Furnace Maintenance Tips: How To Choose The Furnace Type That’s Best For You


Your furnace may not be something you think about often, but the type you have and the way it functions are important things to know. 

Today, TFF HVAC wants to cover 3 common types of furnaces and how they differ. The furnace types being analyzed today are the: 

  • The variable capacity furnace
  • The two-stage furnace
  • The single-stage furnace

Whether you are building a new home, replacing your old furnace, or you just want more knowledge on your current furnace, TFF HVAC is here to help you understand what the best furnace type is for you!

How Furnace Types Differ In Capacity

Variable Capacity Furnace

This type of furnace will typically run at any capacity between 40% and 100%. Unlike single-stage and two-stage furnaces, the name is not referring to the number of stages that it is capable of running. The variable capacity furnace fan motor runs at various speeds to the temperature.

Two-Stage Furnace 

Based on the name you can probably infer that this type of furnace has two stages of output. The Two-Stage furnace will run on a low setting most of the time but can kick it up whenever need be. Two-Stage furnaces will most often run at 70%. However, this type of furnace does have the ability to run at 100% capacity.

Single-Stage Furnace

Unlike its counterparts, Single- Stage furnaces run at 100% capacity at all times. It has one high setting and this is the capacity it stays on, whenever it is turned on. This is an older design that has some faults. 


How The Furnace Types Differ In Price

Variable Capacity Furnace

Depending on the quality level you can get a variable-capacity furnace from anywhere between $1,335 and $3,200. The price to operate this type of furnace is low. The repair cost and furnace maintenance on the other hand is moderate to high.

Two-Stage Furnace

A bit cheaper for the price range of $675 to $1,950. The two-stage furnace is still of great quality but is more affordable than the variable capacity furnace. The cost of operating the Two-Stage furnace is low to high. The price of repairing this type of furnace and the furnace maintenance is low to moderate. 

Single-Stage Furnace

The price range for single stage furnaces is $550 – $1,700. The operating cost is low to high, and the repair cost and furnace maintenance is very low, making it the most affordable of these types of furnaces. However, it is also the most dated design and has a few drawbacks.

How The Heating Stages Work In The Different Types Of Furnaces

According to PickHvac Cooling & Heating Guide, 

Variable-capacity gas valves modulate between about 40% and 100% capacity. A modulating 100,000 BTU furnace can operate at any heating level between 40,000 and 100,000 BTUs.

Two-stage gas furnace valves can open at either about 70% or 100%. That means that the 100,000 BTU furnace can operate at 70,000 BTUs per hour or 100,000 BTUs per hour.

Single-stage furnaces have a gas valve that opens at 100% capacity. If it is a 100,000 BTU per hour furnace, it is always burning at the 100,000 BTU rate.”

How The Furnace Types Differ In Efficiency And Comfort  

Variable Capacity Furnace

This type of furnace is incredibly efficient because it runs at the very lowest capacity necessary to keep your home at the ideal temperature, saving your energy and money. 

The Variable Capacity furnace is also the quietest of all furnace types. 

Two-Stage Furnace

The way that the two-stage furnace runs enables it to be much more efficient than other types. 

Your home’s temperature will stay at your desired thermostat setting. This will also help keep electricity bills from raising pointlessly. The two-stage furnace runs smoothly and is not very loud. 

Single-Stage Furnace

Despite being the most affordable option, single-stage furnaces are lacking a great deal in both efficiency and comfort. They waste a lot of energy by running at full capacity whenever they are on. 

This can increase your electricity bill needlessly. The way they function also means less consistency with the temperatures of your home. It may go above and below your set thermostat temperature often. 

This type of furnace can also be very loud whenever it kicks on. 

Choosing A Furnace And Picking The Right Furnace Installation Service

Your climate is going to be a big determining factor in which type of furnace is best for your home. If you live in a cold climate you will want to make sure to get a furnace that is very efficient so you don’t end up chilly or with huge electrical bills.

If you live in a very warm climate having a more expensive, highly efficient furnace might not be necessary. The cost may outweigh the benefits.

The best way to know for sure what furnace you should get is to speak to an expert furnace installation service.

For assistance choosing the best furnace and furnace installation service, click here to contact TFF HVAC today!