Carolina Climate Control Blog: Posts Tagged ‘variable speed air conditioner’

Which HVAC System Is Best For Lowcountry Homes: Variable Speed HVAC or Staged HVAC?

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

Do you want to save money on your next HVAC installation? For many households, selecting the right type of HVAC unit and running it correctly can potentially save a hefty amount on their energy bills. Below we take a look at variable speed HVAC and staged HVAC operation.


Each type has its own strengths & weaknesses, so you can learn more below about what the difference between a variable and a staged HVAC system operation is, and which might be the best option for your Lowcountry home.



What is a Staged HVAC Operation?


In terms of HVAC, staged systems are those that only kick in when the temperature and/or humidity reaches a certain level. The system can be adjusted so that it comes on just before the temperature begins to become uncomfortable.


Once the system is triggered, the cooling units will work flat out to bring the temperature down to a predetermined level. The advantages of staged HVAC may be that the unit is cheaper to purchase than a comparable variable system and that costs can be kept low by setting the temperature as high as bearable before the cooling system is triggered.


The disadvantages of staged HVAC relate to both comfort and efficiency. If you decide to keep the HVAC off until absolutely necessary (so set the point at which the cooling kicks in fairly high), your home may be verging on uncomfortable before cooling starts.


HVAC efficiency can be compromised by the high level of energy needed to bring the temperature down from the trigger point to an acceptable level. The unit will be working at maximum capacity when it’s in operation.


Not only can this result in high energy bills, but the strain on the system may also cause accelerated wear and tear. This may mean more repairs and a higher chance of under-performance or even complete failure.


Variable Speed Graph from Trane Technologies

What Is Variable Speed HVAC Operation?


A variable HVAC system is one that operates continuously and makes adjustments as soon as the temperature starts to rise even slightly above the required level. This means that the temperature remains constant at all times, as the HVAC is continuously operating (at a very low level).


The benefits of variable HVAC are several: in the first instance, the HVAC cost when it comes to your energy bill is usually much lower than when a staged system is used.


Not only is this usually a low-cost HVAC option, but it’s also likely to last longer than a staged option – the unit rarely needs to operate at maximum capacity to keep a comfortable temperature in your home.


This means that wear on the system is kept to an absolute minimum. With the correct servicing and maintenance, the best variable speed HVAC options will carry on giving a great performance for many years.


An efficient HVAC variable speed option also tends to result in a more comfortable temperature in your home. Rather than having to wait for a peak temperature to be reached before your A/C kicks in (which is what happens with even the best staged HVAC product), a variable speed system ensures a comfortable temperature at all times.



The Best HVAC System Will Have the Highest SEER


A good way to decide on the type of HVAC operating system that’s going to be best for your home is to find out what the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is for the unit you’re considering.


The SEER of a unit is calculated by dividing the amount of cooling the unit provides over the season it’s in use (the summer) by the amount of electricity it uses during this time. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the HVAC variable speed or staged unit is.


In most circumstances, a variable speed HVAC system will have a significantly higher SEER than even an efficient staged HVAC.


Note that starting in 2023 all A/C units installed across the country will need to meet minimum energy efficiency and performance standards.


This will ensure that your unit will operate to basic levels of efficiency but still means that some units (particularly variable speed units) will be noticeably more efficient than others.



Ask An HVAC Professional


When it comes to deciding on the type of HVAC system that’s going to be right for your property, there are numerous variables to consider. In addition to deciding on whether to opt for a staged or variable speed system, homeowners also need to consider:


  • The size of the property
  • How often the A/C is going to be used
  • What sort of duration the A/C must run for
  • How many rooms in the property must be heated/cooled
  • Any air quality issues
  • Whether you already have A/C ductwork in place
  • Budget
  • Any other issues that are unique to your property


We are able to offer an in-depth, customized assessment of your property, using the information we gather to create a free, personalized estimate into the type of HVAC that’s going to be best for your requirements.



Variable Speed HVAC is Ideal for Charleston Properties


In the humid, warm Charleston climate, our usual recommendation would be to opt for a variable-speed HVAC system.


In our experience, this type of HVAC system offers a very high level of energy efficiency, as well as exceptional performance. If you want a system that keeps energy bills as low as possible, at the same time as providing years of high-grade, reliable performance, a variable speed system is probably the best one to opt for.


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The Top 3 Heating and Air Conditioning Trends For 2019 In Charleston

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

First of all, we’d like to wish all of our customers, friends, family and followers a wonderful & exciting year ahead in 2019.

With that said and 2019 now fully upon us, let’s take a quick look at the year ahead and review some of the latest trends to look for in the world of HVAC and how you can stay ahead of the curve with your heating and air system.

1. Connected/Smart HVAC Systems Continue To Increase In Popularity

Most homeowners in the Lowcountry who have gone through with an HVAC upgrade the past few years or so most likely are familiar with some of the newer “smart” HVAC apps & devices on the market.

For those unfamiliar with “smart” or connected technology, it essentially gives you a way to interact remotely and collect usage & diagnostic data of your HVAC system. Using apps on your phone, tablet or PC, you can control your system anytime, from anywhere and using advanced data, allow you to granularly optimize run-times.

This freedom of control, operation optimization and diagnostic information allows you always know you’re getting the best performance from your system and if something should go awry, allow your local HVAC company to quickly resolve any issues.

This technology is not only available for residential air systems, but is also rapidly being adopted by commercial HVAC needs.

2. Variable Speed & Ductless Solutions

Every year in the HVAC industry, manufacturers continue to refine ways of increasing efficiency and creating solutions to non-standard applications.

Two kinds of HVAC systems that check both of those boxes and are rapidly being adopted by Lowcountry homeowners are variable speed air conditioners and ductless mini-split systems.

Most traditional HVAC systems operate in with one or more different operating speeds. They either run at 100% power and/or multiple stages at less than 100%. Multiple stage operation is intended to help with efficiency as your system doesn’t always need to operate at full power, so to speak.

While multi-stage systems can help efficiency, a newer operating mode on newer systems called “variable speed” can be significantly more efficient.

Variable speed operation allows your system to run more granularly, or more precisely, to meet the cooling & heating needs of your home. Instead of operating at a “high 100%” or “low 50%” mode, a variable speed HVAC system can adjust its operation to finite percentages. This means your system will consume energy more precisely, ultimately allowing you it to really optimize your energy consumption (and energy bill for that matter).

Along with the rise of variable speed adoption, ductless mini-split air conditioners are on the rise for many homeowners across the Lowcountry.

Ductless mini-splits allow homeowners to cool & heat areas of their home that either don’t have ductwork running to them, or if they want more unique temperature control over different areas of their homes.

In fact, even homeowners that have existing ductwork in their home are making the switch so they can cut out ductwork upkeep from their list of home maintenance tasks. This is especially true for homeowners that have recurring flooding issues (which can devastate an under-home ductwork system).

3. The Rise of Geothermal Heating & Cooling

In 2018 we’ve heard from more and more Lowcountry residents interested in geothermal heating & cooling options and we believe it will continue to rise in popularity in 2019.

State and federal tax incentives, along with longer operational lifetimes and significantly higher efficiencies, geothermal HVAC systems are being adopted now more than ever by forward-thinking Lowcountry homeowners.

Things can change quickly over the course of the year, but we believe the 3 HVAC trends above will help shape the Lowcountry’s HVAC needs for 2019 and beyond.

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