Tempstar Furnaces – affordable, reliable, quite and with all the benefits you want in a furnace!

After 85 years of experience selling, installing and personally using different furnace brands for 3 generations we have personally come to trust the Tempstar name. Tempstar Furnaces have a solid track record for reliable comfort that Ottawa homeowners need and demand and at a price that doesn’t break the bank.

In fact, we were so impressed with the Tempstar brand that Francis Plumbing & Heating became a Certified Tempstar Elite Dealer. To become a certified Tempstar dealer you have to participate in their mandatory technician certification training program – so Tempstar knows that you not only know their equipment but are certified in installations and service going forward to provide seamless operations for our Ottawa homeowners.

How do I know which Tempstar Furnace is right for my home?

The first thing you need to know before purchasing any furnace is the size of your home. The size of your home will dictate what size furnace your home needs to be able to maintain a comfortable temperature while providing energy savings.

If your furnace is under-sized it will run all the time and never meet the demand – meaning the house will feel cold or have cold spots and the furnace will burn out prematurely from running all the time (meaning you have to replace it much sooner). In addition an undersized furnace will burn more fossil fuels than it needs to costing you more in operating costs and increasing your carbon footprint as a result (which adds to global warming).

If your furnace is over-sized it causes rapid short cycling of the unit (it never gets to run long enough to go into any of the higher efficiency modes of operation which compromises air flow creating cold spots/hot spots in the home and may not run long enough to keep humidity controlled which can cause mold and water damage to windows.  Short cycling (fast turning on and off) also shortens the life of the unit drastically (meaning you have to replace it much sooner).

In other words – size matters. It can’t be too small or too big.

But there is more to sizing than just the square footage of your home.  When you get a free in-home estimate from Francis Plumbing and Heating our trained estimators also perform a heat loss calculation that takes into consideration the square footage (size) of your home, but they also consider the number of duct runs and air returns and other home features that can affect the temperature of your home. For example did you know that more glass (windows) = higher heat loss in the home which effects the size of the furnace you buy. Newer homes are being designed to let in more natural light meaning MORE windows, more glass, more heat loss.

The duct work is also very important because it tells the estimator how much air flow is required to achieve balanced air flow throughout the house evenly. Badly installed duct work or not enough air flow causes all kinds of issues in the home (cold basements, hot top floors, cold and hot spots in the home, sweating windows, ice build up on windows inside the house causing mold and other bio-hazards).

Lets face it – it’s complicated – it took an engineer to design your home, it takes a trained certified company to heat and cool your home properly so the value of your home, your health and your comfort isn’t compromised.

Just want to know what size you need? Call or click the chat button to book a free no obligation in-home estimate with an HVAC professional who will verify the best size for your home and provide you with options based on what you personally want within a budget you can afford. 


Once you know what size unit the next thing you need to know is what functionality do you want?

Tempstar Furnaces offer many different styles to fit your specific home requirements and comfort desires.


  • Single Stage Furnace with ECM Motor
    • Single stage meaning the gas valve has only one stage – it turns on (High) when the thermostat calls for heat, it turns off when the temperature is reached.  A single stage furnace is the most basic (and economical) furnace since the single stage gas valve basically just turns on and off as heat is required. The ECM Motor – motor means the fan motor that blows the air through the house, ECM is the type of motor which is a huge leap forward in technology over the old AC motor (or PSC motor as often referred) as it uses only a tiny fraction of the electricity previously needed to make the fan motor run.
    • The Tempstar N95ESN is a great Single Stage Furnace rated at 95% AFUE (95% AFUE means 95% Efficiency) with a single stage gas valve and ECM Motor for consistent reliability but the Tempstar N95ESN does lack the more modern features that many homeowners are now demanding in today’s world.
  • Two Stage Furnace with ECM Motor
    • Two stage meaning it has two different stages in one gas valve – this two stage gas valve has two settings Low and High – when the thermostat calls for heat it goes into low for a set amount of time – if the temperature on the thermostat isn’t reached in that time it switches to High till it achieves the thermostat temperature, then it will return to low setting to maintain the temperature. This means it will run in Low mode longer and more frequently and will only use High mode if it is really cold out. Low will use a bit less fuel than High thus lowering your fuel cost and carbon footprint annually. It also means that the two stage is a bit more efficient than a single stage. This one also has the better ECM motor which uses much less electricity than older model AC motors.
    • The Tempstar F96VTN is a great Two Stage Furnace rated at 96% AFUE (96% Efficiency) meaning it typically runs on Low but will only switch to High as needed (saving you money and lowering your carbon footprint by just a smidge every month) but this model the Tempstar F96VTN also lacks some of the more modern features that many homeowners want.
  • Two Stage Furnace with Communicating Variable Speed ECM motor
    • Two Stage works much like the standard two stage furnace (it has a 2 stage gas valve and operates at Low or High) but has added benefits. The ECM Motor (uses less electricity) is ALSO Variable – Variable motor means that the motor itself will compensate for air flow – this means that if you block off air vents in one room it will continue delivering the same air flow to the rest of the house, if a piece of furniture blocks an air return your air flow rate remains the same it will also compensate for a dirty air filter pushing more air in order to maintain the same air flow.  Of course we recommend replacing that dirty filter but in the meantime your air flow isn’t compromised.  The Communicating feature is the real bells and whistles homeowners are looking for as it can communicate with a smart thermostat.  The Ion thermostat is specifically designed to work best with these units (giving you even more controls than a standard wifi thermostat alone).
    • The Tempstar F96CTN Two Stage Communicating Variable Speed rated at 96% AFUE (96% Efficiency)  is our best selling Two Stage Furnace because it has the variable speed ECM motor (2 stage Low/High, variable speed maintains air flow and ECM uses less electricity than the old AC motor) and it operates in Low mode for the most part (meaning it burns a bit less fuel saving money and lowering your carbon footprint). The communicating feature means it can be run with any smart thermostat but to get the full benefits we recommend the Ion wifi thermostat.
    • The Tempstar Ion wifi thermostat (made by ICP) is highly recommended to go with the Tempstar F96CTN furnace as it provides you with not only controls from your smart devices (smart phones, alexa, siri), it tells you if there are issues with your furnace (sending you a message on your smart phone and the display if anything needs to be looked at even just letting you know when it is time to change the filter so you don’t forget).
  • Modulating Furnace with Communication Variable Seed ECM Motor
    • This is the top of them all. The Modulating Furnace has a gas valve that can change in 1% increments meaning it isn’t only On/Off (single), or Low/High (2 stage), this one can operate at exactly what your home needs to maintain the ultimate level of comfort (you can think of it as a 70 stage gas valve). It will only use enough gas to keep your home at whatever temperature you set it all – meaning it is the ultimate in efficient and comfort (the house wont cool off before the unit notices – it notices every degree of temperature change and adjust settings to maintain your preferred comfort level). Modulating has really put the comfort in heating systems with fuel efficiencies that save money and save carbon on the environment. The modulating furnace again has the ECM Motor (uses less electricity) is ALSO Variable – Variable meaning the motor itself will compensate for air flow to maintain consistent air flow in each room of your house PLUS it also has the communicating feature (meaning it will hook up to a smart wifi thermostat).
    • The Tempstar F97CMN Modulating Communicating Variable Speed Furnace rated at 98% AFUE (98% Efficiency) is the dream model people are talking about these days. It combines the best of everything: full modulating gas valve (100 stage gas valve to burn only at the most economical setting needed to keep your home comfortable self adjusting as needed to keep your home exactly where you want it), it also has the ECM Motor (uses less electricity), Variable Speed motor (meaning consistent air flow), PLUS has that amazing Communication feature that allows you to communicate with smart phone controls to change it as you like and receive notifications when filters need to be changed or if there are ever any issues with the furnace you are informed. Because of the additional features the Ion wifi thermostat is the only thermostat we recommend in order to benefit from these additional features. Without the Ion wifi thermostat this unit will operate like the F96CTN and you will lose out on the modulating benefits.
    • The Tempstar F97CMN Can also be set up with individual room controls – with the addition of zone dampers installed in each individual room duct work. Note, adding this feature can be pricey due to the number of zone dampers that have to be installed into the existing duct work (it would require opening walls to access duct work, installation, electrical wiring, then when completed drywall repairs, repainting, etc.) For this reason we are not recommending this upgrade feature – but it is available for anyone who needs to be able to control the temperature in different rooms so that each room can be customized to fit your specific home needs (ideal for homes with expensive musical instruments like grand pianos or harps that require specific humidity levels and ideal temperature settings to maintain tuning and longevity of the wood, strings and keys).
    • The Tempstar Ion wifi thermostat (made by ICP) is necessary to activate all the features of Tempstar F97CMN furnace.  As previously stated it provides you with not only controls from your smart devices (smart phones, alexa, siri), it tells you if there are issues with your furnace (sending you a message on your smart phone if anything needs to be looked at or if filters need changing). If you are considering the individual room controls then the Ion thermostat also gives you controls over temperature settings in individual rooms in your home (you chose what temperature you want for each individual room in your house) for complete individualized temperature comfort.

Our goal is always to provide clear information to homeowners (without all the confusing trade language used or at least with these words defined so you understand what it is you are reading about).  We believe as an informed homeowner it will help you in making the right decision as to what is best for your home – after all you know how you like your home best. Our job when estimating is simply to measure things up, perform a heat load calculation so we can recommend the appropriate size then its up to you to decide what type of system you want. Our estimator is also there answer any questions you may have about the different options available.

Once you have decided on the size and equipment – then it’s time to look into optional indoor air quality (IAQ) options such as:

  • Humidifiers (helps keeps your home and your skin/hair/lungs and more hydrated)
  • Filtration (filters air born particles like pet dander, lint, dust, dust mites, pollen, etc. the higher the Merv rating the finer the particles they remove from the air)
  • UV Ultraviolet Lights (sanitizes furnace and kills mold, fungi, bacteria, germs, viruses and pathogens)

Last but not least – you need to decide on a Warranty you can live with.

Manufacturers only provide parts warranties but the labour can far exceed parts when it comes to costly repairs so you want to make sure the labour warranty is also long enough to give you peace of mind.  Most companies offer extended warranties – be sure to ask what is included with those extended warranties (they don’t always cover all the costs).

A good extended warranty will include:

  • Parts coverage (for ordering and picking up warranty parts from the supplier)
  • Diagnostic Fee (since a diagnostic is not an actual repair many warranties do not cover this fee but it is a necessary part of getting any repairs done since the manufacturers require a certified licensed technician perform a diagnostic to discover what warranty part needs to be fixed or replaced – when in doubt ask)
  • Full Labour Coverage

Typically the only thing an extended warranty will not cover is any emergency after hours fee but it should cover the rest – never assume it does always ask be sure.

Ready for a free quote? Call or click the chat button to book a free no obligation in-home estimate with an HVAC professional who will verify the best size for your home and provide you with options based on what you personally want within a budget you can afford.