Lennox Merit ML193E Review
AFUE:Up to 93 percent
ENERGY STAR ®:No
Blower Type:Constant torque
Price:$4,000 to $4,500
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The ML193E is Lennox’s least sophisticated furnace that still qualifies as high-efficiency, but even though it’s an entry-level model in their Merit series, it still has a few additional selling features compared to a basic furnace.
The purpose of this article is to give a fair and accurate model review of Lennox’s Merit ML193E. To do that, we’ll cover the furnace’s design elements, price, AFUE, special features, and warranty terms so that you can decide if this furnace is worth the investment.
Finally, we’ll compare the ML193E to three other Lennox models based on tier, price, and features so you can see where the ML193E stands and what else is available from the brand.
The Lennox Merit ML193E in a Nutshell
Average Price (with installation): $4,000 to $4,500
- Better efficiency thanks to the secondary heat exchanger
- Constant torque motor can adjust airflow for more even temperatures around the house
- Quiet operation
- Durable and lasting components
- Designed for fast installation
- Proprietary heat exchanger design
The Bottom Line
It’s important to understand that while the ML193E is a high-efficiency furnace, the lower 93 percent AFUE, single-stage operation, and lack of ENERGY STAR® certification mean this furnace might only be appropriate for houses in warmer parts of the country or smaller homes with lower heating demands.
However, if this furnace works for your home, then it does have some attractive design elements, including the constant torque blower motor, which has multiple speeds and is superior to a single-speed blower.
The secondary heat exchanger is also a selling feature because it reduces fuel waste and heat loss to improve the furnace’s efficiency.
Finally, the ML193E is compatible with one of Lennox’s iComfort smart thermostat, which can give you access to a few cool features.
In Depth Review
Lennox Merit ML193E Product Specifications
- AFUE: 93 percent
- Burner type: Single-stage
- Blower type: Constant torque
- ENERGY STAR certified: No
Lennox doesn’t have a lot of the cool features or innovative technologies that some brands have, but they do have a series of smart thermostats that have some interesting capabilities.
The ML193E is compatible with the iComfort M30, which has geofencing, technological compatibilities, and temperature matching capabilities.
The geofencing feature allows you to connect the thermostat to your smartphone. That way, the thermostat can detect when you leave the house and put the furnace into an away mode to save money and energy. Conversely, when you come home, the thermostat will automatically put the furnace back into its normal programming schedule.
Technological compatibilities include Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT, which can give you voice control capabilities with the thermostat.
Finally, the temperature matching means the thermostat will balance the indoor humidity and temperature to ensure the inside temperature always feels like what you’ve programmed it to be.
Other Key Features
- Has a sealed blower compartment and burner box, and this reduces noise and air leakage to 1 percent
- Equipped with a robust blower and blower assembly that increase airflow, reduces noise, improves longevity, and maintains efficiency over time
- Dual fuel compatibility means you can pair the ML193E with a heat pump to save money by switching between gas and electricity based on which one’s more cost-effective at a given time
- Comes with flanges, flue collars, and holes already prepared for faster and more accurate installation
- Duralok Plus heat exchanger is made from a durable material and has a special clamshell design that improves heat transfer to the home while reducing air leaks
Merit series furnaces come with Lennox’s most basic warranty, and the ML193E is protected by a 20-year heat exchanger warranty and a 10-year parts warranty.
In order to qualify for the full warranty, you must register the furnace within 60 days of installation. Unregistered furnaces will still be warrantied, but you'll lose some protection. For example, the parts warranty will expire after five years on an unregistered furnace.
And to keep your warranty valid, have the unit installed by a licensed HVAC contractor, and take care of the regular maintenance laid out in the owner’s manual or warranty conditions document.
If you're also looking at other furnace brands, then it’s worthwhile mentioning that Lennox has one of the least generous warranties because they don’t offer any unit replacement warranty or provide lifetime protection for the heat exchanger on their entry-level models.
Comparable Models by Lennox
Model Comparison by Price: ML193E versus Elite EL296V
The EL296V is a mid-range furnace from Lennox that costs substantially more than the ML193E, averaging between $6,800 and $7,400 to buy and install.
There are benefits to the more expensive Elite model, including that it has two-stage operation, so it can run at a lower speed most of the time to maintain your home’s temperature and reduce fuel demands. It also has a superior variable-speed blower that’s better with humidity management, efficiency, and quiet operation.
As a result, the EL296V has a 96 percent AFUE that will save you more on energy bills and potentially help it qualify for more rebates.
Model Comparison by Features: ML193E versus Dave Lennox Signature Collection SLP99V
The SLP99V is the most powerful, efficient, and expensive model that Lennox makes, and also the most efficient furnace on the market. The SLP99V achieves a 99 percent AFUE thanks to the modulating, variable-speed operation, which enables it to make incremental adjustments—as small as 1 percent—to the heat output and airflow.
This furnace will be one of the best available when it comes to keeping your home warm through the coldest winters, eliminating hot and cold spots, operating quietly, and managing humidity.
Plus, it’s compatible with a thermostat that has even more capabilities, including active monitoring for system errors and changing the fan settings based on the outdoor air quality.
Model Comparison by Tier: ML193E versus ML296V
The ML296V is also an entry-level Merit series furnace, but an argument could be made that it’s a far superior model.
It will cost a little more, but let’s talk about what you get for the slightly higher price: two-stage operation, a variable-speed blower, more even heat through your house, better cost-savings on your heating bills, a chance to qualify for more rebates, and an AFUE of 96 percent.
With AFUE, the percentage tells you how much fuel is converted to heat and how much is wasted. So the ML193E converts $0.93 of every dollar into fuel, whereas the ML296V converts $0.96 of every dollar to fuel, so you can see how the more expensive model could potentially save you more in the long-run through increased energy savings.
Beyond that, the ML296V will be better at keeping your home warm when the mercury really drops, even if you live in a larger home with higher heating demands.