What is the Difference Between a Single Stage, 2-Stage & Variable Speed Furnace?
If you are in the market for a brand new furnace, you must first consider the differences between single stage, 2-stage, and variable speed furnaces. There are several factors to consider before you decide which one is right for your home and which one will save you the most money.
The Single Stage Furnace
A single stage furnace means that there is only one heating option. If it is on, it is running full force, all the time. This means that a single stage furnace utilizes a lot of energy to keep things running at their highest capacity.
The 2-Stage Furnace
Likewise, a 2-stage furnace possesses 2 options: a lower heating option and a higher one. Generally, the furnace maintains a neutral temperature on the low setting, then switches to the high one when it gets particularly cold outside or the house needs extra heat.
The 2-stage furnace is more energy efficient than the single stage furnace, as it operates on low most of the time, as opposed to the single stage furnace’s one option of high.
The Variable Speed Furnace
The variable speed furnace is the most energy efficient of the three because the motor changes speeds and capacities based on the indoor temperature. This allows for better control of heating in your home.
Which type of furnace is best for your needs?
At first glance, it seems like the variable speed furnace is the best choice since it is the most energy efficient. Nevertheless, there are several factors to consider when deciding which of these furnaces is the best for your home:
1. Heating Requirements
Consider how prone your house is to drafts, how large it is, and how warm you like it to be. A single stage furnace is the most inexpensive upfront; however, it will cost you more as time goes on.
2. Ductwork and Insulation
The efficiency of your furnace means little if your ductwork and insulation are not in proper working order.
3. Furnace Size
Consider how big your furnace is in comparison to the size of your home. How hard does it need to work to heat the area?
4. The Number of Levels in Your Home
Heat distribution is affected by the number of levels in your home. A variable speed furnace is great for heating your home evenly.
A single stage furnace does the job and costs little to install, but it is not very cost-effective as it runs on high at all times. Likewise, a 2-stage furnace is slightly pricier upfront, but saves you money as time goes on. A variable speed is the most expensive to purchase and install, but is the most cost-efficient long-term.
Choosing the right furnace for your home is important for both your comfort and your budget. At Northern Climate Control, we want to help you make the best decision possible.