What Is A Two-Stage Furnace, And Should You Have One Installed?

If you need a new furnace and you have an HVAC contractor come to give you an estimate, one thing they might suggest is a two-stage furnace. This terminology can be a little confusing if you've never heard of a two-stage furnace before. To help you make a more informed decision about whether this is the right type of furnace for you, keep reading below.

What Is a Two-Stage Furnace?

A two-stage furnace is basically one that can operate in either of two stages or modes. In the first stage, the furnace burns cooler and the fan runs at a lower speed. In the second stage, the furnace burns hotter and the fan runs faster. The furnace will run in the first stage most of the time — when it needs to warm your home up just a few degrees or when it's chilly outside. When it's bitter cold outside or your furnace needs to bring your home temperature up substantially, then it will kick into stage two.

Who Are Two-Stage Furnaces Good For?

Not everyone needs a two-stage furnace. A one-stage furnace will heat most homes acceptably, and for years, one-stage furnaces were the only real option. With that being said, there are some situations in which a two-stage furnace is a better option.

You have a really large home.

If you have a big home, it may be hard for the average furnace to blow enough air and heat to reach all of the rooms. A two-stage furnace can generate more heat and air in its second stage, allowing it to heat your home more effectively.

You want to conserve energy.

Today's one-stage furnaces are more energy-efficient than those of yesteryear, but two-stage furnaces allow you to save even more energy. The furnace will operate in its more efficient, first stage whenever possible and will only burn more energy in stage two when absolutely necessary.

You live in a mild climate.

In a mild climate, it is often worth installing a two-stage furnace. This way, the furnace can operate in its more conservative, first stage most of the time and only use stage two when it's really, really cold outside.

If your HVAC contractor is recommending a two-stage furnace for your home, that is likely because they think you'll benefit from this type of equipment. Now that you have a better understanding of what two-stage furnaces are, you should be able to make a more informed decision. 

Reach out to a residential furnace contractor to learn more.