Other Help Articles

  1. How Much Does A Furnace Installation Cost In Calgary?
  2. How To Save With Alberta Furnace Rebates (2018)
  3. Do High Efficiency Furnaces Run More Often?
  4. How Much Does It Cost To Run A High Efficiency Furnace?
  5. Should My Thermostat Be Set To “On” or “Auto”?

The quick answer to this question is yes and we will tell you why.

How Often Should My Furnace Turn On?

This is a backed question and has many factors that can determine the answer.

Different Types of Furnaces Run For Different Length Of Time Throughout The Day.

To understand why high-efficiency furnaces run more often we must explore how furnaces have evolved over the past 30 years and why the length of time your furnace is running is not necessarily a bad thing.

There are typically three main types of furnaces: single stage, two stage and modulating each will have your furnace working for a different length of time. Understanding which furnace you may have is a great way to determine if your furnace is behaving normal or unusual and also give you an indicator of how much energy you are potentially wasting.

Sing Stage or Single Speed Furnace

Typically, if your home is 10-15 years or older you will have what is known as a single stage or single speed motor. What this means is that your furnace has one speed and is either on or off with nothing in-between. Think about it like a car driving in rush hour traffic. Stop and start all the time is terrible for your fuel efficiency and creates a higher likelihood of repairs and breakdowns.

Modern-day Single stage furnaces are still popular and can be a more affordable option. Check out our Value Daikin Furnace. 

Each time the temperature drops below a threshold in your home the motor kicks in on full blast until the thermostat reads the proper temperature. Now depending on your home, this can lead to areas of your home feeling colder than others and can especially be seen when the thermostat isn’t in the proper location. This is known as a split capacitor electric motor. It is split between off and on.

These furnaces may or may not be high-efficiency. A Non-high-efficiency furnace is usually in the 60-80% AFUE rating or lower. What this means is that for every $1.00 of fuel only 80% is being used while the other 20% is being wasted and essentially lost. This is not good for your wallet at all unless you like wasting money.

Two Stage Furnace

A Two-Stage furnace is exactly what it sounds like. This furnace instead of having an off and on sequence can actually run at two speeds. What this means is that your furnace can run at a lower speed to help maintain your temperature and warm up the furnace unit but also has the ability to go full blast if the temperature really drops. Here your furnace will actually be running more consistently. Not as much off and on as a single stage but will still turn off when needed. This would be more similar to a blend of city and highway driving of a car. Sometimes you are stopped and sometimes you just need that speed to get around.

This is better typically because there is an in-between speed. In its simplest form, you can run at 0% (furnace off) 50% or 100%(furnace full speed) depending on the needs. It can give a nice balance but you still may see your furnace turning off and on.

Usually, these furnaces usually run around 90-95% depending on if it has an ECM motor or not. Here you will start to see more savings on your energy bills. Check out our furnace recommendations. 

Modulating or Variable Speed Furnace

Here is where we get into modern day furnaces with leading efficiency. These furnaces are the premium model of the three. They operate with the ability to run at any speed to consistently maintain your home’s temperature. They don’t use the same amount of energy by having to consistently turn off and on all the time. This also reduces repairs and can help maintain your home’s temperature all the time. Giving you the most control of your comfort.

Think about it like a car on the highway sometimes on cruise control. You are the most fuel efficient and you’ll essentially be running at least 80% of the time.

Our modulating furnaces at JPS Furnace & Air Conditioning running at a whopping 98% efficiency rate. This means you will see only a 2% loss of your fuel. Compare this to the earlier single stage model and you can see a savings of up to 40% depending on your model of furnace. That’s a big saving on your energy bills and for your wallet.

Learn More About Our High Efficiency Furnaces In Calgary

Consumer Choice Award Winner 2018

So let’s go back to the original question

Do High-Efficiency Furnaces Run More Often?

Yes! They definitely do and for good reason. To save your energy bills and ultimately your money.

How Often Should My Furnace Turn On / How Long Does A Furnace Run Per Day?

Well, this depends on a few factors. The type of furnace your home has, the age of your home which can affect how much energy is lost through windows, and poorly insulated walls as well as some external factors like fluctuating weather how often you come in and out etc.

A high-efficiency furnace should be running at least 80% of the day if not longer.

I Have a New Home, A New Two-Stage High-Efficiency Furnace, and It Is STILL Constantly Turning Off And On.


Now you could be the select few who have had a new furnace installed recently or have a newer home in which your furnace is still turning off and on all the time. This could also potentially be an improper sizing of your furnace for your home. What this means is that your furnace could be meant for a home larger or smaller than yours. If It is meant for a larger home than your furnace will turn on heat up extremely quickly and then turn off all in a very short period of time.

See Our Help Article:  Why does my furnace keep turning off and on / Short Cycling?

Why Does My Furnace Keep Turning Off & On / Short Cycling?

Read Our Help Article

Another possibility is a new or old thermostat that isn’t properly calibrated. It may be time for a furnace repair or furnace maintenance.

Furnaces are meant to heat your home over the course of an hour typically, which prevents whats known as short cycling. This means the cycle it takes to heat your home is shorter than it should be causing your furnace to come on off and on frequently throughout the hour.

JPS Furnace & Air Conditioning Experts

If you are looking to explore high-efficiency furnace options or concerned about a furnace repair contact our expert team at JPS Furnace & Air Conditioning. Currently Serving Calgary, Chestermere, Airdrie, Cochrane and the surrounding areas.

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