Goodman GMEC96 Review
AFUE:Up to 96 percent
ENERGY STAR ®:Yes
Blower Type:Multi-speed ECM
Price:$4,400 to $5,000
BTU Output:20,160 to 115,200
In order to help homeowners shop for furnaces and air conditioners, we developed our own proprietary algorithms which weigh a range of criteria and factors to provide an easy-to-compare grade (e.g. B-, A+, etc).
Warranty Grade: It can be difficult to know which brands and models offer the best warranty coverage, particularly because a lot of the key details are hidden in dense warranty documents filled with hard to understand legalese. Thankfully for you, we’ve carefully studied them and created this grading system to account for things like the length AND quality of their guarantee, coverage restrictions and more!
Overall Grade: This grade weighs key factors like efficiency, ENERGY STAR certification, comfort, noise level (for A/Cs), our warranty grade, and more.
Get instant access by creating a FREE account in seconds! (Plus get all these extra benefits)
Or Log In here
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 GMEC96 is an entry-level Goodman furnace, and it’s a high-quality, high-efficiency model that’s affordable and energy-saving.
It has a good AFUE and will save you plenty on monthly heating bills, especially if you're upgrading from a low- to mid-efficiency furnace. Plus, the GMEC96 could be eligible for rebates that would save you some on the cost of buying and installing the furnace.
This Goodman gas furnace review of the GMEC96 will discuss the important facts about this furnace, including its design specifications, burner and blower type, AFUE, warranty, pricing, and features. Finally, we’ll compare the GMEC96 to three other Goodman furnaces to examine how this model stands up to others based on the price, features, and tier.
The Goodman GMEC96 in a Nutshell
Average Price (with installation): $4,400 to $5,000
- High-efficiency AFUE and ENERGY STAR® certification
- Could be eligible for rebates
- Secondary heat exchanger reduces fuel waste and heat loss while improving efficiency
- Affordable for lower budgets thanks to low Goodman gas furnace prices
- Low nitrogen oxide emissions
- Durable and reliable components
- Quiet operation and air circulation
- Protected by a great warranty
- Multiple sizes for different homes
The Bottom Line
Goodman manufactures quality furnaces that are reliable, dependable, and economical, and the GMEC96 is no exception.
This furnace has some great features that improve efficiency and performance, including the two-stage burner that can run at the lower speed most of the time to save you money and keep your home comfortable. Because it also has a higher stage that can generate more heat when needed, this furnace can be suitable for larger homes in colder parts of the country.
Beyond that, it also has other energy-saving and performance-enhancing design features, including the secondary heat exchanger, multi-speed ECM blower motor, cabinet insulation, and more.
It has been marked as a limited inventory model. That likely means Goodman won’t be making this furnace anymore, and that’s probably because they replaced it with an updated version that’s similar.
In Depth Review
Goodman GMEC96 Product Specifications
- AFUE: 96 percent
- Burner type: Two-stage
- Blower type: Multi-speed ECM
- ENERGY STAR certified: Yes
- Heating capacity: 20,160 to 115,200 BTUs
One of the many appealing things about the GMEC96 is that it’s durable, reliable, and designed for lasting performance, as evidenced by Goodman’s lengthy warranty.
This reliability comes in part from the quality components, including a tubular heat exchanger made from heavy-duty aluminized steel. The heat exchanger is like the heart of your furnace, and the GMEC96’s primary heat exchanger is durable because it can withstand high heat and high pressure.
Furthermore, the important internal components are protected by a heavy-gauge steel cabinet that’s got a long-lasting finish.
Something else that people love about the GMEC96 is its quiet operation, which is thanks to the two-stage burner, multi-speed blower, two-speed induced-draft blower, and cabinet insulation.
Other Key Features
- Versatile installation options that suit most homes
- Can easily be connected to an electronic air cleaner and humidifier
- Compatible with single- and two-stage thermostats
- Equipped with a self-diagnostic control board that facilitates repairs
- LED fault code display makes it easier to troubleshoot problems
- Unit doesn’t leak because it has fast condensate water drainage
- Uses a durable and fuel-saving silicon nitride igniter
- Cabinet insulation reduces noise and air leaks and improves heat transfer
Goodman has one of the best warranties in the HVAC industry, and as long as you register the GMEC96 within 60 days of installation, then it will be protected by a:
- 10-year parts warranty
- 10-year unit replacement warranty
- Lifetime heat exchanger warranty
Unregistered Goodman furnaces will still be protected by a warranty, but the coverage won’t be as long, and you might lose out on some coverage entirely, like the unit replacement warranty. This warranty certifies that if the heat exchanger fails during the coverage period, then Goodman will offer you a brand new furnace instead of just replacing the heat exchanger.
There are other things you have to do to keep your warranty valid, such as having the GMEC96 installed by a licensed HVAC contractor and taking care of annual maintenance.
Comparable Models by Goodman
Model Comparison by Price: GMEC96 versus GMVM97
The GMEC96 is a budget-friendly furnace, and the high-efficiency rating and two-stage operation make it an attractive option for many homeowners. At the same time, the GMVM97 is an even more advanced heating system, so it will cost several hundred dollars more.
The average installed price of the GMVM97 is between $4,600 and $5,200. For that extra money you get a modulating furnace with variable-speed capacity, an AFUE of 98 percent, and all the proprietary features that Goodman offers, such as the ComfortBridge communicating technology and the CoolCloud HVAC app.
Model Comparison by Features: GMEC96 versus GMVS96-U
The GMVS96-U is another Goodman furnace option, and it has some benefits that the GMEC96 doesn’t, and vice versa.
The GMVS96-U is only a single-stage furnace compared to the GMEC96’s two-stage operation. However, it has a superior variable-speed ECM blower motor compared to the GMEC96’s multi-stage one.
Another thing the GMVS96-U offers is ultra-low nitrogen oxide emissions, making it suitable for places with air quality restrictions, and for homeowners who want to reduce their impact on the environment.
Finally, the GMVS96-U also has Goodman’s special ComfortBridge technology and CoolCloud HVAC app. The former is designed to improve performance and enhance your comfort using communicating technology that links important components with the thermostat, and the app is meant to make installation and maintenance easier for contractors.
Model Comparison by Tier: GMEC96 versus GM9S96
The GM9S96 is a very similar furnace to the GMEC96 and in the same entry-level Goodman furnace tier, meaning it’s not the most affordable entry-level furnace, nor is it the most expensive premium-tier furnace.
The GM9S96 is also a multi-speed furnace with a 96 percent AFUE, but there’s one crucial difference between this and the GMEC96: the GM9S96 only has a single-stage burner. That means in the ON mode, it only has one speed.
These furnaces tend to be noisier, less efficient, and less capable of maintaining a consistent temperature compared to two-speed and modulating systems. This heating system, therefore, might only be suitable for smaller homes, or houses in warmer parts of Canada.
The GM9S96 does have ENERGY STAR certification and the same warranty as the GMEC96, but because of the single-stage operation, it might not be eligible for as many rebates, which are often designed to offset the cost of more sophisticated furnaces.