What is the best furnace out there?


What is the best furnace out there?

Asked by Jerry Lawrence


Dan Werner's picture

Hi Jerry,

You're my neighbor in Colorado, so I thought I'd provide you with some helpful information about furnaces, from my perspective as an energy auditor.

  • I think a Rheem dealer would say a Rheem is the best and a Trane dealer would say Trane is the best, etc.
  • And they'll all suggest that you get a 90+ energy efficiency rating on any new furnace.
  • So, I think it will be difficult for you to get an objective answer on this one.

But, if you have a forced-air system, I would encourage you to first and foremost make sure that your duct work is properly sealed.The reason is this:

  • I would rather have a middle-of-the-road furnace and tightly sealed duct work than a top-of-the-line 90+ efficiency furnace any day (of course the combination of both is best).
  • If expensive, heated air is escaping from joints and seams in your duct work, the furnace brand and its efficiency is almost a moot point.
  • One square inch of duct leakage has roughly the same impact as 30 square inches of house leakage due to the pressure from the furnace.

Therefore, sealing duct work is one of the best energy and comfort improvements that can be made for an energy efficient home.

I hope this helps.

For more information:

Read Richard Parker's Q&A "Can you help me select a high efficiency furnace?"

Also, read Andrea Foss's Q&A "What's the best way to seal a 30-year-old AC duct system in an attic?"