What is Two-Stage Heating?

Fall and winter weather will be here soon, and with it comes the need to heat your house. However, outdoor temperatures fluctuate every day. Sometimes it will be slightly chilly, and sometimes you may deal with frigid conditions. Two-stage heating is one of the best ways to deal with these fluctuations while ensuring that you keep your energy bills manageable and don’t waste electricity.

How Two-Stage Heating Works

Two-stage heating gives your HVAC system two distinct levels of heat output. One is a low setting for mild days, and the other is a high setting for those snowy or clear but freezing days. You can adjust the settings throughout the day as you desire, but the low setting is designed to heat your house adequately 80% of the time. If you use the lower setting often, you can decrease energy bills and distribute heat evenly throughout your home.

How Two-Stage Heating Saves Energy

A traditional furnace only has two positions for the valve that controls its burner: open and closed. With a traditional one-stage furnace, the heat is either on when the valve is open or off when it’s closed. There’s no way to adjust the settings or distribute heat. However, a two-stage furnace allows you to partially open or close the valves. This way, you can run heat full blast for longer periods if you need to. You can also adjust settings to better serve particularly warm or cold areas of your house.

In addition, two-stage heating saves energy in many other ways than what we’ve discussed. Unlike a traditional system, two-stage heating does not “kick” on and off with little warning. The air doesn’t blast out of the furnace, and the furnace doesn’t immediately put out extremely warm air. This keeps electricity from being wasted. It also prevents warm or cold spots throughout your house because the air is evenly circulated. Once two-stage heating runs through its entire cycle, your house will remain a comfortable temperature for longer periods.

Just as two-stage heating doesn’t waste electricity, it doesn’t waste fuel either. With one-stage heating, gas is wasted because the furnace can only run on full blast, even if it’s a mild winter day. Additionally, the gas can get siphoned back into the environment and cause pollution. Since the settings of a two-stage furnace are easily adjustable, however, you don’t need to run the system full blast. You can use only the gas you need and turn off the furnace when your home is adequately heated.

A Quiet And Clean Home

Two-stage heating has plenty of other advantages. One of the biggest is how quiet it is. You might remember visiting your grandparents’ house and hearing a noisy one-stage furnace in the basement. Whenever it kicked on, the furnace would be incredibly loud and disruptive. This isn’t the case with two-stage heating; furnaces that use it are generally quiet because it takes them longer to reach full capacity. Instead of rattling or kicks of air, you’ll most likely hear a pleasant, low hum.

Finally, using two-stage heating may improve indoor air quality. These furnaces’ filters are designed to capture a large number of contaminants and without filtering them back through the air. Thus, a two-stage furnace constantly “cleans” the air inside your home.

To learn more about two-stage heating or have other HVAC questions answered, don’t hesitate to contact us online or by phone.