Equipment Buying Guide

Purchasing new equipment for your home comfort system can be a daunting task. But don't worry, at MHR we are here to help every step of the way! Below is an easy to understand guide to the different types of equipment available. As always, one of our comfort advisers is only a phone call or click away with any questions you may have. If you decide to set up a free in-home estimate, our comfort advisers will help you decide what's right for you and your home.


Furnace Burner and Blower Operation - Different furnace types can be categorized according to the operation of the burner and blower with the term "stage." Stage is used to refer to the operation of the furnace's burner and blower and indirectly, the level of sophistication of the technology controlling the burner and blower.

These stages include:

  1. Single Stage Furnace
  2. Two Stage or Dual Stage Furnace
  3. Modulating Furnace
  4. Variable speed/DC motor

1. A single stage furnace is the least expensive and means the burner and blower has one "on" stage.

2. A two stage or dual stage furnace has electronic controls that allow the burner flame and burner to be on at a high and a low setting, depending on the level of heat required.

3. The modulating furnace has electronic controls for the burner and blower motor. These controls allow very fine adjustments to the burner setting and blower motor speed, and modulates them to maintain a temperature that's very close to the thermostat setting.

4. A variable speed motor is capable of running at many different speeds and is not limited to preset speeds. They are more efficient to operate (33% less power consumption) and run much quieter than a conventional motor. One of the biggest benefits of these types of motors is the ability to leave the fan running constantly on a very low speed, to even out the temperature within the entire home.

The efficiency of a furnace is indicated by its AFUE rating. The higher the number out of 100 the more efficient it is!

Air Conditioners

Air conditioners can also be divided into similar categories.

A single stage air conditioner has only one compressor unit outside and has only an "on" and "off" stage.

A two stage air conditioner has two compressor stages and will adjust to either low or high depending on the level of cooling required. The result is energy savings and a more comfortable and evenly cooled space.

The efficiency of an air conditioner is measured in SEER rating. Just like furnaces the higher the SEER the more efficient it is.


A decent humidifier can help make the air you breathe more comfortable. A dry mouth, nose bleed or static shock can be a sign you may need extra humidity as part of your home comfort system. Experts recommend having a humidifier installed whenever real wood products such as hard wood floors are present in the home.


A good thermostat is equally important as your other equipment for maintaining reliability and comfort. A variety of options exist from straight forward "on, off" functionality to full colour touchscreens that can be controlled from your smartphone. Ask one of our Comfort Advisers what may best for you.

Indoor Air Quality

The filtration system in your furnace is your first line of defense against dust, allergens and possible contaminates in your air. MHR offers a number of solutions depending on your needs. We offer an air testing service to help you identify which of the above mentioned offenders may be present in your home.

Explore our products page to put your new skills to use or contact one of our Comfort Advisers who will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.