What’s a single-stage furnace?
A single-stage furnace has two settings. When the thermostat is set for heat, the furnace with turn on at full power, and continue to run at full power until the set temperature is reached. Once reached, it turns off. Unfortunately, you’ll get uneven heat throughout the home, and the furnace will only blast hot air to satisfy the thermostat, without maintaining an even, comfy temperature throughout the house.
What’s a two-stage furnace?
Two-stage furnaces have a burner set to two levels that are programmed differently. One stage could be set to burn at 60% capacity, while the other is set to 100%. Two-stage furnaces are quiet and generate even heating throughout the home. A longer cycle, the two-stage gives better air filtration. When it comes to cost versus value, a two-stage furnace is ideal.
What’s a modulating furnace?
Modulating furnaces operate on extremely specific increments. A model could run at 60% capacity and then increase by tiny increments of even .5% if the thermostat calls for more heat. Since these furnaces are so precise, they often run continuously on very low settings. Temperatures remain consistent with these furnaces, and they have the most energy efficiency ratings out of all furnace types.
What are single speed vs. variable speed furnace blowers?
A furnace blower motor will remove excess humidity from the air. Single-speed motors run at full capacity no matter what, while a variable speed blower will cycle between higher and lower speeds. Variable speed blowers are more energy-efficient but more expensive than a single-speed model.
If you were to compare a single-stage furnace to a two-stage or modulating furnace, you’d find that:
- Single-stage units are the least expensive.
- Single-stage units are also the least energy-efficient
If you have the money upfront, choosing a modulating furnace will give you the most energy-efficiency. But your needs and budget, the climate where you live, and how well-insulated your home is can all influence which type of model will be right for you. Contact James Air Heating and Cooling today to learn more about the different types of furnaces we install and service.
Next up in the Furnace Buyer’s Guide series, we’ll cover a Furnace Brand Comparison of Amana Furnaces, Coleman and LG and what you need to know.