We compare the top furnace brands and models and rank them based on 6 key categories outlined below. Then we identify three of the best performing furnaces in each category for three price tiers: value, mid-range, and premium.

You can jump ahead to see our top 3 overall picks for the best furnace of 2017.

When it comes to choosing the best high-efficiency natural gas furnace for your family the choices can be overwhelming.  At Furnace Prices we believe in providing consumers with the information they need to make informed decisions about the heating solutions that meet their needs.  To that end we created Battle of the Titans, May the Best Furnace Win: 6 Key Factors to Choosing Your Perfect Furnace as a companion to our popular,  Ultimate Furnace Buyer’s Guide.  

6 Key Factors to Determining the Best Furnace

Our Experts Have Identified the Following 6 Key Comparison Categories for Selecting the Best Furnace Manufacturers & Models:

  1. Efficiency rating
  2. Features
  3. Price and Overall Value
  4. Warranty Information
  5. Brand Recognition
  6. Quietness

We will review the top three brand models for the value, mid-range and premium options available in each category.

What about reliability, you ask?

The fact is that the reliability of a furnace depends on more than just the brand and model. Things like proper installation, correct sizing, and how well maintained the furnace is can all affect lifespan and reliability. These added variables make it difficult to evaluate which brands are most reliable, because the contractor or company that installed it also plays an important role, among other things.

Furthermore, any data on furnace malfunctions and breakdowns, including consumer reviews, tend to be skewed by a number of factors. For example, larger and more popular brands tend to have more complaints by customers, since there are simply far more people that have these units installed overall. Even if the percentage of people that encounter serious issues is relatively low, online feedback may give the impression that problems are more common than they really are.

Therefore, we’ve chosen to compare Warranty Coverage instead as this gives a tangible way to compare different brands. Although warranty coverage doesn’t directly indicate reliability, it does offer a good indication of the type of guarantee offered by the manufacturer, and also how long you can expect to be covered in the event something goes wrong.

Ultimately, most modern furnaces that are sized correctly by a professional, and installed by an experienced and certified technician tend to be quite reliable, with few major differences in reliability across most brands and manufacturers.

A few notes about this article:

We’ve done our best to highlight some of the top brands and models available to a wide range of Canadians across the country. This doesn’t mean that you should limit your options to only the manufacturers found here, as many local distributors and contractors will supply good quality, reliable, and efficient products from other brands.

Pricing Tiers: We’ve organised the different major brands into three pricing tiers, which are based on general average prices for their products. These tiers are meant as a general guideline only and are NOT meant to indicate quality levels. Actual prices will vary based on things like where you live, the company you deal with, factors relating to the installation, the exact model you choose, and more. Furthermore, each brand will usually have their own value, mid-range, and premium tier models.

1. Best Efficiency Furnaces

AFUE refers to Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.  The higher the furnace’s AFUE the greater the efficiency.  A high efficiency furnace ensures that your energy dollars are working for you.  When you’re looking to upgrade to a high efficiency furnace the higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient your furnace will be.  Furnaces with an AFUE rating greater than 95% are Energy Star certified.  

Value

AFUE ratings in the value tier provide consumers with an entry level fuel efficiency to assist in reducing overall energy costs.  AFUE in this range is typically anywhere from 90-92%.  

After careful consideration the following brand models came out on top for the best AFUE rating in the efficiency value category.

Tied for first place, each of these models are Energy Star certified and 98% AFUE

  • Goodman GMVM97
  • KeepRite G9MAE
  • York YP9C

Mid-Range

When purchasing a furnace with a mid-range AFUE rating, consumers can expect to see 93-94 cents of every energy dollar spent going to heat their home.  

Here are the top three brand models in the mid-range efficiency category:

  1. Amana AMVM97 – 98% AFUE
  2. American Standard AUHMB060ACV3VB – 97.3% AFUE
  3. Rheem R97V Prestige Series Gas Furnace97% AFUE

Premium

Consumers who are focused on achieving the highest AFUE ratings available on the market will reap the benefits of energy savings of these premium options. Premium AFUE ratings from 95-98%.

Each of the top three furnace brand models in this category are Energy Star certified.

  1. Lennox SLP98V Variable Capacity Gas Furnace – 98.7% AFUE
  2. Carrier Infinity Series 59MN7 – 98.5% AFUE
  3. Bryant Evolution Variable Speed Gas Furnaces 987M – up to 98.3% AFUE

2. Best Innovative Technology & Features

Innovative technology is one category to pay close attention to.  Many top brands strive to set themselves apart from their competition and achieve their goal of providing consumers with the most advanced home heating systems on the market.

Value

Goodman GMVM97 – Goodman’s ComfortNet™ Systems invites consumers to enjoy the benefits of a built in touch screen display with monitoring

KeepRite G9MAE – KeepRite offers a unique Communicating Capability

York YP9CClimaTrak™ technology adjusts to your climate

Mid-Range

The innovative technologies offered by American Standard and Rheem’s top brand model for the mid-range category focus on providing consumers with remote control access to their home heating system. Amana provides the same innovative technology as Goodman.

Amana AMVM97 – ComfortNet™ control

American Standard AUHMB060ACV3VB – AccuLink™

Rheem R97V Prestige Series Gas Furnace  EcoNet™

Premium

Lennox, Bryant, and Carrier have outdone themselves with their top brand models innovative technologies. These cutting edge technologies allow homeowners to ensure that their high-efficiency heating systems are running quietly, with perfect humidity control and responsive heating.

Lennox SLP98V Variable Capacity Gas Furnace SilentComfort™ Technology

Bryant Evolution Variable Speed Gas Furnaces 987M – Perfect Humidity™

Carrier Infinity Series 59MN7 – Greenspeed Intelligence™

3. Best Furnaces: Price & Overall Value

When beginning the process of researching a new high-efficiency natural gas furnace, the first thing many consumers want to know is how much will it cost?  

We have examined top natural gas furnace brands in the value, mid-range and premium tiers and have calculated the average range consumers can expect to pay for high-efficiency natural gas furnaces.  This range in price is a result of several factors which can cause the total price to fluctuate, including BTU required, installation, etc.  Click here to receive a personalised quote from one of our local distributors in your area.

Tier 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Value Goodman $2,000 – $,4000 York $2,000 – $4,000 KeepRite $2,800 – $4,000
Mid-Range American Standard $3,500 – $5,000 Rheem $3,000 – $5,500 Amana $3,000 – $7,000
Premium Lennox $3,000 – $7,500 Bryant $3,000 – $7,500 Carrier $3,500 – $7,500

4. Best Warranty Coverage

When you purchase a high-efficiency natural gas furnace it is important to ensure that your investment is protected under warranty.  Many manufacturer warranties have specific rules and regulations which must be followed.  Our local distributors are knowledgeable about each of the limited manufacturer warranties for each brand model and will assist you with the process of completing your warranty paperwork.

Here are a few of the top warranty plans available in the value, mid-range and premium high-efficiency natural gas furnace tiers:

Value

  1. Goodman – lifetime heat exchanger, and 10 year parts and unit replacement limited warranty plan available for all furnace models with a 96% AFUE rating and above.
  2. York – 10 year parts and Lifetime Heat Exchanger limited warranty plan available for all furnace models.
  3. KeepRite G9MAE and G9MVE – 10 year replacement and lifetime Heat Exchanger 

Mid-Range

  1. American Standard AUHMB060ACV3VB – limited lifetime warranty on heat exchanger and 10 year limited warranty for internal parts
  2. Rheem R97V Prestige Series Gas Furnace – Both the heat exchanger and conditional unit replacement qualify for a limited lifetime warranty; limited warranty plan of 10 years for parts
  3. Amana – all high-efficiency furnace models qualify for a 10 year parts and limited unit replacement warranty coverage

Premium

  1. Bryant – limited lifetime heat exchanger and 10 year parts limited warranty coverage for all high-efficiency furnaces
  2. Carrier 59SC2 – 10 year parts and 20 year heat exchanger limited warranty plan
  3. Lennox SLP98V Variable Capacity Gas Furnace – limited warranties: 10 years covered parts, and lifetime heat exchanger

5. Best Brand Recognition

Brand recognition is certainly a consideration when choosing your high-efficiency natural gas furnace. Selecting a brand with a history of providing consumers with high quality, reliable natural gas furnaces and comprehensive warranty plans will ensure that you are able to enjoy your investment worry-free.

Here are the top value, mid-range and premium picks when it comes to brand recognition amongst consumers. Here are a few of the top warranty plans available in the value, mid-range and premium high-efficiency natural gas furnace tiers:

Value

  1. Goodman – quality home heating products at economical prices
  2. York – comfort paired with innovation to create affordable, high-efficiency natural gas furnaces
  3. KeepRite – quality, backed by a comprehensive warranty guarantee

Mid-Range

  1. American Standard – a wide variety of home heating solutions for every budget
  2. Amana – offering outstanding limited warranty coverage and high quality heating solutions
  3. Rheem – efficiency and comfort, Rheem strives for excellence

Premium

  1. Lennox – known for their long history of producing quiet and efficient heating systems  
  2. Carrier – impressive lineup of innovative technologies
  3. Bryant – providing generations of Canadians with premium home heating solutions

6. Quietest Furnaces

There’s nothing worse then the sound of a noisy furnace.  The top three contenders in each category are among the quietest high-efficiency natural gas furnaces on the market.  With innovative noise-reducing technology, if you are looking for a quiet natural gas furnace, these options are not to be missed.

Here are the top value, mid-range and premium picks when it comes to brand recognition amongst consumers. Here are a few of the top warranty plans available in the value, mid-range and premium high-efficiency natural gas furnace tiers:

Value

  1.  Goodman GMVM97 – Modulating, Variable Speed Energy Star certified natural gas furnace with ECM motor
  2. York Affinity Series Gas Furnaces YP9C – Modulating, Variable Speed high-efficiency natural gas furnace
  3. KeepRite G9MAE – Modulating, high-efficiency natural gas furnace

Mid-Range

  1. American Standard AUHMB060ACV3VB – Modulating
  2. Rheem – Modulating, ECM motor
  3. Amana AMVM97 – Modulating, Variable Speed

Premium

  1. Lennox SLP98V Variable Capacity Gas Furnace – Modulating, Variable Speed with SilentComfort™ Technology
  2. Carrier Infinity Series 59MN7 – Variable Speed with ECM motor
  3. Bryant Evolution Variable Speed Gas Furnaces 987M –  Modulating

So What is the Best Furnace? The Winners Are…

As you can see there are many factors to consider when choosing the best furnace for your home.  Careful consideration of efficiency rating, features, price/overall value, warranty information, brand recognition, and quietness will ensure that you are prepared to make an informed decision when investing in a high-efficiency natural gas furnace.

Without further ado, we give you the 2017 Overall Brand Winners….

Tier Winner
Value Goodman
Mid-Range American Standard
Premium Lennox

Glossary

Reliability

Reliability is at the top of the list of must-haves for many homeowners looking to invest in a high-efficiency natural gas furnace.  An accurate in-home assessment, conducted by a certified technician will assist you with selecting the appropriate BTU for your home heating system.  Selecting the proper size of furnace for your home will assist you in achieving a reliable high-efficiency natural gas furnace, regardless of which brand you choose.

Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t a large variation in reliability between most furnace manufacturer brands. A much bigger factor is that the furnace is the correct size, properly installed by a licensed technician, and adequately maintained. 

We would be happy to you with a obtaining a free, no-obligation furnace quote from one of our experienced local distributors.

Variable-speed blowers

Variable-speed blowers deliver air slowly when the furnace doesn’t need to produce as much heat. Not only does the slow flow of air produce less noise, but it also leads to a more consistent indoor temperature.

ECM Motors

An ECM Motor allows your natural gas furnace to work at a greater level of efficiency by using less energy.  Natural Resources Canada has reported up to 70% less energy used when the furnace is equipped with an ECM motor.  Another added benefit to a high-efficiency natural gas furnace is that the ECM motor produces relatively low operational noise in comparison to Single Stage furnaces which have loud air bursts due to the on/off nature of their blowers.  Consumers wanting a furnace with an ECM motor can expect to pay more up front as they are found in the upper midrange and premium models in most brands.  That being said it’s important to consider the return on your investment and an investment in an ECM motor now can lead to better use of  your energy dollars, resulting in greater savings.

Modulating Burners

A modulating burner allows your furnace to adjust to fluctuations in temperature. This type of response to slight changes in temperature gives consumers more control overall the temperature of their home.  Typically, modulating burners are found in the upper midrange and premium tier high-efficiency natural gas furnaces.  This means that you will need to pay more for this feature, however the energy savings you will reap from this investment will pay off over the years.

Dual Heat Exchanger

The furnace’s heat exchanger is responsible for producing heat from the burned gas. In order to produce more heat from the same amount of burned gas, high-efficiency furnaces have a primary heat exchanger that is supplemented by a secondary heat exchanger. This secondary heat exchanger is usually made with stainless steel or lined with hard plastic to limit the negative effects of corrosive acidic condensates, which may result from the use of the secondary heat exchanger. If you want a furnace with two heat exchangers, look for furnaces with the feature dual heat exchange.

Ignition System

An electronic ignition system ensures that your furnace is able to respond quickly to temperature fluctuations, keeping your home warm and comfortable.  It’s important to look for a furnace with a hot-surface ignition system.

Correct Installation

No matter which brand or type of furnace you select, the installation process of the furnace is arguably the most important factor. An experienced and certified HVAC technician will ensure a proper installation of your new high-efficiency natural gas furnace.

Correct installation by a certified technician is important for the overall reliability of the furnace, as well the safety of you and your family. An incorrectly installed furnace can pose a huge risk to the home and your family.

When purchasing a high-efficiency natural gas furnace you want to ensure that the furnace is the correct size and that the BTU output is the correct amount for the size of your house. If your furnace is too big or small for your home, it will likely function irregularly, which will lead to damage over time. 

Air Filtration

Air filtration add-ons are a great way to improve the function and performance of your furnace. If quality of the air in your home is especially important to you, air filtration should be a feature that is at the top of your list. Some furnaces come with an electrostatic filter, which works by using an electrical charge to attract particles. Other furnaces come with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate-arresting) filter. This filter works by reducing the amount of dust that ends up in the heating system.

Noise-Reducing Features

Here are a few noise-reducing features that are included in many types high-efficiency natural gas furnaces:

  • ECM Motor
  • Variable Speed
  • Two-Stage
  • Modulating

Warranty Coverage

As you narrow down your top three high-efficiency natural gas furnace options you will want to take a close look at the warranty package that each brand offers.   

Specifically what is the warranty on the following:

  • Parts – regular maintenance and service is important to ensure that your high-efficiency natural gas furnace is running properly.  However, even with annual maintenance parts can fail over time.  Be sure to check the warranty to see which parts are covered under warranty.  
  • Heat Exchanger – a broken heat exchanger is one of the most costly elements to repair so it is important to ensure that whichever brand you choose has a heat exchanger warranty that protects you from a costly repair
  • Years covered under warranty – many plans typically span 10 years limited warranty; although certain premium brands do cover specific parts for the lifetime of your furnace

When to register your high-efficiency natural gas furnace – failing to register your new high-efficiency furnace  within the specified number of days (typically the first 90 days) can result in a reduced or null and void warranty.  

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