Goodman GCSS96 Review
AFUE:Up to 96 percent
ENERGY STAR ®:No
Price:$4,400 to $5,000
BTU Output:38,400 to 115,200
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The GCSS96 is one of Goodman’s more basic models, but it still has a high-efficiency 96 percent AFUE and some good design features that make it an attractive and affordable option for some homeowners.
This Goodman GCSS96 review will help you decide if this furnace is an attractive option for you specifically. We’ll talk about the AFUE and heating output, as well as the price, warranty, features, specifications, and more.
And an important part of helping you decide if this furnace is suitable for your home is showing you how it compares to other furnaces, so we’ll also compare the GCSS96 to three other Goodman models.
The Goodman GCSS96 in a Nutshell
Average Price (with installation): $4,400 to $5,000
- Lower nitrogen oxide emissions than many standard furnaces
- High-efficiency and cost-saving AFUE
- Great warranty
- Affordable for homeowners with lower budgets
- Has an ignitor that’s durable, reliable, and long-lasting
- Quiet operation
- Quality components that are designed to last
The Bottom Line
The GCSS96 has a number of appealing features, including the secondary heat exchanger, multi-speed blower motor, and silicon nitride ignitor. It also has an AFUE of 96 percent, meaning for every dollar you spend on heating bills, $0.96 is converted to actual heat.
Despite the high-efficiency rating, you should check with a local HVAC professional about this furnace because the single-stage operation means it might not be suitable for a large home. This is especially true if you live in a part of Canada with colder winters.
If the GCSS96 isn't powerful enough for your house, then Goodman has a great selection of two-stage and modulating furnaces that are more capable and still economical.
In Depth Review
Goodman GCSS96 Product Specifications
- AFUE: 96 percent
- Burner type: Single-stage
- Blower type: Multi-speed
- ENERGY STAR certified: No
- Heating capacity: 38,400 to 115,200 BTUs
There are lots of great features that the GCSS96 offers, including the long-lasting and dependable heat exchanger. It’s made from a corrosion-resistant aluminized steel, and it has a tubular design that makes it more resilient to heat and pressure.
With the secondary heat exchanger, this component takes exhaust gasses and recycles energy that would be lost with a normal furnace.
And then there's the silicon nitride ignitor: it doesn’t rely on a fuel-wasting pilot light, so it’s more reliable and more efficient.
Other Key Features
- Fast condensate drainage means no water leaks
- Cabinet is designed to reduce air leakage to less than 2 percent
- Insulated heat exchanger compartment reduces noise and leaks while increasing heat transfer
- Multiple installation applications
- Compact and space-saving unit with a small footprint
- Designed for easy installation and quick setup
- Internal components are protected by a heavy-gauge cabinet
- Has an induced-draft blower instead of natural draft, which is noisier and less efficient
- Equipped with self-diagnostics and a fault code display for easy troubleshooting
One of the great things about Goodman furnaces is that they're backed by an excellent warranty that protects your investment for many years, and the GCSS96 is no exception. Here's the kind of coverage it comes with when you register the furnace within 60 days of installation:
- A 10-year parts warranty
- A 10-year unit replacement warranty
- A lifetime heat exchanger warranty
Unregistered furnaces will still be covered, but you won’t get the same terms, and you might lose out on some warranties completely. For example, unregistered furnaces often lose their unit replacement warranties, which is an assurance that Goodman will replace the furnace if the heat exchanger fails during the warranty period.
There are other things you have to do to get the most from your warranty, including having the unit installed by a licensed HVAC technician and taking care of annual regular maintenance.
Comparable Models by Goodman
Model Comparison by Price: GCSS96 versus GCEC96
The GCEC96 falls into the same price range as the GCSS96, even though the GCEC96 is a superior furnace. The GCEC96 will fall at the higher end of the price range—closer to $5,000—whereas the GCSS96 will be at the lower end, but it could be worth the additional investment.
The GCEC96’s two-stage burner is better than a single-stage one because it has a high and low heat output in the On mode. Single-stage furnaces only turn on and off, but a two-stage model can run at the lower output most of the time to maintain the temperature of your house.
When the weather turns, the furnace can use the higher output to keep your family warm and safe. The GCEC96 could cost less to operate, and it will be better equipped to keep a larger house warm.
Although you might spend more up front on the GCEC96, you could potentially save money on rebates because this unit is ENERGY STAR certified.
Model Comparison by Features: GCSS96 versus GCVM97
The GCVM97 is going to cost a few hundred dollars more than the GCSS96 because it’s a modulating furnace with a variable-speed blower motor, ENERGY STAR certification, 98 percent AFUE, and all of Goodman’s special features.
It’s modulating burner and variable-speed blower can incrementally adjust the heating output and airflow for maximum efficiency, humidity control, quiet operation, and even heat throughout the house.
This model will also save you more on energy bills because $0.98 of every dollar is converted to heat. Plus, it will be eligible for most rebates, and that could save you hundreds of dollars or more on the upgrade.
Finally, the GCVM97 has ComfortBridge technology and the CoolCloud HVAC app. ComfortBridge is a communicating feature that monitors performance and makes adjustments to ensure your comfort and peak energy savings. CoolCloud is a contractor app that makes maintenance and installation easier by giving technicians access to repair histories, diagnostics, and other data.
Model Comparison by Tier: GCSS96 versus GMES96-U
The GMES96-U is also a single-stage, multi-speed furnace with an AFUE of 96 percent, but it’s got some things that the GCSS96 can't offer, including an ECM blower motor.
Thanks to an additional component called a premix burner, the GMES96-U can optimize the fuel-to-oxygen ratio to ensure clean burning. As such, it qualifies as an ultra-low nitrogen oxide emissions furnace, so it’s better for the planet and can reduce the environmental impact of your home.
Because of the lower emissions and better performance, the GMES96-U also qualifies for ENERGY STAR certification, so it could be eligible for additional rebates that the GCSS96 doesn’t qualify for.