What heating system do you prefer for your home, gas, electric, or oil furnace?
No matter what type of furnace you choose, you want it to be the best, as you don’t want your loved ones to suffer in the winter, right?
But is searching for the best one that easy? Many brands claim to provide high-quality furnaces, but is it true? No, it is not.
To find the best one, first, you should be aware of the bad ones. This awareness will make the process easier for you.
Therefore, today, we have created our list of the 8 worst furnace brands.
Due to poor quality, unreliable parts, and weak customer service, furnace brands to avoid are Burnham, Buderus, Ducane, York, ArcoAire, Frigidaire, Tempstar, and Weatherking.
So, the next time you go to buy a furnace, you know who to avoid and why.
Table of Contents
- How to Identify the Worst Furnace Brands?
- 1. Poor Quality Material:
- 2. Quality of installation:
- 3. Unreliable Service Contract:
- 4. Reputation:
- 5. Poor Warranty:
- List of Furnace Brands to Avoid in 2023
- 1. Burnham
- 2. Buderus
- 3. Ducane
- 4. York
- 5. ArcoAire
- 6. Frigidaire
- 7. Tempstar
- 8. Weatherking
- 5 Most Reliable Furnace Brands
- 1. American Standard
- 2. Carrier
- 3. Goodman
- 4. Trane
- 5. Lenox
- Factors to Consider When Buying a Furnace Brand
- 1. Where is the furnace going to be installed?
- A) Basement Installs
- B) Garage Installs
- C) Exterior Wall Installs
- 2. What size residential furnace should I buy?
- 3. How much money do you want to spend?
- 4. How long do you plan to live in your home?
- 5. What size house do you have?
- 6. How much heating do you use?
- 7. How old is your home?
- 8. What is your home’s insulation rating?
- 9. Types of Furnaces to Buy
- # Gas Furnace
- # Electric Furnace
- # Kerosene Furnace
- Gas vs Electric Furnace | Which one should I Buy?
- 2 Stage Furnace Disadvantages & Advantages
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Q1: How long will a Rheem furnace last?
- Q2: Is an electric furnace better than a gas?
- Q3: What is the average life of a furnace?
- Final Thoughts
- Steven Settles
How to Identify the Worst Furnace Brands?
The brand of your furnace will depend on several different factors, so it is important to know all of them before buying.
Here are some tips for identifying the worst furnace brands.
1. Poor Quality Material:
This is the first thing you must look for when buying a furnace brand. You need to ensure the material is good enough to properly function the entire machine.
For instance, check if the manufacturer uses only high-quality materials for making the heat exchangers and other components.
Also, look at how long the furnace has been in operation. You need to make sure that it is not an old model.
2. Quality of installation:
A good installation is one where the technician does his job without making mistakes.
It is important to ask the technician to provide a written quote before buying any brand.
This is because, no matter how good the brand is, if the technician installs it poorly, the furnace will most likely fail sooner than a brand with a good installation.
3. Unreliable Service Contract:
If the company you are getting the service from does not guarantee any type of service, it is better to find another one.
A brand’s reputation should be based on its performance over the last few years.
If the brand has been around for decades, then chances are it has been reliable for a long time.
5. Poor Warranty:
Another red flag is the warranty period of the brand. The duration of the furnace warranty should be enough to cover any problems.
You do not want to buy a furnace brand that is sold at a low price but offers a poor warranty period.
List of Furnace Brands to Avoid in 2023
The below list is based on our research and users’ feedback. Now, check out the first name.
Burnham may not be the right choice for you if you are looking for a furnace. This brand claims to be durable, reasonable, and highly efficient. But this is not what the consumers say.
Numerous people have complained that Burnham furnaces are not reliable. Many consumers said that there are leakage issues in their furnaces.
While talking about customer service, a user said that if they don’t like what you are saying, they will block you, which is quite childish behavior.
Based on the consumer reviews, Burnham is rated 1.8, which is relatively low.
Take a look at a few cons of this brand’s furnaces.
Reasons to Avoid
- Burner problems in their furnaces
- Need a lot of repairing
- Leakage in the furnace
- Defective control unit
Okay, so the next company we will tell you about is Buderus. It is known as one most famous companies that provide the best-quality furnaces.
Moreover, if you are looking for a furnace that is a little on the cheaper side, then Buderus is your brand.
However, you must stop there for a minute and read this review. Despite being reasonable, this manufacturer does have a lot of bad reviews.
Although Buderus claims to provide high-quality furnaces, the consumers say otherwise.
Various people have complained that their furnaces stopped working and they had to spend the 4 days in the cold.
Another thing you’ll be hearing from people is that there is always a whistling sound whenever their furnace runs.
Also, based on consumer reviews, Buderus is rated 1.7, which justifies our point of calling it one of the least reliable furnace brands.
Check out some other reasons to avoid this.
Reasons to Avoid
- Doesn’t stand behind their products
- Water leakage
- Awful tech support
- Higher chances of failure of furnaces
As a part of the “Allied Air division of Lenox” series, Duane is one of those well-known brands for its reasonable furnaces.
Apart from being inexpensive, Ducane tends to have a very competitive warranty.
However, the real question is why we have included this maker in our worst furnace brands list, then?
Okay, let us ask you what you would do if you’re given a furnace that needs repairing every other day because a new part stops working every day.
The worst part about Ducane is that you won’t get those parts quickly if you want to replace any part. It isn’t easy to locate its parts.
A common complaint about Ducane furnaces is the whistling sound when they run.
Also, Ducane is rated 2.3 based on consumer reviews. So buy this brand only if you have lots and lots of money to waste on its everyday repair.
Still wondering whether to buy this product or not? Have a look at the overall drawbacks of this brand.
Reasons to Avoid
- Poor quality parts
- It hardly reaches 60 degrees
- The unbearable smell while running the ac
- Doesn’t stand behind their products
Unlike other companies, this here has more benefits. York is famous for its high-efficiency brands.
York furnaces are chosen because of their temperature consistency and energy savings.
With so many benefits, why are we saying this manufacturer is one of the least reliable? Well, that is mainly because of their customer service.
Some users complained that their furnaces stopped working when they contacted the brand, but there was no response.
Customer service is one of the main things to consider when you are buying anything.
So, there is no need to purchase furnaces from this company if there is no one to help you with any problem with the furnace.
They have an extended warranty, but why buy a furnace when there is no one to reply? Also, this brand is rated 2.8 based on consumer reviews.
Below are some drawbacks of this maker.
Reasons to Avoid
- Keeps breaking down
- Costly repairs
- Too many services
- It doesn’t maintain heat
The next manufacturer on our list of furnace brands to avoid is Acroaire. Just like the brand mentioned above, this one also lacks supportive customer service.
Its warranty covers limited parts only. And the worst part is that they won’t remove or install them themselves.
Consumers have many things to say about this company, and after going through those comments, we have done it right to include this in our list.
A user said the heat exchanger failed, causing a major flame that almost harmed her.
Another user complained that her furnace was shorted-circuit. Moreover, the furnaces also are of inferior quality, and the low-pressure switches often fail.
Arcoaire is rated 2.2 as per consumer reviews. Our review is based on consumer feedback, so that is why we have decided to add this to our list.
Reasons to avoid
- Logic board failure
- The heater doesn’t work
- Confusing manual
- Whistle sounds
Frigidaire is quite famous for its reliability and energy-efficient furnaces. However, product quality is where they need to work the most.
People have complained that the furnaces are not of good quality. One said the blower fan of her furnace came off, and later on, her furnace started making sounds.
They also have a very poor warranty, and if in case any part of the furnace gets damaged, the warranty doesn’t cover that.
Another user said the furnace was not strong enough to keep the house heated. Frigidaire is rated 2.9.
However, you’ll find that even if the users like one thing about these furnaces, there would be two things that they would complain about.
That is why customer dissatisfaction is one of the main reasons to call this brand the worse. Let’s have a look at some other reasons.
Reasons to Avoid:
- Vibrating sound
- The furnace shuts down suddenly
- The fan runs at a low speed
- The unit can’t keep up with the heat
The next company that we think is one of the worst oil furnace brands to avoid is Tempstar. Based on the consumer reviews, Tempstar has few of the poorest quality furnaces.
One user said that the blower motor in her furnace stopped working too often without any specific reason.
Another said Tempstar has very poor customer service because she made many complaints, but none were answered. And the circuit board makes a buzzing sound while running.
This furnace brand is rated 2.5. So, if you want to hear this sound and have a lot of money to waste, then go ahead; otherwise, stay away.
Take a look at some drawbacks of the furnaces produced by this brand.
Reasons to Avoid
- Frequent pressure code errors
- The Circuit board makes a buzzing sound
- Injector oil leakage
- Unreliable unit
Weathering is famous for its unreliability and poor customer service.
According to one person, whenever she called them to repair something, they would blame her that it was her fault if a sure thing was not working. That is both irresponsible and childish.
Some consumers had complained that the furnace pilot would blow when the gas valves were open, and when the pilot didn’t blow, the gas burner would go off.
One said that whenever it runs, only Lukewarm air is produced. Based on consumer reviews, this furnace brand is rated as 2.4.
Let’s look at a few other reasons proving this brand isn’t worth your money.
Reasons to Avoid
- Not enough heating
- The motherboard is junk
- Too many repairs
- Cheap manufacturing
You may like to know the following:
- Washing Machine Brands to Avoid
- Hot Tub Brands to Avoid
- Carpet Brands to Avoid
- 8 Worst Hot Tub Brands To Avoid & Reliable Brands in 2023
5 Most Reliable Furnace Brands
So now that you know which furnace companies you should avoid exactly. It is time for us to give you a bonus, that is, by telling you about a few of the most reliable furnace brands that are truly worth your money and time.
Let’s have a look at them.
1. American Standard
It is one of the best furnace brands that provide high-quality products. It is not only affordable but reliable, too.
Moreover, the American standard has a few of the best gas furnaces that you will find in the market.
If you are looking for high-efficiency and budget-friendly furnaces, then the American standard is what you should try.
Carrier is known to be the top-rated leader in the market regarding furnaces. Carrier uses enhanced and advanced technology in their furnaces.
They are cost-effective and a few of the most highly efficient furnaces. Also, they have a lifetime heat exchanger warranty with registration.
Goodman is a best-selling brand famous for its high-quality furnaces, efficiency, and reasonable prices.
They also come with 15 years of warranty. It offers a few of the most comprehensive warranties in the furnace market.
In case the heat exchanger fails, the entire furnace can be replaced. Isn’t it amazing?
Trane is one of the top-rated furnace brands, and it has a few of the highest-efficiency furnaces.
No matter whether you want a gas, oil, or electric furnace, Trane has a huge variety of furnaces.
They are also very reasonable, but the pricing solely depends on your region. It also has a 20-year warranty on heat exchangers, but only in some models.
Based on consumer reviews, Lenox is one of the high-ranked brands because of its durability, sleek designs unique features. It is also known for its high-quality furnaces.
Moreover, based on consumer reviews, Lenox is also very affordable and highly efficient.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Furnace Brand
The decision to buy a new furnace can be hard to make, especially when there are so many factors you need to consider.
We have put together a list of questions to help you make an informed decision about which furnace is right for you.
The following are the most important factors when purchasing a furnace brand.
1. Where is the furnace going to be installed?
There are three main options:
- In the basement
- In the Garage
- On the outside wall
Each of these locations has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at a few of them:
A) Basement Installs
A basement is a great location for a furnace because it is relatively cool down there. This is good if you have a heat pump with an outdoor condenser (most new homes do) because it will increase the efficiency of your heat pump. It also makes it easy to add a room to your home for extra living space.
The first disadvantage of a basement furnace installation is that it can get very cold down there. If your furnace does not have a thermostat, then you could have a problem. In fact, if it gets cold enough, then your furnace might not even turn on!
Another disadvantage of a basement furnace is that it can be a little damp down there too. Moisture in the air can cause mold and mildew. If this is a problem for you, then you may want to consider an exterior wall installation.
B) Garage Installs
Installing a furnace in the garage is a great option if you have a carport or other type of garage that is insulated well. You also have access to a lot of power and a great location to add another floor to your house for extra living space.
The main disadvantage of a garage furnace installation is that it can get very hot. The reason is that the exhaust from the furnace will not be able to escape out the back of the garage. This means that it will build up heat inside the garage, radiating all throughout the room where your furnace is located.
If you do not install an attic ventilation fan, then this could cause a serious problem with overheating and possibly a fire.
C) Exterior Wall Installs
Installing a furnace on the exterior wall of your house has many of the same advantages as a garage installation. The main advantage is that it will always be in the sun, which will help keep the room where the furnace is located relatively cool.
The main disadvantage of an exterior wall furnace is that it will always be exposed to the weather. This means that it will likely need to be changed more frequently than other types of installations.
Also, if your home is going to have very severe weather, then this option may not be viable for you.
2. What size residential furnace should I buy?
There are 3 main choices: 10, 12, and 14 cubic feet per minute (cfm).
The first number is the heating capacity in British thermal units per hour (Btu/h), and it represents how much heat your furnace will give off in one hour.
- A 10 cfm furnace will produce 10,000 Btu per hour.
- A 12 cfm furnace will produce 12,000 Btu per hour and so on. A furnace that has a high Btu rating will run more efficiently over time and use less fuel.
3. How much money do you want to spend?
It is important to remember that a new furnace will almost certainly increase the value of your home.
However, there is a limit to how much an HVAC contractor will charge for a new furnace.
Besides the actual furnace, there is the cost of installation, the permit fees, and any other expenses that may arise.
You should also consider the interest rate you can get on a home equity loan.
You could probably get a reasonable rate if you have decent credit and a solid down payment. If not, then you should consider other options.
4. How long do you plan to live in your home?
If you plan to move within two to three years, you should think about a budget-friendly option like a portable or stick-type furnace.
On the other hand, if you plan to stay put for a long time, you should seriously consider a more expensive option like a forced-air furnace.
5. What size house do you have?
A smaller home will generally require a smaller furnace.
In brief, the rule of thumb is that a home with 3,000 square feet of living space will need approximately 1,000 BTUs per square foot of living space.
Therefore, a home with 6,000 square feet of living space will need approximately 2,000 BTUs per square foot of living space.
Keep in mind, though, that this is only a guide.
You should also consider any extra factors such as the age and condition of your home, how well it is insulated, and how much landscaping there is around it.
6. How much heating do you use?
This is especially important if you have a large home with a lot of rooms.
If you have a big home and hardly ever use a furnace or heat pump, then you should consider an energy-efficient option.
On the other hand, if you use a lot of heat and the furnace or heat pump is working hard, then you should seriously consider a more powerful option.
7. How old is your home?
The next thing you should consider is how old your home is.
If your home was built within the last ten years, you should think about a high-efficiency option.
On the other hand, if your home was built 20 or 30 years ago, you should seriously consider a more traditional option.
8. What is your home’s insulation rating?
This will determine whether or not a forced-air furnace or an electric heat pump is a good option for you.
9. Types of Furnaces to Buy
There are three main types of furnaces that you will encounter when you are making home improvements. They are:
- Gas Furnace
- Electric Furnace
- Kerosene Furnace
Let’s take a look at each of them.
# Gas Furnace
A gas furnace is the most common type of furnace you will find in homes. It uses the combustion (burning) of gas to heat the home.
# Electric Furnace
An electric furnace works much the same way a gas furnace does, except it uses electricity instead of gas.
This means it doesn’t need small holes to let the gas flow into the furnace.
Instead, it has an electric element that heats up and turns into a very high temperature when electricity is passed through it. Electric furnaces are typically more efficient than gas furnaces.
However, they have one drawback: They cannot be used with some fuel types, such as oil or kerosene.
Also, they are not very portable. If you ever decide to move, you will have to get rid of your electric furnace because it was designed to stay where it was originally installed.
# Kerosene Furnace
A kerosene furnace works like a regular old-fashioned wood-burning stove.
It has a firebox (the part of the stove that gets hot) which contains a grate. The grate has a fire on it, which burns whatever you put on it.
The main difference between a kerosene furnace and a wood-burning stove is how heat is transferred from the fire to the home. A wood-burning stove uses radiation to transfer heat.
This means the stove itself never gets very hot. Instead, the heat is transferred to the room through your house’s walls, floors, and ceiling.
A kerosene furnace uses convection to transfer heat. This means the firebox (and, therefore, the entire furnace) gets very hot.
Gas vs Electric Furnace | Which one should I Buy?
I personally prefer electric furnaces. They are much more efficient than gas and kerosene furnaces.
However, the choice is up to you because they are all great heating systems.
They all have their advantages and disadvantages. It just depends on how you plan to use the space you are heating.
One thing all three types of furnaces have in common is they all have a blower that circulates the air inside the home.
The air circulation helps prevent stuff like radon gas from building up in the home.
2 Stage Furnace Disadvantages & Advantages
Many home heating systems have a two-stage furnace.
The first stage of the furnace is for preheating your home, and the second one is for heating up your home.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each system.
The advantages of 2-stage heating systems include:
- Increased efficiency (the first stage gives you an idea of when you should switch to the hotter unit)
- More safety (a fan will switch on in case anything goes wrong with the first, smaller one)
- And lower maintenance costs (you only need to buy one unit).
The disadvantages of 2-stage heating systems include:
- A longer warm-up time (since the fan has to kick in after the smaller unit heats up)
- A longer start-up time (the fan has to run for a while before the larger unit can get going)
- More noise (it’s possible that the fan could be too noisy)
- These systems could be higher energy costs (the two units need to run in tandem)
- And they create more carbon monoxide (CO) than one-stage furnaces.
How Do You Choose? I recommend most people use a two-stage furnace if they can afford it. It’s just common sense.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How long will a Rheem furnace last?
On average, they have a 13-year lifespan. However, if you do not maintain your furnace properly, it can last only about three to five years.
Q2: Is an electric furnace better than a gas?
Yes, electric furnaces are more efficient and better for your home. Electric furnaces are preferred over gas furnaces because they cost less to run, saving you money in the long run.
Q3: What is the average life of a furnace?
A furnace has a lifespan determined by the fuel type used. The life of a natural gas furnace is typically 10-12 years, while a propane furnace lasts 15-20 years.
Finding the best furnace is as important as staying away from furnaces that are nothing but a waste of money and time. After reading our review, we hope you can find the best furnaces.
Some of the manufacturers mentioned above might be pretty popular; however, some factors compelled us to include these in our review of the 8 furnace brands to avoid.
While reviewing, we have concluded that one of the most common problems people had with this brand was their extremely poor customer service and unreliable furnace parts.
Therefore, we suggest you choose a company that offers “good customer support service” and a “High-quality Furnace.”
Note: A whole company can never be worse. However, it might produce certain products based on which they are called “worse.” In this review, we have compiled a list of the 8 furnace brands to avoid. The list is not based on our personal preferences. Instead, it is solely based on the feedback from people who have used the furnaces by these brands.
Steven Settles is an ISCET-certified master in appliance repair. He has aced the National Appliance Service Technician Certification Exam, showcasing his exceptional diagnostic and repair skills. With an in-depth understanding of the latest repair technologies and a keen eye on evolving industry standards, Steven is a go-to expert for any appliance issue.