If you’re currently using a single-stage furnace and considering upgrading it, you should consider a modulating furnace. But are the features of a modulation furnace really worth the purchase?
Is Modulating Furnace Worth the Upgrade?
Mechanism of the Modulating Furnace
Before jumping into the mechanism of the modulating furnace, you’ll have to understand how the single-stage and two-stage furnace works.
A single-stage furnace allows only turn on and off feature. When you turn on the single-stage furnace, it operates at full capacity, and when the furnace reaches your desired setting, it shuts off completely. On the contrary, a two-stage furnace can run at a half-capacity, making the two-stage furnace more cost-effective.
The modulating furnace can be said the next version of the two-stage furnace. As the name suggests, this type of furnace modulates, which means it adjusts the heating capacity according to the requirement. For example, when the temperature drops very low, the modulating furnace operates at full capacity. But when the temperature increase, it starts operating at a lower capacity. Usually, a modulating furnace can operate at a capacity ranging from 40% to 100%.
4 Benefits of Upgrading to a Modulating Furnace
1. Minimum Operation Cost
Let’s be honest. Modulating furnace is expensive. But it pays off the cost within a short time. As I mentioned earlier, compared to other furnaces, modulating furnaces are more efficient. As a result, you’ll have to pay less for your house heating.
The best way to understand the heating efficiency is by looking at the AFUE rating or percentage. Generally, a single-stage furnace has an AFUE rating of around 80%. But a modulating furnace has an AFUE rating of 95%, and it can go up to around 98%. It means that a modulating furnace uses around 98% of the total energy for heating whereas, a single-stage furnace uses only 80% of the energy to heat your space.
2. Quieter Heating
Modulating furnaces are not only cost-effective but also offer quieter heating. As I mentioned earlier, single-stage furnace functions at a full capacity. And as a result, when you turn on the furnace. It makes a loud noise. But the modulating furnace uses the Variable Speed Motor technology, which allows it to adjust the speed according to the heating demand and make the heating process quieter. So, if you want to have a sound sleep every night, you should upgrade your existing heating unit to a modulating furnace.
3. Improved Comfort
The modulating furnace has it all to make every homeowner's life easier and more comfortable. As the modulating furnaces use the Variable Speed Motor, it can keep your space temperature constant throughout its operation. Besides, if you’re struggling with cold spots in your house, a modulating furnace will help you remove the cold spots in your space.
Again, if you’re worried about the air quality of your space, a modulating furnace can help you with that. As the modulating furnace runs longer, it can capture more airborne particles and keep the indoor air clean.
4. Newer Features
As the modulating furnace is the latest furnace type, it offers newer features. For example, it has a secondary heat exchanger, which helps the furnace reduce energy wastage and convert more energy into heat.
Again, the modulating furnace comes with the modulating gas valve, which adjusts the gas supply and flame intensity. Because of this gas valve, the modulating furnace can keep the temperature consistent throughout the day. That’s why this modulating gas valve is called the heart of this furnace.
If you’re planning to live in one place for years, the ROI of purchasing a modulating furnace is enough to justify the cost of purchase and install. However, as the cost of the modulating furnace is way higher than the other furnaces, it’s not advised to buy a modulating furnace if you’re planning to live in a house for a short period.
Again, if you live in a house that is older than 40 years, a modulating furnace may not function properly. In this case, you should purchase a single-stage or two-stage furnace. But if the house is new, you’re good to go with the modulating furnace.
And finally, if you have the budget and gas supply, you should upgrade to a modulating furnace.
See the summary here – 4 Reasons to Buy a Modulating Furnace [Infographic]