Heating technology has come so far over the past decade. Whereas furnaces used to simply turn on and off, these days, there are models that have three settings: off, low, and high. Known as two-stage furnaces, these appliances are awesome for heating large homes, in particular. Here is a closer look at how two-stage furnaces work, their benefits, and the minor drawbacks you may have to compensate for.
How do two-stage furnaces work?
One-stage furnaces always blow warm air at the same temperature and speed into the room when the thermostat triggers them to turn on. Two-stage furnaces can blow air out at a high temperature and speed or at a lower temperature and speed, depending on the need.
The difference is all in how the gas valve works. In a one-stage furnace, the gas valve can be either open or closed. In a two-stage furnace, the gas valve can be closed, halfway open, or fully open. The air that comes out when the valve is fully open is hotter than the air that comes out when the valve is half open.
The furnace runs on the lower stage when the home only needs to be heated up a few degrees. It runs on the higher stage when the home needs to be heated up substantially.
What are the benefits of a two-stage furnace?
Two-stage furnaces are more energy-efficient. You are not paying for the furnace to use the full amount of gas when it only needs to heat your home a little bit.
Two-stage heating also leads to more even temperatures throughout your home. The temperature is less likely to overshoot the thermostat setting when the furnace is running on its low stage. Plus, the two-stage furnace takes a longer time to heat a home up, which gives the temperature time to even out.
Are there any drawbacks of a two-stage furnace?
The only real drawback of a two-stage furnace is that it's more costly than a one-stage furnace and can also be a little more time-consuming to install. If you have a small home, the energy savings and even heating benefits with this type of furnace are minimal, so it will take you a long time to earn back the extra money you spend on the better furnace.
However, in a large home, the furnace will pay for itself within a few years, thanks to improved efficiency. For more information, contact an HVAC contractor who offers furnace installation services.