If you know your current furnace is just about ready for retirement, you might be tempted to “keep things simple” and buy exactly the same type you had before. However, when it comes to furnaces, it pays to examine your options.
Not sure which type is the best match for your home? Keep reading to learn some pros and cons about the three most common furnaces on the market: single-stage, two-stage, and modulating.
Single-stage furnaces function in a relatively straightforward manner. They are on and running at full power, or they are off. Because they lack the complexity of more advanced furnaces, like two-stage or modulating models, single-stage furnaces are the most affordable to purchase.
However, a single-stage furnace’s “on/off” power mode can lead to issues in a large home or a home with two or more stories. When the thermostat detects that the air in its immediate surroundings has reached your desired temperature, it may shut your furnace off before the rest of your house has had a chance to warm up evenly. To combat this problem, some homeowners turn their thermostat up a few degrees higher to keep their furnace running longer, which leads to higher energy costs.
Is a Single-Stage Furnace Right for My Home?
If you own a larger home (with three or more bedrooms), or a home with multiple stories, a single-stage furnace probably won’t be ideal to meet your heating needs. This type of furnace is better suited for smaller, one-story homes.
However, if you own a large home but also know that you’ll be moving soon, a single-stage model might be the wisest choice if you need to replace your furnace suddenly and unexpectedly. There isn’t much point in spending more money on a high-efficiency unit if you won’t be around to get the return on your investment.
Two-stage furnaces have two “on” modes that allow them to run at low power or high power. Most of the time, these furnaces run on low power to save energy, but if temperatures drop drastically, they’ll kick things into high gear to warm up your home faster.
A two-stage model’s dual power modes offer some key advantages. Your rooms will reach a more even temperature before the furnace shuts off, which reduces hot and cold spots around your home. The dual modes also reduce hot and cold fluctuations in your home’s temperature, which means that the furnace will spend less energy maintaining your desired temperature.
Is a Two-Stage Furnace Right for My Home?
If you own a larger home (with three or more bedrooms), or a home with multiple stories, you’ll want to consider a two-stage model when shopping for a furnace. You might also benefit from upgrading to a two-stage model if you currently own a single-stage furnace and find that you’re dissatisfied with your energy bill or with your furnace’s ability to heat your home evenly.
Modulating furnaces offer the most energy savings and the most control over your home’s temperature. Instead of having one or two power modes, modulating furnaces adjust their flames in slight increments to keep your home within two degrees of your desired temperature.
When paired with a variable-speed blower, high-quality modulating furnaces can achieve an AFUE of up to 98%. This means 98 cents of every dollar you spend goes directly toward heating your home.
Is a Modulating Furnace Right for My Home?
Modulating furnaces have a higher upfront cost that single-stage or two-stage furnaces. However, their incredible energy-efficiency means that they can provide you with the lowest energy bills you’ve seen in years. It’s best to purchase a modulating furnace if you live in a large, multi-story home and if you intend to live there for the next several years. This will give you time to reap the benefits of the energy savings and improved comfort that a modulating furnace provides.
When you’re ready for a furnace replacement, contact Monarch Home Services for a free consultation: (800) 830-9054.