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PART 1/3: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A 1-STAGE FURNACE AND A 2-STAGE FURNACE?

1-Stage Furnaces also known as single-speed furnaces = A 1-stage fixed gas valve and a single-speed blower motor. This furnace is either ON and running at 100% full capacity, or its OFF. It has only 1-stage of heat output, HIGH. That’s it! It continually sends the maximum amount of heat, at full speed, regardless of the temperature outdoors or the variable temperatures of the home. It’s 100% or nothing. This can be hard (and costly) on equipment start up and shut down, and more costly on both the gas and electric bill.

Otherwise put: A 1-stage furnace has only two settings, on and off. The thermostat in the house calls for heat, so the furnace turns on, at full power. It will run at full capacity until the thermostat is satisfied, then turns itself off. This is the cycle, and the only cycle. So you tend to get somewhat uneven heat throughout the house. The furnace hits you with a blast of warm air that gives you temporary comfort, but doesn’t do a great job of maintaining that comfort throughout the entire home. Most homeowners complain of hot and cold spots through the home. This is why. In that way, a single stage furnace is not very energy efficient. But it is the most affordable purchase price. We recommend looking into more cost-effective options like the 80%1E (1-Stage with ECM Motor), the 80%2V (2-Stage Variable-Speed), or the 97%2V (2-Stage Variable-Speed) models. (ECM motor = 1-2 years ROI)

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Basic 80% 1-Stage Furnace

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Characteristics of 1-Stage Heating – A 1-stage furnace will always run at 100% speed / power setting all of the time. This offers a number of dis-advantages:

  • Air temperatures are inconsistent and uneven throughout your home
  • Faster fan speed means more noise
  • Shorter run times means air circulating in shorter duration, not helping indoor air quality
  • More stops and starts increases wear and tear on components, decreasing their life span
  • You don’t save energy by running the system at 100% all of the time, it also creates more carbon dioxide emissions

For more information or installation, call Harmonic @ 630-999-9008 to set your appointment today.