Goodman GCEC96 Review
AFUE:Up to 96 percent
ENERGY STAR ®:Yes
Blower Type:Multi-Speed ECM
Price:$4,400 to $5,000
BTU Output:26,880 to 96,000
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LIMITED INVENTORY: Please note, this model has been marked as having limited inventory by the manufacturer, although it may still be available for purchase through distributors and contractors for some time.
The GCEC96 is a good-quality furnace with a high-efficiency AFUE. It has good specifications and some additional design features to make it quieter and improve performance. Goodman gas furnace prices are also reasonable, so it’s an affordable option for many homeowners. Plus, it comes with a great warranty, so you can rest assured that this investment will be protected.
This GCEC96 Goodman model review will cover all the basics you need to know about this furnace. To help you decide if it’s a good fit for your home, we’ll talk about the specs, design features, warranty terms, pricing, and efficiency rating.
Then, we’ll compare it to three other Goodman furnaces based on price and features to show you how it measures up to other options.
The Goodman GCEC96 in a Nutshell
Average Price (with installation): $4,400 to $5,000
- Low nitrogen oxide emissions
- Secondary heat exchanger
- Silicon nitride ignitor
- Economical and reliable
- Made with durable and lasting components
- Could be eligible for rebates
- Solid warranty
- ECM blower motor saves energy and provides more consistent airflow
The Bottom Line
Goodman made several good choices when designing this furnace, and that includes equipping it with a secondary heat exchanger. A secondary heat exchanger captures energy in exhaust gasses that would otherwise be lost, so condensing furnaces with this component are more efficient and waste less heat and fuel.
Similarly, the silicon nitride ignitor—which replaces a traditional pilot light—is more reliable and wastes less fuel than a pilot light.
The two-stage operation and multi-speed blower also improve efficiency, along with ensuring better temperature consistency, quieter operation, and increased humidity management compared to a single-speed furnace.
As such, the GCEC96 should save you plenty on monthly heating bills, especially if you're upgrading from an older furnace that isn't efficient or is starting to lose some of its efficiency.
If you're wondering about the limited inventory, let’s explain. Goodman has probably replaced the GCEC96 with a newer and slightly updated model, so they’ll no longer be making this one, but they still have some stock.
In Depth Review
Goodman GCEC96 Product Specifications
- AFUE: 96 percent
- Burner type: Two-stage
- Blower type: Multi-Speed ECM
- ENERGY STAR® certified: Yes
- Heating capacity: 26,880 to 96,000 BTUs
Goodman builds their furnaces to last, and their generous warranty is a testament to their commitment to quality.
One example of this is the aluminized-steel primary heat exchanger they use, which has a special tubular design that makes it more resistant to heat and pressure, and therefore more durable. Plus, the heat exchanger and other internal components are protected by a heavy-duty cabinet with a durable baked-on finish.
And here's another example: this furnace is equipped with a self-diagnostic control board that monitors performance and shows fault codes using an LED display. This makes troubleshooting and repairs easier, and prompt attention to problems can prolong the life of the unit.[sc name="inline-cta-shortcode" ][/sc]
Other Key Features
- Heat exchanger and blower section are fully insulated for quiet operation
- Versatile installation options make this furnace suitable for most homes
- Designed for easier installation, which could save on labour costs
- Thermally insulated cabinet reduces noise and air leaks but also increases heat transfer
- Water leaks are eliminated by the design that improves condensate water drainage
- Unit is ready to be paired with a humidifier or electronic air cleaner
- Can be controlled with a single- or two-stage thermostat
- Equipped with a two-speed induced-draft blower that’s quiet and efficient
When you buy a Goodman furnace like the GCEC96, your investment is protected by multiple warranties, including:
- A 10-year parts warranty
- A 10-year unit replacement warranty (Goodman will offer a new furnace if the heat exchanger fails in the first 10 years)
- A lifetime heat exchanger warranty
These terms are contingent on you registering the furnace online with Goodman within 60 days of installation. Goodman still provides warranties for unregistered furnaces, but the warranty terms might be shorter and you might lose some of the coverage types.
You'll also have to get the GCEC96 installed by a licensed professional to keep your warranty intact, and take care of the regular maintenance mentioned in the owner’s manual.
Comparable Models by Goodman
Model Comparison by Price: GCEC96 versus GCVM97
While the GCEC96 is an entry-level Goodman gas furnace, the GCVM97 is one of Goodman’s top-tier models. As such, it does cost a little more, with the average installed price range being $4,700 to $5,300.
You do get some extra perks with those extra few hundred dollars, including an even more advanced burner. The GCVM97 has a modulating burner that can incrementally adjust the heating output, and this is paired with a variable-speed blower for incremental airflow adjustments.
These are the best furnaces when it comes to even heat, eliminating cold spots, managing humidity, and quiet and efficient operation. As such, the GCVM97 has an AFUE of 97 percent. Although it will further reduce heating costs, it probably wouldn’t be significant enough for you to notice the difference between the GCEC96 and GCVM97.
Another bonus you get for the extra money is Goodman’s proprietary technologies, ComfortBridge and the CoolCloud HVAC app. The app makes installation and repairs easier, and ComfortBridge improves efficiency and performance by enabling major components to communicate with the thermostat.
Model Comparison by Features: GCEC96 versus GCVC96
The GCVC96 is another mid-range furnace, and while it falls into a similar price range, it will cost a little more than the GCEC96 because it has some additional features.
For one thing, the GCVC96 has a variable-speed blower, and these are quieter, more efficient, and better at even heat distribution compared to multi-speed blowers.
The GCVC96 has the same burner type and the same AFUE as the GCEC96, but the GCVC96 comes with Goodman’s ComfortBridge communicating technology and the CoolCloud HVAC app.
Model Comparison by Tier: GCEC96 versus GMES92
The GMES92 is an entry-level model like the GCEC96. It’s one of Goodman’s most affordable furnaces. The cheaper price is because the GMES92 only has a single-stage burner, so this furnace might not be suitable for larger homes or houses in parts of Canada that get long deep freezes each winter.
The GMES92 also has a shorter two-year unit replacement warranty, it doesn’t have ENERGY STAR® certification, and it only has an AFUE of 92 percent. Furnaces with AFUEs below 95 percent don’t meet the Canadian government’s new efficiency minimums. The only way to get a furnace with an AFUE below 95 percent is to find one that was manufactured before 2019.
Goodman has also marked the GMES92 as a limited inventory furnace, and they’ve actually eliminated all 92 percent AFUE models from their line.