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

2-Stage Furnaces also known as two-speed furnaces = A 2-stage gas valve and a variable-speed blower motor. This allows the furnace to run at a LOWER setting in milder weather and a HIGHER setting in very cold weather, operating much more efficiently than a single stage furnace. The first stage operates the majority of the time in most climates, and normally runs at only 65% of the furnace's full capacity. When the temperature outside becomes extremely cold and the first stage is not sufficient enough to heat the home, it switches to the second stage to provide the additional heat required. In addition, a 2-stage furnace is much quieter since it doesn't operate constantly at 100% capacity. Operating more efficiently, it creates far less carbon dioxide emissions for the environment.

Two Stage Furnaces Filter Air Better - A 2-stage furnace will run more frequently, and circulate MORE air, and INCREASE the filtration of the air in your home. If you have a 1-stage furnace, or its too big for the home, it will turn off more frequently and spend LESS time filtering the air. The MORE air MOVED, means MORE air FILTERED.

Otherwise put: The burner in a 2-stage furnace can run at 2 different levels. The various burners are programmed differently. The burner may be programmed to run at two stages, (maybe) 60% and 100% capacity. A 2-stage furnace is quieter and generates more even heat through the home. The longer, slower heating cycle eliminates the kind of rapid warming that many people find uncomfortable from a 1-stage furnace. The longer cycle also provides better air filtration, because the air cycles through the furnace air filter more times in a day.

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Basic 80% 2-Stage Furnace

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Characteristics of 2-Stage Heating – A 2-stage furnace will typically run on a lower speed / power setting most of the time. This offers a number of advantages:

  • A steady flow of air keeps temperatures consistent and even throughout your home
  • Lower fan speed means less noise
  • Longer run times keep air circulating longer, improving your indoor air quality
  • Air quality significantly improved, if using a humidifier with 2-stage furnace
  • Fewer stops and starts reduces wear and tear on components, increasing their life span
  • You’ll SAVE energy by not running the system at 100% unnecessarily 100% of the time
  • A 2-stage furnace gives buyers the best cost value. More expensive to purchase initially than a 1-stage, but more quiet & more efficient.

ECM motor = 1-2 years ROI
2-Stage System = 4-5 years ROI
96% Variable System = 10-12 years ROI

COMPARE TO: Boiling water on the stove, using various burner heat settings. The system will automatically use Medium heat or High heat to boil the water (as needed). Maintaining longer duration at Medium will keep the temperature hot, but will be quieter as well.

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