“Variable speed” refers to the fan motor inside the air handler.   Variable-speed blower motors are designed to provide greater comfort through reduced initial air velocities and noise. When the unit first turns on, the blower operates at low speed, which not only provides less noise than a single-speed blower, but also allows the compressor and coil to ramp up before the unit begins moving large volumes of air through the system.  For more information about variable speed systems, contact us.