When it comes time to install a new furnace in your home, you might be overwhelmed by the options. Not only are there different manufacturers and brands to choose from, you’ll also want to choose whether you want a gas or electric furnace and whether you want a “single stage” furnace or a “2 stage” furnace.
What’s that? You’ve never heard of a “2 stage furnace”? That’s okay! That’s what we’re here for. We are reading to help you from start to finish with your furnace installation, and we can follow it up with reliable repairs and exceptional annual furnace maintenance to ensure that your heating system stays in great shape for the years to come. Read on to learn about these different furnace types.
The Key Difference Between Furnace Types
The key difference between a single stage and a 2 stage furnace is how they each generate heat. The single-stage furnace basically has two modes: on,or off. It creates much heat as possible, and then the blower fan blows that air into your living space at full speed, all the time.
Other furnaces—two-stage or multi-stage furnaces—run their blowers at variable speeds. This difference affects the comfort and efficiency of your home. The multi-stage furnace is still a relatively new concept, and so most older furnaces are single-stage systems.
A furnace is its most efficient when it goes through regular heating cycles, about 15 minutes per cycle, 3–4 times an hour. And your furnace uses the most energy cycling on and off. This is part of the reason we make a big deal about getting your furnace repaired ASAP if it is “short cycling” or turning on and off rapidly.
A multi-stage furnace is a multi-speed furnace. The fan and temperature will adjust based on your thermostat settings, therefore your furnace will continuously run when it’s turned on to bring you the most efficient heat without the need to keep cycling on and off.
Should You Go With a Gas or Electric Furnace?
Whether you decide to stick with a single-stage furnace or invest in a multi-stage furnace, you still have one more decision to ponder: do you want a gas-powered furnace or an electric one?
The electric furnace does cost a bit more to operate in the long run, since electricity is not as efficient of a fuel source as natural gas. However, a gas furnace typically costs a bit more to install.
The primary reason many folks choose a gas furnace over an electric one is the efficiency, but the main reason folks choose electric is due to safety. Now, this isn’t to say that gas-powered heating systems are inherently dangerous—they’re not. But as with any system that uses natural gas as its primary fuel source, the risk is always there.
We’re happy to talk to you about all your options when it comes to your furnace installation. Don’t rush into this decision, as doing so could leave you with a system that’s not well-matched to your home!