Benefits of Modulating Furnaces

If you have an old-school, single-stage furnace in your San Antonio area home, you likely get tired listening to it cycling on and off all the time. In areas with mild winters like ours, this is common, since it doesn’t take long for a furnace to achieve the thermostat setting. The frequent cycling is not only noisy and annoying; it wastes energy and provides uneven heating as well.

With your next furnace upgrade, consider one of the high-efficiency modulating furnaces that your trusted local HVAC contractor stocks.

Single-stage furnaces, as the name implies, come with a gas valve that has only two settings — fully closed or fully open. Similarly, the furnace blower has just two speeds — off and 100 percent on. This results in short-cycling: The furnace kicks on, then runs full blast till the temperature setting is achieved, then shuts off until it gets the next signal to resume operation. In mild weather, the period between cycles is relatively short. The full-go operation uses a lot of energy, but then, so does the frequent starting and stopping, since the most energy is consumed at start-up.

A single-stage, single-speed furnace often will struggle to evenly and consistently heat an entire home, and swings in temperature can be noticeable.

Modulating furnaces represent a major upgrade over the old single-stage models. They come with a gas valve that can open to any of multiple stages depending on the home’s heating needs. A variable-speed blower motor also has different settings so it’s not always blowing the air at full blast. Most modulating furnaces will kick on at full operation, then once the temperature setting is achieved, ramp back to a slower, more continuous operating level.

Running more continuously at a lower level uses less energy than single-stage operation; it more effectively heats the home with less temperature variations from room to room, hour to hour. Running more of the time, modulating furnaces also do a better job of filtering the air.

To discuss the benefits a modulating furnace could bring to your San Antonio area home, please contact us at Beyer Boys.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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