The heart of your Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling System

Your home’s furnace offers you three main benefits: it heats your home, it saves you money through its efficiency and it increases your comfort.

All furnaces are rated on their Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), which represents the percentage of heat delivered compared to fuel input. The current minimum requirement is 80 AFUE. For a home with an 80 AFUE furnace, 80-cents of every dollar spent goes towards heating the home and the remaining 20-cents will go to waste. By upgrading to a higher efficiency furnace, more of your energy dollars will be utilized to heat the home and can reduce energy costs by up to 13 percent. Higher efficiency furnaces are available that can help you to reduce your energy costs by focusing more of your energy dollars towards heating your home.

Traditional HVAC systems are classified as single-stage systems. They operate at one level – high – which means that when the system is working it is putting out the maximum number of BTU’s that your HVAC system is designed for. A single-stage system will continue to run at 100% capacity until it reaches the desired temperature and then it will turn off. As the temperature in the home begins to drop, the furnace will again run at 100% capacity until the desired temperature is reached.

A two-stage system will turn on and run in its first stage, which generally uses approximately 60 percent of the system’s capacity. This reduced capacity is sufficient enough to heat your home on an average day. When temperatures are more extreme, the system will meet the extra demand by adjusting to the second stage and run at 100% capacity until the setback temperature is achieved, reducing temperature swings and equipment cycles. Because the two-stage system will spend most of its time operating at a lower capacity, it will burn less fuel than a traditional system that operates at 100% capacity all of the time. It is also much quieter than a traditional furnace.

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