What is a Single-Stage Furnace?
Traditional single-stage furnaces are designed to heat your home during the absolute coldest weather in your geographic area. Therefore they run at their fullest capacity whenever they are in operation regardless of the temperature outside. The furnace and fan is either on or off.
What is a Two-Stage Furnace?
Two-stage furnaces are more efficient and more effective at heating. Two-stage furnaces have two heating stages: low and high. The low stage runs at a lower capacity and will heat your home as long as possible until it needs extra power to keep your home at the same temperature set on your thermostat. This is when the high stage kicks in.
What is a Multi-Stage or Variable Speed Furnace?
A "variable speed" furnace does not actually refer to the furnace itself. It refers to the furnace's blower motor. The blower motor is the component that determines the amount of air the blower should deliver to your home. Because the motor in a variable speed blower motor comes equipped with intelligent technology it is able to monitor and adjust your blower settings to account for items in your home that restrict airflow such as ductwork design, furnace location and dirty filters. With these continuous adjustments the blower helps your furnace to run as efficiently as possible, they use approximately six times less electricity than a standard conventional blower. This not only helps you to save money, but it also helps to ensure your indoor comfort, regardless of the temperature outside.
While variable speed HVAC equipment provides huge savings and benefits in the winter, it also provides equal advantages in the summer. A variable speed blower can remove up to four times more humidity from your home in the summer than a conventional blower, and therefore increases the efficiency of the outdoor unit. In addition variable speed furnaces are generally the quietest on the market. While the typical payback on a variable speed furnace is 4-5 years, they will last 15-20+ years if they are well maintained with a yearly service plan.
What is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one location to another. During the heating cycle, the heat pump will turn on and collect heat from the outside air, then transfer it to the inside furnace and coil unit where the blower will push the heat into the house through your existing vents. A heat pump is used to heat your home when the outdoor temperature is approximately above 20 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature drops below 20 degrees, the heat pump automatically turns off and the furnace will turn on. This results in maximum fuel and energy savings! The heat pump operates on electricity and can be up to 300% efficient. When running in reverse the heat pump works as an air conditioner to cool your home. Check into a heat pump and save both on cooling and heating costs.