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Learn The Differences Between Single- Vs. Two-Stage Furnaces

Long gone are the days when homeowners were limited to basic furnace systems, with little innovation to advance efficiency or comfort capabilities. Today, however, many options are at the disposal of homeowners looking to not only decrease energy bills, but reduce greenhouse gas emissions too. Two-stage furnaces offer significant advantages. Learn the differences between a single-stage furnace and a two-stage furnace, which basically comes down to the role the burners play.

Single-stage furnace

Single-stage furnaces are still available today, and they offer homeowners access to basic, fairly efficient heating. In this type of furnace, the burner operates at a preset level of heating. So, when the furnace fires up, the burners ramp up to one level of heating output, and stay that way for the duration of the “on” cycle. As a result, these furnaces do not typically offer consistent comfort levels. Instead, there may be fairly wide fluctuations in the home’s temperature.

Two-stage furnace

With this type of furnace, the burner can operate at two heating levels, generally a high level and a low level. It will also typically utilize a two-stage gas valve to regulate the influx of fuel that powers the burners. As a result, the burners can operate at the higher level of heating output when the home’s heating load is high, and drop down to the lower stage of operation when the heating load is reduced.

The advantages that a two-stage furnace offers include quieter operation at the lower stage of heating, increased comfort, with less variation in home temperatures, and energy savings due to lower fuel consumption.

If you’re wondering which furnace is best for you, note that experts generally advise homeowners in cold climates to invest in the highest-efficiency furnace possible, one that offers features such as two-stage fuel control, variable-speed air handler and more. Furnaces with advanced features typically reach higher Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings.

Arpi’s Industries has served greater Calgary-area homeowners since 1963 with quality HVAC services, maintenance and installations. Contact us today to learn how a two-stage furnace can boost your home’s comfort and lower your energy costs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about Single- Vs. Two-Stage Furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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