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

Variable Speed Furnace

Unlike a 1-stage furnace and a 2 stage furnace, a variable speed furnace doesn't actually refer to the number of stages your furnace goes through to provide heat; rather it refers to the fan motor in the furnace. In variable speed furnaces, the fan motor can move at different speeds to control the amount of heated air dispersed throughout your home. Better airflow results in a more comfortable environment in regards to both temperature and humidity.

Even when the furnace is not "on," the motor in a variable speed furnace can still operate to continually circulate air throughout your home. This feature allows for healthier indoor air quality since your air is constantly passing through the air filter in your HVAC system and being scrubbed of things such as bacteria, viruses, and mold spores. In addition, this advanced control of the airflow can eliminate the need for the furnace to operate as frequently since air is constantly being distributed throughout your home. This can result in lower energy consumption and lower utility bills every month.

How does the furnace do this? It’s part of the equipment becoming smarter. The smart thermostat and the smart control board in the furnace are logging data and analyzing how the furnace is operating minute to minute, so that it can operate at maximum efficiency.

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

Modulating Furnaces

Modulating furnaces run in very precise increments. Some models can run at 40% capacity and increase by .5% if the thermostat calls for it. Because they can manage temperature so precisely in your house, they usually run continuously at a very low setting.

The temperature in every room of the house remains consistent because of this continuous operation. The air isn’t blasting through the home, then settling, then blasting again. Instead, its constantly flowing.

COMPARE TO: Stirring additional hot water into a bath to warm up the water already in it.

Modulating furnaces can achieve up to 98% efficiency, meaning 98% of the fuel that goes into the system returns as heat. But, being the MOST EFFICIENT and the HIGHEST PERFORMING type of furnace, this also means they’re the most expensive.

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Some of the Variable and Modulating Speed furnaces available are the most intelligent on the market. Though they may cost slightly more upfront, their savings can quickly be realized in saved energy costs within the lifetime of the equipment.

97% Modulating Speed Furnace

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