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 They all look the same right ?Hopefully I can do a good job of explaining the different options so you can make the best decision for your home. 

Single stage furnace

The single stage furnace is what you already have. If you turn the thermostat up the furnace comes on and blows hot air until the thermostat tells it to stop.

Two stage furnace

The two stage furnace is like having two furnaces. One smaller one and one bigger one.

The smaller one will do most of the work and the bigger one will help out when needed.

The purpose is to have the furnace run longer than it would if you only had a big furnace.

Running the furnace longer can help the house heat more evenly. Buying a two stage furnace is for comfort and will not save you money on your energy bills as the advertising would have you believe. Your house will lose heat to the outside at the same rate no matter what type of furnace you have in the basement. So the efficiency of your furnace matters not how many stages it has.

Modulating furnace

The modulating furnace is like having 99 little furnaces with a computer to tell them how many should be on at any given time. The theory is to heat the house very evenly with only the smallest amount of air required to maintain the temperature in your house. These furnaces tend to have the highest efficiency ratings 97 or 98% vs 95 or 96% for the other types of furnaces

ECM or Variable Speed blower motor

The ECM blower motor ,also known as a Variable Speed, is a newer type of motor for the blower on your furnace. These new motors have the abilty to run at very low speeds while being very efficient. This can be beneficial if you like to run the blower on your furnace continuously to clean or circulate the air in your home. These new motors are promoted to save you large sums of money on your electrical bills. Wisconsin focus on energy says up to $400 a year. The truth is most people will not see those kind of savings. In the winter time any energy the old type of motor wastes becomes heat which lowers your gas bill. When you use your central air conditoner waste heat from your blower is a bad thing so the new style motor may make sense if you use your A/C often.

So now what ?

Which brand do I go with?

What type of furnace do I want and do I need two stages or an ECM?

Which heating contractor do I hire?


       Which brand you choose is probably the least important decision. All of the large manufactures have the resources to stand behind their products. They all have many thousands of furnaces out in the market, so if there is a design problem they have no choice but to find a solution. Price is a different story. Just because you pay more doesn't mean you get more. They all have the same warrantys and if you put them all next to each other it would be tough to point out why one is better than the other. So price is mostly about marketing, brand recognition and market share not quality or longevity.

        What type of furnace you should choose will be based on several factors. One of the most important factors is always cost. A properly sized single stage furnace is hard to beat for both installed price and long term maintenence cost. However depending on how you use your furnace a 2 stage furnace or an ECM blower may make financial sense.

        At Affordable Furnace replacements I won't try to sell you a furnace you don't want or need. My profit margin is the same no matter what type of furnace you choose. My goal is to make sure your new furnace meets your needs and expectations.

Free estimates                                                                                               State Licensed/Insured

                                    Serving Southeastern Wisconsin

Ten year parts warranty                                                               Lifetime heat exchanger warranty

Call Dan at 920-763-6137

Mon-Sat  7am - 8pm

WI HVAC Contractor Registration# 1228295

WI HVAC Qualifier Certification# 143546