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When it comes to choosing a new AC system in Miami, there’s an abundance of options. You have ductless systems that cool one room or a central AC system that requires ducts that travel throughout your home’s walls, floors, and ceilings. You have geothermal, dual-fuel, or all-electric systems. 

There are standard, high-efficiency, and mid-range models. Some systems can both heat and cool your home, and some have smart technology. Window units are another option, but they’re not as helpful when you need year-round cooling. One thing Miami residents should consider when weighing all of those options is a variable-speed AC system.

What Is a Variable-Speed Central Air Conditioning System?

Any split system AC has two systems and the ductwork. The outdoor unit has a compressor, fan, and condenser coil. Head inside and there’s the furnace unit with the evaporator coil and fan that circulates cool air around the ducts. Copper tubes containing refrigerant connect the two systems. There are all-in-one units, too, which is where you get heat and cooling in the same system. 

With both, there are three options. A single-stage system uses more energy because it’s always on or off with no adjustment. Two-stage systems are more efficient as there is a high and low option. The most efficient is a variable-speed system where the fan adjusts to run at a variety of speeds. There are different variable-speed components.

Variable-Speed Compressor – The compressor adjusts the speed to run at full capacity on the hottest of days or a reduced capacity on cooler days. 

Variable-Speed Fan Motor – Instead of always running fans at a constant speed, the variable-speed fan motor or blower increases when it’s hot and slows down when it’s cold.

This is important as the reduction in energy consumption is drastically lower. Energy.gov reports that a variable-speed motor running at half speed only needs a quarter of the typical amount of energy consumed, but it still moves the same amount of air. The savings are tremendous.

How Much Will You Save? 

Variable-speed motors are AC motors that change the speed to match the load. If the AC is turning on, the load is going to be higher. But, after cooling the house for the first time, the AC system only needs to maintain the temperature, so the load is less, and that means the motor’s speed doesn’t have to be at the highest possible level. This saves money. How much?

It’s hard to give an exact figure as many items go into the cost. Your electricity rate and the SEER2 rating of your variable-speed AC system are factors. Suppose your current system is a 3-ton, 14-SEER system. It’s estimated to consume around $1,299 per year in electricity. If you upgrade to a 22-SEER AC system, the savings on that alone would be around 65% with annual electricity usage of $788 per year. Add in variable-speed technology, which saves as much as 75% from what your old system was using. 

While a variable-speed AC saves a lot of money, other components help increase the savings. A smart thermostat or built-in smart technology allows the system to learn your movements and adjust temperature settings to match when you’re home, when you’re at school or work, and when you’re in bed. This maximizes your system’s energy consumption. 

You can have a system that has technology that allows your AC technician to troubleshoot issues without having to come to your home. That can save a bundle on repair bills, especially if the problem is something as simple as an air filter change that you can easily do yourself.

Adding features to your home like light-blocking shades or curtains and improving your attic insulation is a smart investment.  Cooking meals outside on the hottest days of the year also helps your system be as efficient as possible because you’re running heat-generating appliances outside instead of in your kitchen where they heat your home and make your AC run more.

Additional Benefits to Variable-Speed AC Systems

While saving money on energy bills is important, there are more benefits to a variable-speed AC system. All of them come down to even more savings.

Components don’t wear out as quickly. When you have a fan or compressor not having to work as hard, they’ll last longer. It lowers repair and maintenance costs and increases the system’s longevity. 

While prices vary by region and Florida AC repair professional, Forbes states the average compressor replacement ranges from $900 to $2,900. A 1.5-ton system is going to cost less than a 5-ton system. Even on the lower end, paying $1,000 to replace a compressor is a costly expense. If you could have a compressor that lasts twice as long because of a variable-speed motor, it’s worth the investment.

That’s the compressor, but how much would it cost to replace a fan? Condenser fan replacement costs range from $170 to $770 according to Forbes. If other components were strained or damaged due to a failing fan, there could be additional repairs needed.

Variable-speed motors also offer optimal control over the temperature in your home and airflow. They’re better at controlling humidity levels, which lowers the risk of mold and mildew in extremely humid months. 

If you’re prone to allergies or have a health condition like asthma, you need optimal indoor air quality to stay healthy. You need to get enough sleep, too. If you don’t, you could face increased medical bills. Variable-speed AC systems are quieter, so they won’t interrupt your sleep.

Talk to the Pros About a Variable-Speed AC in Miami

A variable-speed AC is a more expensive option, but there are savings available that lower the cost. Instant rebates from your power company are one option. The federal government also offers tax deductions when you upgrade your AC system with an energy-efficient model. Plus, you have the monthly savings on your energy bill that’s lowering your monthly expenses. In time, your new AC pays for itself from the savings you gain.

When it’s time to replace your Miami AC system, a variable-speed AC is the most cost-effective choice. The amount you save on energy bills and lowered repair bills make the investment a worthwhile one.

All Year Cooling is happy to help you better understand your options for the best variable-drive AC system for your home. As we’re experts with most AC brands and 50 years of installation and repair experience, we know we can find you the right system for the right price. Plus, we help you with financing, if needed. Ask us for a free estimate.

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