fbpx
(855) 925-2200
Phone Icon
December 21, 2023

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Two-Stage Furnace

Two indoor furnace units installed in a basement

You may have heard of two-stage furnaces because they’re a popular choice for homeowners looking to improve their home heating system. But are they worth it?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of this type of furnace to help you decide whether to invest in one for your home. We’ll outline which is more energy efficient, compare costs, and discuss how they meet household heating demands.

Ready? Let’s break it down! 

What Is a 2 Stage Furnace?

A two-stage furnace runs at low capacity during mild winter days, switching to a high setting when greater demand for warmth is needed. 

But how does a two-stage furnace work? 

Most of the time, it runs at a lower speed, slowly increasing according to the desired temperature to meet your home’s heating needs. This improves energy efficiency since the furnace does not always need to run at full power. As a result, two-stage heating also helps create steady temperatures in your home.

→ Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Furnace for Homeowners 

Single Stage vs. Two Stage Furnace

The main difference between single-stage furnaces and two-stage furnaces is their number of operating settings. As its name implies, a single stage furnace has one setting, known as “full power,” while a two-stage furnace has two, known as “low” and “high” power. 

Two-stage furnaces are more expensive up front, whereas single-stage models are generally cheaper because they have fewer parts to maintain and repair. With that said, two-stage furnaces make better use of energy because of their two motors, making it more cost-effective to run. 

Comparing Energy Costs and Long-Term Savings

A single stage furnace operates at full power when there is a need for warmth. It blasts out as much hot air as possible, which means that during the coldest months, it disperses the most amount of energy it can. This makes single-stage furnaces cost more on electric bills.

So what is a two-stage furnace doing differently? It comes down to having two settings that allow for more precision in how it responds to temperature changes. These allow it to gradually increase the heat from a lower temperature, leading to lower energy bills while keeping your space more consistently heated.

A woman adjusts the smart thermostat in the living room

2 Stage Furnace Advantages

What is a two-stage furnace bringing to your home? Here are six benefits: 

1. Low-Maintenance Electronic Commutated Motors (ECMs)

ECMs (electronic commutated motors) are a main feature of a two-stage furnace. Since these furnaces cycle on and off less frequently, the system has less stress. This means your furnace will have fewer breakdowns and an extended operating life.

2. Improved Energy Efficiency

Two-stage furnaces are well known for their energy-efficient features. By running at low capacity most of the time, they use much less energy than single-stage furnaces while maintaining good air circulation and heat output.

3. Reduced Operating Costs

Two-stage furnaces use less fuel and power, reducing operating costs over time. They also provide more consistent temperatures throughout your home without wasting energy or overworking your HVAC system. Plus, you won’t have to worry about repairs or frequent furnace replacement costs since they aren’t easily damaged.

4. Quieter Operation

Two-stage furnaces are quieter than single-stage furnaces due to their slower operating speeds and ECMs. Single-stage furnaces produce loud noises when they turn on and off. But with a two-stage furnace, these noises are much less noticeable and will not disrupt your day as much as they would with a single-stage furnace.

5. More Even Temperatures

Rather than producing large temperature fluctuations throughout your house, the two-stage system will keep temperatures steady. This provides added comfort and reduces cold spots due to drafts from windows or doors, all while keeping energy costs down.

6. Better Indoor Air Quality

The improved airflow from 2-stage furnaces can help keep dust and other irritants from circulating through your living space. This can help improve indoor air quality and reduce allergy symptoms for your family.

A child sleeps comfortably in a bed

2 Stage Furnace Disadvantages

Knowing the potential disadvantages of this furnace can help you decide when considering it for your home. Here are the 2 stage furnace disadvantages: 

1. Higher Cost

The initial expense is the most significant disadvantage of installing a two-stage furnace, as they often cost several hundred or even thousands of dollars more than a single-stage unit.

This price gap is due to the increased complexity of the operating system and the additional components needed for proper operation. These models also require special filters that may need to be replaced more frequently than single-stage filters. 

2. More Difficult and Expensive Repair

Because two-stage furnaces are more complex than their single-stage counterparts, they need specialized parts for repairs or maintenance. These components lead to higher repair costs and longer wait times before getting back up and running.

Additionally, because two-stage furnaces use multiple burners, they generate more heat than single-stage models. So, any repair work needs greater caution as it requires handling higher temperatures to complete the job correctly.

The Bottom Line: Is a 2 Stage Furnace Worth It?

Yes, a 2 stage furnace is worth it despite high upfront costs and complex maintenance. They are ideal for a large, multi-story home since they distribute heat evenly and reduce cold spots effectively thanks to their low and high heating capacities. 

Investing in a two-stage furnace means increased energy savings and greater comfort levels. Its advantages offset its disadvantages, making it a practical choice for those looking to save money and conserve energy.

→ Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Home Energy Rebates in Ontario

Get Comprehensive Heating Solutions at LG Home Comfort

Whether the debate between a “single stage vs two stage furnace” is still going on in your mind, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Weigh the pros and cons mentioned above, but keep in mind that improved efficiency, better heat distribution, and more consistent temperatures throughout your home are excellent reasons to upgrade from a single stage furnace to a two stage furnace.

LG Home Comfort makes the process easy. We’ll offer you a high-quality two-stage furnace and install it, too. Our expert HVAC technicians are the best in Ontario—we always get the job done right the first time and are available to help 24/7/365. 

Get started with a quote, call a member of our team today.

Terms and Conditions

  • Once an initial service has been completed, the customer will be on a one-year commitment
  • After the initial 12 months, the contract will be renewed on a month-to-month cadence
  • If a service is completed for the next year, it automatically renews the commitment for an additional year
  • Customers can cancel at any time after the 12-month initial commitment as long as the following year’s service has not been completed.
  • Customers need to provide 30 days written notice in order to cancel their plan