These are the 2017 best gas packs based on the quality of their design and build and the brands recent history of mechanical dependability.
What is a Gas Pack?
It’s a packaged HVAC unit – meaning one large HVAC cabinet – containing a gas furnace and a central air conditioner. Gas packs are also called gas/electric packaged units. AC-only, heat pump/air handler and dual fuel heat pump/gas furnace packaged units are also produced.
Do you Need a Gas Pack?
If you’re here, you likely understand your options and need a gas pack for your circumstances. However, just to cover all the bases, a gas pack is typically used when indoor installation of a furnace isn’t feasible either because the home is too small or has no basement. Gas packs are most popular in the Southeast and South where basements are not common. Gas/electric package units have a furnace with 80% or 81% AFUE efficiency while most standard furnaces installed in these regions are 80% AFUE units. The major difference is in the lower SEER efficiency of gas pack air conditioners compared to what is available in standard central air conditioners and heat pumps, though a few brands are making a serious commitment to upgrade the SEER ratings of their gas & electric package units. The fact that a packaged unit is installed entirely outdoors limits durability, so warranties are shorter.
If you have a crawlspace, full basement or an attic, consider a standard split system with an AC condensing unit or heat pump outside and a gas furnace or air handler inside. Efficiencies, as you can see from our 2017 Most Efficient Furnaces and 2017 Most Efficient Heat Pumps, are much higher for those systems.
OK, now let’s talk about the best gas electric package units for 2017.
The 2017 Best Gas Packs
All units are quality-built and should run without issue for the first five years, but only when properly installed. Keep any of them maintained in the years ahead, with minor repairs too, and you should get 15-18 years of service from them. When a brand’s gas packs are equal in quality, we’ve chosen the most efficient model.
Prices given are unit costs. Installation ranges from $1,250 to $2,500 extra when using existing duct work.
1. Maytag PPG2GI iQ Drive M1200
While Maytag is the flagship brand of parent company Nortek Global, this or very similar gas package unit is made by sister brands Frigidaire, Westinghouse, Tappan and others. Maytag’s iQ Drive system with modulating air conditioning is highly rated. The compressor runs at “speeds” of 40% to 100% capacity to deliver precise cooling even as outside temperatures rise and fall.
Features of the Maytag PPG2GI iQ Drive:
- Up to 20 SEER & 81% AFUE (Energy Star)
- 5-step modulating/variable-capacity cooling
- 72-step quality-control process before units leave the factory
Warranty: 12-year warranty on all parts including Maytag’s 12-year Dependability Promise that provides for a new package unit if the AC compressor or furnace heat exchanger fail.
Maytag PPG2GI iQ Drive Price: $5,100-$6,500
Buy the Maytag PPG2GI iQ Drive gas pack if you are willing to pay more to get the most efficient gas pack made and outstanding indoor climate control.
2. Carrier Performance 16 48VG-B Gas Pack
Carrier only makes two gas/electric packaged units, but they’re reliable and cost-effective. We’ve chosen the 16 SEER unit, but the 14 SEER Carrier gas pack is one to consider in very temperate climates or when the unit will get just part-time use. Bryant makes a similar model.
Features of the Carrier Performance 16 gas pack:
- Up to 16 SEER & 81% AFUE (Energy Star)
- Two-stage air conditioning
- Two-stage heating
- Multispeed blower improves temperature consistency
- Aluminized steel tubular heat exchanger
Warranty: 20-year heat exchanger and 10-year parts warranties are above-average for the industry, though not the best.
Carrier Performance 16 gas pack Price: $3,600-$5,500
Buy the Carrier Performance 16 gas pack if you’ve had good experience with Carrier and prefer the balanced heating and cooling and improved dehumidification in summer available from two-stage units.
3. Amana APG16M Gas Pack
Amana’s most efficient gas & electric package unit gets high marks from consumers that have installed it for their home or business. Amana warranties are at or near the top of the industry too.
Features of the Amana APG16M:
- 16 SEER & 81% AFUE (Energy Star)
- 2-stage scroll compressor for air conditioning
- Single-stage heat
- Aluminum evaporator coil speeds heat transfer when cooling
- Quiet, efficient ECM blower motor
- Stainless steel tubular heat exchanger
Warranty: Lifetime heat exchanger and compressor warranties; 10-year coverage on all other parts.
Amana APG16M Price: $3,300-$4,800
Buy the Amana APG16M if you’ve had good experience with Amana in the past and want the peace of mind of solid warranty protection.
4. Trane XL16c Earthwise Hybrid Heating System Gas Pack
This is the first dual fuel gas pack on our list. Instead of a central air conditioner and furnace, it is equipped with a heat pump plus the gas furnace. The heat pump, which heats most efficiently, handles heating duties when temperatures are above freezing. The furnace takes over automatically at the determined temperature. The American Standard Platinum 16 Hybrid Packaged Unit is the same unit.
Features of the Trane XL16c Earthwise:
- 16 SEER/9.0 HSPF heat pump (Energy Star)
- 80% AFUE gas furnace
- Two-stage heat pump compressor
- Two-stage furnace gas valve
- Variable-speed fan delivers better temperature control and superior dehumidification in summer
Warranty: 20-year heat exchanger, 12-year compressor and 10-year functional parts warranties are of average length for top-tier brands.
Trane XL16c Earthwise Price: $5,100-$6,900
Buy the Trane XL16c Earthwise gas pack if you are committed to lowering energy use and cost as much as possible and you want the dependable reputation of Trane.
5. Bryant Preferred Series 677E-B Gas Pack
This is a dual fuel system, called Hybrid Heat by Bryant and Carrier, which make a very similar unit. It should reduce heating costs by 15% to 25% vs. a standard gas pack.
Features of the Bryant Preferred 677E-A:
- 15 SEER & 8.5 HSPF heat pump
- 81% AFUE furnace
- Two-stage heating and cooling for better climate control
Warranty: 20-year heat exchanger and 10-year parts warranties.
Bryant Preferred 677E-A Price: $4,800-$6,300
Buy the Bryant Preferred 677E-A if you like the ideal of Hybrid Heat and/or have had good experience in the past with Bryant equipment. Hybrid heat is idea for cold climates too, though typically not necessary in hot climates where a heat pump package unit is the best choice.
6. Heil QuietComfort 14 PGS4-E Gas Pack
Heil has made significant improvements in its equipment in recent years, and this is one of the best low-cost gas/electric package units on the market.
Heil QuietComfort 14 PGS4-E features:
- 14 SEER & 81% AFUE efficiency
- Single-stage heating and cooling
- Multispeed blower
Warranty: Lifetime heat exchanger and 10-year functional parts warranties plus a Heil 3-year No Hassle warranty that states Heil will replace the entire unit if the AC compressor or coil or the furnace heat exchangers fails in that time.
Heil QuietComfort 14 PGS4-E Price: $2,900-$4,300
Buy the Heil QuietComfort 14 PGS4-E if you would prefer a brand that has made definite quality and performance improvements recently and/or prefer to spend less on a unit despite it not being Energy Star efficient.
7. Daikin DP16GM gas pack
Daikin is the Japanese HVAC titan that since 2012 owns Goodman/Amana and other brands. This is a high-quality unit that we expect will climb the list of best gas pack packaged units as sales grow and it develops a track record.
Features of the Daikin DP16GM:
- 16 SEER & 81% AFUE efficiency (Energy Star)
- Two-stage air conditioning and heating
- Variable-speed ECM blower motor uses less energy while improving indoor comfort and humidity control
Warranty: Lifetime heat exchanger and 12-year parts warranties plus Daikin’s 6-year Unit Replacement warranty on the heat exchanger and AC compressor.
Buy the Daikin DP16GM gas pack if you want a very good blend of quality and warranty coverage and are willing to pay a bit more to get it.
Why Quality HVAC Installation is So Important
Gas packaged units require correct and precise installation and setup to run dependably. Mistakes during installation will reduce efficiency and shorten the life of the unit while increasing repair costs.
Rather than risk all that by hiring the cheapest installer, look for the combination of experience and a competitive estimate. The best approach is to get written estimates from several installers that know they’re competing for the work and to choose the qualified contractor with those traits. We can expedite the process, if you’d like. Select our Estimates offer, and you’ll receive written estimates from several of the top HVAC companies in your area. They are prescreened for quality, and all are licensed, insured and fully certified. There’s no cost or obligation to you for reviewing the estimates.