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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4

    Need a Two Stage or One Stage?

    Hi. We live in Western Pennsylvania and are considering replacing a 30-35 year old furnace. So far we have one estimate and it is for a one stage Trane 92% efficiency. We have a small 3 bedroom ranch home with 11 windows counting one in the garage and one in the basement. The attic is being insulated with R-38 batts and that will bring the total insulation to around 15 inches or so. The basement measures 35'6 X 23' 3". There is one cold return and one heat register in all of the rooms except the living room which has one cold and two heat. The contractor did the J-1 calculation.

    After the contractor left I went to the Trane website and used their calculator to recommend a furnace for the house. The calculator recommended a two stage unit. Obviously, I need to ask the contractor why he did not recommend a two stage unit. Do you people recommend a two-stage furnace based on the above information? Any helpful hints on guiding us in the right direction? Is it true a two stage unit can make a house feel cold? Thanks to anyone who responds.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Chicago area
    Posts
    1,439
    The # of stages is not dependent on the size of house, or # of windows. Trane will tell you 2 stage b/c thats a bigger profit for them. Dont get me wrong but there are benifits to 2 stage heat. In my own home I have a modulating furnace. There are potential opperational cost savings durring mild weather as you use less fuel to stay warm by firing at a lower btu for a period of time. And also a two stage furnace will run for longer periods of time helping to make the house more evenly tempered.

    If you want a price for the upgrade, just ask the contractor, and any others you may have quote for you.

    He may have not told you about it b/c he might have the single stage in his warehouse and wants to get rid of it instead of special ordering a 2 stage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,928
    2 stage equipment is for personal comfort, not for saving money.

    Your house does not need a 2 stage furnace, or A/C.

    Its a nice upgrade, but not a requirement for any house.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,274

    Thumbs up Comfort Decision is Subjective .. your choice

    Quote Originally Posted by tuttle View Post
    Hi. We live in Western Pennsylvania and are considering replacing a 30-35 year old furnace. So far we have one estimate and it is for a one stage Trane 92% efficiency. We have a small 3 bedroom ranch home with 11 windows counting one in the garage and one in the basement.

    Obviously, I need to ask the contractor why he did not recommend a two stage unit. Do you people recommend a two-stage furnace based on the above information?

    Is it true a two stage unit can make a house feel cold?
    Two stage should actually keep the house at a more constant temperature.
    If your are going you upgrade to 92% efficiency furnace, why wouldn't you also select the 2-stage. Energy savings (92% versus 35 year old) will pay for the single/two stage cost difference in a VERY SHORT period.

    http://www.sunbeltair.com/index.htm?...customheat.htm

    You need to investigate installation and maintenance services of additional mechanical contractors.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    Two stage is for comfort as other have said.

    Also when your furnace runs in 1st stage, it will run quieter, and have a longer run time in colder weather, and it is best to have a two stage t-stat controlling the burners than having it go on a timer.. Otherwise, if you run it on the timer on the board, it will go into high fire in about 10 min, then you get the louder blower.

    I have a two stage in our 1,300 sq ft home, and love it.. It's about 7' away from here in our family room downstairs, I hear it running, but it's not annoying for us while we watch TV, uptstairs, it's not even heard at all.

    Like in your car, do you run the heater fan on High and temp setting on high all the times, and shut it off when you are warm? No, most likely you are not.. You run the fan on lower speed, and a lower temp setting while you are on a road trip.

    If you plan on being in your home for a while, you'll be glad you got a two stage furnace. Also, don't matter what brand you get, get the 10 years parts and labor warranty.. It'll give you a peace of mind down the road if something did go out on you.

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