Thermostats do play a huge role in our households as they ensure that a comfortable environment in your home is created by your furnace. That is why it is important to understand how the furnace works. As there are three types of thermostat furnaces, single, dual and multiple thermostats, we are going to have to talk about one of them in this article. And that is the two-stage thermostat. So what is a two-stage thermostat?

The two-stage heating system means that the furnace has two levels of providing heat in your home. They basically have a ‘high’ and ‘low’ setting, which provides a bit more efficiency than the single-stage thermostat.  

Usually, the low setting is used more often in many households ensuring that your furnace doesn’t burn a lot of fuel, unlike the other thermostats. That’s just one of the perks a two-stage thermostat comes with. And that’s not it, keep reading to know more about the two-stage thermostat.

What does a 2-stage thermostat do? 

A dual thermostat has two levels of heat output, the ‘low’ and the ‘high’ setting which provides a bit more efficiency than the other thermostats. So how does it work? Once your thermostat is powered on, the low setting is fired up to meet household heating demands 80% of the time and in most conditions, the high setting is not fired up. 

However, on cold days the furnace will then switch on the second stage burners which will operate at peak capacity until the desired temperature is reached. But before the second stage is turned on by your furnace, the internal sensor that is incorporated into the furnace monitors the return air temperature. So if the low stage/ first stage doesn’t reach the desired temperature, then the furnace itself automatically switches on the high/second stage. 

Unfortunately, the second stage keeps running until the desired temperature is reached, making your bills skyrocket. But the good thing about using the 2 stage thermostat is that the furnace “learns” how you prefer your temperature and so after a few days it adjusts the temperature on how you like it without firing up the second stage. It only switches on the second stage only when the first stage furnace doesn’t maintain your desired temperature, especially during cold days. 

Below are some of the advantages that come by using a two-stage thermostat:

  • It has a more efficient performance– the fuel used by the two-stage thermostat is quite lower than that of the standard single-stage thermostat. And this is why the 2-stage thermostat runs mostly on the ‘low’ setting while the single-stage thermostat runs at high capacity burning more fuel. 
  • Great comfort– with a 2-stage thermostat, you don’t need to regulate your temperature every single time. The best thing about this device is that it eliminates this problem and provides excellent temperature regulation. 
  • It ensures a noiseless operation– In most homes, the ‘low’ settings in the 2-stage thermostat is what is mostly used. So the fan’s speed keeps the noise lower.
  • It has an enhanced air filtration– When the furnace operates on the first stage, the speeds are lower and the filter has more time and opportunity to trap air contaminants.

How Do You Hook up a 2-Stage Thermostat?

A two-stage thermostat is similar to the one-stage but with additional heating and cooling methods. So how do you hook up a 2-stage thermostat?

  • Cut the power at the circuit breaker
  • Pull the body of the existing thermostat of the wall
  • Install the faceplate of the new 2-stage thermostat
  • Connect the wires of the 2-stage thermostat to the household wires. 
  • Install the body of the thermostat to the mounting plate
  • Turn on the power at the circuit breaker 

What is the difference between a 1-stage and 2-stage thermostat?

The main difference between the 1-stage and 2-stage furnace is flexibility. A furnace with 1-stage heating contains a fixed gas valve with a single-speed blower motor and are either on and running at full capacity or are off unlike the 2-stage thermostat which contains a two-stage gas valve with a variable-speed blower motor and allows the furnace to run at either a lower setting or a higher setting. 

Can I use a 2 stage thermostat with a single-stage furnace?

Yes, you can. Using a 2-stage thermostat will not harm your single-stage furnace. And because the control board is compatible with a single-stage thermostat the furnace will still work on both stages. 

How do I know if I have a 2-stage Cooling System?

The best way to determine if you have a 2-stage cooling system is by popping your current thermostat’s cover off its base to look at the wires underneath. Once the cover is off its base, look at the wires that lead to the W, W1, Y, and Y1 terminals. Then with that, you will come to know that your thermostat is of a 2-stage cooling system. 

Are 2-Stage Furnaces Worth It?

Yes, they do. Even though the installation cost can be a little bit costly, two-stage furnaces do have money-saving benefits. The two-stage furnace is more efficient than the one-stage furnace because it doesn’t release as much fuel into the heat exchanger, unlike the one-stage furnace. 

Does a Two-Stage AC Run All the Time?

A two-stage AC runs at full capacity when you need it to and at a lower level when you don’t. Two-stage units do not run as continuously as a variable speed AC but the good thing is that they do cycle on and off less frequently than the one-stage AC. 

How do I Know if My Thermostat is Compatible with my 2-Stage HVAC System?

You already know that you are using a 2-stage HVAC system, so to know if your thermostat is compatible with your HVAC system all you HVAC to do is:

  • Remove the cover of your thermostat
  • Make note of the letters found on the cables already plugged in, on the thermostat.
  • Then visit various pages of the thermostats you would like to purchase to check whether they are compatible with your HVAC system.

Now knowing what to do, you will be able to determine what thermostat will suit your needs and budget.  But even before you do that, there are some of the best thermostats we have compiled for you and can choose from.

Best 2-stage thermostats

1. Google Nest Learning Thermostat

This device has a side-touch interface that connects the furnace with the thermostat so that you no longer have to turn on the thermostat to go through the settings.

As much as it doesn’t have an in-built speaker, it works well with Alexa and Google Assistant. It has its own app as well. In addition to all that, this device is more pocket-friendly than all its predecessors. 

2. EMERSON Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat. 

It has a phone and voice control, it offers a responsive color touch screen control panel.

It’s an easy device to install. It is a bit expensive but worth it as it is compatible with both the single-stage and the 2-stage HVAC system. The thermostat can be controlled using Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant. The thermostat supports geofencing, which is it will adjust the heating/cooling settings based on your location.  

3. The Amazon Smart Thermostat

It works with the Alexa app with Alexa voice commands.

This thermostat is pocket-friendly. This thermostat is energy-certified. It has a touchscreen interface and even though it is minimal, it is easy to navigate. The Amazon smart thermostat is not compatible with Google Assistant and Apple Homekit. 

4. Honeywell WiFi Smart Color Thermostat

The Honeywell WiFi thermostat is a dual-band thermostat that uses long-range sensors to provide a uniform temperature in your home.

It is easy to install and manage, it has a built-in touch display, a mobile app, has a remote room sensor, works really well with Alexa, and has dual-band WiFi. The thermostat is compatible with most HVAC systems and contains push-to-connect wire terminals for heating and cooling. The downside of it is that it doesn’t integrate directly with other Honeywell devices. 

5. Ecobee Smart Thermostat With Voice Control

This thermostat is a great update from the Ecobee4.

It has enhanced Alexa with multimedia support, has powerful audio components, a dual band-WiFi, has a friendly user-friendly app, lots of third-party apps, it can be installed very easily, has a single remote smart sensor that helps to keep the temperature uniform throughout, and has longer battery life. 

6. Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat

It has an easy setup process, has a touch display and design that adds to the home aesthetics.

It is an easy-to-use thermostat with a flexible app that can be used to control your thermostat through the internet from wherever you are. And so with all those features, the thermostat comes at an affordable price. Some of the pros are:

  • It is a simple device with a useful app
  • Has a good amount of smart home integration.
  • It can be connected to remote sensors. 

7. Mysa Smart Thermostat

The first thing that you would notice about this thermostat is its clean look design.

It is a simple device to use, it comes with voice control, it has great permanence, and automatically adjusts the temperature as needed. 

8. Bosch Smart Phone WiFi Thermostat

As with any good thermostat, the Bosch thermostat lets you control your home’s heating and cooling device from anywhere, using the mobile app on your phone.

It has a large full-color touch-screen display, is an easy device to install and program, and works well with Alexa voice commands. 

9. Suntouch Command Touch Screen Programmable Thermostat. 

This thermostat offers easy reliable control for your floor heating system.

It is an easy-to-use device. It has a high-resolution touchscreen that offers brilliant displays. It monitors the energy use by your thermostat, has a home automation system, which automatically turns on and off your thermostat, and has a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty from the day you buy it. 

10. Glas Smart Thermostat

The Glas smart thermostat is one good-looking thermostat with a sleek look making it one of the neatest looking thermostats. 

The device itself is accompanied by Microsoft Cortana’s Al. It has a touchscreen and comes with a very unique ability to measure indoor air quality. Some of the pros are:

  • It has a voice control feature
  • It has a futuristic design
  • It measures indoor air quality 

When you have this device in your home, it provides you with basic functionalities like temperature control, voice control, and scheduling. Using the mobile app, you can make any adjustments you would wish to have. However, the Glas app doesn’t offer more information than the thermostat itself and energy savings. 

11. Honeywell Home WiFi Smart Thermostat. 

It offers advanced fan settings designed to keep you comfortable in your own home.

If you do not set a schedule for this device then your thermostat will learn from its algorithm how to operate automatically. The thermostat itself will send you warnings when it registers extreme degree shifts against the norm, making you aware that you need to replace your air filter. It tracks indoor humidity, has its own app, and can maintain one degree of accuracy on any temperature setting.  

12. Gocontrol Smart thermostat

The gocontrol thermostat has a straightforward process of installing your thermostat even if you are new at this.

It is painlessly easy to use the thermostat, you can control it from anywhere using the phone app, it has a super sleek look that catches the eye real quick and would look great in your home. It is cheap and has a warranty that will protect you if anything were to happen to the device.


The two-stage thermostats are great devices that help you to save money on electricity bills, especially when you are away from home. These amazing thermostats monitor your home’s activity for a few days after you have purchased it, and automatically adjust the temperature to just how you like it. And even as you look for a new thermostat, you will learn that all those devices come with an app that you can use anywhere as long as there is an internet connection.

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