Selecting the right furnace can be daunting. There are many brands and styles on the market; each one differing in a variety of ways. The team at Design Air is here to help sort through the information to find the best furnace for you and your family. One important factor we consider is the type of furnace you are interested in: a single-stage, two-stage or a modulating variable speed furnace.
As the name suggests, a single-stage furnace has only one stage of operation. It only produces the maximum amount of heat the furnace is designed for with no variation for climate conditions inside or outside the home. In essence, the furnace turns on or off. Because the furnace operates only on maximum heat, the cost of operation is higher and it produces less comfort than the other options available. Despite these downfalls, a single-stage furnace is popular since typically costs less to install.
A two-stage furnace has two levels of operation: low and high heat. On low heat, the furnace runs at 65-70% capacity, while high heat calls for 100% capacity. Because of its’ ability to balance between these two levels, this furnace operates efficiently by using the low heat setting a majority of the time and running longer, more frequent cycles. This creates an evenly distributed level of comfort, as the furnace only allows for a 2-3 degree drop in room temperature before firing again. The two-stage furnace is also quieter than a single-stage since it operates mostly in low heat. Overall, two-stage furnaces are a great option for those looking for middle ground in functionality, energy savings, and cost of installation.
Modulating Variable Speed Furnace
A modulating variable speed furnace has the best ratings in energy efficiency and home comfort. This furnace takes the operation of a two-stage unit and adds more efficiency with the addition of a variable-speed blower. A variable speed blower has the ability to automatically adjust its speed ranging from 40% to 100% capacity. This allows for greater control of air flow and better energy usage as the furnace is able to fully adjust its’ operation according to the conditions of the home. Additional benefits include increased humidity control, quieter operation, and better air filtration since the blower operates at a slower rate for longer periods of time. While variable speed furnaces cost more to install, the energy savings over time far outweighs that of a single or two-speed furnace.
For help deciding which furnace is the best fit for your home, budget, and life style, please call (406) 251-7997 or request an appointment online today for your free residential estimate with a Design Air Home Comfort Specialist.