During a Clarksville winter, we’re probably all going to be turning up the heat. There’s no feeling more enjoyable than when your heating system kicks in and that warmth slowly envelops you. As the winter stretches on, however, you may begin to worry about how high the heating bill is going to be, thrusting you into wondering if maybe you even have the right furnace for the job.
Single stage and multi stage furnaces may appear similar enough at first glance that it’s hard to tell the difference. What you should know, though, is that the differences are essential, especially if you’re concerned about the efficiency of your furnace.
Single Stage Furnaces
As the original furnace type, single stage furnaces are the kind that most people have in their houses, especially if those homes are older ones. A single stage furnace is traditionally the less expensive option, but it isn’t very energy-efficient. This type of furnace has a very stop-and-go method of operation; it’s either on or off without an in-between phase, meaning if you need some heat but not too much heat, you’ll have to settle for too much heat or not heat at all.
While that maximum heat can be fantastic in a cold winter, there’s a risk of your furnace short-cycling. Short cycling means that the furnace powers up fast to heat the air as quickly as possible, then powers off as soon as it finishes only to repeat when the temperature drops again. This kind of cycling, which is necessary for single stage furnaces to keep the temperature in your home regulated, uses up a lot more power and increases the risk of a malfunction. Repeatedly starting and stopping anything in short cycles, like a motor or your AC, runs the risk of overworking it and causing the machinery to wear down quicker. (continue below)
Why Choose DOC Heating & Cooling?
Unlike a single setting furnace, a multi stage furnace will have multiple heat settings – usually low, medium, and high, but sometimes other options are included. If you need a high heat capacity, the furnace will deliver, but the weather in Clarksville is not always unbearably cold. A multi stage furnace has the ability to run at half capacity or even partial capacity to warm you up without making you uncomfortable. Not to mention, running at a lower heat capacity means your furnace will run a lot quieter, making your home a lot calmer to be in.
These kinds of furnaces are also far more energy-efficient. The ability to switch between levels of available heat takes away that constant on-and-off cycling that brings up the power bill. Without that wear and tear that short-cycling causes, this type of furnace will also last twice as long at minimum, especially if you rarely ever run it at the highest heat setting – which you may find you won’t often need to do.
Multi stage furnaces also improve the ventilation of your house as a whole. Short-cycling essentially blasts heat, leaving no time for the heat to properly distribute throughout the house, causing fluctuations in temperature that can confuse a single stage furnace that may try to overcompensate for any cold spots. Running this type of furnace at a low heat setting and gradually increasing it will allow the heat to spread evenly throughout the house so that the temperature doesn’t fluctuate and the furnace can run steadily on one setting.
However, these kinds of furnaces may be hard to implement in homes with more rooms, stories, and spaces. Unless you run the furnace at its highest setting, the heat may not be able to reach every room unless the zoning – installing a room-by-room heating system – is done correctly.
The price may also be a concern to some, especially if you do want to add in the cost of adequate zoning in your house to work with a multi stage furnace. Although it is the more expensive option, the payoff is entirely worth it. The money that you save on power and energy will pay you back for what you had to spend on the furnace to begin with. You have to think of it as a long-term investment and have faith that what you save over time will make up for the start-up costs.
After mulling it over, you may have finally decided that you want to make the upgrade, but you can’t do it alone, which is why we’re here to help. And, like any system, you’ll want trustworthy experts to assist you in the maintenance of your furnace to make sure things keep running smoothly. If you live in the Clarksville area and want to install a new heating system or service that old single stage furnace that you don’t think you can give up, call us today to schedule a service.
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Whether you live in Clarksville, TN or somewhere close by we are ready to help. Our highly trained technicians are available 24/7 to keep your heating & cooling system running smoothly.