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How a Modulating Furnace Is Beneficial

How a Modulating Furnace Is BeneficialIf you’re still using an old-style single-stage furnace in your Yuma area home, it’s about time you considered moving into the 21st century with a multi-stage, variable-speed furnace. Modulating furnaces, as they’re called, provide high-efficiency heating at a lower cost, with quieter operation, improved comfort and enhanced indoor air quality.

Single-Stage Furnaces

In order to understand the benefits of modulating furnaces, consider the disadvantages of single-stage, mid-efficiency furnaces. These common furnace models come with a gas valve that’s either open or closed, with no intermediate stages. Their blower motor, similarly, only runs at full blast.

In an area like Yuma, where it seldom gets extremely cold, this type of operation results in short cycling. The furnace kicks on when it gets a signal from the thermostat, and after the short time it takes to reach that temperature level, shuts down till the next cycle is signaled.

Short cycling wastes energy because the most electricity is consumed at start-up; in addition, 100 percent alternating operation uses more energy than slower, more continuous operation. The frequent stops and starts also make if harder to provide even heating throughout the house, and noticeable temperature swings are common.

Modulating Furnaces

With a modulating or two-stage furnace, the gas valve can adjust itself to any of multiple intermediate stages depending on the heating needs at the time. A variable-speed blower motor also can adjust its speed to the situation at hand. As a result, these furnaces usually run at a slower, lower-stage level but more continuously, without all the frequent stopping and starting. This is more energy efficient, quieter and provides more consistent heating. In addition, air filtration is enhanced since household air is circulating through the filter many more times a day.

Modulating furnaces typically are considered high-efficiency, with an AFUE (annualized fuel utilization efficiency) rating of 90 to 98 percent. This means that more than nine-tenths of the fuel is being converted into heat. While modulating furnaces cost more than single-stage models, the operating costs are much less.

For more information on modulating furnaces, please contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about modulating furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.

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