What is a Variable Speed Heat Pump?

What is a variable speed heat pump or air conditioner

and why is it more efficient than people think?

Variable speed controls a motor’s capacity, much like your gas pedal does in your car.

The technology has been around for awhile, but it’s use is just now becoming more and more prevalent. Today, variable speed technology is changing air conditioning, IN A BIG WAY!

Traditionally, contractors would size an air conditioning and heating system based on the hottest days and the coldest days. These are the times when your heating or cooling needs to run continuously . These few hours per day, on the few most extreme days, your equipment is running as designed. The rest of the time you are oversized. Is that a problem? It absolutely is, and for many reasons.

  • Shortened equipment life
  • Higher utility bills
  • Higher humidity
  • Mold growth
  • Hot/cold spots
  • Excessive noise
  • Uncomfortable house

These problems are all related to the frequent on/off cycles a single-speed air conditioner goes through. Consider a standard efficiency house in Fort Worth, Texas on a 90 degree day. A normal system will run 50% of the time to keep up with the high cooling demand by turning on and running for about 15 minutes, then shutting off for a bit. This is inefficient and results in excess wear to the system. Think of it as city miles.
Until now, our best way to combat these problems was two-speed equipment. While two-speed technology was an improvement over past models, it only lessened the issues.

True variable speed systems are capable of controlling their speed to precisely match the needs of your home at any given moment.

Why Are Variable Speed air conditioners and heat pumps so much more efficient?

Imagine driving your car on a long road trip, but on this trip you have to put the pedal to the floor for 15 minutes then slam on the brake to come to a complete stop. Next you wait 15 minutes and do it again. You repeat this process until you arrive at your destination. This would be an uncomfortable journey. It would be very hard on your vehicle and incredibly inefficient.

Starts and stops are bad for mileage and air conditioner electricity usage.

A true variable speed air conditioner represents the way you would actually drive, or better yet, the way cruise control would drive for you during your voyage. Think of it as highway miles.
When using cruise control, you set the speed you need to go and the car handles the rest. As road conditions change , such as going up or down a hill, your car will automatically speed up or slow down as needed.

If given the same conditions as above, on a 90 degree day, but then applied them to the variable speed equipment, the system would be able to precisely match the capacity needed at any given time. Therefore, it could actually speed up on the hotter days, and slow down during cooler evenings (saving you money & keeping you more comfortable).
Be careful! Some manufacturer’s “variable speed” systems are only capable of running at a few speeds. This is not what I call “true variable speed.”

If you are considering replacing your heating and air conditioning system please give the variable speed air conditioners and the variable speed heat pumps a good look.
Use only quality contractors with training and experience in these high-end systems. If your contractor doesn’t complete a load calculation, consider looking for a better one.

  • Look for the variable speed system with the lowest minimum speed.
  • Look for a variable speed system with the most precise speed control (600-700 possible speeds).
  • Look for 10 year parts warranty.
  • Understand that SEER ratings don’t necessarily reflect the potential utility savings of variable speed systems.

Check out Poe Air for all your variable system needs.

  • 5 star review  Thank you Gary for coming out and repairing my AC on such short notice. You are as professional and honest as they come. Costumer here for life.

    thumb Dewayne McMullin
    5/15/2014

    5 star review  Excellent service, with a very knowledgeable and conscientious team - a top rate experience!

    thumb Bart Goodwin
    10/17/2014

    5 star review  Had the Poe air team out Monday for a complete system replacement. Now the house is cool and you can't hear the outside unit. Thanks Gary Taylor Shannon and joe.

    thumb Rick Whitten
    10/28/2014

    5 star review  I had to change the day of my service last minute due and Lisa was able to accommodate my request with ease. Taylor came out to do our spring tuneup.....on time, explained everything, helped me reset my controls, and with such a great attitude even though it was getting really hot outside! We always get such great service from Poe Air! Thanks for everything!!

    thumb Claire Price Friedrichs
    5/08/2014
  • 5 star review  I have used Gary Poe's expertise for many years and have referred my friends and clients to Poe Air. I recently had an appointment for a check up and Taylor called me that day to inform me that he would be there is 22 minutes. That is service! No waiting 4 hours for someone to show up whenever...they go out of their way to be courteous and professional. Taylor did a great job and even serviced my refrigerated wine room. It is seldom that I can consistently give a company 5 stars but I have been raving about Poe Air for many years.

    thumb Nancy Croney
    3/26/2015

    5 star review  Excellent service, covered operation of system with extraordinary detail. We are very satisfied with the service and feel assured that our heating and cooling system will operate efficiently.

    thumb Robert Krinner
    5/07/2014

    5 star review  All of my experience with Poe Air have been excellent. Monday afternoon, I noticed my upstairs unit wasn't cooling. I emailed that evening, I was called back Tuesday afternoon, and got an appointment Thursday morning. It's good to see Taylor back.

    thumb Shannon Falkenrath
    4/25/2014

    5 star review  Thank you for sending Taylor. He is always very competent and professional. He has maintained our cooling and heating systems in good condition for many years. His work is impeccable. I trust his judgement and his recommendations.Besides all the above, he is also a super nice person.!

    thumb Lenny Gr
    5/07/2015
  • 5 star review  Taylor came out to fix an AC problem and took care of it quickly and professionally. I will highly recommend Poe air to my friends.. Thanks

    thumb Carol Johannessen
    9/15/2014

    5 star review  Professional, kind, honest, patient staff and fast service! We will continue to use Poe Air & recommend them to anyone we know that needs their AC serviced!

    thumb Lysette Derr
    5/11/2015

    5 star review  They are always quick to my house. Very friendly service. I highly recommend giving them a call.

    thumb Kristy Conway
    6/06/2014