend the ideal solution for you, making sure that we stay within your budget. Our work is backed with a guarantee for your satisfaction. To schedule a service appointment, contact Skylands Energy Service today. We also offer free, in-home estimates.

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