Heating Systems

A Buyer's Guide to Furnaces

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Heating Systems

A Buyer's Guide to Furnaces

Written by

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Whether you need to decide between repairing or replacing your heating system, we’re here to help. We service all makes and models, and can help you to maintain and repair the system you have, or help you to replace it completely.

    Choosing a new furnace can be overwhelming, especially when you feel as though you’ve been pushed into the decision to replace by an unexpected failure. Even in the most well-planned replacement scenario, there’s a lot consider. We’re here to help: our experts will guide you through the process, making sure that you’re armed with the information you need to choose the system best suited to you and your home.

    What matters?

    To help get you started, our experts have compiled a list of the top 3 points you should consider when choosing a new heating system.

    Heating Systems by Type

    Furnaces: Single Stage / Two Stage / Variable Speed

    Knowing the difference between a single, two stage, and variable furnace can help you make a much more informed buying decision. A single stage furnace has only one setting: high. Whenever the furnace is operating, it’s running at full speed regardless of outdoor temperature. There is an “on” and “off” stage with nothing in between. For this reason, single stage furnaces are seen as much less efficient.

    A two stage furnace operates much more efficiently than single stage furnaces. As its name suggests, two stage furnaces have two levels of output, low and high. The first stage (low) operates a majority of the time in most climates. The second stage only kicks in when it’s extremely cold outside: about 25% of the time if you live in Siouxland. Two stage furnaces are much quieter than single stage furnaces since they aren’t constantly running at 100% capacity. Also, carbon monoxide emissions are less which makes for a happier mother earth.

    With the variable speed furnace, the “variable speed” refers to the blower motor in the furnace, rather than the number of stages your furnace goes through to provide heat. Simply put, the blower motor operates at different speeds to better control the flow of heated air in your home. It continuously adjusts blower settings to account for ductwork, furnace location, and dirty filters. This high tech beauty runs much more efficiently than a single stage or two stage furnace, allowing you to save major money and energy.
    A variable speed furnace improves indoor air quality. Even when the furnace is not “on,” the motor can be constantly working to circulate air throughout your home. Air is continuously passing through your filter and being cleaned of contaminates such as bacteria, viruses, and mold spores. When paired with a Pure Air Technology air filtration system, the clean air benefits are exponentially greater.

    Best Investment!
    Though initially more costly than single or two stage options, it takes as little as 5 years for a variable stage furnace to pay for itself in energy costs.


    Bigger is NOT Better – Choosing the Right HVAC Equipment

    Matching your home with the right sized equipment is no easy task, but CW Suter gets the job done right the first time with our HVAC load evaluation calculation. The competition uses an outdated “rule of thumb” method, a method that often leads to oversizing and over selling. Although most HVAC contractors know the benefits of right sizing, they can’t seem to break free of the “bigger is better” mentality. Suter does not share the “bigger is better” bias and instead uses a cutting edge calculation system to make sure your HVAC equipment is the right fit for your home.

    Most people understand that bigger equipment means bigger initial cost. What most don’t know is that bigger equipment has a negative effect on efficiency, costing you even more money over the lifespan of your furnace, furnace, or heat pump. Bigger equipment costs more due to cycling losses. Think of it like stop-and-go traffic compared to highway driving. Stop-and-go traffic is harder on your car. Having your air conditioner or furnace constantly turn on and off is harder on the compressor. An oversized compressor will have a much shorter life than an accurately sized compressor.

    Energy Ratings

    No other system in your home will have a larger impact on your comfort or the size of your utility bill than your HVAC system. The heating efficiency rating for furnaces is Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE. The higher the AFUE, the better the energy performance, and the more you save.


    As a Lennox Dealer, we offer our customers the latest in comfort technology.

    Every home is different, and every family has their own comfort sweet spot. We’re committed to helping you choose the air conditioning system that’s right for you. Our Home Comfort Assessment is designed to find the best solution to fit your needs and your budget.  Schedule an appointment with one of our HVAC experts to have your assessment completed – for free, and without obligation.

    Silent Comfort Technology™ by Lennox®
    Advanced engineering for quiet performance. Take a listen!

    The iComfort Thermostat
    Smart Family. Smart Budget. Smart Home Technology.

    Looking for prices?

    Prices for HVAC products can vary depending on the size of your home and installation factors. For this reason, pricing is not listed on this site or manufacturer’s sites. Our estimates, and our Home Comfort Assessment is always free and without obligation: once your home and needs have been evaluated, we will provide you with a clear estimate.

    The Lennox Residential Product Selector can help you to get an idea of some of the solutions available to you.

    Learn More

    Schedule an appointment to have one of our HVAC experts provide you with a FREE Home Comfort Assessment. Designed to help you identify and address your home’s needs, it’s the most effective method for fitting you with the right central air unit – for your home, family, lifestyle, and budget. Appointments can be made online or by phone.

    Calculate Your Savings

    Visit the Lennox House of Sound

    Written by

  • Energy Efficiency
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