Did you know cheap furnaces cost you more? I believe you do! Painful maintenance and repairing will make your life miserable.
One easy way to stay fool-proof is to know which furnace brands to avoid. Such brands are badly reviewed! And there are pretty good reasons behind that.
In short, any cheap furnaces from any brand are bad and you should avoid them. Not the brand, but their cheap models.
So, in this article, I will you some worst furnace brands and some least-preferable furnaces from renowned brands as well. Stay with me!
Avoid These Worst Furnace Brands (For Cheap Models)
Before I go any further, let me clear something first. Whatever brands I am about to reveal—are fully based on customer reviews. You can cross-check it!
To me, anyone who manufactures cheap furnaces is a bad brand. People have suffered from those worst furnace brands!
And keep in mind that, the entire brand is not bad most of the time, it’s most likely only a few bad cheap models. So, here is my list:
It’s a common brand for household appliances. And sure, it has some high-quality products too. But like many people, I would not recommend it for your furnace.
In fact, I did recommend avoiding the Frigidaire brand for refrigerators too in my other article. You are welcome to check out why.
Now, what’s wrong with the Frigidaire furnaces?
Well, one of the common complaints about the brand is that their customer service is simply bad. Some of their furnace buyers even said that the furnace is not strong enough to keep the house warm.
So, the heat quality from their furnaces could not satisfy some customers. But to be fair to the Frigidaire, it has so much positive feedback for the energy efficiency and reliability of their furnaces.
- Lennox Furnace
I think every furnace owner has heard this name. And, yes some of you may be surprised to see this brand on my list. If you are shocked as well, let me explain.
Yes, they have so many reliable furnace brands but avoid the Lennox Merit and Elite furnaces if you can. Both the furnaces have only a 5-year warranty period and you have to pay extra for the extended period.
It’s a bad practice and a bad sign!
To me and lots of other people, the reliability of the two furnaces is not so great if you consider their steep costs. Cost should resemble reliability, right?
In fact, you can compare the reliability of such highly expensive furnaces, its score won’t be so good.
Yes, their warranty is good but how many times you want to call their customer service? For the same price range, you can get a reliable furnace from other brands!
- Burnham Furnaces
In comparison to other brands, you can get your furnace from this company at a very lower cost. It’s not always true but the cheap cost always leads to troubles in the future.
In terms of reliability, customer service, and efficiency, Burnham’s rating is not so good. Their furnaces have burner problems and even some have suffered from their warranties!
Unless you want to spend a lot on repairing, avoid this brand. They got a lot to improve to change the consumer’s perspective.
Another furnace brand that offers cheap furnaces. In fact, they offer their surfaces at lower costs than even the Burnham!
So, you will face all the problems of Burnham furnaces in this case too. Their furnaces have probably the most failure rate and that should scare you!
A lot of customers have said that their furnaces stopped working within just 3 years of their purchases. And the quality of their furnaces is not getting any good according to many customers.
- York Furnaces
So, I put this brand on my list simply because of the higher failure rates of their furnaces. And when something bad like this happens, you won’t find their customer service very cooperative.
Yes, you will get an extended warranty for your furnace but what’s the point of that if they don’t respond well when you are in trouble?
If you have a good budget, should avoid the York furnace brand.
Yes, their furnaces are not as bad as the cheap furnaces from Burnham or Buderus; but it still has some serious negative customer reviews.
Ducane furnaces have issues regarding the warranty, quality, reliability, and overall customer services.
One thing about their cheap models that annoys a lot of customers is the painful noise they make. In a noisy indoor, you can’t have peace!
And like all the cheap furnaces from other brands, their cheap models also break down easily and often!
Reason To Avoid Cheap Furnaces From Bad Brands
Not everything cheap is bad but I can’t say the same when it comes to furnaces. This is something you want to last at least 10+ years trouble-free.
So, here are some reasons why you should avoid cheap furnaces from the least trusted brands:
- The incidents of the failed heat exchangers are very high among the cheap furnaces. Both the Carrier and Bryant furnace brands used to have this problem a lot in the past.
- The basic tier furnaces of the American Standard and Trane used to have problems with their circuit boards.
- Usually, they come with short warranty periods. The manufacturers give you a short warranty period because they know how well their furnaces will hold up.
- Almost all the cheap and entry-level furnaces have single-speed fans and single-stage burners. Among all the bad experiences like poor heating comfort, you will hear loud noises too!
- Not reliable furnace brands can offer cheap-cost furnaces simply because they use cheap components. Cheap components bound to crack and you will be spending a lot repairing the same. Pretty soon, the furnace stops working due to such cheap components.
- Cheap furnaces require more than regular tuning and cleaning work properly. Without that, they will most likely break down FAST.
Best Furnace Brands To Trust
Speaking of the worst furnace brands, you will find some poor-performing furnaces from the most trusted and popular brands too.
So, don’t just trust any brand blindly. You need to be skeptical about this since it’s gonna be a long-term investment. However, you will be in less trouble if you buy from these furnace brands:
- American Standard Furnaces
When it comes to utmost reliability, you must trust a reliable brand and the American Standard furnaces are just that level of reliability!
All of their furnaces will match your expectations and you won’t be disappointed. The reason has become one of the most reliable brands is because it gets only a few repair calls occasionally.
I admit they got some troubling furnaces with lots of mechanical issues but recently they have improved themselves a lot.
With improved quality and efficiency, it has a better warranty than other renowned brands. In fact, you can get a lifetime warranty for the heat exchanger!
Apparently, the Rheem Prestige is doing great in the market and you can trust this furnace from this brand.
- Bryant Furnaces
In the furnace niche, Bryant furnaces have made a strong position with their quality and competitive price. With AFUE ratings of 90%, you can certainly trust this brand.
You can find lots of recommendations for their central gas furnaces and you can get yours at around $2,500!
It’s another reliable and renowned brand and they are in the HVAC industry for a long time. It’s a reliable brand for other household appliances too.
If you are in the market for a quality furnace that will last years after years, you can get the Maytag 1200 Series. You will get 12 years warranty and to my knowledge—this is the longest warranty you can get by far!
And you will get a lifetime replacement warranty for the heat exchanger. It will be a safe investment if you go for the Maytag.
- Goodman Furnaces
Another trusted and reliable brand for gas furnaces. For a very long time, they have been a leading brand to deliver high-quality gas furnaces with amazing customer feedback.
With amazing product quality and warranty, you can find this brand recommended on several other reviewing sites. I would recommend this brand as well and you can get yours for a very competitive price.
Some of you may debate saying Trane makes some cheap furnaces—so, we should avoid this brand too. Well, it’s true. But I must say that you should only avoid the basic tier furnaces from the Trane, NOT the entire brand.
Well, it’s a well-recognized heating and cooling brand. And they delivering reliable and quality furnaces for years (since 1916)!
When a brand keeps kicking for that long, you can certainly put your trust in them. Based on your specifications, you can get your furnace at the price range of $2,000 to $7,000.
Many people know this as an air-conditioning company. But you should know that it’s a trusted furnace brand as well.
They have already made a great name to deliver durable furnaces with an excellent warranty period. You can trust this brand too.
Yes, it has some bad and poorly efficient furnaces but Lennox is still a great brand for quality furnaces. This is one of the longest-running American furnace brands too.
Their furnaces are mostly available in 3 different levels and most of them are highly efficient. For higher efficiency, you can get the Dave Lennox Signature Collection.
Surprisingly, this collection can provide up to 98.7% efficiency!
A Bitter Truth About Furnace Brand
I have talked about some trusted brands above but I do not want you to trust them blindly. You must do your own digging and read customer reviews about a particular model number.
Let me explain why…
Over the last few decades, the furnace industry has gone through several consolidations. It’s not an uncommon practice where one manufacturer acquires another.
In the furnace industry, it has happened a lot already. So, some manufacturers sell the same furnace unit under different brand names.
Yes, the model number and painting may be different, but the parent company is the same.
To make things even more difficult, they don’t even change the purchased brand. Some of them even sell their own furnaces under the newly purchased brand.
As the same manufacturer can be selling the same unit under several brands, you can’t just trust the brand!
Features of A Good Gas Furnace
Irrespective of the brands, almost all of them offer the same features in their furnaces. Yes, the quality varies but you will get almost the same features.
Don’t get too hyped seeing plenty of features. Some of them are completely useless. Here is a list of must-have features in your furnace:
- Picking The Right Size
No matter what you hear—size does matter J If you pick a too small furnace, it won’t be able to keep your house warm. If it’s too big, it will cost you more with an increased installation charge.
The only right size is what you really need. A good way to determine that is to ask your contractor for your need assessment. The contractor will tell you exactly what size would be better for you.
- Air Filtration
Usually, all the furnaces have their own air filtration system. You don’t need it if every family member in your family is healthy. So, I would not recommend avoiding the furnace brand that does not offer this feature.
However, having this feature is useful only when someone from your family is suffering from asthma.
Usually, such furnaces come with an electrostatic filter to catch the particles and dust blowing through the heating system.
- Variable-Speed Blowers
You are living in the modern age. So, not having the variable-speed blowers in your furniture is more like living in the ’70s!
This is why you should have this feature…
Let’s say you need less heat in your home. Only then you will find this feature highly useful.
Without making much noise, it can deliver the air slowly making fewer uncomfortable swings in the temperature.
- Variable Heat Output
Not every furnace in the market has this feature. But if the furnace has a variable-speed blower, the variable heat output feature should be there. But what’s the point of having it?
Well, this feature enables the furnace to automatically alter the amount of heat delivery for increased efficiency and for your comfort.
Because of this feature, your furnace will be able to deliver more heat nonstop and it is not possible for a fixed heat output furnace.
- Heat Exchanger
This is the vital part of your furnace that draws heat from the burned gas. A good brand usually supplements the primary exchanger with a secondary heat exchanger to draw more heat.
The second exchanger is made of stainless steel and protected. Usually, such furnaces are known as energy-efficient furnaces.
- Zoned Heating
A super-advanced feature to channel different amounts of heating or cooling to different rooms of the same house.
You will find this feature super useful if you install the furnace in a bigger home with a large space. FYI: Having this feature also may lead to more frequent repairing!
- High AFUE Ratings
This rating matters a lot if you need an energy-efficient furnace to keep gas consumption lower. This rating measure how well the furnace can convert the gas into heat.
If your furnace has an 80% to 99% AFUE rating, it’s energy-efficient! The more you can get the better for your home and for the environment.
However, a higher AFUE rating also leads to higher costs! In fact, if you choose a 90% AFUE rating over the 80% rating, it may cost you up to $1,000 extra.
You will get 10 years or more warranty period if you buy a premium furnace from any renowned brand. However, you will get fewer warranty years if you pick any basic tier.
Some brands also offer a lifetime replacement warranty for the various parts of the furnace-like the heat exchanger. You can even find a furnace where the company also covers the labor costs that may incur to repair it in their warranty terms.
Poor Installation: Reason Why A Good Furnace Performs Badly
Let’s say you won’t buy the basic tier from a renowned furnace brand. You have bought a good one. It can still perform poorly if the installation is not done right.
In that case, you can only blame the installation, NOT the brand. Cheap installation for your furnace is as bad as picking the basic tier furnace.
Even the best gas furnace won’t perform efficiently and won’t be durable due to the cheap installation.
I can’t stress enough why you should avoid cheap installation. It is as important as avoiding some worst furnace brands.
But how you can avoid the cheap installation?
Just keep the following points in mind and you will have your proper installation:
- You won’t be doing the installation but you should learn everything about your furnace.
- Now, get quotes from 3 to 4 local furnace dealers with a good reputation. Try to collect as much data as possible about those contractors online or offline. Ask your neighbors for recommendations too.
- Make sure those contractors are either certified by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) or at least factory trained.
- The easiest way to identify a bad contractor is by checking the estimates. If it’s too low for the others, avoid that contractor. They are most likely inexperienced!
- Based on the estimates, choose the most experienced installer with a fair price. Also, match their reputation by cross-checking reviews.
I am not talking about overpaying the contractor but don’t go cheap. This is the key. It takes a good experience to install such complex stuff. So, reject any cheap bidding.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Almost every brand has some in-efficient furnaces. Here is a list of such worst furnaces:
1. Burnham Furnaces
There are lots of reliable furnace brands you can find in the market. Here is a list of them:
1. Lennox Furnace
2. Bryant Furnaces
3. Goodman Gas Furnaces
4. Trane Gas Furnaces.
5. Rheem Furnaces
6. Daikin Furnaces
7. HEIL Gas Furnaces.
8. Ruud Furnace Units
9. York Furnace Units
Lennox is far better than the carrier. The furnaces from the Lennox brand have an AFUF rating of 80% to 98%. Apart from their basic tier, most of their furnaces are highly efficient.
On the other hand, Carrier is also a good brand and their Infinity Series are highly recommended for better efficiency.
Yes, a variable speed furnace is worth having if your current furnace does not have 90% or more efficiency. The motor of a variable-speed furnace is at least 80% more efficient than any standard furnace motor!
Carrier Infinity 98 model is the quietest gas furnace. It’s also efficient and highly reliable.
Yes, Lennox furnaces (except the basic tier) are reliable for their higher quality and reliability.
To keep your home warm, you need something that will last for at least 10+ years hassle-free and without requiring constant repairing.
To have peace of mind, there are some furnace brands to avoid and you should be aware of them. Picking from a trusted and reliable brand is the only key to protect our investment!