2013 Gas Furnace Comparison
Manufacturers all make claims about their equipment. In fact, both Carrier and Lennox indicate they have the quietest furnace available as of 2013. When you're doing a furnace comparison, it pays to have a trusted HVAC contractor
on your side who can give you unbiased opinions. It pays to do your own research.
Below is a break down of the items we cover in the furnace comparison table below. We don't include every manufacturer, and we're only comparing specs on the top models from the manufacturers we selected.
It stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency and it means the percentage of fossil fuel that is actually converted into heat energy. The closer to 100% the better.
The acronym we use below stands for Variable Speed ECM motor. These motors are more efficient, very quiet, and can operate at 'variable' speeds which also means better comfort. Lower model furnaces have fans that cannot operate at variable speeds which means more noise and less comfort control.
Old school furnaces may have just had one flame setting (on or off) but new models are at least two-stage (low and high) if not full modulating which means the flame can be adjusted by tiny increments to avoid energy waste. The range of adjustment is in increments of around 1% (varies by model), in a range typically from 40-100%.
Communicating abilities means the furnace can "talk" to the thermostat for optimizing performance based on different criteria. Each manufacturer has their own label on this type of technology. You would need to research further to decipher the fine differences between them.
You'll also notice each manufacturer has some enhanced level of control. For Carrier, it is Greenspeed® which allows enabled equipment to communicate with each other for optimal comfort and energy usage. Ask your heating contractor about the fine details of each. Don't settle for a vague response - make them get the answers!
This worked hand in hand with the above point, and it means the furnace can adjust things like the flame and fan speed to provide the best comfort levels.