Heating

What is Two-Stage Heating?

As you start to explore heating options for your home or office, you may need to think about the types of furnaces on the market. A two-stage heating furnace may work best in settings requiring improved efficiency and a subtler heating experience. This is what you need to know to decide if a two-stage furnace is right for your space.

What Two-Stage Heating Actually Means

Furnace stages refer to the amount of heat allowed to pass through the system. A valve controls the burner, and different settings change the position of the valve to influence the heat output. Most furnaces (single-stage furnaces) have one setting: you can turn them on or off. When using a single stage system on milder days, an owner may notice the system cutting on and off frequently to maintain the desired indoor temperature.

Two-stage heating systems, on the other hand, have a setting in addition to the on/off position. In a two-stage system, thermostat settings can completely or partially open the valve to allow heat to pass through. At the fully open stage, the furnace operates on high. At the partially open stage, the furnace releases a reduced level of heat (at about 65% of the maximum capacity).

A two-stage heating system gives the system more control over the level of heat output. On colder days, the furnace will operate at maximum capacity. On warmer days, it will reduce the overall output for consistent heating without constant on/off cycling.

Is A Two-Stage Heating System Right For Your Space?

Many home and business owners prefer two-stage heating systems over single-stage heating systems. While the systems cost more upfront, they deliver better performance and efficiency over time. Some of the benefits of switching to a two-stage furnace include:

•    Improved temperature consistency. Greater control over the heat output gives a two-stage system the ability to maintain a constant temperature throughout an environment with ease. Owners rarely notice changes in temperature during unit on/off cycling when they invest in a two-stage heating system.

•    Energy efficiency. If you live in an area with a variable climate, the two-stage heating system offers greater efficiency. During milder months, the furnace will run only at the lower setting and only operate at maximum capacity on an as-needed basis.

•    Better air filtration. Two-stage systems often run at a lower output on a regular basis. As a result, more air moves through the system giving you improved air quality. Single-stage systems only filter the air as they cycle on and off.

•    Silent operation. Because a two-stage furnace cycles through the lower setting first, operators rarely notice the transition from off to low to high settings. When using the right two-stage system, users may barely notice the furnace at all while it’s running.

If you decide that a two-stage heating system is right for you, work with a qualified heating and air technician to find the appropriate size and model for your space. A well-chosen system will deliver reliable heating while saving money over time.

Find Your Two-Stage Heating System at Canoga Park Heating & Air Conditioning

The HVAC specialists at Canoga Park Heating & Air Conditioning understand the climate in southern California. We can help you choose the right two-stage heating system for maximum performance and energy efficiency. Consider our team the next time you need professional assistance with residential or commercial heating and air conditioning.

What Size Heat Pump Do I Need?

There are several important steps in the process of selecting the right heat pump for your home. You need to determine the best type of heat pump for your home and climate (air source, water source or ground source), decide on your desired efficiency rating, and select the installation method and features of your new heat pump. Finally, you need to size your heat pump properly to make sure that you are heating your home effectively and efficiently.

Correctly sizing your heat pump is very important, and fortunately there is a standard sizing method used nationwide. This method, created by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, is known as the Manual J method for sizing heat pumps. The Manual J method considers eight variables to help you size your heat pump with confidence.

  • The Manual J Method of Sizing
  • The Manual J method considers the following factors to determine the right heat pump size:
  • The regional climate, and the probable number of heating and cooling days during which the heat pump will be used.
  • The shape and square footage of the home, as well as any other home design features that might affect how long it takes to heat and cool the space.
  • The quantity and quality of the home’s insulation.
  • The number of people who reside in the home.
  • The number of windows in the home, and where they are located.
  • The amount of air ventilation that happens in the home.
  • Light fixtures or other home appliances that regularly generate heat.
  • The temperature preferences of the residents.

 

The Right Size Saves Money

Getting the right size heat pump really does make a significant difference to the efficacy, reliability and efficiency of your HVAC system. Heat pumps that are too small or too large for a home can have a number of negative consequences, including higher energy costs, drastic temperature differences inside, poor humidity control and frequent on-and-off cycling that strains the system.

Consulting an experienced and reliable contractor is always a smart move before finalizing your heat pump selection. Contractors can make sure that you have correctly assessed each of the Manual J factors to determine your heat pump size. They may also be able to recommend some relatively straightforward changes to your home, such as upgrading or increasing your insulation, to allow you to downsize your heat pump and save money.

Thank you for reading, and follow our blog for more on the world of heating and air conditioning.