Cleveland HVAC Blog

Modulating Furnaces vs Zoned Systems:  What's Ideal For Your Home?

Posted by P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling on Thu, Jan 07, 2016 @ 10:10 PM

modulating-vs-zoned-furnace.jpgIf you pay attention to the typical home furnace system, you might notice that it's an energy hog. And it's more indiscriminate than efficient, really: it just pours out heat through all the home's vents until the entire house is more or less the right temperature. If it pours out too much heat, it stops; if there isn't enough, it kicks on. When you think about it, this is not unlike driving your car with the accelerator fully depressed or the breaks on -- how comfortable is that? Many Americans are accustomed to this kind of furnace that they don't know there's a better way. But is there?

Modulating Furnaces

The typical furnace has exactly two settings: off and on. It'll heat your home until it's around the right temperature (or slightly warmer) and then shut off to let your house cool. You've probably noticed the rising and falling temperature yourself.

A modulating furnace, on the other hand, cuts down on that variation using two simple tricks: it fluctuates the amount of warm air the furnace pumps out, or varies the amount of heat the furnace itself produces.

In weather that's just cool and not frigid, for example, a modulating furnace will use a lower heat production and a gentle breeze of warm air. But during a cold spell, the furnace warms the air to a higher temperature to combat heat loss, and more of it flows through your home.

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Home Zoning

Home zoning systems cut down on waste by simply delivering less heat to rooms that need less heat, and more to rooms that need more.

As you move from room to room in your daily life, you may turn on and off light bulbs, for example. But most people can't do the same with heat. With a single thermostat, it's akin to having one light switch for all the lights in your home. When you're asleep in bed at night, you probably don't need the dining room heated, and so on. 

The combination of a modulating furnace and zoning is often the best of both worlds. This approach gives you control for each zone and system that varies intensity depending the outdoor temperature and unique needs of each zone. This combination yields the ultimate in comfort.  

Which is Right for Your Home?

A lot of factors impact how your home handles heat. You may have a large family or a home business which means all your space gets used; you may have rooms with special heating needs, like sun rooms or converted garages. Speak to an expert at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling today!

Topics: modulating vs zoned furnace

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