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 Craig in Whitby on Twintech Heating and Cooling

I called Twintech during the Covid 19 crisis because our furnace was broken and it was still very cold during the nights. Dave answered all of my questions by phone but wanted to come have a look but only if our family felt comfortable having someone visit during the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and was able to attend that very same affternoon.

He was very courteous and informative but most importantly he respected his and our safety by wearing medical gloves in our home and maintaining proper physical distancing. He reviewed the various options of the products that suited our needs going over not only price but quality of workmanship, warrantees and where the product was manufactured which were all important factors in making such a large purchase. You could tell that Dave had been in this industry for a very long time.

The installation was done by a fine young gentleman the very next day and we now have a toasty warm home to ride out this crisis in while humming along at 96% efficiency!

I would recommend this very professional, small family business for anyone in need of HVAC equipment or maintenance.

by Lucy in Markham on Twintech Heating and Cooling

My special thanks to Twintech teams! They had replaced my furnace and A/C, and installed a new humidifier for me 2 weeks ago. Dave, the sales manager, not only provided me with an honest quote on the best HVAC products with best quality and warranties, he also arranged portable heaters for me and sent supporting docs to energy company for energy audit. Above and beyond service!

Greg, Grant, Mitch had worked tirelessly and professionally to perform the HVAC installation. They worked with professional tools, and performed proper measurement readings after installation. They are very patient with all my questions, and very pleasant to communicate.

Great work guys! This company sure knows their products and they stand behind their services. My home comfort level has improved! I am glad that I can support an ethical and honest local family business.

by ddame on Twintech Heating and Cooling

Professional, flexible on price and delivered on time...well done. All you can ask for when getting a new furnace.

by nicole.el.thorn on Twintech Heating and Cooling

The work was done quickly and professionally. Workers were really polite and easy to work with.
Product works great!

by Gary in London on Twintech Heating and Cooling

Furnace broke down on a Wednesday, shopped around for prices and Friday Twintechs name came up from a referral from my wife's work. Called Dave 11 am, he came over around 1 pm. Gave me a very good price, I accepted. The guys were there two hours later to take the old furnace out and install the new one. All finished by 6:30pm. Finally heat.
They were very pleasant and helpful. As a result we are doing our A/C later this year with this company.

by Shawn L in Whitby on Twintech Heating and Cooling

After some extensive research, we settled on Twintech for our new furnace. The service - from Dave's initial visit - through to the installation was absolutely fantastic.

Dave was super-patient with our many questions, did not try to "up-sell" us into buying things we don't need, knowledgeable, friendly and all-around an excellent Advisor.

I've forgotten the names of the installers but they were superb as well. They showed up on-time, did all the work with no mess or intrusion, removed the old furnace and installed the new one in one day; all with no impacts to our day-to-day life.

I cannot recommend Twintech enough, especially over any of 'bigger guys' who tried to sell us a bunch of thing we don't need. Twintech were fantastic and my wife and I are very pleased with our purchase.

by Stephen from Pickering on Twintech Heating and Cooling

From the minute I met Dave and discussed my new furnace needs I knew I was in good hands. He was patient, knowledgeable and very professional through the quotation process.

Grant and Greg did an outstanding job on the install. They did a great job of explaining the defects with my old furnace. The quality of the installation was excellent and the attention to detail was on another level. The old adage “You get what you pay for” couldn’t be more true as I feel I received great value, skilled expertise and high quality customer service. I highly recommend Twintech for all your heating and cooling needs.

by Arthur on Twintech Heating and Cooling

Glad to have found a not-too-big local firm that provided the needed expertise, quality workmanship, and competitive pricing as well. In and out in one day, removed the old units, did a nice job installing all of the new units, and left no debris. Even have a service contract that far outshined the big company offerings. Would definitely recommend them.

by Leriksen on Twintech Heating and Cooling

Appreciated a quick response to my request. Dave and Greg were very professional and made the experience seamless.

by petesalmon938 from Pickering on Twintech Heating and Cooling

Very professional through the entire process. Installation and removel was done on a sloppy winter day, they put down runners on the floors and stairs and when they left, there wasn;t any sign of someone being in our house. Furnace works great as promised.

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