A good furnace, that’s well maintained will last in a home for up to 20 years or longer. It’s a serious investment for any homeowner – and not just in terms of up-front installation costs. Your choice of the furnace will impact your comfort for years to come and can make a difference in your repair and energy bills. That’s why it’s so important to do your research and find out which furnace is the best option for you.
Having serviced thousands of furnaces each year over our past 14+ years in business, we’ve seen every make and model out there. Based on our experience, we’d like to share our picks for the top 3 furnace brands available in Calgary.
Why these brands?
We rated furnace brands based on the following criteria:
1. Their ability to generate sufficient heat even during the most unforgiving winter cold snaps.
2. How long they last, frequency of repairs.
3. How easy they are to maintain (you don’t want to have to hunt down and custom order specialty filters).
On top of these factors, some will offer limited warranties and even come with other features like smart thermostats (accessible from your mobile device), advanced air filtering, and more.
As you read this, you’ll discover the top brands share a great deal in common.
- Almost all offer an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 95% or higher. This is the percentage of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed.
- They’ve been in business for over 100 years.
- All are known for manufacturing quiet, efficient, reliable furnaces.
Here are our top three furnace brands:
- Lennox products are known for reliability and durability. They’re built with high-quality materials and high-quality workmanship, meaning they’ll last for years to come. And they’re up to the challenge on even the coldest Calgary winter day
- Lennox offers a wide range of Energy Star® qualified furnaces.
- As one of the largest brands on the market, Lennox has 2 large, corporately owned Parts distribution centres in Calgary, meaning they will almost certainly have parts for your furnace on hand locally for as long as you have your furnace.
- There are many thousands of Lennox furnaces installed in Calgary. This means service companies have lots of exposure to Lennox furnaces of all ages, meaning they have probably seen an issue before and will know what the most effective fix is.
- Lennox’s iComfort Communicating Thermostats are leaders in home automation with Apple Home Kit and Android Integration. If you’re a fan of smart technology, they offer lots of great add-ons and compatibility features. Their
- Lennox has many indoor air quality options available through their ‘Healthy Climate’ product line, including HEPA Filters, Humidifiers, UV Lights, and a Proprietary Pure Air System.
- With their focus on quality and market innovation, they can be a bit pricier than lower-end competitors.
- To qualify for a 10-year parts warranty on the Merit series furnaces, the homeowner must register the warranty with Lennox at the time of installation. Otherwise, the standard 5-year parts and 20-year heat exchanger warranty will apply. Although there is no cost to registering the warranty, if your installation does not make you aware of this or register it on your behalf, it can be missed. Elite and Signature series furnaces do not require warranty registration for the 10-year parts warranty or lifetime heat exchange warranty.
- Quality comes at a price, not the least expensive option on the market.
- Trane furnaces are considered very high efficiency and are even Energy Star® certified.
- Products are built to last and have a reputation for durability in all weather conditions.
- A comprehensive warranty is offered for all Trane furnaces.
- Very expensive equipment and repair parts are more expensive than competitors!
- This brand doesn’t offer much for the tech-savvy user and doesn’t have many add-on’s or additional features to offer aside from reliable furnace units. Trane’s proprietary Communicating Thermostat does not have Apply Home Kit or direct Android home automation integration.
- Trane has a smaller distribution centre in Calgary and relies on 3rd party suppliers to stock parts. Trans parts sometimes have to be ordered in if they have failed.
- Fewer Trane furnaces are installed in Calgary than competitors meaning, service techs are less likely to have direct experience in servicing more obscure trine models.
- Carrier offers a wide range of products to suit the needs of almost any price entry point.
- Their top-end furnaces have some of the highest efficiency rates available in the industry.
- Carrier offers a few more technological advances than Trane in their products.
- Carrier has 2 corporately owned distribution centres in Calgary, meaning they have parts available.
- Inducer motors on new furnaces are some of the most expensive in the industry. An out-of-warranty inducer motor replacement can easily exceed $1,000.
- Early versions of their high-efficiency furnaces are prone to secondary heat exchanger plugging. We have found the Carrier Infinity Series and Bryant equivalent to having extremely high failure rates of the secondary heat exchanger with some of these furnaces needing a new secondary heat exchanger or furnace replacement after less than 10 years.
- New carrier furnaces are extremely sensitive to the angle at which the furnace is installed. If the furnace has any backslope (possibly due to an uneven furnace room floor or a careless installer), the furnace has been shown to collect water in the secondary heat exchanger, leading to periodic and unpredictable shut down issues
- Carrier offers a disappointing warranty in comparison to its competitors, especially given its higher price point.
- While Carrier does offer some technological features, they don’t have nearly as many features as Lennox’s iComfort thermostats or Indoor Air Quality Products.
Which is our favourite?
Lennox is our top pick – and the brand we choose to offer to our clients. With proven durability, technological innovation, high-efficiency, and a reliable product, it’s a great fit for all types of homeowners. The other two on the list are strong contenders, but ultimately with Lennox, you just get more bang for your buck.
If you have any specific questions on what model is right for you give us a call, we’re always happy to help.