Variable speed, or NOT.

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Old 07-27-11, 11:43 AM
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Variable speed, or NOT.

I'm doing homework on what system to install this autumn (when it's cooler).
The AC/Electric Heat (no gas) will be a very basic single stage unit. This is an older 1500 sf home not worth a high-end system. And I don't care about any resale value - just comfort at a reasonable cost.
The only upgrade I'm even considering is the ECM variable speed blower.
I like the idea of lower speeds when appropriate. But I don't want it blowing all day when the house is empty. I WILL crank up the thermostat when leaving for work.
What will the V-S get me that's worth the extra cost?
 
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Old 07-27-11, 11:51 AM
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Some people like to have the fan running even when the heat is not to help even out the temperatures in the house. The variable speed fan lets you do so at a reduced speed so you don't see the results as obviously on your electric bill (a buddy of mine used to run his single speed fan all the time till he figured out it was costing him $50/month to do so).
 
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Old 07-27-11, 11:57 AM
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Since you're in Houston, have you considered going to a heat pump rather than just a straight A/C unit? In your climate, I'd think a heatpump would greatly lower your winter heating costs.
 
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Old 07-27-11, 05:09 PM
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I'm with Beachboy, look at HP, be a lot cheaper to run than all electric heat. I have the VS system, and love the comfort and quietness it offer. Another nice thing about VS is able to wire it to a humidistat, so if the humidity is high, the blower slows down to help remove the humidity in the summer.
 
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Old 08-02-11, 12:04 PM
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Thanks to all for the replies and insight.
Yes, I've considered a HP but backed off due to increased cost and complexity.
The winters here aren't too brutal so extra $$ for electricity are not a major concern.
But humidity. Ahh. Now that's a major concern in these parts, at least a third of the year - like NOW.
Would there be any extra requirements (other than humidistat) to achieve the humidity control?
 
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Old 08-02-11, 03:55 PM
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No, there is no extra equipment. best control would be the Honeywell IAQ stat, and that can do the stages for the heat strips, and control the blower speed for humidity.
 
 

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