Just like all products in the consumer market, HVAC has a list of furnace and air conditioner brands that don’t quite meet the expectations of quality and performance as other brands. They may use lower quality parts than others. They’re likely to fail more often or need more service and maintenance to remain operational. And let’s be honest, they don’t have the same strict guidelines for dealers who are authorized to sell, install and maintain them as the best furnaces on the market.
Another factor not usually mentioned in best brand measurement, is the cost of not only the furnace itself, but the higher cost of installing and maintaining it, which we’ll discuss below since it plays a big role in which brand you choose.
Finally, the HVAC company you choose to install your new furnace plays the most important role in the life of your furnace. An improper or poorly installed furnace is simply not going to last as long as a furnace with proper sizing, quality installation and a thorough inspection from local authorities.
- Avoid Due to Quality Ratings and Reviews
- Avoid If You Have a Small Budget
- Tips for Choosing the Right Furnace to Meet Your Needs
In a nutshell, if you want the perfect furnace for your home, climate and budget, you should purchase from a reputable furnace manufacturer with a history of customer satisfaction and low product failure rates. That, coupled with quality installation, will get you a high quality furnace, designed, and properly installed to last many years.
The worst furnace brands are generally not due to being substandard quality, but based on many factors discussed below.
Furnace Brands to Avoid Due to Quality Ratings and Owner Reviews
Based on consumer quality ratings, the brands listed below don’t fare too well. They may use lower quality components than other brands and are more prone to parts failure, shorter life expectancy. That said, they tend cost quite a bit less than higher quality units, so that needs to be taken into consideration as well. Our star ratings come from the consumer furnace ratings at Furnace Compare, measured on a rating scale of 1 – 5 Stars, with 1 being the lowest rating.
- Arcoaire (2.2 average rating)
- Buderus (1.7 average Rating)
- Burnham Furnaces (1.8 average Rating)
- Ducane (2.3 average rating)
- Evcon (2.2 average rating)
- Keepright (2.4 average rating)
- Tempstar (2.5 average rating)
- Weatherking (2.4 average rating)
If you plan to install a higher AFUE furnace, review a list of the best high efficiency furnaces as rated by EnergyStar.
Expensive Furnace Brands to Avoid if You’re on a Tight Budget
Furnace prices can range from low cost units in the $500-$700 range, up to $3,500 or more for the highest quality furnaces. The furnace brands to avoid in this section are here simply because they are more expensive than others. And yes, furnace brand does affect the cost.
If you have a limited budget or need a very affordable furnace, these brands are simply known to cost more than others. They cost more to purchase, may require added accessories to run at their peak efficiency, cost more to install, and to maintain.
The pricing below is based on the average cost of the furnace installed. No central AC or other accessories, unless required by the furnace to operate. (Thermostat, etc)
Brand | Average cost of furnace only, installed
Tips for Choosing the Right Furnace Brand for your Needs
The first and most important factor in getting the right furnace for your home, is speaking to a local pro near you who can determine your needs and recommend the right furnace brand that meets those needs. Some of the most common questions they’ll ask are:
- How long do you plan to stay in the home?
If you plan to move soon, a higher quality system is not going to add much value, or ROI, as opposed to a lower quality brand. The fact that it’s new, is going to be the main factor.
- Assure you get the right size furnace for your home.
Installing the right sized furnace is like one of the most important factors to assuring your comfort. This is done with a If it’s too small, it will run endlessly. Too large, and it will short-cycle, meaning it runs for short periods of time, shuts off, then has to restart repeatedly to keep your home at the thermostat setting.
- How large or limited is your budget?
Determining how much you can spend is very important when it comes to selecting the right system. There’s no use in presenting the highest efficiency furnace that cost several thousand more than a lower efficiency furnace if you simply can’t afford it.
- High versus standard efficiency options.
If you live in an area where heat is needed more often than not, like the northeast, you’ll benefit quite a bit by installing a high efficiency furnace versus standard. The payback will be quicker, and it will increase the ROI on resale.
- They’ll help you understand features and how they affect your comfort.
Furnaces can contain many features that improve your comfort in the home. They do however come at a higher cost. Variable speed blowers, two-stage heating, smart automation control features, and much more.
Finally, you need to be comfortable with your installation company. Buying a new furnace is not something you do every day and it should last many years. You’ll want the confidence a reliable and professional local company can provide, so you know they’ll be there for your maintenance and repair needs for years to come.