Most Canadians are familiar with furnaces. When faced with making a decision to upgrade or purchase a new furnace there are a few differences between the various models that we’ll help you understand. Read on for an explanation of the different types of furnaces.
What is a furnace?
A furnace is a forced-air HVAC (Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning) system that works by generating heat through one of several types of energy sources. The most commonly-used furnace fuel is natural gas. Furnaces work by generating heat and dispersing it throughout your house. Once the warm air is created in a heat exchanger, it gets blown through your house via supply and return ductwork using a large powerful fan. There are a variety of different types of furnaces to choose from.
Different Types of Furnaces
In Ontario, we only sell high-efficiency furnaces. This means that the furnace must turn over 90% of the flame’s heat into usable heat. A basic high-efficiency furnace uses a single-stage gas valve and a multi-speed motor. When the heat turns on, it blows full blast and stays that way until it reaches the temperature set on the thermostat.
A 2-stage furnace is a game changer in comfort, and it improves efficiency. This type of furnace only uses a portion of its capacity to reach the temperature set on the thermostat. If it’s not raising the temperature at an appropriate rate, it then ramps up to its full capacity. Since we don’t often need the full capacity of a furnace, using partial capacity means longer cycle times at lower fan speeds. This increases the time the furnace is delivering conditioned air to the different levels and areas of your house. This usually results in more consistent temperatures throughout your home, delivered more quietly.
Now you’re getting into much smarter type blower fan systems. Variable ECM motors change their speeds and airflow depending on the job they’re doing. This maximizes the efficiency of both the heating and cooling, as well as helps with dehumidifying when in a cooling mode. Variable ECM furnaces are super quiet, with many models offering soft start and soft stop operation. They’re an extremely efficient type of furnace.
The most efficient design of all is a modulating furnace. This model has a gas valve that heats at the rate the home needs to overcome the heat loss. The most premium model in most manufacturers’ line-ups, this unit is the ultimate in efficiency, comfort and quietness of all the types of furnaces. It usually comes with a premium ECM blower and an optional communicating control system. The communicating control enhances the user experience, diagnostics, and intelligent operation.
Which type of furnace is best for you?
An in-home consultation from a heating expert to assess the best unit is the best way to determine what works best for you and your home. We offer this at no charge. Give us a call or contact us through our website or social media portals.
Need help choosing the right furnace for your home?
Delta Air Systems Ltd. has been serving the HVAC needs of the Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, and Guelph regions for over 65 years. We are committed to providing our clients with reliable service and quality equipment.
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