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Is Variable Speed Central Air Conditioning Worth It?

- 10:00 am - April 19th, 2024

If you have been doing research for upgrading to a new cooling system, you might have come across the term “variable speed” for central air conditioners. You might be asking yourself, what does variable speed mean, and is it worth the added upfront cost? The energy experts at Coan Heating & Cooling are here to shed some light on variable speed cooling systems and the pros and cons.


Variable-speed air conditioning systems are able to change their cooling output depending on the temperature inside your home. Unlike single-stage cooling and two-stage systems, variable air speed air conditioning equipment have a whole spectrum of speeds depending on the climate inside your home.


As a premier full-service home comfort company in Natick, Massachusetts, Coan Heating & Cooling is here to help provide valuable insight into variable speed HVAC equipment.


What is the difference between fixed speed and variable speed AC?

The difference between a fixed speed and variable speed is simple. In the case of a single-stage cooling system, your air conditioner is either 100% on or 100% off. A variable-speed unit will switch speeds depending on the temperature inside the room.


Does a variable speed AC run all the time?

Yes, variable-speed air conditioners run all the time, and that’s what makes them so energy-efficient! Although single-stage units turn on and off, they always run at 100% capacity. Variable speed systems operate continuously, but at much lower capacity levels reducing your utility costs.   


Is variable speed the same as two-stage?

No. Two-stage central air conditioners are more similar to one-stage units, but instead of either running at 100% or 0% capacity, two-stage systems run at a high and low speed for more cooling versatility.


Is variable speed HVAC worth it?

This depends on your home size and budget. While the initial cost of a variable speed air conditioner could be considerably higher than a single-stage or double-stage unit, their high-efficiency ratings will help lower your annual cooling bills. In addition to reduced energy bills, you could be eligible for federal tax credits for upgrading to energy-efficient equipment.

While there are several different options you can choose when it comes time to upgrade, one thing is certain, you can always count on Coan Heating & Cooling for reliable installation!


Contact us today to discuss your upgrade options.