Goodman GMES96-U Review
AFUE:Up to 96 percent
ENERGY STAR ®:Yes
Blower Type:Multi-speed ECM
Price:$4,400 to $5,000
BTU Output:38,400 to 76,800
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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.
Goodman’s GMES96-U is a relatively basic furnace because it has a single-stage burner and multi-speed blower, but it also has some additional elements and design features that make it more appealing than a standard heating system, including having ultra-low nitrogen oxide emissions.
This Goodman furnace review of the GMES96-U will explain what it means for a furnace to have ultra-low NOx emissions, and we’ll also talk about this furnace’s features, pricing, warranty, AFUE, and more.
To help you decide if this is a good investment for your home, we’ll also compare the GMES96-U to three other Goodman furnaces based on price, features, and tier.
The Goodman GMES96-U in a Nutshell
Average Price (with installation): $4,400 to $5,000
- Qualifies as an ultra-low nitrogen oxide emissions furnace
- Secondary heat exchanger
- Quiet operation
- High-efficiency AFUE
- Excellent warranty
- Affordable and good value
- ECM blower motor is efficient and quiet
- Designed for fast and easy installation in just about any space
- Multi-speed blower for more consistent heat and efficient airflow
The Bottom Line
The GMES96-U is a high-efficiency furnace with a single-stage burner, ENERGY STAR® certification, and an AFUE of 96 percent.
One of the things that makes this furnace special is the stainless-steel premix burner. The purpose of this component is to combine fuel and oxygen in a way that optimizes combustion, resulting in cleaner emissions that contain ultra-low quantities of NOx, which is a greenhouse gas.
Another feature that makes this furnace an appealing option is the secondary heat exchanger, which increases efficiency, reduces heat loss, and lessens fuel waste by recycling energy that would be lost in the exhaust gasses.
This Goodman furnace has been marked as a limited inventory model, which likely means it will be discontinued once the current stock is depleted. The GMES96-U has likely been replaced by a similar but slightly upgraded model.
In Depth Review
Goodman GMES96-U Product Specifications
- AFUE: 96 percent
- Burner type: Single-stage
- Blower type: Multi-speed ECM
- ENERGY STAR certified: Yes
- Heating capacity: 38,400 to 76,800 BTUs
Along with being an efficient, ultra-low NOx furnace, the GMES96-U also boasts lasting and reliable performance.
This is thanks in part to the heavy-duty heat exchanger that’s made with a more durable tubular design, and the secondary heat exchanger that’s made from a corrosion-resistant super-ferritic stainless-steel.
Furthermore, the furnace is equipped with a self-diagnostic control board and LED fault code display. This can make maintenance and repairs easier and more accurate, and proper service can prolong the life of the furnace.
Other Key Features
- Uses a durable, reliable, and fuel-saving silicon nitride igniter
- Has a multi-speed induced draft blower that’s quiet and efficient
- Sealed combustion chamber makes for quieter and more efficient operation
- The thermally insulated cabinet reduces air leaks, lessens noise, and improves heat transfer
The GMES96-U is a solid investment for many reasons, including the warranty, which includes:
- 10 years of coverage for parts
- 10 years of coverage for a unit replacement
- Lifetime coverage for the heat exchanger
The warranty is important because it can save you money on repairs down the road, but also because it tells you how long the manufacturer expects the unit to last. If Goodman warranties the heat exchanger for the lifetime of the furnace, then you know they don’t expect it to fail.
At the same time, things can happen, and Goodman also has a contingency plan for this: the unit replacement warranty. In the event that the heat exchanger malfunctions within the first 10 years, Goodman will offer you a new furnace.
To be eligible for these full warranty terms and to keep your warranty valid, here’s what you have to do:
- Have the unit installed by a licensed HVAC professional
- Register the furnace within 60 days of installation
- Take care of the regular maintenance that Goodman requires as per the owner’s manual or warranty conditions
Comparable Models by Goodman
Model Comparison by Price: GMES96-U versus GMVC96
The GMVC96 is a slightly more expensive furnace than the GMES96-U, but it still falls into the same basic price range, though it will be at the higher end.
The reason for the slightly higher price is, for starters, that the GMVC96 has a two-stage burner, meaning it has a high and low speed in the ON setting. The furnace, therefore, can operate at a lower speed most of the time to maintain the temperature and save you money. When necessary, the furnace can ramp up to generate more heat.
Similarly, it’s equipped with a variable-speed blower that can make incremental changes to the airflow to manage humidity and keep you comfortable.
Something else the GMVC96 has is Goodman’s exclusive features, ComfortBridge and the CoolCloud app. However, while the GMVC96 has low NOx emissions, it doesn’t classify as ultra-low.
Model Comparison by Features: GMES96-U versus GCVM97
The GCVM97 is a premium-tier furnace, and also one of Goodman’s most expensive. It should be noted, however, that the price of Goodman furnaces doesn’t vary as much as with some other brands. Here’s what you could get if you invested an extra few hundred dollars to buy the GCVM97:
- A modulating burner that can make incremental changes to the heating output
- A variable-speed blower
- 98 percent AFUE
- ENERGY STAR certification
- ComfortBridge technology
- CoolCloud HVAC app
ComfortBridge technology is a relatively new tech that uses the power of communicating components to link furnace parts with the thermostat. This allows the thermostat to keep an eye on the heating output and airflow so it can initiate changes as necessary to ensure your comfort.
CoolCloud is an app that contractors can use to make installation and maintenance easier. It gives them access to data, analytics, diagnostics, and even notes from previous contractors.
Model Comparison by Tier: GMES96-U versus GCES96
Goodman’s GCES96 is another single-stage, multi-speed furnace with an AFUE of 96 percent. Although it’s similar to the GMES96-U in several ways, there are a few features that the GCES96 lacks.
The GCES96 doesn’t have ENERGY STAR certification, so it likely won’t qualify for many rebates. It also lacks the premix burner and doesn’t, therefore, qualify as an ultra-low NOx emissions furnace.
The GCES96 has also been marked as a limited inventory model. If you’re looking for something similar but can’t find stock, then you might want to try another Goodman gas furnace, such as the GM9S96 (ENERGY STAR certified) or the GC9S96, which are both nearly identical to the GCES96.