Lennox Merit ML296V Review
AFUE:Up to 96 percent
ENERGY STAR ®:Yes
Price:$4,200 to $4,800
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The ML296V is a furnace from Lennox’s entry-level Merit series, so it will be a little more affordable than some of their other furnaces. At the same time, the ML296V has some excellent design features and specifications, making it an attractive option for a lot of Canadian homeowners.
When you're in the market for a furnace upgrade, it can be hard to make a choice between all the options out there, so this model review of Lennox’s Merit ML296V will give you all the information you need to decide if this furnace is right for your home.
The model review will talk about the ML296V’s price, design elements, special features, and warranty terms, and it will also compare this furnace to three other Lennox models based on price, features, and tier.
The Lennox Merit ML296V in a Nutshell
Average Price (with installation): $4,200 to $4,800
- Secondary heat exchanger reduces heat and fuel waste to improve efficiency
- Built with sturdy and durable components
- Quiet operation
- Two-stage burner reduces energy demands
- Variable-speed blower helps to reduce hot and cold spots
- High-efficiency AFUE
- Promises great cost-savings compared to an older and less efficient furnace
The Bottom Line
Even though the ML296V is from Lennox’s entry-level Merit series, it still has a lot of great selling features, including its two-stage operation and variable-speed blower.
These design elements make the furnace more efficient, quieter, better at managing humidity, better equipped to keep a larger home warm (compared to a single-stage furnace), and better at keeping the temperature the same throughout your house.
The ML296V also has a high-efficiency rating of 96 percent and ENERGY STAR® certification, so the performance is guaranteed and you'll save money on your heating bills. Plus, this model could be eligible for rebates that could make it more affordable.
You will have to pay a bit more for this furnace because it’s a Lennox, and it doesn’t come with a great warranty, but it will keep your home warm and comfortable for many winters and save you money while doing it.
In Depth Review
Lennox Merit ML296V Product Specifications
- AFUE: 96 percent
- Burner type: Two-stage
- Blower type: Variable-speed
- ENERGY STAR certified: Yes
Lennox isn't the type of brand that puts a lot of emphasis on developing new technologies and features for their furnaces, but they do give homeowners some cool abilities through their proprietary smart thermostat, the iComfort M30 that pairs with the ML296V.
If you opt to use the iComfort M30 as the control for the ML296V, then you'll get access to a geofencing feature that will put the furnace into an energy-saving away mode when you leave based on the location of your mobile device. It will also put the furnace back into a comfort setting when it detects you're on your way home.
You can also integrate the iComfort M30 with technologies and devices like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and IFTTT to gain access to even more features, such as voice commands.
Other Key Features
- Long-lasting burner
- Burner is designed to maintain its efficiency over the life of the furnace
- Primary heat exchanger has a clamshell design that reduces air leaks and improves heat transfer
- Equipped with Lennox’s Duralok Plus heat exchanger, made with a special steel that’s durable and reliable
- Made for fast, easy, and accurate installation
- Dual fuel operation when paired with an electric heat pump
- The burner box is sealed for quieter operation
The ML296V comes with a 20-year heat exchanger warranty and a 10-year parts warranty. But to qualify for the full 10-year parts warranty, you have to register the furnace within 60 days of installation, otherwise the parts will only be covered for five years.
Another thing you should know about the warranty is that you'll have to have the furnace installed by a licensed HVAC contractor to avoid invalidating the coverage.
The ML296V doesn’t have a great warranty compared to other brands, especially considering that Lennox is a premium brand that charges more for their name. However, they don’t offer lifetime heat exchanger protection for all their furnaces the way a lot of brands now do, and they don’t have the unit replacement warranty that plenty of brands have adopted.
Comparable Models by Lennox
Model Comparison by Price: ML296V versus Elite EL196E
The EL196E is from Lennox’s mid-range Elite series, but it falls into the same price range as the ML296V.
Even though they cost about the same, and even though the EL196E is in a higher tier, the ML296V arguably provides better value for the money.
The EL196E has the same 96 percent AFUE, but it only has a single-stage burner and a constant torque motor, so it’s not as advanced as the ML296V in terms of efficiency, quiet operation, humidity management, and providing even and steady heat throughout a larger home.
Model Comparison by Features: ML296V versus Dave Lennox Signature Collection SLP99V
The SLP99V is Lennox’s top-of-the-line furnace, and the most efficient furnace on the market, with an AFUE of 99 percent. It has a modulating burner that can make 1-percent adjustments to the heat output, as well as a variable-speed blower.
It was also awarded the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient of 2021, and will be eligible for any rebate out there.
You will require a very healthy budget to afford the SLP99V, but it will save you plenty on energy bills, can reduce your home’s environmental impact and fuel use, and will provide some of the quietest and most even heat of any furnace.
Model Comparison by Tier: ML296V versus ML193E
The ML193E is a more affordable furnace from Lennox’s Merit series. However, it’s more affordable because it’s not as sophisticated or as efficient as the ML296V.
The Merit ML193E is a single-stage furnace, so it only has an on and off setting, meaning it’s not as efficient, as quiet, or as capable of producing even heat. It also might not be powerful enough to keep larger homes warm, especially in colder parts of the country.
Further, the ML193E has a constant torque motor that has a few speeds, but it can't incrementally adjust the airflow the way the ML296V’s variable-speed blower can.
And here's another thing: the ML193E has an AFUE of 93 percent and it’s not ENERGY STAR certified, so it will save you less on heating bills and might not qualify for rebates.