The Best High-Efficiency Furnaces of 2018/2019
In the article below, we summarize our evaluations of the best forced-air propane/natural gas furnaces for the 2018-2019 winter season, to help Canadians choose a reliable, effective, and energy-efficient heating system.
Keep in mind that there are many factors – including the sizing and installation – that can affect a furnace’s effectiveness and reliability. For this reason, it’s important that you choose an experienced and trusted contractor to install the system, and choose a unit that is right for your home, as every situation can be different.
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Scores are out of 10
|Manufacturer ↕||Efficiency ↕||Features ↕||Price ↕||Types ↕||Warranty ↕||Final Score ↕|
Full Breakdown of our Best Furnaces Comparison
We compare the top furnace brands and models and rank them based on 6 key categories outlined below. Then we identify three of the best performing furnaces in each category for three price tiers: value, mid-range, and premium.
When it comes to choosing the best high-efficiency natural gas furnace for your family the choices can be overwhelming. At Furnace Prices we believe in providing consumers with the information they need to make informed decisions about the heating solutions that meet their needs. This guide aims to provide an overview of some of the best furnace choices for the 2018-2019 winter season.
5 Key Factors to Determining the Best Furnace
Our Experts Have Identified the Following 6 Key Comparison Categories for Selecting the Best Furnace Manufacturers & Models:
- Efficiency rating
- Price and Overall Value
- Warranty Information
We will review the top three brand models for the value, mid-range and premium options available in each category.
Evaluating Reliability… Reliably
The fact is that the reliability of a furnace depends on more than just the brand and model. Things like proper installation, correct sizing, and how well maintained the furnace is can all affect lifespan and reliability. These added variables make it difficult to evaluate which brands are most reliable, because the contractor or company that installed it also plays an important role, among other things.
Furthermore, any data on furnace malfunctions and breakdowns, including consumer reviews, tend to be skewed by a number of factors. For example, larger and more popular brands tend to have more complaints by customers, since there are simply far more people that have these units installed overall. Even if the percentage of people that encounter serious issues is relatively low, online feedback may give the impression that problems are more common than they really are.
People are also much less likely to take the time to go online and post a review about their furnace quietly doing its job, but are far more likely to post a review when something goes wrong. For this reason, consumer reviews of furnaces often appear to have a negative slant, regardless of brand.
Therefore, we’ve chosen to compare Warranty Coverage as gauge instead as this gives a tangible way to compare different brands. Although warranty coverage doesn’t directly indicate reliability, it does offer a good indication of the type of guarantee offered by the manufacturer (“putting their money where their mouth is!”, so to speak), and also how long you can expect to be covered in the event something goes wrong.
Ultimately, most modern furnaces that are sized correctly by a professional, and installed by an experienced and certified technician tend to be quite reliable, with few major differences in reliability across most brands and manufacturers.
A few notes about this article:
We’ve done our best to highlight some of the top brands and models available to a wide range of Canadians across the country. This doesn’t mean that you should limit your options to only the manufacturers found here, as many local distributors and contractors will supply good quality, reliable, and efficient products from other brands.
Pricing Tiers: We’ve organised the different major brands into three pricing tiers, which are based on general average prices for their products. These tiers are meant as a general guideline only and are NOT meant to indicate quality levels. Actual prices will vary based on things like where you live, the company you deal with, factors relating to the installation, the exact model you choose, and more. Furthermore, each brand will usually have their own value, mid-range, and premium tier models.
1. Best Efficiency Furnaces
AFUE refers to Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. The higher the furnace’s AFUE the greater the efficiency. A high efficiency furnace ensures that your energy dollars are working for you. When you’re looking to upgrade to a high efficiency furnace the higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient your furnace will be. Furnaces with an AFUE rating greater than 95% are Energy Star certified.
2. Best Innovative Technology & Features
Innovative technology is one category to pay close attention to. Many top brands strive to set themselves apart from their competition and achieve their goal of providing consumers with the most advanced home heating systems on the market.
3. Best Furnaces: Price & Overall Value
When beginning the process of researching a new high-efficiency natural gas furnace, the first thing many consumers want to know is how much will it cost?
We have examined top natural gas furnace brands in the value, mid-range and premium tiers and have calculated the average range consumers can expect to pay for high-efficiency natural gas furnaces. This range in price is a result of several factors which can cause the total price to fluctuate, including BTU required, installation, etc. Click here to receive a personalised quote from one of our local distributors in your area.
|Tier||1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place|
|Value||Goodman $2,000 – $,4000||York $2,000 – $4,000||KeepRite $2,800 – $4,000|
|Mid-Range||American Standard $3,500 – $5,000||Rheem $3,000 – $5,500||Amana $3,000 – $7,000|
|Premium||Lennox $3,000 – $7,500||Bryant $3,000 – $7,500||Carrier $3,500 – $7,500|
4. Best Warranty Coverage
When you purchase a high-efficiency natural gas furnace it is important to ensure that your investment is protected under warranty. Many manufacturer warranties have specific rules and regulations which must be followed. Our local distributors are knowledgeable about each of the limited manufacturer warranties for each brand model and will assist you with the process of completing your warranty paperwork.
Take particular note of brands offering a good heat exchanger warranty, as it is one of the most important (and expensive) components in any furnace, and can be very costly to repair or replace.
Here are a few of the top warranty plans available in the value, mid-range and premium high-efficiency natural gas furnace tiers:
5. Quietest Furnaces
There’s nothing worse then the sound of a noisy furnace. The top three contenders in each category are among the quietest high-efficiency natural gas furnaces on the market. With innovative noise-reducing technology, if you are looking for a quiet natural gas furnace, these options are not to be missed.
Here are the top value, mid-range and premium picks when it comes to brand recognition amongst consumers. Here are a few of the top warranty plans available in the value, mid-range and premium high-efficiency natural gas furnace tiers:
So What is the Best Furnace? The Winners Are…
As you can see there are many factors to consider when choosing the best furnace for your home. Careful consideration of efficiency rating, features, price/overall value, warranty information, brand recognition, and quietness will ensure that you are prepared to make an informed decision when investing in a high-efficiency natural gas furnace.
Without further ado, we give you the 2018-2019 Overall Brand Winners….
Reliability is at the top of the list of must-haves for many homeowners looking to invest in a high-efficiency natural gas furnace. An accurate in-home assessment, conducted by a certified technician will assist you with selecting the appropriate BTU for your home heating system. Selecting the proper size of furnace for your home will assist you in achieving a reliable high-efficiency natural gas furnace, regardless of which brand you choose.
Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t a large variation in reliability between most furnace manufacturer brands. A much bigger factor is that the furnace is the correct size, properly installed by a licensed technician, and adequately maintained.
We would be happy to you with a obtaining a free, no-obligation furnace quote from one of our experienced local distributors.
Variable-speed blowers deliver air slowly when the furnace doesn’t need to produce as much heat. Not only does the slow flow of air produce less noise, but it also leads to a more consistent indoor temperature.
An ECM Motor allows your natural gas furnace to work at a greater level of efficiency by using less energy. Natural Resources Canada has reported up to 70% less energy used when the furnace is equipped with an ECM motor. Another added benefit to a high-efficiency natural gas furnace is that the ECM motor produces relatively low operational noise in comparison to Single Stage furnaces which have loud air bursts due to the on/off nature of their blowers. Consumers wanting a furnace with an ECM motor can expect to pay more up front as they are found in the upper midrange and premium models in most brands. That being said it’s important to consider the return on your investment and an investment in an ECM motor now can lead to better use of your energy dollars, resulting in greater savings.
A modulating burner allows your furnace to adjust to fluctuations in temperature. This type of response to slight changes in temperature gives consumers more control overall the temperature of their home. Typically, modulating burners are found in the upper midrange and premium tier high-efficiency natural gas furnaces. This means that you will need to pay more for this feature, however the energy savings you will reap from this investment will pay off over the years.
Dual Heat Exchanger
The furnace’s heat exchanger is responsible for producing heat from the burned gas. In order to produce more heat from the same amount of burned gas, high-efficiency furnaces have a primary heat exchanger that is supplemented by a secondary heat exchanger. This secondary heat exchanger is usually made with stainless steel or lined with hard plastic to limit the negative effects of corrosive acidic condensates, which may result from the use of the secondary heat exchanger. If you want a furnace with two heat exchangers, look for furnaces with the feature dual heat exchange.
An electronic ignition system ensures that your furnace is able to respond quickly to temperature fluctuations, keeping your home warm and comfortable. It’s important to look for a furnace with a hot-surface ignition system.
No matter which brand or type of furnace you select, the installation process of the furnace is arguably the most important factor. An experienced and certified HVAC technician will ensure a proper installation of your new high-efficiency natural gas furnace.
Correct installation by a certified technician is important for the overall reliability of the furnace, as well the safety of you and your family. An incorrectly installed furnace can pose a huge risk to the home and your family.
When purchasing a high-efficiency natural gas furnace you want to ensure that the furnace is the correct size and that the BTU output is the correct amount for the size of your house. If your furnace is too big or small for your home, it will likely function irregularly, which will lead to damage over time.
Air filtration add-ons are a great way to improve the function and performance of your furnace. If quality of the air in your home is especially important to you, air filtration should be a feature that is at the top of your list. Some furnaces come with an electrostatic filter, which works by using an electrical charge to attract particles. Other furnaces come with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate-arresting) filter. This filter works by reducing the amount of dust that ends up in the heating system.
Here are a few noise-reducing features that are included in many types high-efficiency natural gas furnaces:
- ECM Motor
- Variable Speed
As you narrow down your top three high-efficiency natural gas furnace options you will want to take a close look at the warranty package that each brand offers.
Specifically what is the warranty on the following:
- Parts – regular maintenance and service is important to ensure that your high-efficiency natural gas furnace is running properly. However, even with annual maintenance parts can fail over time. Be sure to check the warranty to see which parts are covered under warranty.
- Heat Exchanger – a broken heat exchanger is one of the most costly elements to repair so it is important to ensure that whichever brand you choose has a heat exchanger warranty that protects you from a costly repair
- Years covered under warranty – many plans typically span 10 years limited warranty; although certain premium brands do cover specific parts for the lifetime of your furnace
When to register your high-efficiency natural gas furnace – failing to register your new high-efficiency furnace within the specified number of days (typically the first 90 days) can result in a reduced or null and void warranty.