An Overview of Single Stage Furnaces and Variable Speed Furnaces

Variable Speed Furnace

Variable Speed Furnace

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In the general market today, there are three kinds of furnaces, but two of them are the most popular: variable speed furnaces and single stage or single speed furnaces. The HVAC system that operates your home most efficiently would be based on several factors, which include requirements for heating, insulation, size of the home, levels in the home, current duct work and budget; just to name a few.

The Consultation

Prior to investing in a new heating system, it is best to consult with an HVAC Contractor for recommendations and suggestions. These professionals have in-depth knowledge and experience of assessing the home to determine and establish the right options for your heating system.  Below are the most popular and suggested types of furnaces.

Single Stage Furnaces

The single stage furnaces are popularly called ‘single speed furnaces.’ Why? It is because of the fact that they consist of only one stage of high heat output, continually dispersing maximum heat capacity that the furnace was made for, even regardless of the outdoor and indoor temperatures. The single stage furnace runs from an on speed to an off speed without anything else to gauge it. In other words, it is from one speed to the next with no variations. For this reason, it is not cost efficient. In fact, it could run your energy bill increase at a higher than normal cost during the winter months when you turn the furnace on.

Variable Speed Furnace

The variable speed furnace operates on various speeds with the ability to control the precise heat flow or cool air throughout the house. With improved control of the air flow, it means that the humidity and temperature are balanced. With the use of advance technology, the variable speed furnace does a constant monitoring of data that comes from the HVAC system. It then adjusts the comfort level of the heat automatically. If you have a blocked ventilation system or dirty filters, it will inhibit the performance of the variable speed furnace because air would not be able to circulate efficiently.

The Comparison

In comparison to the single stage furnaces, the variable speed furnace does not typically operate on a number of stages, but instead refers to the furnace’s fan motor. This motor operates at varying speeds in order to control the dispersed heated air. When the furnace is off in the variable speed furnace, the fan motor is still able to operate, circulating air through the house.


Many people believe that the variable speed furnaces have an intelligent side because of how they operate and possibly will provide more energy savings than the single speed furnaces would. Speak to a professional HVAC specialist to find out which one works best for you.



What is the best Central Air Conditioner brand?

Central Air Conditioner Unit

Central Air Conditioner Unit

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If you are an HVAC contractor or specialist, you should have all the products in your inventory necessary to do a heating and cooling system installation. The only time the manufacturer should be involved is when they are creating and testing the product. Air conditioners and furnaces take thousands of dollars in tools to repair or replace. This means that the contractor has to invest in tools to get the job done right. Now, an experienced contractor who has done installations over and over again will know the ins and outs of the HVAC system and what brands are the best and which ones aren’t. Do you agree? It makes sense! It would be safe to say then that the contractor is the middle man when it comes to HVAC parts and products.

The Recommendation

What if your central air conditioner broke down or wasn’t performing? You would call on a HVAC contractor to advise you if replacement is necessary and if it is, which brand is best to purchase. That would be the wise thing to do since you don’t know yourself. The contractor is the expert since you may not be able to reach the manufacturer directly for the appropriate solution. In that case, the recommendation should come from the middle man who is the HVAC contractor. You could rely on reviews and testimonials from customers who have purchased the product, but they don’t have hands-on experience and knowledge of the makeup of the air conditioner unit and what it takes to operate it.

The Most Popular

While several brands of air conditioner units exist, most of them are manufactured by a handful of well known companies and not necessarily a wide range of companies. The most popular brands of air conditioner units are:

  • Carrier
  • Trane
  • Lennox
  • Goodman
  • Rheem
  • York
  • Maytag and Westinghouse

The Stand Outs

Most people would recommend the Maytag because of its years on the market and its selling points such as how quietly it runs and its efficiency. Its SEER ratings are up to a 25.5 level and its EER ratings are up to a level of 15 if you take the cooling capacity into consideration. Lennox, Trane and Carrier are all regarded fairly well by HVAC contractors and many consumers. It may have to do with the reputation of the company and its policies as it relates to qualified and quality installation. All three of these companies are very particular about their product installation, being selective as to which HVAC contractor does the installation. Lennox boasts an efficiency rating level of up to 26 SEER. Carrier does the same thing at a rating of 21 SEER. Trane is a hot competitor with also a 21 SEER rating.


So, it is safe to say that Carrier, Lennox and Trane are the better brands and have received national coverage to prove that they are products to contend with. However, when you get ready to change out your air conditioner unit, speak to a qualified HVAC contractor for the best recommendation and solution.

Should you repair or replace your AC system?

Air conditioner Unit Repair

Air conditioner Unit Repair

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If you are having trouble with your heating and cooling system or just ac system, then you may have to consider whether you should repair or replace it. There are several things that go into making that decision. However, first, it will depend on your budget. If you are contemplating on the decision, this means that you may have to check with an HVAC specialist to discuss your best option. In the meantime, though, if your system is not running as efficient as it used to or you have absolutely no A/C or heating capabilities, it may be time to replace it. In the long run, though, repair could be the better choice instead of replacement.

HVAC Contractor

When you are ready to make your decision for ac system repair, contact a local HVAC contractor for answers. If the contractor tells you to purchase new equipment without inspecting the old one, you may have to reconsider using their service. If the repair is going to be expensive and the replacement cost is less, then the obvious choice is replacement. If the repair cost is within your budget and once repaired, the equipment can operate effectively for a few years down the road, by all means, repair would be the perfect solution. First, however, let’s explore the replacement option some more.

The Replacement

If your air conditioner unit was built prior to 1992 and you own a standing pilot furnace, then you may think about replacing both, whether these need to be replaced or not. With this type of furnace, you are only receiving 65 percent efficiency and 8 SEER or fewer with the air conditioner unit. Replacing these units will save you tons in utility cost. Take some time to conduct a research and make plans on replacing your unit sooner rather than later. If you find that your A/C compressor is failing and you have no warranty, you could replace the compressor instead of the entire unit. This would cost you less.

The Repair

If you have to spend thousands of dollars in repair cost on your ac system, it is not wise to replace, but to buy new equipment. If you are unsure of whether to repair or replace, have an experienced technician inspect the equipment.  However, if you have a furnace that is 15 years or older and the repair cost is $750, then it is time to replace the unit. As long as you are receiving 95 percent efficiency out of the equipment, you can keep it after repairing and not replace it.