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Single Speed/Single Stage: is basic furnace, limited in that it only provides a high heat mode. Furnaces are designed to heat your home on the coldest days. The reality is that there are only a few days per season where that condition exists. A single speed furnace does not have the ability to adjust to the milder conditions, thus causing large temperature swings and a less comfortable home. In addition, this may cause s energy usage and system repairs.
Two-Speed/Two Stage: technology enables a gas furnace to improve indoor air circulation and overall comfort, while reducing operating noise. It operates at a slower, more consistent level over 90% of the time. This means lower temperature swings and cold drafts which are associated with single speed furnaces.
Variable speed furnaces feature the best technology as well as being the quietest furnaces in the industry today. The blower motor ramps up gently, quietly and economically to provide a nearly continuous flow of warm air in a low capacity operation, maximizing your comfort. The blower motor uses only on eighth of the power of a standard furnace blower motor. It also increases efficiency in your air conditioning system up to 10%.
Heat Pumps: If you use only electricity to heat and cool your home then a heat pump is the most energy efficient system that you can use for indoor comfort. Heat pumps provide three times more heating than the equivalent amount of energy they consume. Heat pumps also do double duty as your home’s air conditioner. A heat pump can decrease the amount of electricity you use for heating by as much as 30%-40%.
The Air Ducts: Today’s duct work consists of insulated flexible tubes that snake across the attic floor or under the house. Unfortunately, heating ducts are out of sight and therefore out of mind and tend to be neglected when it comes to cleaning and repair. A recent study by he California Energy Commission concluded that the average home loses up to 30% of the hot air before it ever gets to the rooms where it’s needed due to leaking duct work. Combined with poorly designed supply registers that don’t allow for good air circulation, you could be spending up to 40% more on your heating cost than you would with a well-designed, sealed duct system, and adjustable supply vents.
Nothing Lasts Forever: A good rule of thumb is that your heating system will last about 15-20 years. Once it hits that age you should consider replacing it, even though it might still run and blow cold air. Installing a new high efficiency system could cut your gas bill up to 60% when compared to the cost of running your old system. With a savings like that, along with all the federal tax credits, and factory and utility rebates that are offered frequently, it simply doesn’t make sense to keep using it.
AFUE Stands for “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency”: It is the way in which has furnaces are rated for comparison. Most furnaces produced are between 80% and 96.6% efficient. Don’t be fooled into thinking that all units with the same AFUE ratings are equal. The differences become apparent when you look closer at things like construction, quality, reliability, durability, and enhanced warranties.