Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5
    I'm trying to decide between a single or two-stage high efficiency furnace. We live in Toronto in a 2400 square foot two-story house. The basement is unfinished. Heating throughout the house is uneven and some of the rooms are quite cold in the winter. The air conditioning doesn't work well either, apparently because the fan on the current furnace is not strong enough to push the air. Our current furnace is 19 years old and something like 70% efficient. I've met with four companies and three of the four recommended a two-stage furnace. They said that it would even out the heat in the rooms and was significantly quieter. The other contractor claimed that the opposite was true and that it would actually magnify the temperature problem. He claimed that though the new furnace would do a better job pushing the air, that with a two-stage furnace since it would run mostly at the lower stage, pushing cooler air, that the rooms that were problematic would feel cooler, not warmer. He also said that though a two-stage furnace is a little quieter, most of the time it's running on a lower stage so you're not really comparing apples to apples. If both were running on the higher stage, the difference wouldn't be great and overall, in the house, it is not very significant. He said that to even out the heat, we would need to run the fan continuously to circulate the heat in the house, but that the two stage wasn't the answer since it would feel like it was blowing cooler air. We're moving in the next year or so and though the cost differential between the high efficiency single and two-stage models isn't great, I certainly don't want to buy something extra that we don't need. Can anyone help me make sense of this. The contractor that told me not to buy the two stage model seems very knowledgeable and was an installer, the others were salespeople though from reputable places.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,245

    Question Can you hear me now ?

    Originally posted by kkarin
    I'm trying to decide between a single or two-stage high efficiency furnace.
    Toronto
    2400 square foot two-story house
    basement is unfinished.

    Heating throughout the house is uneven and some of the rooms are quite cold in the winter.

    I've met with four companies and three of the four recommended a two-stage furnace.
    LISTEN ... 2-Stage!
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    I agree, TWO STAGE along with a TWO STAGE Thermostat.


    I don't notice tie air flow out of the vent being that much cooler.. Yeah it's cooler. but it's not "Cold".. With the softer heat, the system will run longer to provide more even temps in the home..

    last winter, I was at my neighbor's house.(Same floor plan) he has a single stage Lennox, where I have a two stage Trane.. One room in his home is warm,. another is hot, another is cold.. Where mine is all same temp.. Maybe a couple degree cooler in our master bed room (large old single pane windows).

    As you go down the basement, You feel this hot air rolling up the staris in his home, causing a larger temp swing.

    most company has a standard blower two stage, and also two stage with variable speed blower.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5
    Designer Dan,

    I'm listening, but can you tell me why? Obviously, you feel strongly. Also, I see you're in Florida and we're in Canada. Does the climate make any difference?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5
    Mayguy,

    I asked two of the contractors if we needed (or should purchase) a two stage thermostat and both said that our current thermostat was fine. I am more than willing to purchase a two-stage thermostat if it makes a big difference. Can you explain the rationale? I understand with a single stage thermostat, the second stage starts after a certain amount of time. With a two stage, I assume that temperature determines start time for the second stage. Does that make a big difference in the heat in the home? Why?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    6
    kkarin:

    Just curious as to what furnace you're looking at getting and how many btu's you were told it is. I'm getting a new 2 stage mid Carrier for my 1600 sq ft home in Richmond Hill, it's rated at 70,000 btu's. I was told I need a new 2 stage t-stat and a new humidifier as well. I'm installing a honeywell 2 stage t-stat myself and I'm getting an Aprilaire model 600 humidifier installed by a seperate company. I'm getting everything installed on the 18th. I'll keep you informed as to how everything goes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5
    I'm deciding between the Lennox G51 (single stage) 90M BTU and a Trane (two-stage) 80M BTU furnace. Apparently, our current furnace is 100M BTUs and we're getting about 60% efficiency out of it now so we should be okay with an 80M BTU unit. We'll also be getting a drum humidifier, but I haven't done much research on them. If we get the Trane, the contractor has White Rogers humidifiers and we'll probably go with that. The other company sells General Aire humidifiers. Do you know anything about the different humidifier brands?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    Originally posted by kkarin
    Mayguy,

    I asked two of the contractors if we needed (or should purchase) a two stage thermostat and both said that our current thermostat was fine. I am more than willing to purchase a two-stage thermostat if it makes a big difference. Can you explain the rationale? I understand with a single stage thermostat, the second stage starts after a certain amount of time. With a two stage, I assume that temperature determines start time for the second stage. Does that make a big difference in the heat in the home? Why?
    You are right of what you said about single stage stat goes by time, and two by temp.

    It's mostly for comfort...

    Why wait for it to go into High fire in the am from set back? Or if people come and go at the front door?

    Also with the two stage, the system runs longer, and you get a better temp results in most of the room in the house.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,245

    Thumbs up Comfort

    Originally posted by kkarin
    Designer Dan,

    I'm listening, but can you tell me why? Obviously, you feel strongly. Also, I see you're in Florida and we're in Canada. Does the climate make any difference?
    The area climate and seasonal variations
    are EVERYTHING to the equipment.
    Like ...
    Canada has ~5,000+ heating hours and SW FL has 50.
    You have ~400 cooling hours and SW FL has 2,500.

    2-stage applies to Heating or Cooling

    2-stage is all about Comfort + Performance and
    how the equipment handles less than peak load
    which generally may be said to be > 70% of the time.

    3 of the 4 local contractors recommended 2-stage.

    Would you prefer a little less noise and better air distribution?
    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    6
    Originally posted by kkarin
    I'm deciding between the Lennox G51 (single stage) 90M BTU and a Trane (two-stage) 80M BTU furnace. Apparently, our current furnace is 100M BTUs and we're getting about 60% efficiency out of it now so we should be okay with an 80M BTU unit. We'll also be getting a drum humidifier, but I haven't done much research on them. If we get the Trane, the contractor has White Rogers humidifiers and we'll probably go with that. The other company sells General Aire humidifiers. Do you know anything about the different humidifier brands?
    If you do anything, stay away from the drum humidifiers. If your current furnace is 19 years old, then it has a drum humidifier. Take a look in the water tray and see what kind of gunk and crap is in there. Because it's mostly stagnant water, you can get slime and scale build up. You have to clean those at the minimum once every two or three months. I'm not to sure about the status of newer drum humidifiers and if they work in the same manner as the old ones, but I'm assuming they do. When I got a quote on the White Rogers humi, it was about $25 more than the Aprilaire and the Aprilaire comes with the outside temperature gauge. Also, the contractor suggested the White Rogers 1 stage t-stat for my 2 stage furnace and it's about $25 more than the 2 stage honeywell t-stat from Home Depot. Make sure you look around and do some more research, the internet is a great tool to accomplish this.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Danbury Connecticut
    Posts
    17
    Well, There are no 2 stage tstats at Home Depot, well not in Toronto. I had to go to a HVAC or electrical supply house.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    6
    Originally posted by chocfull-o-nuts
    Well, There are no 2 stage tstats at Home Depot, well not in Toronto. I had to go to a HVAC or electrical supply house.
    Sorry about that, I was at the Home Depot in Richmond Hill.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Buffalo, MN
    Posts
    20

    We'll also be getting a drum humidifier, but I haven't done much research on them.

    Definitely stay away from drum humidifiers. All that mold and mildew you see in the drum is getting distributed through you home and ductwork. Look into either an Aprilaire or Honeywell bypass humidifier.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event