This Goodman furnace guide details your Goodman furnace options, their technical and performance specs and the pros and cons of choosing Goodman. This brand is the low-cost leader, but there are ongoing concerns about Goodman quality.
Goodman is an American success story with a Japanese ending. Harold Goodman’s company made flexible ductwork until 1982 when he bought HVAC brand Janitrol and started manufacturing Goodman furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps. Goodman aggressively carved out a niche as the leading low-cost brand. After Harold Goodman’s death, the brand was sold several times. Goodman Global, with US headquarters in Houston, TX, is now part of Daikin Industries of Osaka Japan after a $3.7 billion purchase in 2012.
Goodman Furnace Brand Overview
Like all leading HVAC brands, Goodman manufactures 80% efficient furnaces and 90%-plus furnaces. The 80% AFUE furnaces are offered in two performance levels, those with single-stage gas valves and two-stage gas valve furnaces.
The 90%-plus furnaces range in efficiency from 92% to 98%. In addition to single-stage and two-stage models, the GMVM97 Goodman furnace has a modulating gas valve that adjusts in 1% increments.
Goodman Furnace Technical Specifications
- Goodman 80% furnaces lose 20% of the heat they create through the exhaust, so must be vented through the roof. Most of the 90%-plus furnaces have a secondary heat exchanger to capture additional heat from the exhaust. These furnaces can be vented through a wall.
- Single-stage Goodman furnaces run at full capacity whenever on. They are inexpensive, a bit noisy and cause minor temperature fluctuations. The top 80% single-stage furnace is the GMS8 with multi-speed blower; the best 90%-plus single-stage furnace is the 96% efficient GMEC with multi-speed ECM blower.
- Two-stage Goodman furnaces run at 65% capacity to keep temperatures more steady, and they switch to 100% capacity when a significant boost in temperature is required. The top 80% two-stage models are the GMVC8 and GCVC8 with variable-speed blowers; the best 90%-plus two-stage Goodman furnaces are the GMVC96 (Upflow/horizontal) and GCVC96 (Downflow/horizontal)
- The modulating Goodman furnace has a gas valve that opens from 40% to 100%, running at the lowest (and quietest, therefore) capacity necessary to maintain the temperature of the thermostat set point. The only modulating Goodman furnace available is the 98% AFUE GMVM97.
- Two blower options are available, multi-speed (good) and variable-speed (better). The noise level of the furnace and its ability to produce balanced, comfortable temperatures improves at each performance level, but so does furnace cost.
- Upflow/horizontal and downflow/horizontal furnaces are made across the Goodman furnace range.
- Each Goodman furnace is made in capacities from about 40,000 BTU to 140,000 BTU to fit the space to be heated.
Pros and Cons of Goodman Furnaces
Here are the reasons Goodman is the leading low-cost brand and a few cautions to consider before buying one. For comparison, see our guide to Trane furnaces, a leader among premium furnace brands, and guide to Rheem furnaces, a moderately-priced brand.
Goodman Furnace Pros
- Goodman’s selling point is that it offers decent quality at a low price, so its furnaces are among the best values on the market;
- Warranties for Goodman furnaces are among the very best in the industry, better than Trane, Carrier, Bryant, American Standard, Lennox, Rheem, Ruud and most others;
- With 80% to 98% efficient furnaces at several performance levels, you’ve got excellent options to suit your budget, heating needs and climate control preferences;
- The aluminized steel heat primary and stainless steel secondary heat exchangers are durable;
- Goodman is a nationwide brand, so finding an installer will be easy, and the brand can be maintained and repaired by any certified HVAC technician;
- The most efficient models can be direct-vented out a wall rather than the roof, so this reduces installation costs;
- Many of the Energy Star furnaces from Goodman qualify for rebates from energy companies around the United States;
- Goodman makes air conditioners, thermostats/controls and indoor air quality units to complement its furnaces in a complete HVAC system;
- Goodman furnace thermostats include value-priced models, mid-priced controls and high-end touchscreen thermostats with Wi-Fi connectedness that allows you to control your HVAC system using a smartphone and free app.
Goodman Furnace Cons
- The major advantage of Goodman – decent equipment at value pricing – is also its major flaw; Goodman furnaces currently don’t demonstrate the quality of those from brands like Trane, Lennox, Carrier or Heil, though this might change under Daikin control of the brand;
- With quality concerns, a Goodman furnace is a cheap, short-term (up to 12 years) option, but for long-term durability, it makes sense to consider one of the premium brands;
- Similarly, savvy homebuyers who see a Goodman furnace might have concerns that affect their buying decision;
- While warranty coverage is excellent, the limited lifetime warranty won’t transfer to a new owner if you sell your home.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Goodman Furnace
In terms of the brand, you’ve got to decide if you want a cheaper, less expensive Goodman furnace that might need to be replaced in 10-15 years or a furnace from a brand known for durability. While Goodman’s warranties on the equipment are excellent, most don’t cover labor costs beyond one year (the industry standard). This means that you still might get stuck with a sizable bill if the furnace fails.
Keep your climate in mind. An 80% furnace is cheap, but will produce high heating costs in cold climates. On the other hand, in warm climates, the extra cost of a 90%-plus furnace might not be made back through lower energy costs for 10-20 years.
Make sure your contractor does a load test before choosing your furnace. This will ensure that the right size unit is installed. A furnace that is too large will create overheating issues in your home; one that is too small will struggle to keep up in the coldest weather and will likely have early mechanical issues.
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