The design of heating systems has evolved to give Houston homeowners more options for finding the best energy-efficient units for their needs. A traditional design uses a single stage of heating air to warm your home. Newer single-stage heating systems are more energy-efficient than older models yet less efficient than two-stage heating systems. When a single-stage unit is turned on, it runs at the maximum capacity of the unit. Single-stage units do require a lower upfront cost and are very reliable, but two-stage heating offers lower energy costs each month.
Another option that we recommend to Houston homeowners who want to replace their current units to save on energy costs is a two-stage design. A two-stage unit runs at a lower capacity, typically 60% to 70% most of the time, and only runs at 100% capacity when you need to quickly warm the interior of your home. The up-front investment of a two-stage heating system is returned when you save money on utility bills. Here is how a two-stage heater works as well as the benefits of using it.
1. Set the Temperature
Two-stage heaters rely on thermostats the same way one-stage heating systems do. You set the desired temperature on an analog thermostat or program your thermostat to follow a schedule. When the temperature inside your home reaches a point that is below your setting, the heating system is turned on until the desired temperature is reached.
2. Operation at 100% Capacity
The variable outdoor temperatures in Houston during winter is where the two-stage heating design shines. On days when it is very cold outside, the temperatures inside your home are lower compared to mild days. A two-stage heating system is able to detect a significant temperature difference between the ambient air in your home and the temperature that you set on the thermostat. On these days, the system fully opens the fuel valve of your furnace to operate at 100% capacity. This quickly gets the temperature inside your home to a comfortable level. Once the temperature is reached, the unit closes the fuel valve, and the unit operates at 70% capacity to maintain the temperature but for a longer time than at 100% capacity.
3. Operation Reduced to 70% Capacity
On days when the difference between ambient air temperature and thermostat settings is smaller, a two-stage heating system operates only at the lower 70% capacity. It may run longer than a one-stage system under similar circumstances, yet you will see a savings in utility costs because less fuel is being used overall.
4. Heating System Filters the Air
Do you have dust, pollen, and other airborne particles in your home? Indoor air quality improves with a two-stage heating system. Because the unit runs longer compared to a one-stage design, the air is filtered more often. This removes a larger amount of dust, pollen, and pet dander from the air in your home. Another concern for Houston homeowners is how to prevent bacteria, viruses, and mold that come through their HVAC systems. You can replace your filters with ones that are designed to capture smaller particulates.
5. System Eliminates Cold Spots
Cold spots are common problems in Houston-area homes. These spaces where the temperature is lower are the result of how a single-stage furnace works. A system that operates only at full capacity is not triggered to turn on until there is a specific temperature difference near the thermostat. Two-stage heating systems correct this problem by design. The unit runs at a lower capacity rather than turning off until the temperature drops a certain amount. You notice that the temperature is more consistent in your home so you don’t have to constantly adjust the thermostat based on where you are spending time.
Two-Stage Heating Systems for Houston Homes
Two-stage heating systems are great options for Houston homes due to the variable winter conditions that are common in the area. Texas Pride AC & Heating specializes in two-stage furnaces, and we help you find the best heating unit for your needs and budget. We also provide our customers with exceptional HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance services. To learn more about two-stage heating systems and our services, call us for more information. We can also set up an appointment with one of our experts to discuss your needs or with one of our technicians to come to your home.