Amana AMES96-U Review
AFUE:Up to 96 percent
ENERGY STAR ®:Yes
Blower Type:Multi-speed ECM
Price:$4,800 to $5,400
BTU Output:38,400 to 76,800
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The AMES96-U is one of Amana’s mid-range furnaces. Although it only has a single-stage burner, it does have a special burner design that’s better for the environment because it emits ultra-low levels of nitrogen oxide.
It also has a secondary heat exchanger and multi-speed ECM blower motor that give it an ENERGY STAR® qualified 96 percent AFUE.
In this Amana AMES96-U model review, we’ll discuss all the features, specifications, technologies, and warranties that this furnace has to offer. We’ll also compare it to three other Amana furnaces to give you a good idea of how the AMES96-U stands up to others in terms of price and features.
About the Amana AMES96-U
Average Price (with installation): $4,800 to $5,400
- Quiet operation
- Excellent warranty
- Ultra-low NOx emissions
- Secondary heat exchanger
- ECM blower motor
- Durable and reliable components
- High-efficiency operation
- Provides continuous air circulation
The Bottom Line
This is a great furnace for any Canadian homeowner who wants to do more to help the environment. It meets strict air quality regulations because of the ultra-low NOx emissions, and it will also save you money on energy bills because of the high-efficiency 96 percent AFUE.
The AMES96-U isn't the most sophisticated furnace because it has a less powerful single-stage burner, and this means it might not be equipped to heat a large home in parts of Canada that experience long, cold winters.
However, it does have some great features, like the condensing operation and the multi-speed ECM blower motor, that make it a little more advanced than just a basic furnace.
In Depth Review
Amana AMES96-U Product Specifications
- AFUE: 96%
- Burner type: Single-stage
- Blower type: Multi-speed ECM
- ENERGY STAR rated? Yes
- Heating capacity: 38,400 to 76,800 BTUs
There are lots of things to love about the AMES96-U, including the quiet operation. This is thanks to things like the insulated, heavy-gauge cabinet, the quieter ECM blower motor, the sound-isolated blower assembly, and the quiet induced-draft blower.
It has also been designed to provide lasting and reliable performance thanks to quality components that have been tested for years.
For example, this furnace is equipped with a secondary heat exchanger made of a special metal, super-ferritic stainless-steel, that’s better at withstanding high temperatures and resisting corrosion. Similarly, the primary heat exchanger is made with a durable design and heavy-duty stainless steel.
Other Key Features
- The cabinet has a durable finish to protect major components for years
- The silicon nitride igniter doesn’t waste fuel the way a pilot light does, and it’s more reliable
- Has a self-diagnostic control board that monitors for problems
- LED fault code display makes troubleshooting and repairs easier
- The thermally insulated cabinet reduces air leaks and heat loss
- Versatile installation applications
- Equipped with a premix burner that reduces emissions
The AMES96-U is backed by the longest warranty Amana offers, and that includes a:
- Lifetime heat exchanger warranty
- Lifetime unit replacement warranty
- 10-year parts warranty
The parts warranty will cover functional components that aren't the heat exchanger, and the unit replacement warranty means that Amana will offer you a brand new AMES96-U if the heat exchanger fails during the life of the furnace.
If the warranty is important to you, then make sure you register the furnace within 60 days of installation to get these full terms. Otherwise, the warranty coverage will be shorter.
Similarly, be sure to have the AMES96-U installed by a professional, and take care of annual maintenance to avoid invalidating your warranty.
Comparable Models by Amana
Model Comparison by Price: AMES96-U versus AMVM97
The AMVM97 is the most expensive model in Amana’s line, so compared to the AMES96-U, you do have to have a larger budget. On average, it costs about $5,500 to $6,100 to buy and install the AMVM97.
There are several reasons why you might want to invest in the more expensive model, including the modulating burner and variable-speed blower motor. This means the furnace can operate at very low speeds and make incremental adjustments to the heating output as necessary to keep your home at the perfect temperature while using as little energy as possible.
Modulating furnaces are the most efficient, provide the most consistent temperatures, and are the quietest. Plus, this model comes with all of Amana’s special technologies.
The AMVM97 has an AFUE of 98 percent, it’s ENERGY STAR certified, and the high-efficiency rating and modulating operation mean it will likely be eligible for any rebate out there. Not only can you save on the purchase price through rebates, but you can also save more on annual heating bills thanks to the more efficient operation compared to the AMVM97.
Model Comparison by Features: AMES96-U versus ACVM97
The ACVM97 isn't Amana’s top-of-the-line furnace, but it is a top-tier model and on par with the premium furnace in most ways.
The ACVM97 is a modulating, variable-speed furnace with an AFUE of 97 percent and ENERGY STAR certification. It will be eligible for all the same rebates as the top-of-the-line model, and has many of the same things to offer, like humidity control, temperature consistency, lower heating bills, and quieter operation.
The ACVM97 also has the ComfortBridge technology and CoolCloud HVAC app. The former improves efficiency and operation by allowing the thermostat to communicate with major components, and the app helps contractors with maintenance and installation.
Model Comparison by Tier: AMES96-U versus AMEC96
The AMEC96 is in the same mid-range tier as the AMES96-U, but it has some things to offer that the AMES96-U doesn’t, and vice versa.
Namely, the AMEC96 has a more efficient two-stage gas valve, which can cost less to operate. Moreover, these types of furnaces are better equipped at warming larger homes, even in colder climates. They also operate quieter than single-stage furnaces, they provide more consistent temperatures, and they deal with humidity better.
However, the AMEC96 doesn’t have some things that the AMES96-U has, including the ultra-low NOx emissions rating and the heat exchanger warranty.