Amana AMEC96 Review
AFUE:Up to 96%
ENERGY STAR ®:Yes
Blower Type:Multi-speed ECM
Price:$4,800 - $5,400
BTU Output:28,800 - 115,200
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The AMEC96 from Amana is a mid-range furnace with a two-stage burner and multi-speed ECM blower motor. It also has a secondary heat exchanger for improved efficiency. In the end, the design features net this model an ENERGY STAR® certified 96 percent AFUE rating.
In this Amana AMEC96 model review, you'll find out everything you need to know about this furnace, including the type of burner and blower, what special features it does and doesn’t have, and the warranty terms that protect it. We’ll also compare it to some other Amana furnaces to help you decide what model is best for your home.
About the Amana AMEC96
Average Price (with installation): $4,800 to $5,400
- Two-stage gas valve
- Secondary heat exchanger that conserves heat and fuel
- Designed for quiet operation
- Engineered for lasting performance
- Equipped with self-diagnostic technology that monitors the system’s operation
- Control board is connected to an LED display that shows fault codes for easier diagnostics and troubleshooting when the system needs repairs or maintenance
The Bottom Line
The AMEC96’s two-stage burner and multi-speed ECM blower motor make for an efficient furnace that uses less energy, manages humidity better, and operates quieter than a single-stage furnace. It also provides more consistent heat because it can run at a lower speed for longer periods without ballooning your energy bills.
This model also has a secondary heat exchanger that improves efficiency while also reducing heat and fuel loss. All of these energy-saving features translate to a high-efficiency AFUE of 96 percent. Furthermore, the AMEC96 is ENERGY STAR certified, so there's a potential for rebates that wouldn’t be available with some less advanced furnaces.
The AMEC96 might cost a little more than some other mid-range furnaces, but you should save lots on energy bills over the years thanks to the high-efficiency performance. However, this model isn't equipped with any of Amana’s proprietary technology, such as ComfortBridge or the CoolCloud HVAC app.
In Depth Review
Amana AMEC96 Product Specifications
- AFUE: 96%
- Burner type: Two-stage
- Blower type: Multi-speed ECM
- ENERGY STAR rated? Yes
- Heating capacity: 28,800 to 115,200 BTUs
Amana’s main focus is manufacturing quiet furnaces that last for many years. You can usually get a good idea of how long a furnace will perform reliably based on the warranty, and Amana backs the AMEC96 with decades of coverage.
One of the reasons the AMEC96 is so durable is the special tubular heat exchanger design, which is why Amana has no problem providing lifetime warranty coverage for the heat exchanger at the heart of this furnace.
Beyond that, this model also has a number of other appealing specifications, including the design features that promise quiet operation, reduced fuel waste, less heat loss, and lower air leaks than many other furnace types.
Other Key Features
- Equipped with a heavy-duty primary heat exchanger for lasting life
- Has a silicon nitride igniter instead of a less reliable and fuel-wasting pilot light
- Factory-tested design that’s proven to last
- Heavy-gauge steel cabinet is both durable and sound dampening
- Cabinet is thermally insulated to reduce air leaks, heat loss, and noise
- Has a special blower configuration that reduces vibrations
- Important components are protected by the corrosion-resistant baked enamel cabinet finish
Amana backs all their furnaces with an excellent warranty, and the AMEC96 is covered by a lifetime unit replacement and 10-year parts warranty.
Although that might not seem like a lot of protection for the heat exchanger, you have to remember that the unit replacement warranty covers this most important furnace component for the lifetime of the unit. Amana will offer to replace the entire furnace if the heat exchanger breaks down during the coverage period.
Just be aware that you do have to register the AMEC96 within 60 days of installation to be eligible for the full warranty terms. Unregistered furnaces will still be covered by a warranty, but the terms won’t be as long.
Comparable Models by Amana
Model Comparison by Price: AMEC96 versus AMES92
The AMEC96 is in the middle in terms of prices for Amana furnaces. One of the more affordable furnaces is Amana’s entry-level AMES92. It costs around $4,200 to $4,800 to buy and install one of these models. However, while you will save some money on the purchase price compared to the AMEC96, there are benefits to buying the more expensive model.
For one thing, the AMES92 only has a single-stage burner, meaning it’s less efficient, noisier, less adept at maintaining the temperature set by your thermostat, and not as good at removing humidity.
Furthermore, this model only has an AFUE rating of 92 percent, so you won’t save as much on monthly heating bills, and it might not be powerful enough to keep a larger home warm during Canadian cold snaps.
Finally, the AMES92’s lack of ENERGY STAR certification means it probably isn't eligible for rebates, which could actually even out the price difference between it and the AMEC96.
Model Comparison by Features: AMEC96 versus ACVM97
There are also more advanced furnaces in the Amana lineup compared to the AMEC96, and that includes the ACVM97. This is a modulating, variable-speed furnace with an AFUE of 97 percent, so it’s more sophisticated and efficient than the AMEC96.
The ACVM97 also comes with Amana’s communicating ComfortBridge technology and the CoolCloud HVAC app. ComfortBridge improves performance and efficiency, and the app makes maintenance and installation easier.
You will, of course, pay more for the ACVM97, which will generally cost between $5,500 and $6,100. The trade-off is that the ACVM97 is more efficient and quieter, will cost a little less to operate, and offers the best of what Amana has in terms of performance and features.
Model Comparison by Tier: AMEC96 versus AMSS96
The AMSS96 is another mid-range furnace in Amana’s line, but it’s in a slightly higher price range than the AMEC96. The average cost to buy and install an AMSS96 is between $5,000 and $5,600.
Despite being a little more affordable, the AMEC96 is actually a superior furnace, especially when it comes to heating larger homes in cold Canadian winters.
The reason for this is that the AMSS96 only has a single-stage burner, so it’s less efficient, doesn’t manage humidity as well, and can’t maintain a steady temperature as well as the AMEC96.
Despite having the same 96 percent AFUE rating, the AMSS96 doesn’t have ENERGY STAR certification, so it’s possible that it won’t be eligible for some of the warranties that the AMEC96 would qualify for.