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What is variable speed technology?

What Is Variable Speed Technology?

Variable speed technology is one of the compressor-driving technologies, it also called variable speed technology. The compressor is the heart of air conditioner or heat pump system, just like the vehicle engine, it keeps delivering the function of this system. An inverter is part of the electrical components of an air conditioner or heat pump, it controls and modulates the electrical current running into the compressor’s motor, eventually the inverter can adjust the speed at which the motor runs. 

Single-Stage VS Two-Stage VS Variable Speed Compressor

In the market today, entry level HVAC (shorten for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) product use single-stage or two-stage compressor more often, here are the differences among them.

  • Single-Stage Compressor: When a single stage compressor is on they operate at 100% capacity.  On or Off. The main issue with single stage compressors are that they are only sized correctly when the load of the home requires 100% capacity.  Single stage compressors run shorter, but more frequent cycles of operation, which can lead to a short lifespan.  Single stage compressors are the most economical to purchase, but they lack the ability to change output based upon weather conditions.
  • Two-Stage Compressor: Two-Stage compressors have the ability to have a medium and a high output setting.  Typically this ranges from 65-80% of capacity in the first stage, and 100% capacity in the second stage. Popularity of two-stage compressors have declined in the last few years as the cost to upgrade to a variable capacity compressor can be made up in a season or two.
  • Variable Speed or Inverter Compressor: Variable output compressors have the ability to ramp up and down the capacity needed to heat and cool the home on autopilot. InverterCool Smart Variable SpeedTechnology is able to output 25% -110% capacity and have over 30+ different stages. These compressors are the most energy efficient, quiet and provide the best comfort for homes.

Benefits of Variable Speed Compressor with Inverter Technology

Depending on the capacity demand, a variable speed compressor with inverter-technology can run at a wide range of speeds—in fact, it can even run higher than its standard “100%” speed for short times when necessary for extreme cooling. This change in compressor speed essentially changes the cooling/heating capacity of the air conditioner or heat pump. In other words, instead of acting as a 2.5 ton unit all of the time, it can act as a 1 ton unit or a 2 ton unit or briefly as a 2.7 ton unit, all depending on the need.

In summary, you can think of a single/two-stage(s) compressor vs. a variable speed compressor as being analogous to a light that’s controlled by a switch vs. a light that’s controlled by a dimmer. 

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