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Here are the 4 benefits of a variable-speed air conditioner

Summers here in Houma and South Louisiana can be unbearable—and even dangerous—without dependable air conditioning. However, if you’re looking to install or replace an AC unit, it’s important to remember that not all units are equal. You might want to consider a variable-speed air conditioner.

The air handler in a traditional air conditioner only blows air at one speed: high. A variable-speed air conditioner, on the other hand, can run at different speeds. This small difference leads to a multitude of benefits for users of variable-speed AC units. In this blog post, we’re going to review these in greater detail.

For a free in-home estimate on a new air conditioner here in South Louisiana, contact us today.

What is a variable-speed air conditioner?

Whether you drive an automatic or stick-shift car, your vehicle needs to shift gears at different speeds to avoid energy waste and extra wear-and-tear. If you ran your car in higher gear at lower speed all the time, you’d not only waste gasoline, but you’d also put more wear on your car’s engine and transmission. The same basic concept applies to your air conditioner.

A variable-speed air conditioner like this one can change its speed to better maintain the current temperature of your home.

A variable-speed air conditioner like this one can change its speed to better maintain the current temperature of your home.

For decades, air conditioners only came in one speed: on. If the air conditioner was off, it was not moving at all. If it was on, it ran at its top speed. However, this binary isn’t always useful. Your air conditioner actually spends most of its time trying to maintain the temperature of your home, not drastically change it. When it tries to do so at full-speed, it has to constantly start, overshoot the target, turn off, and then turn back on again when your home heats back up.

All that starting and stopping, especially in quick succession, is known in our industry as “short-cycling.” Since AC units use the most energy when first starting up (much like turning the ignition in your car!), short cycling wastes energy. To continue our analogy, it’s better for the air conditioner to go into cruise control to maintain current temperatures.

That’s where variable-speed systems come into the picture. This feature allows air conditioners to, for lack of a better term, switch gears. If the AC unit just needs to keep your home at 75, it can cool the home down from 80 degrees at top speed, and then slow down to maintain the desired temperature. When paired with a smart thermostat, your AC unit can also run at lower speeds to adjust temperature ahead of time.

Not only does this result in less energy use (more on this below), but it also reduces wear and the noise generated by your air conditioner. It’s a great innovation.

What are the benefits of a variable-speed air conditioner?

1. Energy-efficiency

Because a traditional air conditioner has one speed, it turns on and off to manage the temperature. This can use a lot of energy, and can mean higher costs.

An AC unit with a variable-speed air handler has more options to manage your home’s environment. Once your home is cool, it can drop to a lower setting to keep your preferred temperature and not use as much energy.

Learn more ways to cut down your home’s summer energy bills.

2. Cooling consistency

The variety of settings also means that your home’s temperature may not fluctuate as much as with a traditional unit. A traditional unit switches on once the temperature rises, runs until the temperature drops to the set number, then stops. Then, the temperature rises again, and the cycle begins all over.

This constant change can be uncomfortable. In contrast, a variable-speed air conditioner can better maintain your preferred temperature by switching to a lower setting once the ideal temperature is reached.

3. Operating quietly

Traditional AC units kick on with a roar of air that continues throughout the cycle. This is due to their high speed, and this sound can be irritating or startling if especially loud.

In contrast, variable-speed units are much quieter because of their lower speeds—and because they turn on-and-off less frequently. This means no more annoying background hum or sudden rushes of air.

4. Air quality improvement

Longer and less frequent run cycles not only mean better energy-efficiency, better temperature control, and quieter operating noise. They also mean your home’s air quality may improve.

When the air conditioning runs, air passes through filters, which means the longer it runs, the longer the air is being filtered. This can be especially useful if you live in a dusty or high-pollution location, or have allergies.

Give Trahan’s a call for a free in-home estimate

If you’re in need of air conditioning installation, Trahan’s Heating & Air Conditioning is here to help. Contact us to schedule your free in-home estimate on a new variable air conditioner from Trane, professionally installed by our team. We also offer financing with approved credit.

Is it time to replace your furnace? Get a free in-home estimate from us!

If you’re a homeowner and you’re planning on staying in your home for the foreseeable future, you’ll eventually need to replace your furnace. But, what are the signs that you need to make the switch from old to new? What are the factors that you should consider when changing out your furnace?

In this blog, we’ll review the four signs you need to replace your furnace. If you’re ready to make the switch, contact Trahan’s Heating & Air Conditioning for a free in-home estimate.

Trahan's is a Trane dealer#1. Your furnace is more than a decade old

Yes, many furnaces last longer than 10 years. There’s a lot of different factors that weigh into that, such as the maintenance history, use, repair history, etc. However, the decade mark is generally the point where you, as a homeowner, should be prepared to replace your furnace.

There are circumstances where you may voluntarily change out your furnace prior to that final breakdown. If your furnace is draining your wallet in energy and repair costs (we’ll talk more about this below), you may want to call Trahan’s about making the switch to a new, energy-efficient, and reliable Trane.

#2. Your furnace isn’t heating your home right

This matters! Your furnace should be able to make your home comfortable in the winter. However, older systems tend to be less able to keep up with your home’s heating needs. You’ll notice the impact in the form of hot and cold spots in your home.

A furnace that’s less capable of keeping up with your heating needs will snowball into extra problems. It’ll use more energy to keep up with demand, raising your energy bills. It’ll breakdown more under the strain, forcing you to get furnace repair.

#3. You’ve been seeing higher energy bills

Furnaces tend to get less energy-efficient as they age. They use more energy to operate. In addition, they were originally (when new) less efficient than the furnaces on the market today. Chances are that your system is pretty far behind today’s units.

If your energy bills are on the rise, calculate the difference, times 12 months over how many years before you were planning on replacing your furnace. Even this conservative estimate will give you an idea of how much extra not replacing your furnace is costing you.

#4. Breakdowns are getting more frequent

As a furnace ages and parts wear down, more and more starts to go wrong with the system. You can prevent some of these problems with a furnace tune-up, but not all of them. Eventually, you’ll see breakdowns become a regular occurrence.

These breakdowns will take time and money to repair. Consider this: is the money you’ll spend, or have spent, repairing your furnace over the course of years worth it? Would that money be better spent on a new furnace?

If the answer is “no,” it’s time to replace your furnace.

Call Trahan’s for a free in-home estimate on a new furnace

If you think it’s time you upgraded to a new system, call Trahan’s Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer free in-home estimates in Houma, Thibodaux, and South Louisiana. We’ll match you to the right Trane furnace.

Contact us today to get started on your free in-home estimate!