Smart Motors — Saving Energy by Running Motors Smart Instead of Hard

In heating and air conditioning units, motors generally have two speeds – they’re either full speed or stopped. To get an idea of what this means, it’s similar to driving your car by alternating between flooring the gas pedal and slamming on the brakes. In addition to being an enormous waste of energy, it’s also very hard on the car, or in this case, the HVAC unit.

In an effort to make motors more efficient and reduce wear and tear, the Variable Speed Drive (VSD) or Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) was introduced to allow motors to run at varying speeds. With these drives, your motors can start up more slowly and build up to max speeds, if needed, or run at lower, more efficient speeds.

The VSD and VFD drives function like a brain for the motor. They tell the motors exactly how fast and how long to run to maintain desired temperatures, airflow, etc. At lower speeds, your motor is still able to provide you with ideal comfort but at much less cost. To put a number on it, motors running at full speed use nearly 8 times more energy than a motor running at half speed.


Variable Speed Drives


In addition to saving energy and reducing wear and tear on your equipment, the drives can also alert you about malfunctions or needed maintenance, minimizing equipment downtime. In some cases repairs can be done even before anyone notices a problem.

VFD and VSD drives can be used on equipment such as fans, hot water pumps, compressors, etc. They can be paired with high efficiency motors for a double whammy of efficiency. Plus VFD/VSDs qualify for huge rebates from utility companies, making it even more cost-effective to invest now.

To find out how VFD/VSDs can work for you, see energy savings calculations, etc., please call us or visit our website at