What is the most efficient gas furnace? How much does a high-efficiency gas furnace cost? What makes furnaces so efficient? These are the questions discussed in this 2017 most efficient gas furnaces list. We have produced two other 2017 HVAC guides on furnaces that will assist you in researching your next furnace:
- Gas Furnace Buyers Guide 2017: Comprehensive information and buying tips for choosing a furnace based on efficiency, climate control, your climate and the size of the space it will heat, and information on selecting a furnace contractor to install the unit.
- Top Rated Gas Furnaces 2017: The list includes 80% furnaces and very efficient models, but all are chosen on quality and dependability.
The Demand for Efficient Gas Furnaces
Gas furnace efficiency goes up each year. The change is driven by consumer demand for efficiency and for climate control. With efficiencies in the upper 90s, there’s very little waste of heat. This means:
- Energy costs can be reduced by as much as 30% when a very old gas furnace is replaced by one of these furnaces
- Consumers that want to reduce their carbon footprint are choosing very efficient furnaces even if their climate doesn’t demand them
The Technologies Behind Very Efficient Furnaces
There are two technologies that all the most efficient gas furnaces contain:
- Secondary heat exchangers condense the moisture in combustion gases to draw heat from it.
- Variable-capacity gas valves, also called modulating gas valves, increase and decrease capacity in increments of 1% or less, so they can heat in capacities from about 40% to 100%. This prevents the furnace from heating past the thermostat set point and wasting heat. Variable-capacity furnaces have variable-speed blowers that optimize efficiency too.
10 Most Efficient Gas Furnaces
Several of these furnaces were on the Most Energy Efficient Gas Furnaces 2016 list. That page includes more information including pros and cons of high-efficiency gas furnaces and information that will help you decide if one is right for you. Note: All these most-efficient gas furnaces 2017 are backed by lifetime heat exchanger warranties. Most have 10-year parts warranties. We note those that have longer parts warranties.
Lennox SLP98V Gas Furnace
Topping the list for the second year in a row is this furnace with impressive 98.7% efficient with all the bells and whistles for indoor comfort. Lennox also has the most efficient air-source central air conditioner on the market, the Lennox XC25 air conditioner with 26 SEER efficiency. While a pricey pair, this system will slash energy use and keep your costs under control even in the very coldest climates. This furnace is on the list of Energy Star Most Efficient 2017 Furnaces.
Carrier Infinity 98 Greenspeed 59MN7 Gas Furnace
Carrier has always been on the cutting edge of efficiency and indoor comfort, and this furnace is the current flagship. Carrier calls variable-capacity technology “Greenspeed Intelligence,” and it is used in the top heat pump and AC models too.
Bryant 987M Gas Furnace
This quality Bryant furnace tops out at 98.3% efficiency to really cut operating costs. It’s loaded with Bryant’s best technology and is quite like sister-brand Carrier’s furnace above. Keep this unit maintained, and it should reward you with 20 years of lower energy bills and comfortable heating.
Daikin DM97MC Gas Furnace
The Daikin brand is a global giant. Founded in Japan, Daikin acquired Goodman Manufacturing in 2012 and with it the Amana brand. The next two furnaces are very like this one, so if you want it, talk with dealers from all three brands, and choose the most experienced and qualified contractor among them. Daikin backs this 98% furnace with a 12-year parts warranty plus a 12-year furnace replacement warranty on the heat exchanger which otherwise has a lifetime warranty.
Amana AMVM97 Gas Furnace
When Daikin bought Goodman/Amana, it put a Daikin badge on Amana products. Lately, it has been upgrading both brands, and this fantastic furnace demonstrates that. This furnace is 98% efficient. Amana backs the lifetime heat exchanger warranty with replacement coverage, meaning the entire gas furnace will be replaced if the heat exchanger ever fails the original furnace owner.
Goodman is considered a bargain brand, but this is a very good furnace with an excellent warranty and 98% efficiency. It’s very much like the Daikin and Amana models on this list. The heavy-gauge aluminized steel tubular heat exchanger and secondary heat exchanger have proven durability and efficiency. Rather than the lifetime replacement warranty on the heat exchanger, its backed with 10-year replacement coverage. This allows Goodman to reduce its long-term risk and keep prices among the lowest in the industry.
York YP9C, Coleman Echelon CP9C and Luxaire LP9C Gas Furnaces
These are identical furnaces from Johnson Controls brands and deliver excellent 98% efficiency. Consumer Reports recently put York (and by association, the other two) on a shortlist of brands it has concerns about due to repair rates that are higher than average, and we would concur. That’s a review of the brand, not necessarily this specific furnace. And as we also say repeatedly, the quality of the installation has as much to do with long-term dependability of the furnace as the equipment quality does. Have one of these installed by an experienced pro, and it might give you reliable service. These furnaces are backed by a 10-year unit replacement warranty on the heat exchanger.
Heil QuietComfort Deluxe 98 Gas Furnace
Heil is another brand that has committed to upgrading quality and performance, and it shows in the QuietComfort Deluxe series of components that includes central air conditioners and heat pumps too. Note also that Heil has sister brands with the same equipment including Comfortmaker, Keeprite, Tempstar, Arcoaire, Airquest, Kenmore and Day & Night. Some of those are regional brands. They are United Technology brands, but different than Carrier and Bryant, other UT brands. Again, the key is to find the best installer for this 98% furnace.
Armstrong Air A97MV & AireEase A97MV Gas Furnaces
These identical furnaces deliver 97% efficiency along with excellent comfort features to heat evenly and quietly. The brands are owned by Allied Air Enterprises, a subsidiary of the Lennox Corporation.
Rheem Prestige R97V & Ruud Ultra U97V
Rheem purchased Ruud decades ago, and now these are Paloma Group brands. Rheem doesn’t make our list of Best Rated HVAC Systems for 2017, but these furnaces are of average quality, so should prove to be reasonably durable. These furnaces are 97% efficient.
The Cost of a Variable-capacity Gas Furnace
The most affordable unit on this list is the Goodman furnace with these furnace-only prices:
- 60K BTU: $1,450
- 80K BTU: $1,675
- 100K BTU: $1,800
- 120K BTU: $1,950
For the other brands, expect to hear price estimates for the furnaces of $1,600 to $3,000 depending on the brand and size. Keep in mind that most brands are only sold through a network of brand dealers with installation costs including in the estimates you receive, though they are sometimes itemized. You can buy a Goodman from a local wholesaler, but make sure the person installing it is an HVAC professional.
Professional Gas Furnace Installation Pays for Itself
There’s no doubt the industry pushes pro installation because it wants to support local HVAC contractors. While that doesn’t make prices for consumers as competitive as possible on most brands, it does offer some protections. On average, furnaces installed by professional HVAC technicians will run more efficiently and durably than if installed DIY or by a handyman. Plus, you want to make sure the furnace is vented properly to prevent the risk of a carbon monoxide leak. There’s this too: Most furnace warranties are voided if the person installing it is not certified.
Our recommendation is that it makes sense to pay for installation by a qualified contractor. It will keep your warranty protection in place and give you recourse if the unit has issues because it isn’t properly installed. If you’d like to use our Free Estimates service for convenience, there is no cost or obligation to you.