What's the Difference Between Single-Stage, Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces? – Sobieski Services | DE, NJ, PA, MD

What’s the Difference Between Single-Stage, Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces?

There are three main types of furnaces suitable for residential spaces: single-stage, two-stage and variable-speed furnaces. Each furnace operates differently and provides distinctive benefits.

Single-Stage, Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces

A single-stage furnace runs at full capacity all of the time and does not consider current airflow in your home or the outside temperature when working to reach your thermostat’s temperature setting. A two-stage furnace has low and high stages of operation. During the low stage, the furnace uses as little energy as possible to heat your home. When the furnace is no longer able to meet that temperature, it ramps itself up to the high stage, during which it uses more energy.

On average, a two-stage furnace runs at 25% of capacity the majority of the time. A variable-speed furnace contains a computerized blower motor chip that monitors the airflow inside your home to determine how much heat to generate and release. Because of this monitoring, the furnace is able to operate as efficiently as possible by not continuously releasing unnecessarily heated air.

Choosing the Right Furnace for Your Home

When deciding between single-stage, two-stage and variable-speed furnaces, consider:

  • Your home’s location and average climate: a furnace that operates efficiently while meeting your heating demands means that you’ll be more comfortable and not waste energy.
  • The average temperature you set your thermostat to: if you like a cooler home, you may not need to purchase a heater that operates at full capacity all the time.
  • Your home’s insulation and potential for air leaks: factoring the potential for air leaks into your decision means that you’ll select the furnace best suited for your home’s components
  • Your energy budget and interest in lowering energy costs: choosing a heater that meets your heating demands while using low amounts of energy means savings for you.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems). Contact us at Sobieski Services today for assistance choosing between single-stage, two-stage and variable-speed furnaces.

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