7 Furnace Brands To Avoid (and 5 Reliable Brands)

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

Are you in the market for a new furnace? If so, it’s a good idea to treat this as a significant investment which is why you must choose the best furnace for your home. While name brands may seem ideal, have you researched the furnace brands you should avoid? If not, we did it for you!

Based on our findings and recall data from the CPSC avoid furnace brands like York, Coleman, Trane, and Goodman. York had the highest amount of recalls in 2004, with 226,000 units recalled. Coleman had 223,000 units recalled in 2012, and Trane with 17,700 recalled in 2016. Goodman had 4,100 recalls in 2017. Recalls included electric shock risk and fire hazards.

You’re probably as surprised as we were with the results! Below, we’ll diver deeper into these and other brands to see why they are unreliable. We will also share some good brands to help you choose a safe and effective furnace.

How Much Does A Furnace Brand Matter?

Furnace brands are known for having an impact on quality, warranty, and craft. A brand known for reliability has a higher chance of being durable and lasting for a long time.

While any brand will have great models, the chances of you picking a great model will increase with a good company. Moreover, top-rated companies tend to have better warranties and customer service.

How Did We Look At The Worst Brands?

Two primary characteristics were used to determine the worst brands: reliability and consumer ratings.

Both aspects were considered holistically, meaning we sought to see the overall picture. It’s not just about the reviews and failure rates; it’s also about how they compare to other furnaces in similar price ranges.

Because you’re paying a lot of money for a furnace, you want to be sure it will last for a long time. A brand with a lot of complaints should be avoided when it comes to customer ratings.

This could mean there’s a big possibility you won’t like how the furnace works or how customer service treats you.

Furnace Brands to Avoid Based on Recalls

BrandModels RecalledHazardNumber of Units RecalledRecall Date
Carlin1Wiring malfunction in which burners won’t shut off posing a fire hazard110March 10 2016
Coleman12Overheating causes cracks in heat-exchanger causing open flames posing fire and smoke hazard223,600February 02 2012
Goodman1Blower motor is not ground which can result in significant electric shock4,100May 02 2017
Rheem4Oil burner continues to operate if the furnace is not wired right posing a fire risk14,000January 22 2009
Trane95Wire can become loose posing a significant shock hazard17,700November 08 2016
York12Overheating causes cracks in heat-exchanger causing open flames posing fire and smoke hazard226,000November 15 2004

The Worst Furnace Brands You Should Avoid

Furnace brands are not something to take lightly. If you want to avoid having to replace your furnace anytime soon, check out these low-rated brands.

1. York

Photo Credit: York

York was once thought of as the best, but it’s only best when it comes to having the greatest failure rate.

There have been all sorts of complaints across the board regarding York. Customers have complained about a failing control board, short lifespan, and the need to repair a brand new York furnace on an annual basis.

Perhaps the worst issue is the overheating issue. This causes the heat exchanger to crack, which results in open flames. If you had drywall, plastic, or any combustibles near your furnace, this would cause a fire and your house will fill with toxic fumes.

What is the Worst Furnace Model by York?

One of the worst models we’ve found after pouring through numerous reviews is the single-stage TM9E060B12MP11 York Furnace.

Several consumers have reported feeling dizzy and off-balance when the furnace is operating. There seems to be an issue with nitrogen dioxide escaping the unit and causing problems. It improves if the door is open, but who wants to leave their door or window open during wintertime?

No one seems to have the answer as to what causes this. Some speculations are that the condensate unit is faulty, or maybe the seals allow the condensate to escape into the heat exchanger.

Regardless, it is highly advised that, while some people may still prefer the York brand, they avoid this particular model. Not only is the problem annoying, but it’s perilous. According to the CDC, breathing in nitrogen dioxide can cause severe lung injury.

Other York Models with Negative Reviews

2. Rheem

Photo Credit: Pro Duct Solutions

Rheem is another furnace brand that surprised us when we discovered all of the issues consumers mentioned. While they are thought to be a top brand overall, the same cannot be said for their furnace line.

These furnaces have a habit of frequently cycling on and off despite the thermostat settings. The blower also runs constantly, eventually burning out and resulting in needing a replacement typically within the first year. The pilot light doesn’t want to stay lit, and on top of that, the electronic igniter doesn’t work as it should.

What is the Worst Furnace Model by Rheem?

When it comes to Rheem, we would say to stay away from the Rheem RGDG model, as the blower on this particular model runs continuously despite reaching the proper temperature, according to consumers.

Furthermore, it seems to have an issue with the power as others complain that as soon as this furnace gets up to speed, it almost immediately dies down and is not efficient at warming the house. And sometimes, it just dies out altogether after a year.

Other Rheem Models with Negative Reviews

3. Coleman

Photo Credit: HVAC Comfort

Coleman furnaces are known for having troubles with the pilot light, insufficient heat, and they have difficulty starting. Some of these issues can be avoided by performing routine furnace maintenance.

One of the most prevalent problems most consumers have with Coleman furnaces is unstable pilot lights.

The positioning of the thermocouple is frequently to blame. This portion of the Coleman furnace can’t work correctly if it’s too far away from the pilot light.

This device has an inside sensor heated by the pilot light when working correctly. This gadget transmits an electrical charge to the furnace, preventing it from closing the gas valve. The thermocouple may not be communicating accurately with the gas valve if the light does not stay on.

What is the Worst Furnace Model by Coleman?

The model that you want to steer completely clear of is the Coleman 7663A mobile home furnace. While this model is seen as the best budget furnace for mobile homes, it comes with many problems.

Consumers have complained of a significant issue with the gas valve and the heat exchanger. The gas valve seems like it’s not positioned correctly, and the heat exchanger develops cracks rather quickly. This causes a problem resulting in a house fire as eventually the flames will be exposed.

Other Coleman Models with Negative Reviews

4. Lennox

Photo Credit: Fenix Heating & Cooling

If the poor customer service isn’t enough to keep you from buying a Lennox furnace, then perhaps the consumer complaints will!

While Lennox furnaces seem to be great on the efficiency front, they’re terrible when it comes to the build. The construction is excellent, but most models have corrosion issues.

This may be due to the machine having an issue with spewing out acid. Carbon monoxide is also released from these furnaces, making living conditions dangerous.

According to the CDC, 430 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, while 50,000 end up in the emergency room. There is no sense in risking it.

What is the Worst Furnace Model by Lennox?

The Lennox ML195 95% model is one we suggest you stay away from. This model is supposed to have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years, but several people have reported it’s only lasted from 2 to 8 years.

However, while it was functioning, some parts kept giving out, cracking or stopped working altogether.

This is one of the models you have to be wary of as it has also emitted carbon monoxide. While this is not in concentrated amounts, you don’t want to risk the possibility of it becoming a bigger issue.

Other Lennox Models with Negative Reviews

5. Goodman

Photo Credit: Demark Home Ontario

While Goodman has been a brand name that a lot of households are familiar with, we are sorry to say that they aren’t as good as they seem. There does not seem to be many issues on the customer service front; however, the complaints from consumers are many.

The furnace blower needs to be replaced more frequently than other brands, as it either doesn’t stop running, or it won’t run.

Not to mention, the heat efficiency is terrible, and the furnace itself is loud and obnoxious. Many people look to save money using an efficient furnace, but you’ll end up paying more with Goodman.

While searching for Goodman furnaces, you’ll notice they’re mostly rated 4.5 stars and up. However, if you dig deep, you’ll see they’re not all they seem to be. Plus, most consumers wrote their reviews before the actual problems occurred.

What is the Worst Furnace Model by Goodman

The Goodman RTH221B1021 seems to have a knack for not being able to keep the flame going, and also, the blower motor randomly shuts off.

Even though consumers have checked the flame sensor, changed the filter, and many other DIY options, it still doesn’t want to work correctly.

While it’s easy to call a service worker out to fix your furnace, you’ll have to do this several times as many of the parts were not made with quality in mind. Your house won’t stay warm with this Goodman model.

Other Goodman Models with Negative Reviews

6. Trane

Photo Credit: PickHVAC

The most common problem your Trane furnace encounters the most often is a failure to operate. This happens when your thermostat shows it is active, but the heat is not running.

When your heater is not doing anything, it means that the sending unit attached to the blower door of the furnace is not engaged.

Trane is another brand that you may be surprised to see in the worst furnace section, as they’re typically a great brand! However, their furnaces aren’t great when it comes to functioning as they fail to operate.

Consumers have complained that some Trane furnaces have fans that bang around, as well as ones that leak everywhere.

Also, the furnaces seem to just stop working out of the blue. Calling the customer service doesn’t help, as they mostly don’t hold to their warranty standards even if you can reach someone!

What is the Worst Furnace Model by Trane?

The Trane 4YCC4036A1070AA has given many consumers some serious problems. The motor in this model has disintegrated several times.

This, of course, causes the whole furnace to stop working, which is horrible, especially if it’s wintertime.

Moreover, the parts of this furnace are hard to find. It’s better to just stay away from this model altogether. You don’t want to be stuck with an unworking furnace that you can’t fix.

Other Trane Models with Negative Reviews

7. Heil

Photo Credit: Informic

While Heil looks like a good brand on the outside, this could not be further from the truth. Aside from the unmet warranties and poor customer service, their furnaces are subpar at best.

The leading consumer complaint was the noise the fan made. The furnaces also seem to shut down out of nowhere and have an issue with starting back up.

This is a big issue, especially in the winter months. Therefore, you might as well save your money and put it into a better brand.

What is the Worst Furnace Model by Heil?

If we had to choose one model for you to avoid, it would be the Heil N9MSE. They are known for their inducer motors failing which makes the furnace stop working.

To fix it, you’re looking at a $900 bill as Heil does not like to follow through with their warranty promises. Even though this model is supposed to last for 25 to 30 years, most consumers only have it for about two years before switching it out.

Other Heil Models with Negative Reviews

Most Reliable Furnace Brands

Now that you’ve heard about the furnace brands you should stay away from, let’s look at some of the best brands around!

Ruud, Bryant, Payne, Amana, and Armstrong are some of the highest-rated brands. Let’s dive a little deeper into each brand below.

1. Ruud

Photo Credit: YouTube- Al Young Cuda

Ruud is a familiar brand that produces high-quality gas furnaces. They’re similar to the Rheem brand in features and colors; however, Ruud is built with higher-quality materials. While the parts are interchangeable between both brands, Ruud wins when it comes to high-end gas furnaces.

We recommend the Ruud U96V EcoNet Enabled Ultra Series Variable Speed Multi-Position Furnace. This model features a 4-way multi-poise design and has two stages of operation, which allows you to save energy while maintaining comfort. This furnace also has humidity control and year-round energy savings.

The heat exchanger is removable so that in the circumstances it needs to be serviced; it’s easier to do so. The aluminized steel and stainless steel also provide corrosion resistance and keep the thermal fatigue problem at bay.

2. Bryant

Photo Credit: Maumee Valley Heating & Air Conditioning

When it comes to efficiency ratings, Bryant has a wide variety of models that they offer, starting with AFUE ratings from 80% to 98.3$.

They have many different model series such as Evolution, Preferred, and Legacy. These series’ offer various sizes of furnaces as well as flow types and features.

One model that stands out is the Bryant Preferred ssdf 80 series Variable-Stage Gas Furnace 820SA. While this model is single-stage heating, it outperforms many other available models.

It features temperature control, a 20-year limited warranty on the heat exchanger, and produces an even constant flow of heat so that it doesn’t use as much energy.

3. Payne

Photo Credit: Payne

Payne does not have a modulating gas furnace, unlike most brands. These models are limited to single and two-stage operations, making this brand a great budget-friendly brand.

It’s not as expensive as the brands that produce modulating gas furnaces, but it still has excellent quality.

One great model is the Payne PG96VAT two-stage variable-speed gas furnace, as it has an AGUE rating of up to 96% and energy star savings. It also includes the best noise reduction technology that Payne has to offer.

It also has the option to add an air purifier or dehumidifier to improve the air quality of your home.

4. Amana

Photo Credit: Amana

Amana has a wide variety of gas furnaces that have a long life span and excellent lifetime warranties that they follow through on.

Amana is ranked the third best brand for furnaces based on energy efficiencies, warranties, and the models that they produce.

One model that we’ve come to love is the Amana AMSS92 Gas Furnace with a corrosion-resistant steel cabinet.

Since this is a multi-speed furnace, it is insulated to reduce the amount of noise that it produces. So you don’t have to worry about your furnace making noise while you’re trying.

Also, this model is very energy efficient and will save you money over months of use, including in winter. So, no more $800 energy bills trying to heat your cold house.

5. Armstrong

Photo Credit: Barneys Heating & Air

Unfortunately, Armstrong is not a well-known brand, but many dealers and contractors prefer this brand. It’s very efficient and boasts consumer-friendly prices.

As a matter of fact, Armstrong is from the same company as Lennox, and they have interchangeable parts. However, Lennox lacks the quality and efficiency that Armstrong has.

We recommend the Armstrong A951E Gas Furnace. This model has a 95% AGUE efficiency rating, meaning that 95% of the fuel is converted for heat.

Also, it has a lower operating cost due to its constant torque motor. This furnace has EHX Technology, which is unique to the Armstrong brand.

The EHX Technology helps heat exchangers be more durable and allowed more advanced airflow. This will also expand the life expectancy of your furnace.

What Are the Signs of a Bad Furnace?

It’s not as difficult as you might think to identify bad furnace brands. You don’t need any special training to identify poor-quality materials. Here are some tell-tale signs of the worst furnace brands:

Furnace Made of Cheap Materials

The first thing you’ll notice about a low-cost furnace brand is that it’s made of low-quality materials.

A furnace should last at least 10 to 15 years, with its components lasting nearly as long. If your systems break down and require expensive repairs within the first few months or years of ownership, you may need to upgrade to a higher-quality brand.

Most low-cost furnaces only have a low-functional heat exchanger. Higher-quality brands supplement the primary heat exchanger with a stainless steel secondary heat exchanger, which extracts more heat and increases the furnace’s efficiency.

Furnace Has No Functional Operations

A high-quality furnace should have features and capabilities that can be customized to meet your specific requirements.

If your furnace lacks multiple fan speeds or a high-efficiency venting system, it is most likely of low quality.

A good furnace should be able to be installed sideways or upside down, allowing your HVAC installer to modify its interior components to meet these requirements.

Weird Noises Coming From Furnace

When you turn on your HVAC system, you should not hear any loud or unusual noises.

If you hear a clicking, clanking, thudding, or strange humming or grinding, your HVAC system may need to be upgraded.

Furnace Makes Your Energy Bills High

When it comes to having a good HVAC system, energy efficiency is critical. During the winter, your heating bills should be low, and your cooling bills ought to be low during the summer.

A good furnace and air conditioner will adjust to humidity as needed to meet your needs. It should also be low-cost to run and not amp up your electric bill.

Furnace has Short Or No Warranty

If HVAC brands do not provide lengthy furnace warranties, this is an immediate red flag to be aware of.

A furnace or air conditioner should have an extended warranty of at least 5-10 years, and each of its components should have a warranty of 3-5 years.

Anything less indicates that the manufacturer does not believe in their product, which means you should not either.

Furnace Has Poor Indoor Climate Control

The term “indoor climate controls” refers to whether or not your furnace has multiple stages and settings.

A single-stage furnace is inefficient, outdated, has less control over your home’s temperature, and is prone to temperature swings.

Some people prefer single-stage furnaces because they are less expensive upfront. However, due to their inefficiencies, you will almost certainly end up paying much more in the long run.

A two-stage or even three-stage furnace can essentially accelerate or decelerate as needed. When the outside temperature is moderate, a multiple-stage furnace allows your furnace to run at a slower, more efficient speed.

What Is The Ideal Warranty On A Furnace?

Ten-year warranties communicate to potential customers that the manufacturer believes in their product and believes it will last.

The majority of premium furnace brands provide 10-year warranties, while the majority of other brands provide 6-year warranties or less.

Some brands even provide a lifetime warranty on critical components such as the heat exchanger. All businesses provide some form of limited warranty.

Related Questions

Is Bryant a good furnace brand?

If you’re looking for a good deal on a furnace, Bryant is a great brand to consider. Their furnaces are high-quality with wonderful features for your comfort.Due to the convenience factor and higher performance, they stand out among other mid-range brands.

Is Payne a good furnace brand?

Payne is consistent when it comes to high-efficiency operation for consumers.Even though they have a limited selection, their products are dependable and are designed with your comfort in mind.

Is Armstrong a good furnace brand?

Armstrong has innovative features such as SEER-improving techniques and mold-control.The units they offer are durable, and the furnaces will not break the bank as they are very affordable yet high-quality.

Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

More by Heather Robbins