October 19, 2016


If you are building or renovating your Tampa area home you will need to make a great many decisions. Some of these will be centered around your new or upgraded air conditioning installation. This can be a costly decision so don’t take it lightly. Here in steamy and humid Tampa climate, variable speed air handlers are a very popular option for many homeowners. Let’s take a look at the features, benefits, and cost to help provide a little insight into your decision.

What does the air handler do?

The other parts of the air conditioner (refrigerant, evaporator, condenser etc.) work together to absorb the heat from your home and then direct it outside. The role of the air handler is to move warm or cool air through your duct system and around your home. Your choice of a standard or variable speed air handler will determine how your system works.

A standard air handler will move air through your duct system without speed variation and at the same rate of flow. It operates at full speed during the cooling or heating mode and never varies in its air flow rate or volume of air it delivers. A variable speed air handler is a smart system, adjusting the rate of air delivery based on the setting of your thermostat and how much demand is actually placed on the system at any given time.

Even on a very hot day, once the system achieves the set temperature of the thermostat, its job is just to maintain that same temperature. It can operate in a more energy efficient manner by operating at a lower “maintenance” speed, providing up to 4 times better humidity removal and a much more even delivery and distribution of air throughout the entire home.

The benefits of a single speed system

Cost – this system will not set you back as much as a variable speed system, so it could be the wiser choice in smaller homes and apartments, in homes with more straight forward layouts, or in states where extreme heat and humidity is less of a problem. Typically a standard air handler will cost between $400-800 less than a variable speed air handler with an new or replacement air conditioning installation.

The benefits of a variable speed system

Efficiency – the variable system uses considerably less electricity because of it lower operating speed. Plus, with the enhanced humidity removal you will feel cool and comfortable at slight higher thermostat settings, reducing the system operating time as well as your utility costs. 

Humidity control –because the variable system can function at low speeds it is better able to remove up to 4X more humidity from the home and allow you to balance out your environment. 

A more comfortable home – this system provides a more even delivery of air and is able to “push” harder against the inherent resistance to air flow that all duct systems create. This provides improved airflow even in those hard to cool rooms within your home. This system is also considerably quieter to operate, resulting in a more pleasant environment. 

Less wear and tear on the system – because the variable speed system is not running at full speed whenever it’s on, the wear and tear on the system is reduced and the system can last longer.

Improved air quality – because the air is continually moving and circulating through the system and its air filter, the air in your home will be cleaner and fresher. Plus, the air filtration system can operate more efficiently because the air is moving across the filter more slowly, allowing it to capture and trap air particles more effectively.

Decision time

There are pros and cons to each type of air handler, and it really depends on your specific needs which one you select. If you don’t mind the higher initial cost, a variable speed air handler is always a wise and energy efficient choice for your air conditioning installation here in Tampa.

Considering an air conditioning installation in your Tampa home? Call us for a free quote and save up to $1300 during our Big AC Event today.