Natural gas powered furnaces are one of the most common home heating options available, and for good reason. They are highly reliable, durable, and effective heating units, and can help maintain comfort levels within your home even during the darkest, coldest winter nights. However, there are three main variants of gas powered furnaces available on the market, each of which operates in a slightly different manner to provide the same function to your home. Understanding the differences between each type of gas furnace can help you choose the best one for your home's heating needs.
Single Stage Gas Furnaces
Single stage gas furnaces are the most common type of natural gas furnaces installed in residential homes, largely because of their low price point. These types of gas furnaces are fairly affordable, with actual unit prices fluctuating depending on the size of the unit installed. This makes them the ideal choice for homeowners under a tight budget.
However, as their name would suggest, single stage gas furnaces only have one heat setting. This means that your furnace can either be on or off, which can create major temperature fluctuations during cold periods. Additionally, since single stage units only have one setting, it can take a while for heat to be felt even after the furnace turns on.
Dual Stage Gas Furnaces
Dual stage gas furnaces have two "on" settings, a high one and a low one. This allows for dual stage furnaces to have a lower setting that will maintain the temperature within your home, while the higher setting can be used to raise the temperature within your home. This provides greater energy efficiency than single stage gas furnaces, as you are able to more accurately control your energy consumption.
However, dual stage gas furnaces are more expensive than their single stage counterparts, which makes them less than ideal for those with a strict budget.
Modulating Gas Furnaces
Modulating gas furnaces have a computer controlled thermostat that allows them to constantly alter their heat output to the most efficient setting while maintaining your desired heat level. These types of furnaces will create the lowest heating bills and the best comfort level.
However, modulating gas furnaces are extremely expensive, and thus are only ideal for homeowners with the extra budget to purchase them. Further, the fact that they are constantly running can create an annoying buzz in the background of your home depending on the make and location of the unit itself. To find out which furnace type is best for you, talk with HVAC contractors in your area.