What is the Difference Between Single-Stage, Two-Stage, and Modulating Furnaces?

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What is the Difference Between Single-Stage, Two-Stage, and Modulating Furnaces?

Posted On: January 8, 2020

What is the Difference Between Single-Stage, Two-Stage, and Modulating Furnaces?

When you are looking around for a new furnace, you will come across three different types: single-stage, two-stage and modulating. You may probably ask, what are the differences between them, and which one is right for your home?

In this article, we will explain the differences between them and help you decide which furnace works best for you and your family.

Single-Stage Furnaces

Single-stage furnaces only have one setting, which is high heat. On a call for heat, they immediately start running at full capacity, no matter what the temperature is outside until the signal coming from the thermostat is turned off. These types of furnaces are best suited for budget-conscious consumers, so in the long run, the upfront cost savings are not realized.

Two-Stage Furnaces

A two-stage gas furnace has two settings, high fire and low fire, and here is how it works. Most of the time, on a typical heating cycle the furnace will start out running on low fire, consuming less gas and electricity, while at the same time providing heat and gaining inefficiency. After approximately 7- 10 minutes of operation, the furnace begins to operate very efficiently because it is fully warmed up. Then, it will jump up into high fire and finish out the heating cycle at full capacity. Control of the high and low burner timing are made by the installers, as part of a new furnace installation.

You could also control the 2 stage burner by using a 2 stage thermostat, the effect of either is similar. Two-stage furnaces are considered more energy-efficient than single-stage because they are not always running at a full heating capacity of the appliance and are often equipped with an ECM blower motor which will also save on your electricity costs.

Modulating Furnaces

Modulating gas furnaces are at the top end of the gas furnace spectrum and are considered to be the most energy-efficient of the three. But, at an added price over two-stage or single-stage furnaces. Heating from a modulating furnace ramps up in increments to maintain a consistent temperature and the ductwork is always warmed up so there is a little efficiency lost during the warming up process.

When buying a modulating furnace you will almost always need to invest in a new thermostat controller specifically designed for this type of furnace in order to get the most out of it. Always ask your salesman about this option, as it is often not mentioned (due to the added cost of the new thermostat). If you are planning to stay in your home for the long-term, a modulating gas furnace may be the right fit for you.

When you want to buy a new furnace, you should always consult your local HVAC experts before making a decision. A trained HVAC technician can come to your home, go over your situation with you and help you decide which furnace best suits your home.

When you are ready for a new furnace, contact the Twintech experts! Our technicians are experienced and knowledgeable in all types of furnaces and HVAC systems.

For more information about our services, visit our website or give us a call at 1-844-894-6832. Contact Twintech today!


See What Our Customers Are Saying:

by GR from Oshawa on Twintech Heating and Cooling

Twintech replaced our aging furnace and air conditioner recently. I highly recommend this company. Their quote was competitive, they were on time and respectful of our home and extremely professional. From the salesman to the installers and the owner who followed up afterward to ensure we were satisfied, we are very pleased with the service. We are looking forward to working with this company for all of our HVAC needs for the years to come. Excellent workmanship and service!

by nathans in Scarborough on Twintech Heating and Cooling

We wanted to get our AC replaced as it was 22-years old and added to this our furnace was costing more and more to repair. So, we decided to get both the furnace and AC replaced.

After going through a few quotes and product reviews we decided to go with Twintech. The three-men crew arrived early in the morning, wasted no time and got to work right away. By 2:00 pm, they were all done. I’ve found their work to be top notch and they were completely professional. I had all my questions answered to my satisfaction both during the progress of their work and at end.

I have pleasure in recommending Twintech to anyone who is looking to get their furnace or Ac replaced

Nathan S.

by Private User on Twintech Heating and Cooling

Our air conditioner died On a Saturday and within hours Dave came out to take a look and discuss replacement/repair options.
The new air conditioner was installed on the Wednesday. The new unit was installed quickly. The installers were friendly and cleaned up afterwards.
We noticed a slight leak around the furnace that night and they came out the next day and fixed the issue. It has been working great and is quieter than our previous unit.
Very satisfied and would highly recommend TwinTech.

by Nancy in Toronto on Twintech Heating and Cooling

I contacted TwinTech to replace my 20-year old A/C. Dave, their service rep, promptly replied and was at my home within 2 hours. He was friendly and knowledgeable and didn't try to upgrade or oversell their A/C units but suggested the best fit for my small 1000 feet bungalow. Although this was during a heatwave and very busy, they were able to fit me in 2 days later. The TwinTech crew installed a 1.5 ton Ducane A/C unit that is now running smoothly while maintaining a constant cooling temperature. The crew were very courteous, professional and efficient and I will definitely recommend TwinTech to family and friends. I much appreciated your great service.
Nancy M., Oshawa

by Private User on Twintech Heating and Cooling

We had a great experience. The guys who installed our a/c did a nice job. Cleaned up.

by Private User on Twintech Heating and Cooling

excellent crew, fast and efficient! Would call them again when I need a new furnace.

by Private User on Twintech Heating and Cooling

Professional, courteous and efficient, don’t need to say more than that! Use them you will not regret it.

by Private User on Twintech Heating and Cooling

TwinTech was a pleasure to deal with from the estimate through installation. We replaced a 28 year old a/c unit with one recommended by TwinTech's sales representative Dave who took the time to go over the product with us and answer any questions. The warranty is for 10 years parts and labour and they will complete the registration for you. Installation was by Greg (owner) and Mitch and Spencer who were quick and efficient and left everything clean and tidy.

by Private User on Twintech Heating and Cooling

Very professional, from the sales consultation and inspection to the final installation. Met every expectations we had for the job. A local business with great client support. We highly recommend. Twintech is a blue chip! Thanks!

by Private User on Twintech Heating and Cooling

I left a live chat message on their website that my air conditioning was not working. Within 1hr a representative called me to discuss my options.
The next day he came to the house to review my needs and give me a price for a new system. Price quoted was less than I expected and the installation was completed the following day. I found their salesman and the installers very knowledgeable and easy to deal with. All my questions were answered. Everything was properly explained in regards to what unit was needed and why, along with instruction where needed for use.
The installers made sure everything was working properly before they left.

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