When you’re in the market to buy a new furnace, it can be overwhelming. All the HVAC jargon can be difficult to make sense of. One crucial thing to understand is the different types of furnaces that are available, that being:
- Single Stage
- Two Stage
Below we’ll discuss in detail the difference between these types of furnaces.
A single-stage furnace has the most basic design of the three types. Since it only has one stage, it is either on or off. When your thermostat is calling for heat, the burners fire at 100% full capacity until the thermostat is satisfied.
Should I buy a single-stage furnace?
If you already own a single stage furnace and you have no complaints about your home’s heating, then a single-stage is a fine choice. They are the least expensive option. However, if you’re having to deal with cold spots and/or inconsistent temperatures, you should consider looking into the higher end options below.
A two-stage furnace runs in two stages, a lower capacity stage and a high full capacity stage. They also are fitted with a variable speed blower motor. When the thermostat calls for heat, the gas valves start in the lower stage and fire at 70% of their capacity. The furnace will then run in that lower mode until the thermostat is satisfied. On those particularly frigid days if your thermostat isn’t satisfied after a few minutes, it will kick in to that high 100% capacity mode to reach your desired temperature. However, a large majority of the time that lower stage will be adequate to heat the home.
Should I buy a two-stage furnace?
Chances are if you own an older single-stage model, you don’t even know what you’re missing out on. First, it will make the temperature throughout your home more consistent because it’s running in that lower capacity mode for longer, it’s not constantly turning on and shutting off throughout the day. With an energy efficient variable speed blower motor and a lower heat mode the noise level will also be heavily reduced. The final perk of a two-stage system is better indoor air quality. Your filters can’t clean the air in your home if there’s no air movement. With your furnace’s fan running for longer and moving the air, your system can catch more particles and contaminants.
A modulating furnace takes the concept of multiple stages to a whole new level. Rather than just a lower stage and a high stage, a modulating furnace can have dozens of heat levels. These capacities can range from 40-100% depending on the amount of heat your thermostat is calling for.
Should I buy a modulating furnace?
If you plan on staying in your current home for quite a while longer, the higher price tag of the modulating furnace could be the way to go. Single story homes most likely don’t need to get this high-tech. However, if you own a multistory home and are constantly dealing with inconsistent temperature and wild temperature swings throughout the day, it could be worth the investment. Simply put, this piece of equipment will work together with your thermostat, changing the amount of heat output based on your exact needs. You will see the similar benefits to a two-stage furnace but to a much higher degree. You can expect the quietest and most comfortable experience with a modulating furnace.
The bottom line
Your new furnace should match your needs. If you’re about to move or you’re totally happy with your current single-stage system, there’s no need to spend the extra money on the top-of-the-line equipment. If you’re experiencing some of the problems discussed above, you won’t regret upgrading your furnace. Whenever the time comes to change out your furnace, visit us online or call Woodstock Heating & Cooling to schedule an appointment with one of our trusted advisers and get a free custom quote. (815) 338-0282