If you’re on the market for a new furnace, the type of blower your new unit has may not be the first thing you think about. The blower is responsible for circulating air through your house and therefore has a direct impact on the comfort level in your home.
Furnaces are available with single-stage, dual-stage, and modulating blowers. Single-stage blowers run at full speed constantly, and dual-stage blowers can alternate between low- and high-speed settings. Modulating blowers vary their speed in response to your home’s heating needs, and this function provides several unique benefits.
1. Improved Energy Efficiency
Naturally, a single-stage furnace blower that runs at full capacity the entire time you’re using your furnace can be a big energy waster. Since they cannot vary their heat output, furnaces with these blowers will typically cycle on and off more frequently. It takes more energy to start up your furnace than to keep it running, which further drives up energy costs.
A dual-stage furnace partially addresses the issues with single-stage blowers by switching to a low power mode when heating demands are lower. However, this does not match the energy savings of a modulating blower that can respond to temperature changes more precisely. Many of these furnaces also have modulating gas valves to reduce fuel usage as well as fan speed during times of low heating demand.
2. Better Indoor Air Quality
Many homeowners invest in indoor air quality devices such as whole-house air purifiers or dehumidifiers. These devices do wonders for air quality, but they can only treat air that is circulating through them. This means that while your furnace blower is off, your home isn’t getting any air quality benefits.
However, modulating furnaces have less air circulation downtime than other types. Instead of shutting off, your furnace will spend more time with the blower running at minimum capacity. This provides a continuous circulation of air that takes full advantage of indoor air quality devices as well as your standard furnace filter.
3. More Consistent Temperatures
You’ve likely experienced times in your home where the temperature in most rooms was comfortable, but certain rooms or even parts of rooms were colder than they should be. The frequent start and stop cycle of standard furnaces makes uneven temperatures throughout your home much more likely. Furthermore, you’re stuck with these cold spots in your home until your furnace starts up again.
Modulating furnaces are much better at delivering consistent temperatures in every room of your home. Constant air circulation and a more precise response to heating demands ensures that even parts of your home that don’t receive heat directly will be supplied with heated air.
4. Longer System Life
Any appliances with moving parts will experience wear and tear over time, and your furnace blower is no exception. The longer you use your furnace, the greater the risk of worn bearings, damaged belts, and mechanical damage.
Your furnace blower is also under greater stress when it first starts up. Starting up your furnace sends a surge of electrical current to the blower, and the level of lubrication inside the motor is also lower when it has been at rest. Since modulating blowers can run at less than full speed and experience fewer cycles, you may be able to get several more years of life out of a unit with a modulating blower.
Modulating blowers were once only found in high-end furnaces, but they are becoming more common in mid-range and budget models. Keep the advantages of a modulating blower in mind when shopping for a new furnace, and contact us at Carrano Air HVAC Contractors, Inc , for all your heating and cooling needs.