Skip to comments.best high efficiency natural gas furnace ?
Posted on 02/28/2014 12:53:02 PM PST by TurboZamboni
I've never seen brands rated in Consumer Reports.
Time for a new one and this winter only made it more apparent.
Or ...if you know an unbiased source to research.
Go geothermal, more up front but between your air and heat you will save in the long run by far.
I think that Consumer Reports rates models not brands. Some good brands can have something bad like the Pinto with Firestone 500 tires.
It’s not new construction and I don’t have 30k laying around.
Gotta drill a couple wells for that, eh? How deep do they have to be? How much moolah? Might work for me, as I already have one unused well. But your electric bill will go up a lot running the pumps in Northern Ohio,,, wouldn’t it?
Lennox? At least it was good years ago.
Combine a natural gas furnace with a heat pump, unless you live somewhere where the temps get below 30 degrees and stay there for long periods of time.
What I can tell you from experience is not scrimp on size. If the furnace is too small for the job, it will run all the time and cost you more to operate. You could lose the savings on the smaller heater in one month.
My gas heater pushing steam died last year mid winter. I went on my backup heat system
Not the one I have, but you get the idea. Heating bill went down by 50%, ended up using it again this year. I have a old drafty house, this is the warmest inside winter ever.
I love my ventless heater. At some point I am going to have to replace the one in the basement, but I really dont want to spend the money.
My Bryant (now Carrier) made here in Indiana failed the heat exchanger at 7 yrs and while it was “covered by warranty” it was going to cost me about 60% of the cost of a new furnace by the time they were done.
I replaced it with an American Standard which was trouble free for 7 years and I sold the house.
The home I moved to has a Goodman which is 7 years old and has had a number of issues, including pressure switches, a circuit board, and fan motor failure.
If you have a dependable trusted HVAC dealer/servicer, I’d go with that and not sweat the particular brand.
Rheem. We relaced 3 furnaces with 2 Rheems about 5 years ago. Efficiency was a couple of points below the very top rated, but the overall cost was way less. We have been pleased with the overall comfort and cost.
I can’t give you $$ and cents since we went through 2 Wisconsin winters with only one operable furnace and a wood stove heating a 4 furnace house. So, my heating bills are higher than before. But anything would be higher when you compare a house that is heated vs an unheated house! LOL.
I’m in the south and don’t have much to add here but I think it would help if you gave a clearer idea of what you’re doing ... do you need gas to heat liquid (underfloor or radiators) ,, or is this forced air? If you have a certain BTU requirement I think that might narrow the choices a lot...also does it have to be gas?
installed a year ago. Don't know if it's the best choice though.
Goodman which is 7 years old and has had a number of issues
Goodman is a generic “average” quality heater/ac .. they are made here in FL ,, low initial cost but strictly an “also ran” compared to the best.
That’s what the dealer told me. The family I bought the house from had a furnace failure a year before they sold and went for the low bucks.
When the exchanger fails I’ll likely go with a Am Standard because the dealer is a friend of mine and I had good luck with the last one.
Three years ago we replaced our 25 year old gas furnace. We bought a Trane high efficiency furnace. It is smaller but it heats our 200 year old farmhouse nicely and the bills are smaller.
I’ve got a Lenox that is 15 years old and runs like new.
We replaced our gas boiler that was about 70% efficient in 2009. Replaced it with a high efficiency (93%) Buderus GB 142/30 gas fired condensing furnace. Cost was $7875, but there were rebates and incentives at the time that brought it down several thousand dollars. It weighs a little over 100 pounds and mounts on the wall. With my old furnace we averaged about 2510 therms/year, with the Buderis we average about 1664 therms per year. A savings of about 33%. Some people have reported issues with it, I have no issues after 5 years.
Force air-natural gas. (Minnesota)
Aren’t furnaces a little like computers in that they are shells with similar components??
Also, please re-read Post 7, second paragraph. Better to over power than under power...
I replaced my contractor grade Carrier with a Trane and it not only keeps the house more comfortable but at a significant savings. Trane is one of the better choices for longevity and efficiency with the HVAC pros that I come in contact with. YMMV as this house is in VA. I can’t speak to Northern climates.
This works surprisingly well. It won’t replace your furnace, but it helps keep the room you are surprisingly warm and it’s only a few dollars per month.
Are you changing out your A/C as well? If you want to go with a high SEER A/C you will need to get something with a variable speed motor. If you get a new furnace get one that is at least 96% efficient because you will get a rebate from Xcel or Minnegasco for around $425.
Goodman has a ten year parts and a ten year labor warranty.
that is one tiny unit.. where do ya shovel the coal in?
When my dad changes out his 60 year old boiler I think we are going to put in a Navien, the only trouble is finding a way to vent it.
any carrier high efficiency will be very good.
york high-end high efficiency furnaces are great as well.
just get it properly sized for your house (for sq footage there should be proper btu range for the furnace). make sure your ductwork is tight and you adjust dampers accordingly.
Trane has great warranty and a 2 stage compressor in the A/C unit!
Make damn sure when they put the drain line for the condensate it isn’t positioned so it will not freeze in the winter.
I have a Burnham boiler (hot water baseboard) that runs off propane. 1995 manufacture. Seems to do just fine up here in the NM mountains for keeping the place warm. The newer ones are probably more efficient, but I haven’t done the calculation of how long it would take to recover the cost.
The number one thing you will want is for the unit to be properly installed. Most of the big boys in town will do a good job and a lot of inspectors in the metro area will know a good job when they see it. Although, inspectors don't check up on efficiency and proper set up.
It should be noted that the reverse is true for AC, especially in a humid climate.
True. But we are talking heat here.
Same problems as you. I had an old Carrier which lasted at least 25-30 years before the heating chamber cracked.
Had a heating company put in a new furnace, a Goodman. Never heard of it but its efficiency ratings were very good.
However, it is noisy but we can live with it.
Because of a problem with the heating company over a switch in paying for it, (I got taken), I let my annual inspections go, and lost the warranty on parts.
Well, wouldn’t you now it, the Goodman crapped out after 4 years for the following parts, which cost me $400.00
* Power switch Goodman # B1470142 - MADE IN COSTA RICA
* Recor Blower Package #77-138-000 - MADE IN ITALY
400 DOLLARS FOR IMPORTED CRAPPY PARTS FOR WHAT I THOUGHT WAS AN AMERICAN MADE FURNACE?
Now you know why I dropped that company. Unfortunately they had me by the balls re fixing it (we were in the midst of our first major cold spell and I have both disabled and young family members in the house. Couldn’t wait for another company to respond).
Take my advise. Check out everything on a GOODMAN and see if they are foreign made or not. Then try to find an all American-parts furnace if you can.
My family used to be in the plumbing-heating business and we sold parts for furnances (parts that wore out after 10-20 years or more, not less than 5). That was when MADE IN THE US MEANT SOMETHING.
We sold water heaters -Republic, Am. Std, etc. I don’t recall one ever coming back as defective. Today, your warranties for heaters and other items usually are no more than 5 years. HOW LOW WE HAVE COME IN 30 YEARS.
THANK THE UNIONS FOR PRICING OUR GOOD COMPANIES NEARLY OUT OF EXISTENCE and some heating companies for foisting on us inferior products.
GOODMAN SHOULD BE RENAMED ‘BADMAN’. If they want to contact me about their defective parts and giving me some rebate for them, they can contact me through FR.
I recently installed a new furnace in a second home in the mountains and did a lot of research. I first did a search on who makes what brands, because it’s really hard to tell these days. Only a few manufacturers, but a host of brands. There’s a website that lists who makes them and rates them, too (I didn’t keep the link, but I found it on a Google search). Rheem and Goodman make their own, if I remember correctly. One thing came out clearly: they all seem to be more cheaply made now than in the past; so I would ignore the people who say they’ve had a certain brand for the last 10-20 years with no problem. There’s almost no chance that if you bought that brand today, you would be getting the same product or quality that the old furnace represents, and possibly not even the same manufacturer. So here’s what I remember concluding: avoid two-stage furnaces—they are more complicated and therefore break more easily and are not really necessary (but a variable fan is good and a thermostat that will let you run the fan when the furnace is not on to evenly distribute the heat is more important); you pay a lot more to get a 96% efficiency furnace than a 92% one, and it’s not likely to pay you back, so go the cheaper route; you don’t want to undersize or oversize the furnace for a lot of reasons I won’t go into, so carefully do the measurements, or have someone else do them, to properly size what you buy; some of the more heavily promoted brands are some of the worst, like York, and the most expensive brands are not necessarily any better than some of the more modestly priced brands; every brand has a share of poor ratings, but I think a lot of complaints registered about furnaces online are probably due to poor installations, or improperly sized units, and not due to the furnace itself—make sure you have plenty of cold air runs situated where they will draw warm air through the areas you will be spending a lot of time in (maybe you’re stuck with what you have now anyway); install a much larger and better filter in the cold air return by the furnace—almost all filters that come with the furnaces are undersized and don’t filter out small particulates. A good installer that you can really trust solves a lot of these issues, but it’s hard to know. Good luck.
...The two major manufacturers of gas furnaces are United Technology (Carrier, Bryant, Heil, Tempstar, and Comfortmaker brands) and Goodman (Janitrol and Amana). Other brands include Rheem (Ruud), American Standard (Trane), and Lennox (Armstrong). All offer furnaces in a range of capacities and efficiencies, and we think manufacturers generally deliver on those specifications. Each brand offers a generally similar array of key features.
The degree of similarity between manufacturers’ offerings is one reason this report does not include Ratings of furnaces by brand. The most important steps in selecting a furnace, we think, are to ensure that the unit’s specifications fit your needs, that it is bought from a contractor who installs it well, and that it’s adequately maintained. Our survey results help confirm that view: When we asked about the most common reasons for service calls for furnaces, about twice as many contractors we surveyed cited human errorinadequate maintenance, for example, or improper installationas cited defective equipment...
Goodman has a ten year parts and a ten year labor warranty.
I live in central FL ,, unlike Minnesota our AC runs 9-10 months a year in a high humidity environment and we take high intensity lightning hits a few times a year, Yes .. Goodman has a warranty. They may have improved ... but the gold standard here is Trane. Goodman may make their own stuff now (don’t know) but they always used to be reliant on piecing together systems from components purchased from low cost producers... and it showed after a few years..
Usually you don’t need an annual service agreement, unless the company that sold it to you put that in their agreement. Goodman’s 10 year doesn’t include that.
The thing to watch out for is that every brand has essentially three lines of furnaces: premium, budget, and contractor grade. Avoid all furnaces, regardless of brand, except the premium. You’ll pay more, but it’s not gonna need fixing every 3-4 years.
BTW, here’s the best set of reviews on the Internet:
Thanks, that’s very cool.
My recommendation as well, and you may still get some tax benefit based on the efficiency rating. We replaced our older Lennox about 5 years ago, for a new unit by Lennox.
Now I remember, we bought the house from the original owner at 15 years old. Add another 10 years and the heat exchanger of the Lennox unit failed two months just inside the warranty period!! Covered! We got $1,000 off the replacement unit. :-) How’s that for timing!
The temperature is 34 degrees and we still have about 6 inches of snow on the ground and our heat pump was working this morning!
I live in Indiana, my water pump unit cost me $14k to install. Sounds high, but we figured I will save over $1800 or more just this winter alone from my neighbor who heats with gas and also has an electric bill on top of it.
Running a ground loop doesn’t mean just wells, it means trenching around the yard placing the runs horizontal also. I’m lucky that I have both ground and lake loop so my efficiency is a little higher. With a family of 5 the very highest electric bill I have, which is the entire house, heat, hot water, etc. was $297 last month, and that was the highest I’ve ever had a monthly bill come in at. (last month sucked as you well know also) I also keep my house at 71 degrees constant all winter. Duke Energy keeps my rate a little lower because I went all electric but they just increased me to $08.8 a Kw unit last month, not happy about that either.
Costs more in the initial outlay, but if you have enough yard to put the loops in (like a deep sprinkler system, well under the frost line) you can save a ton of money in the long run. Hooked to a generator like I am (25Kv tractor PTO driven one) and I can run my house off my tractor for as long as I have to as well, that has come in handy.
Typo, $397 last month.
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