The 80% furnace in my opinion is probably the best buy for the north Texas home owners . The standard was raised to 80% back about 20 years ago. It was about the same time that they stopped building standing pilot light furnaces. So if you have a furnace that is a electronic ignite furnace it is more likely a 80% furnace. These 80% furnaces are made by all manufactures and they have just about worked out the bugs on the majority of them. Now days these furnaces come with a 10 year warranty, some of them even have lifetime heat exchanger replacement guarantee.

This is all the furnace you need for the Dallas- Fort Worth area, greater seer ratings furnaces are available but in my personal opinion does not offset the higher cost and selling price of a high seer rated furnace. So in other words I’m telling you that if I were going to replace a furnace for my mother or my sister I would be putting in an 80% furnace for my own family members. That should be a pretty good clue to you that this is all the furnace that is really needed for a good heating system.

Let’s talk about what the 80% means for just a minute. The 80% means that for every dollar you spend in the purchase of natural gas from the gas company that 80% of that dollar is turned into actual BTUs of heat for your home. That 20% is wasted gas that is discharged up the afue pipe to your roof by the combustion air blower system. This is how the furnace gets a rating of 80%. The cost of this furnace should be set by the BTU value of the furnace. Not by the brand name.

The standards for manufacturing of air conditioning and heating equipment are the same for all manufactures , they have to meet the same standard for whatever equipment they build. So it does not matter what brand name is on that particular piece of equipment it had to pass a test for an 80% rating. Although manufacturers can change what they will give to the customer in the way of warranty perks, basically all 80% furnaces achieved that rating because they have passed a test for that rating.

So in my opinion of 45+ years of field time I still believe that the 80% furnace is the best buy for the buck. As far as the best brand is concerned , I kind-of look at it this way, when I go to the grocery store for a gallon of milk it really doesn’t much matter to me whether it’s Kroger ,Albertson’s, Schepps, Borden’s or Wal-Mart brand. Every manufacture has had recalled products on almost every furnace that has ever been built. I personally do not feel that engineer John Smith at the Lennox plant is any better than engineer John Doe at the Carrier plant, I welcomed the research and development of all air-conditioning and heating manufactures to try to get to a better product. Most of these better products come from the field feedback of problems of the brand-new series of equipment.

This is why field technicians are so very important to the industry, in my opinion equally as important as the engineer that designed the equipment. Field feedback on problems is what makes the systems better and more dependable. It kind of goes back to the old kiss method. Just in case you’re not familiar with the kiss method (keep it simple stupid) . Let’s also look at it like this, if you are the CEO of research and development for a major air-conditioning manufacturing company you would probably be more concerned with the quality of the 35 million 80% furnaces that you manufacture than the 400,000 95% furnaces.

Why, let’s say you had a two dollar part recall on both furnaces, which one would hurt the manufacturing plant the most. This is why I say that I think that the 80% furnace is the best buy for the buck regardless of what manufacture you buy it from. The line that they make the most of is generally the line that they take the most quality care with.


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