Single vs Two or Multiple Stage Gas Furnaces
Today’s highly efficient gas furnaces from Carrier, Lennox, Payne, Goodman and other manufacturers offer many technical improvements over those installed even just a decade ago. Higher efficiency, more flexible heating and quieter operation are just some of the updated technology that means better comfort and more reliability for homes in the Twin Cities metro area. As the leading, Minnesota locally owned residential heating and air conditioning contractor in Minneapolis St. Paul, we’ve been helping homeowners throughout the area make the best possible decisions about their new and replacement gas furnaces and central air conditioning systems.
When choosing a furnace to keep your Twin Cities home warm in our long harsh winters, you have many options to think about before making a final decision. Among these is whether to choose a single-stage or multi-stage model. We want you to understand the differences, so you can make the right choice for your own needs and budget. Below, you’ll find a simple explanation of the differences. In our free, no-obligation consultation in your home and on our website, we make giving you the objective information you need a high priority.
Single-Stage Gas Furnaces Are Simpler and Cost Less
Most older and many new gas furnaces are designed to heat with the same amount of natural gas in each heating cycle. They run a single-stage operation. Every time your home’s thermostat calls for heat, an electrically operated valve, opened and closed by the controller board, sends gas to the burner where it is ignited. Single-stage operation has only one setting for the amount of gas. No matter what the conditions are, the amount of gas burned is at the highest setting.
When the weather’s mild, this often causes it to operate only for a short time. In colder weather, it runs longer. This can cause more fuel to be used in some conditions and can result in somewhat uneven heat and frequent cycling of the system. If your current furnace is over 10 years old, it’s almost certainly single stage. Carrier and other manufacturers still offer these models, in both standard and high-efficiency equipment, and many homeowners choose them to save money on their initial purchase. For example, the following Carrier models are single-stage:
- Comfort Single-Stage Models – 59SC5, 59SC2, 58DLA, 58STA
- Performance Single-Stage Models – 59SP5, 59SP2, 58PHA, 58PHB
Two-Stage and Modulating Furnaces Save on Energy and Provide Even Heat
For more even heating cycles and to save on energy bills, Carrier, Lennox, Goodman, Payne and other manufacturers also offer two-stage and multi-stage modulating furnaces. In these, the gas valve can provide more than one fixed amount of gas to the burners. Depending on current conditions, the digital controller can send full or partial gas flow to prevent excessive cycling. In two-stage models, there is a high and low setting. In modulating models, three levels of flow are available or a continuously variable amount of gas is sent to the burners.
The result is more even heating and less cycling, especially in cool weather conditions. Higher energy savings come from more accurate heating. Naturally, the more complex controls and electrically operated valves increase the initial purchase price. In Minnesota’s extremely variable weather, many homeowners choose a multi-stage unit for improved comfort. Carrier offers a wide range of two-stage and modulating models, including:
- Infinity Modulating Furnace Model – 59MN7
- Infinity Two-Stage Furnace Models – 59TN6, 58CVA
- Performance Two-Stage Models – 58CTW, 58CTA, 59TP5, 59TP6
Leading Twin Cities Carrier Factory Authorized Sales and Service Dealer
One of the most important things our experienced representatives do during their free, no-obligation consultations is to provide complete information on the products we supply and install. We explain all of the differences between systems and answer the many questions our customers have. We provide cost comparisons for a range of choices in our competitive price quotes. Then, we let each customer make the choice that’s best for them and their budget, without any pressure. It’s all part of our commitment to integrity and quality in everything we do. Call us to discuss your residential heating and air conditioning needs. We’d love to help.