“All or nothing” may carry weight in the gambling world, but it doesn’t make much sense in home heating. For most homeowners, maintaining a good degree of comfort while cutting energy costs is the ultimate goal – achieving it is all in finding the right furnace for your needs.
If you’re interested in a new furnace one of the most important factors to weigh is whether to get a single-stage, double-stage and modulating model.
When you decide you need heat from a single-stage furnace it kicks in with everything it’s got, providing maximum output until the desired temperature is reached. Then it goes back into hibernation, waiting to be called on again. This “all or nothing” approach works well in getting up to a temperature quickly, especially during the coldest time of year, but it doesn’t necessarily operate efficiently the rest of the year, when you need only a little help.
The advantage here comes in price, being the lowest of the three types. But the constant cycling on and off can take its toll on the equipment, wearing down the parts prematurely and requiring more maintenance. Because furnaces provide other benefits like air filtration, purification and humidity control, a model that sits off most of the time won’t be fulfilling all its roles.
By making a bigger initial investment in your heating you can get a two-stage furnace, a more efficient option that will save you more money than the single-stage in the long term. On those cool days this model works at 65 per cent of its full capacity, which represents its first stage, while only kicking into the second stage when the temperature dips dramatically. In relying more on the first stage of operation your furnace stays on longer, maintaining a more even keel and continuing to perform other roles like filtration.
Finally, a modulating furnace, your most expensive but most efficient option, stays closest to the desired temperature. While modulating furnaces stay on longer than other models, an electronically commutated motor (ECM) minimizes noise and provides greater efficiency during air conditioning as well.
In store or in your home an Appleby Systems heating, cooling and ventilation expert can help you find the best furnace for your needs. Visit www.applebysystems.ca to find out more.