Ruud Ultra® Series – U96V Review
AFUE:Up to 96%
ENERGY STAR ®:Yes
Burner Type:Dual Stage
Blower Type:Variable Speed
Price:$5,170 - $6,000
BTU Output:41,000 - 109,000
The Ruud Ultra Series U96V is a variable-speed, two-stage furnace that is ENERGY STAR ® certified with some thoughtful features that a homeowner would appreciate. The unit has an AFUE of 96%, meaning that 96 cents of your dollar go directly into heating your home.
In a Nutshell
Average Price (installed): $5,170 - $6,000
- AFUE: up to 96%
- BTU input: 42,000 - 112,000
- BTU output: 41,000 - 109,000
- ENERGY STAR certified
- EcoNetⓇ enabled
The Bottom Line
The U96V offers a great blend of functionality with reliable construction. There are features such as the PlusOneⓇ Water Management System that is helpful in running and maintaining your unit without the hassle of a technician for minor issues. This unique feature senses when a drain is blocked in your home and shuts off the furnace to prevent damage. The unit is also compatible with many additional features like EcoNetⓇ and various thermostat types.
Ruud Ultra Series U96V
- Two-stage, variable speed ECM
- Removable heat exchanger
- 34-inch cabinet
Other Key Features
- PlusOneⓇ Ignition System
- PlusOneⓇ Diagnostics display
Energy and Heat Efficiency
The variable-speed blower motor and two-stage burner work together to provide precision heating without wasting energy. Without the turning on and off of the fan, and rather the escalation of speed as needed, the U96V is quieter and efficient. The two-stage burner mainly uses the first stage to heat your home to a comfortable temperature while the second stage is meant as a boost to cover additional needs like responding to a big temperature change.
The unit features the PlusOneⓇ Ignition System to keep your system running with a reliable Direct Spark Ignition. For easier maintenance, the U96V has PlusOneⓇ Diagnostics that features a 7-digit LED display to troubleshoot your unit effectively. EcoNetⓇ enabled, your furnace is capable of sensing any issue and ensuring that you have control over your energy savings. The PlusOneⓇ Water Management System has a blocked drain sensor to alert you to any issue with the evacuation of water.
The U96V has tight door seals, rubber grommets and a twist-lock wire harness in the blower shelf for quiet operation. These features help ensure that when the fan starts and stops, you’re not bothered by the noise from it. The ECM motor handles humidity well and uses less power to run. Being variable-speed, the ECM runs quietly since it uses only what is necessary to push air through your home.
Ruud offers a lifetime limited warranty on the heat exchanger and a 10-year warranty on parts under normal wear conditions. These are typical of a standard warranty, so you’re not left in the cold if your unit breaks down unexpectedly. Shipping and installation are not included in the warranty, so while that will have to be covered by the homeowner, you are still saving by getting the part your furnace needs at no cost. The heat exchanger, which is constructed of aluminized steel, is removable, so it is easy to replace or service if the need arises.
Comparable Models by Ruud
Model Comparison by Lower Price - Ruud Ultra Series U96V versus Achiever Plus Series R96P
The R96P is a good value model, especially since many of the submodels have the same AFUE as the U96V, of 96%. However, it is not an ENERGY STAR certified furnace and may not be as energy efficient as the U96V. Both furnaces have a diagnostics system and a water management system to detect drainage blocks. The U96V and the R96P have removable heat exchangers for replacement or repair, though only the U96V is compatible with single- and two-stage thermostats.
Model Comparison by Features - Ruud Ultra Series U96V versus Ruud Ultra Series RGJF
The Ruud Ultra Series RGJF is a similar model to the U96V, though it has a few more features. The U96V has an AFUE of 96% while the RGJF has an AFUE of maximum 94.8%, though it is more efficient in other ways. The RGJF is a modulating, variable speed furnace that has good warranties for the heat exchanger, parts and entire unit, while the U96V is a two-stage, variable speed furnace that has similar warranties except for one to cover the unit if it should fail. Both have a diagnostic LED panel, but the RGJF has the Comfort Control2 system for enhanced serviceability with alerts and a record of past events.
Model Comparison by Premium Tier - Ruud Ultra Series U96V versus Ruud Ultra Series U97V
The U97V is a step above the U96V, and it starts with an AFUE increase of 1%, though both models are ENERGY STAR certified, the U97V is just a little bit more efficient. The U97V is a modulating, variable speed furnace, in comparison to the two-stage U96V. The U97V also has a warranty to replace the entire unit if it should fail, which the U96V does not have but it is still covered by a warranty for parts and the heat exchanger. Both models have a diagnostics panel and a water management system to help detect faults and issues.