Which brand of Furnace to get??

FurnaceHeatOctober 11, 2005


My Payne heating furnace had a leak of the heat exchanger.

The heating technician took the heat exchanger out of the furnace and test it. He added water to each of the chamber of the heat exchanger and saw that there was some leakeage around the heat exchanger. Is this the right way to test it?

Also, he told me that "Amana" is consider a good furnace. Model # AMV91155DXA. Can someone please tell me if this is a good furnace? If not, which one would you recommend?



Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Can't say about your heat exchanger but Amana is nothing more than a Goodman with an Amana nameplate. The Amana name is owned by Maytag and licensed out to Goodman. I personally prefer Amercian Std or Bryant furnaces-more expensive but better quality. Rheem is good as well.

Good LucK!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 5:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Thanks for your input....It sounds like Amana/Goodman doesn't have that good of a reputation from reading here on the internet. Is that correct??

Any recommendation on the Carrier brand? Pros or cons? Anyone? It seems like Carrier (Infinity 96) is the top of the line.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 7:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Carrier is good as well. Keep in mind that Bryant is owned by Carrier and basically is same as Carrier-just marketed a little differently. While I don't know area of country you live, I like the 96% AFUE Infinity gas furnaces both from Carrier and Bryant. But if you live in a climate that has anything but frigid winters, then take a look at heat pumps. They are usually more cost effective due to the skyrocketing cost of nat gas. Check your electric rates vs gas rates.

Good LucK!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 8:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Be more cconcerned about the installer, parts and labor warranty offered and price, than the brand name. Any furnace produced in the US today will give good service if properly installed and sized, Any furnace wrongly sized and poorly installed will not give good service regardless of the brand. Every furnace made in the US uses secondary parts from the same group of suppliers, such as Honeywell

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 9:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


If it was a 90+ furnace, the heat exchangers used to have a lifetime warranty. Check it out.

Because the "Clamshell primary heat exchanger" is two pieces press welded together, it is possible for water to leak through but that does not make it dangerous or even broken. I think the guy used that routine just to scare you into a new installation.

I would have shut off the gas supply, jumpered the induction fan in the run position and used a smoke bomb at each heat exchanger with the house supply fan off, and then again with the house supply fan on and watched for smoke going into the house air. I am willing to bet I wouldn't have seen any.

Taking out a heat exchanger assembly is a lot of work and sounds to me like the guy was using that technique to blow smoke up your butt when he should have been blowing it through the heat exchanger assembly. I hope he put it all back together again.

I suggest you get a second opinion and call someone that knows how to smoke bomb the heat exchanger assembly. It should take less time than what the disassembler did, and a fair price for smoke bomb testing a 90+ unit in todays market would be about $150.00 over and above the trip charge.

Let us know what you find out!


    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 12:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, i'm in California. So, it doesn't get too cold compare to the midwest or east coast.

This Payne furnace that I have is a 80% AFUE. Is 9 years old. I forgot to mention also that the technician found some white powder on the side of the burner he said something about flame rollout. Also, he showed me some cancer spots (black spots spreading) on the heat exchanger which he said will eventually rupture. He did put everything back.

The heat exchanger is not welded. It is crimped along the edges and made out of aluminum.

So, Bountyhunter....how do you know so much about furnaces?


    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 1:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Unless a furnace has a power burner, the heat exchanger will be a slightly negative presure while operating. The air that is circulating in the home is at a positive pressure when going through the furnace on the outlet side of the blower. Filling a primary clam shell heat exchanger with water to check for leaks is not very bright.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 10:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I am a certified HVAC-R technician who is paying a serious price for not wearing knee pads when kneeling.

Currently I am not active (Means I am not getting paid because I can't physically do it all.) but I want to keep the skills alive by posting help when I can and getting reamed with better advice when I may be wrong.

Right or wrong, I still have a better sense of humor than most of the guys on here and if you search for the "Filter Funnies" thread I started, that will bear it out.

Besides all that, I'm cute as the dickens, full of myself, and extremely humble.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 1:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Your guy sounds like he knows just the right word(s) to give you concern. If you light a candle and place it next to a piece of aluminum to create a soot mark, why would that rupture sooner than a clean mark? With the amount of cancer you Californians experience in some parts of California, I can see where your guy scares up a lot of replacement business.

An 80+ furnace should cost you less to test if it is a ribbon burner. If it uses an induction fan and an inshot burner, it will probably cost the same as a 90+.


Ribbon burners are at the bottom of the heat exchanger, straight, with multiple burner ports similar to the bake burner in an oven in operation. They usually do not have or need a fan to force the exhaust out the chimney.

Induction fan inshot burners can be at the bottom or top and a fan sucks the heat from the single orfice inshot gun through the heat exchanger and out the exhaust port to the chimney.

Find another guy with the information you glean from your research and save yourself some money.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 1:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have an Infinity 96 and am extremely happy with it. Our home has never been so comfortable.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 6:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What you all think about the brand "Bryant"?? Pros and cons.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 5:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Short attention span?

Tiger Dunes told you a while back that Bryant & Carrier are the same units. Carrier also makes Payne.

Personally, I think they are overhyped so that they can charge more for their products.

I believe in Rheem (Rudd, Weather King) products.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 6:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am having a contractor coming out tomorrow to talk to me about putting in a furnace/heat pump unit. I live in Indiana and although we have cold weather it doesn't get below freezing a lot. The bid he gave me was for Goodman units with 10 year warranty. I understand now I need to check and find out what that means. This is a very reliable company that has been around for a long time so I'm not concerned about the longevity of the company but I certainly have been seeing mixed results on this website about Goodman. I also read the posting that said that the furnace didn't matter as much as the correct installation and sizing of the furnace. Any enlightenment would help,

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 7:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Doglover, A Goodman furnace is not a bad choice, it,s made using the same secondary parts as any other furnace on the market. Goodman is bad mouthed by many because of their sales policy, many Goodman outlets sell to anyone with the cash. This results in a lot of bad installations, equipment being wrongly sized and such, as a result there are more failures than the brands t strictly enforcing a policy of selling to franchised dealers only. However, remember one thing part of a brands popularity is name recgonition. This is gained by advertising, it doesn,t make the brand any better, but it does make certain brands jump out when hvac equipment is mentioned. This costs money and a large part of the high cost of many units is the dollars spent on advertising. Think, when is last time you viewed a Goodman ad on tv or in a magazine? Some units have heavier sheet metal and a bit better paint and more bells and whistles. The main thing to consider is will these things add to the performance and reliability of a unit. The answer in most cases is no. A certain gauge sheet metal or grade of paint is adequate, anything heavier is overkill and contributes nothing to the reliability and loncevity of a unit. I have not read a post where anyone replaced a unit because of bad sheet metal or paint. A failure in any part of an hvac unit is a failure regardless of how minor the part. Regardless of the hype and what boosters of certain brands say, most failures are caused by accessory equipment, such as, relays, printed circuit boards, capacitors, function switches, gas valves and motors. No hvac maker produces these things, they are purchased from the same group of suppliers by all hvac equipment makers. These companies do not make a line of inferior parts for selling to specific companies, but produce a line of parts for example relays. that are sold to any hvac maker needing a relay. whether it be Trane or Goodman. In each batch of parts produced a certain number are going to fail, regardless of the brand using them. Whether you get a unit with one of these parts depends on luck and nothing else. Paying a bundle for one of the highly hyped brands won,t change or prevent this. In conclusion, go witha company that has been around awhile, with reputation for comptent work and fair treatment of their customers. Also concider the price such a company is offering. Get full details on the warranty remember a 10 year warranty could mean parts only, be sure to get a full understanding on this, it will prevent some nast jolts to your pocket later. Don't worry about the brand.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


That's what happens when someone don't get enough sleep....
I've been researching all night! I'm getting a second opinion from another installer on my heat exchanger. This other technician said he will do a combustion C02 test. Does that sound right?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 9:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


You can have good combustion, bad combustion, high CO, low CO, high CO2, low CO2, a partridge in a pear tree and still have a leaking heat exchanger or, not.

Sounds like another butt smoke blower.

Call the guys that advertise and tell them straight out that you want your heat exchanger smoke bomb tested for leaks and can they do it. If they can't, call someone else. Unless the crack or hole is big enough for you to see with your own eyes, in my opinion, smoke bombs are the way to go.

When they bomb the heat exchanger, they are going to have to be able to look into the plenum on top of the furnace to see if smoke is showing up there. If you do not have an access panel on the plenum, he is going to have to drill two rather large holes to look in there. One for his eye and one for the flashlight to illuminate the inside of the plenum. If you have an evap coil on the furnace, he is going to have to drill the holes higher than the coil to watch for smoke.

It was easy for me because most of the units I checked used ribbon burners at the bottom of the heat exchanger and I just inserted the smoke bomb inside each individual heat exchanger one at a time and watched the inside of the plenum. I charged $50.00 for that and today with todays furnaces, $150.00 would be fair for the time and labor involved. The smoke bombs are cheap and available in different burn times, but I always used the 30 second ones because they were small and easy to fit into the heat exchangers. I usually went through 3 of them per test. You would be surprised how long 30 seconds really is.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 12:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have been reading this thread all day and I must admit I have been disuaded from attempting a DIY install of a new HVAC system. So that leaves me in a quandry. Here it is for all the "experts" to ponder. I have gotten 3 bids to replace my current 1989 80% eff. Lennox.
Bid 1 $3800 Gibson 92% eff. NEw duct and registers everywhere.
Bid 2 $6000 Amana 2 Stage Super Eff. New Duct and Registers everywhere. dubbed "the king of systems" by estimator.

Bid 3 $5000 Goodman 93% eff. New Duct and Registers everywhere.

I am looking for a Carrier guy to give me bid as well. So any comments on the best direction? BTW my existing Duct is terrible by my own account, not enough volume, wrong size and too many branches off branches...thus the redo. Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 2:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Make whoever is doing your ductwork show you the design and the calculations and make sure every branch has a damper.

Go with Rheem (Rudd, Weather King) 90+ units. Best technology for residential furnaces out there, bar none. Rheem just doesn't spend the money on advertising.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 3:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I will request a bid if I can find a dealer in town. Any comments on the Amana "King of all Systems" that was proposed? Im in Iowa are 2 stage furnaces cost effective and better to combat the massive swings in temperature we get? Thanks for all your input, this is an extremely valuable forum.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 3:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Get a trane,The best on the market and never have any trouble with parts or service on it when needed.Best price for your buck and security and peace of mind.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 8:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This could be helpfull to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: History of the industry brands

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 9:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have to change out four, thirty year old, american standard, furnace and coil systems. I've found a very good installer who suggested Rheem Classic Series Super Quiet 80, model number RPGN-05EAUER. The price is right and it sounds like a good system. Am I making a sound decision?


    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 1:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi, Forks,
I just bought a old house around 1973
and the furnace need replaced.
I live in Canada red deer, alberta and my house is bangolu,
around 1200 Sq feet. I have been fishing different brand of furnace
from different company. some of them recommend high efficiency and some said that middle is good.
and for replaceing the furnace , does anyone could give me some advice?
like what kind of brand is better and what kind of service I should pay more attention to ,
like extended warranty,installation, adjust , tune up, and yearly maintainance
for all installatin only provide one year warranty.
by the way I need a gas furnace, any one have heared Frigidaire furnace? is this a good brand?
it provide 8 years warranty on parts only. is that good?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 4:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This thread is really old but thought I'd resurrect it since I'm starting to think about a new furnace for my lake cabin in northern Minnesota. Wanted to research it in advance so when the old furnace dies I'm prepared - and not rushing to make a decision.

At home we have a Bryant Plus90i that is about twelve years old. It has been good - no problems - but no idea if this brand or comparable model is still good.

Since this lake cabin is in a cold climate and we don't live there year round, the number one priority is reliability. We don't shut this place down so if the furnace goes out and we can't get there, the pipes freeze. We have a system to notify us if the temperature drops but still - not convenient or maybe even possible to get there to deal with the problem timely.

I'm not really concerned about price and it doesn't even have to be super efficient since we turn the heat down when we're not there. The place is very energy efficient so that combined with having the heat turned down much of the time leaves us with really low natural gas bills.

I just want to know brand/model of high quality, high reliability natural gas, forced air furnace.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 9:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

its aloomst 2007 all furnaces will work unless installed improperly................... bad parts that fail prematurely does happen and nobody can predict them........

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 10:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are getting ready to build a new home and would like some information on Geothermal units for heating & cooling from those who have some experience with such. What brand do you thing will do the best job, be cost efficient and durable without problems? Will be building in NE Mississippi.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 12:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How about a York furnace? I had a quote and the technician says they are the best, but then who doesn't say theirs is the best. This is one of my considerations as with American Standard, which is over twice the price of the York.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 8:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I live in Maryland. I currently have a 15 yr old Lenox Elite 90, 7600 BTU
natural gas furnace 92% AFUE. In addition I have the elite 13-2.5 ton a/c.
What is a good brand for change out and what can I expect to pay?
Any recommendations would greatly be appreciated!



    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 3:33PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Any Reviews/Feedback on Daikin HVAC (Dallas)
Anyone install a Daikin HVAC system yet? We are in...
Advice on HVAC & Insulation issues
I have a few questions that I would love to have input...
Floor Air Register and ductwork
In recently doing light cleaning on air registers in...
Char Holdenried
Neighbor Finally Upgrades to Heat Pump
My next door neighbor finally took my advice and upgraded...
Propane furnace
I am considering replacing propane furnace & A/C...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™