If you’re in the market for a new heating system, your best bet, if you can afford it, is a high-efficiency modulating furnace. These models consume fuel and electricity much more efficiently than their standard-efficiency single-stage brethren, and provide better comfort as well. Find out why modulating furnaces are so popular with homeowners today.
Old-School and Inefficient
The standard in furnace technology used to be a single-stage furnace with a single-speed blower motor. When running, the gas valve in these mid-efficiency furnaces is wide open and the blower motor runs at its only available speed, full-blast. In all but extremely cold weather, this results in short cycling. The furnace runs at full-go for a short period, then shuts down for a while before starting another cycle. Running full blast uses a lot of energy, and since start-up uses the most electricity, the frequent starting and stopping also wastes energy. With these furnaces, the heat can be inconsistent with significant temperature swings.
High-Efficiency Modulating Furnaces
Multi-stage modulating furnaces are much more efficient than single-stage models. They come with a gas valve that can open at various stages depending on the home’s heating needs at any given time. Coupled with this is a variable-speed blower motor that can adjust its running speed in the same way. Typically, modulating (or two-stage) furnaces start up at full operation, then adjust to a lower-stage, slower, more continuous operation. They run steadily rather than frequently stopping and starting.
The benefits include higher energy efficiency (and lower energy bills), more even, consistent temperatures throughout the house, less stress on the equipment, and improved air filtering since the fan is circulating air for more of the day.
A high-efficiency modulating furnace typically has an AFUE (annualized fuel utilization efficiency) rating of between 90 and 98 percent. While these models cost more than a single-stage, mid-efficiency furnace, the operational savings generally will more than make up for that extra cost, especially in an area like ours with cold winters.
For help selecting a modulating furnace for your Indianapolis area home, please contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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