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Understanding Forced Air Furnace Efficiency Ratings and Blower Motor Stages

In today’s market, forced air furnaces come in many different efficiency ratings

If it’s time to replace your Twin Cities, St. Paul, MN area homes forced air furnace, you need to understand your choices so you can make a smart decision on what equipment will keep your home comfortable for years to come. You can choose to purchase and install a furnace that has an efficiency rating from 80% to up to 98%. The higher the rating, the more heat you get in to your house for each dollar you spend on energy. So with a furnace that is 98% effective, the waste associated with each energy dollar spent is 2 cents. With an 80% efficient furnace, the waste associated with each energy dollar spent is 20 cents. The higher efficiency furnaces incorporate more technology to achieve better performance.


One advanced furnace technology used in high efficiency furnaces is modulation burner output

What that means is the burner strength or heat output is modulated or changed to match the needs of the house. In a perfect system, a forced air furnace would make just enough heat to replace the heat that is lost in your home. Instead of operating full on at 100% (which is wasteful), modulating furnaces operate only to the level as needed to maintain a comfortable temperature. This reduces energy usage while keeping you comfortable.


Another energy saving high efficiency furnace feature is variable stage blower motors

Forced air furnaces contain a blower motor that pushes heated air from your furnace and circulates it through your home’s heating ducts. Higher efficiency furnaces contain new blowers that can save up to 60% on the electrical costs to operate. These new blowers are less noisy and help even out the temperatures in different areas of your home creating greater comfort. Instead of a single stage setting, variable stage blower motors operate at the setting that is needed to maintain comfort in your home.


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