Types of Furnaces
Single Stage (Good)
A single-stage system is the most basic system and refers to the amount of heat output of the furnace unit. A single-stage furnace means the furnace only has one operating output. It is either off or on and running at 100% capacity. This type of unit is favorable for the slightly lower upfront cost but can cost more in utilities in the long run. The comfort level in the space could also be lower than the Better or Best option.
A two-stage system once again refers to the amount of heat output of the furnace unit. Depending on how much is needed to heat the house, a two-stage furnace can run at two heating outputs, usually 50% power and 100% power. This type of system allows the unit to run more frequently but often at lower levels, which helps maintain more even heat to all parts of the house. This also saves money on utility expenses. These units are more energy-efficient, consuming less energy year-round and saving money in the long run than single-stage units.
A modulating furnace has even more control than its two-stage counterpart. This type of unit can control the heating output to almost any level between full power and off. This leads to better control, more even heating, smoother airflow, and greater efficiency. On top of controlling the heating output, the modulating furnace has variable speed motors, making for quieter air circulation. The variable-speed motor also costs a fraction of the standard motors to operate, saving money in both heating and cooling seasons. Not only does this save money on utility expenses, it allows your home heating system to stay within half a degree of the thermostat’s set temperature. This type of system allows for the maximum level of comfort and the lowest utility costs for the unit’s life.