Top 3 Furnace Brands in 2020 – Homeowner Buying Guide

If you’re considering replacing your home’s furnace unit, there are many factors to consider when selecting your new heating unit.  Price, lifespan, warranties, energy efficiency ratings, fuel source, and brand are just a few of the typical factors that influence what unit homeowners will buy.

Minnick’s is a certified installer of all the major brands of furnace units, and we wanted to leverage our experience to help you make an informed decision. From installing and servicing furnaces we’ve created a list of what we believe are the top three furnace brands based on efficiency, reliability, and value.

Most Efficient Furnace Brand – Trane

Furnace efficiency is measured by AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), which indicates how well your furnace can convert fuel into heat. AFUE ratings are measured in a percentage, and most gas furnaces score between 80% and 98%. A higher percentage means higher efficiency. You can think of AFUE ratings like the fuel efficiency rating on your car. The higher the rating, the more money you will save on energy costs.

AFUE Equals Greater Energy Savings

If energy-efficiency is the most important factor to you when selecting a furnace, we recommend you check out Trane’s lineup of high-efficiency furnaces. Its premium-tier models offer up to a 97.3% AFUE rating, which is about as high of a rating you will find on the market. Trane’s high AFUE ratings combined with their advanced efficiency features such as modulating valves, make Trane our favorite pick for efficiency.

If you’re the type that likes to run your heating system a lot, Trane’s high-efficiency models could save you significant cost on your gas bills.

Most Reliable Furnace Brand – Ruud

At Minnick’s, we understand how frustrating it is to have a demanding furnace that requires frequent repairs. So, to ensure we don’t recommend furnace brands that require frequent repairs, we performed some research on the breakdown rates for the major furnace brands in the first five years of ownership.

Consumer Reports tracked the breakdown rate of furnaces in over 21,000 homes over the course of five years. They found that Ruud brand furnaces were the top performers in reliability. An impressive eight percent of Ruud furnaces experienced a system failure during the five-year testing period.

If saving on repair cost if your number one priority, we recommend exploring Ruud’s lineup of furnaces. If properly installed, you can trust that your Ruud furnace will not require frequent repairs.

Furnace Breakdown Rate

Best Budget-Friendly Furnace Brand – Goodman

Depending on your perspective, you could argue that cost is the most important factor for every homeowner. The most efficient furnaces offer the benefit of saving you money in the long-term on utility costs. The most reliable furnaces save you money on repair costs.

For those that prefer to save money upfront, we find that Goodman offers some of the best-priced furnace units among major brands.  The average cost to purchase and install a Goodman furnace is about $2,650 for a single-family home. In comparison to Ruud and Trane’s average cost of $4,500 and $4,950 respectively, Goodman options are almost half the cost of other top brands.

How Do I Find The Best Furnace For My Home?

There’s no one furnace that is best for everyone. While efficiency, reliability, and cost are important equipment factors to consider when shopping for a furnace, you should also consider your home’s unique situation. The weather in your region and the size of your home also heavily influence your heating system needs. A one-story rancher in Arizona will require much different heating needs than a 3,000-square-foot house in Minnesota.

While doing your own research is always a good idea, don’t forget to utilize your HVAC technician as a resource. At Minnick’s, our technicians have experience installing and servicing many brands of HVAC units, and therefore, can speak to the specific pros and cons between furnace manufacturer brands.

More importantly than just leaning on our past work and experiences, our technicians also perform a Manual J Load Calculation. This is a proven way to determine what size unit your home requires based on its characteristics such as square footage, the position of walls, building materials, and etc. Buying a new furnace is an important investment and we want to make it easier for you to make an informed decision.

Additional Resources

We hope you’ve found this article helpful in finding the perfect furnace for your home.

If you’d like to learn more about your home’s HVAC equipment, visit our Learning Center Page.

Want to know more about how much an HVAC system might cost? Check out our comprehensive pricing breakdown on an HVAC system.