Goodman gas furnaces are one of the best-selling brands, an intriguing mix of low prices, good quality and excellent warranties.
Amana’s prices are slightly higher, and its furnace warranty on many models is even better than Goodman’s. Do these facts mean that Amana and Goodman are different? Are Amana furnaces better than Goodman furnaces?
Goodman Owns Amana
Perhaps you know that Goodman owned Amana for many years before Daikin became the parent company to both. Does that mean they are the same? If so, why two brands?
We’ll cover those questions below for interested readers, but many want a simple question answered: Are Goodman furnaces and Amana furnaces the same or different? Here’s the short answer:
Goodman and Amana make 17 gas furnace models, and nearly all are identical in everything but the cabinet around them and the name tag on them.
Models differ slightly in the 80% AFUE range.
Brief History of Amana, Goodman and Daikin
Harold V. Goodman started Goodman in 1975. His first product was cheap, flexible HVAC duct and heat registers. The company did so well that Goodman had the cash to buy Janitrol in 1982, a company that made a full line of furnaces and air conditioners.
Goodman’s purpose for the company was to make high-value HVAC equipment – good equipment at the lowest prices in the industry. That’s exactly what Goodman did and why it became a multi-billion dollar company in just a few decades. Harold Goodman died in 1996 with the company very strong and competitive.
In 1997, Goodman Manufacturing acquired Amana refrigeration from Raytheon. This was the start of selling two brands that were nearly or completely identical except in name.
The basic reason to have two brands is simple: The residential HVAC “pie” isn’t unlimited. There are only so many pieces. Well, by having two brands, Goodman Manufacturing had a chance at two pieces of the pie. In short, it gives Goodman a chance to grow its total market share.
Goodman and Amana furnaces were marketed slightly differently, as they are today.
Did you know?
The two-brand idea is shared throughout the industry: Carrier and Bryant (UTC brands), Rheem and Ruud (Pamona Industries brands), Trane and American Standard (Ingersoll Rand brands) and Heil, Keeprite, Tempstar and Comfortmaker (ICP brands – and ICP is also owned by UTC)!
Japan-based Daikin is the largest manufacturer of HVAC equipment in the world. However, it didn’t have a presence in the US residential HVAC split system market. That made Goodman/Amana an attractive acquisition. Daikin mini split systems have been available here for years.
In 2012, Daikin Industries paid a huge sum for Goodman — $3.7 billion.
Furnaces sold with the Daikin label are the same as Amana and Goodman furnaces.
Goodman and Amana Gas Furnaces
The next section covers how the brands are different.
This section outlines Amana and Goodman identical furnaces.
The brands make three tiers of gas furnaces:
- Single-stage: Runs at 100% capacity only
- Two-stage: Runs at low-fire 70% and high-fire 100%
- Variable-capacity: Modulates between 40% and 100% in increments of less than 1%
So, rather than bore you by listing all models in each tier, here is a summary of the tiers, their efficiency range and features.
|Goodman||7 models||8 models||2 models|
|Amana||6 models||9 models||2 models|
|Efficiency range||80, 92-96||80, 96||97, 98|
Efficiency options here are 80%, 92% and 96%. That’s a slightly limited selection. The 96% furnaces achieve that efficiency with a secondary heat exchanger that captures additional heat from the exhaust gases.
They are known as condensing furnaces because the gases cool enough on the way out the vent to allow the moisture in it to condense. Because the moisture also contains carbonic acid, the secondary heat exchangers are always stainless steel – a metal that resists corrosion.
Pros: Furnaces that run at full capacity remain best sellers because they are affordable. With efficiency gains in the last decade, you can now get Energy Star efficiency as high as 97%, though the best single-stage furnaces from Goodman/Amana are 96% efficient.
Prices start below $700 for 80% single-stage furnaces and below $1,100 for single-stage furnaces up to 96% efficient. If you live in a cold climate, buying an efficient furnace pays for itself quickly. Many homes spend $1,000 or more on heating. A 96% furnace is 16% more efficient than an 80%, so would save you about $160 per year. The $300-$400 extra for the 96% furnace would be repaid in 2-3 years.
Cons: The downside to a single-stage furnace is that running at full capacity can cause slight overheating because the system still has a lot of heat in it when the set temperature is reached, and that heat is dispersed. If your thermostat is set to 72F, you might see temperatures of 73F. Most homeowners don’t notice such small swings.
Secondly, a furnace that runs at 100% all the time is a little noisier than a two-stage or variable-capacity that runs mostly at capacities between 40% and 70%.
Multi-speed motors: These furnaces do have multi-speed rather than single-speed blower motors, so they start and end at a slower speed to avoid pushing cool air into your home at the beginning and end of the heating cycle when the furnace isn’t at full heating capacity.
Options: Goodman/Amana single-stage furnaces are available in upflow, downflow and multi-position, which means they can be installed for horizontal flow too.
The efficiency options are limited to 80% and 96%, not uncommon in the industry. Lennox and Carrier, for example, offers the same two efficiency levels.
Pros: Two stages of heating are 70% (low-fire) and 100% (high-fire) capacity. The furnaces will run on low fire whenever they can do so and maintain the indoor temperature you want. When that won’t keep up, the furnace will run on high fire to bring up the temperature, reverting to low to keep it there. The advantage is quieter operation and less swing in temperatures.
Cons: The disadvantage is a higher cost. Expect to pay 15% to 20% more for the indoor comfort offered by a two-stage furnace.
Variable-speed motors: Some two-stage furnaces have motors that gradually ramp up at the start and down at the end of the cycle to reduce noise and unheated air from being pushed into your living space.
Options: All configurations – upflow, downflow and horizontal.
These are the most efficient furnaces, with two options: 97% and 98%. They achieve that efficiency with secondary heat exchangers and by producing only the precise amount of heat needed to maintain an even temperature in your home.
Pros: Running at capacities as low as 40% and using variable-speed blowers, they are very quiet. Heating is very balanced.
Cons: The upfront cost is 50% to 100% higher than single-stage furnaces. It takes longer to recoup the energy savings compared to single-stage and two-stage furnaces. Plus, repair costs can be higher because the gas burner and motor are more sophisticated.
Variable-speed motors: All models
Options: All configurations
Do You Like the Technical Stuff?
If you enjoy the technical details like we do, browse the Product Specification .pdf for any model. This example covers the variable-capacity Goodman furnaces.
You’ll find a key to the nomenclature used in the model numbers, so at a glance, you will know how many stages of heating, blower type and configuration.
The Spec documents have a wealth of information including a list of furnace sizes available, their high-fire and (if applicable) low-fire inputs and outputs and much more. The output is the input multiplied by the furnace’s efficiency. For example, a 100,000 BTU furnace with 92% efficiency has a high-fire input of 100K BTUs and an output of 92,000K BTUs. 100K x .92 = 92K
It’s the output number that is important. If a load calculation determines your home needs 90,000 BTUs of heat, this furnace will do the job. However, an 80% furnace with 100K input would produce only 80K output, so wouldn’t be big enough. You’d have to upgrade to a 110K furnace, if available, or as is the case with Amana/Goodman, a 120K furnace that would give you 96K output.
Amana and Goodman Warranties
Before Daikin entered the picture, Goodman and Amana furnace warranties were identical, both among the best available.
That has changed slightly in the past few years. One thing remains the same: The general parts warranties for all models from both brands is 10 years.
It is the heat exchanger warranties that are now different.
Goodman furnace warranty: This brand offers three warranty tiers for heat exchangers:
- Lifetime warranty with lifetime furnace replacement: If the heat exchanger ever fails, Goodman will replace the entire furnace.
- Lifetime with 10-year furnace replacement: If the heat exchanger fails in the first decade, Goodman will replace the entire furnace. After that time, it will replace just the heat exchanger.
- Lifetime with heat exchanger replacement: If the heat exchanger ever fails, Goodman will replace just the heat exchanger.
See the Goodman 80% and 90+% pages for details on each model. Generally, the best warranties are provided on the top models in each efficiency range.
Amana furnace warranties: Amana offers just two tiers, the first and third type offered by Goodman.
Apart from two vs three tiers, the primary difference is that Amana offers the best warranty, the lifetime furnace replacement warranty, on most of its furnaces while Goodman offers it on just a few.
Same furnace, better warranty: This means that identical furnaces have different warranties based on whether you buy it from Amana or Goodman.
Why? This is part of Daikin’s plan to keep Goodman right where Harold Goodman wanted the brand. It is the low-cost leader but still backed by warranties that are better than most.
The better warranties on some of the Amana models mean that they cost more – up to $300 more than the Goodman version. The extra upfront cost covers Amana’s greater risk of replacing a furnace in the future.
Is a Heat Exchanger Replacement Warranty a Good Value?
A furnace replacement warranty is very attractive. A heat exchanger replacement warranty isn’t worth much.
Here’s why. There are two reasons. First, heat exchangers rarely fail in the first 10-12 years. Secondly, heat exchanger replacement warranties don’t cover labor. Read that again, if you didn’t catch it: Don’t cover labor.
Therefore, if you don’t have furnace replacement coverage, just heat exchanger replacement, you’ll have two problems. Your furnace will likely be 10+ years old, and you will have a huge repair bill.
The heat exchanger costs less than $300 for most models, like this part from Repair Clinic.
However, the labor charge will be $1,000 to $1,400. The heat exchanger is at the very core of the furnace. The unit must be taken completely apart to replace it. At that point, the most cost-effective choice would be to buy a new furnace, complete with full warranty coverage.
Using automobile terminology, if your furnace heat exchanger fails, the furnace is “totaled.”
Amana Furnaces vs Goodman Furnaces – The Verdict
Goodman has lower prices; Amana has better warranties on some furnaces. From a brand perspective, that’s what it comes down to.
However, there’s another factor to consider.
Furnace installation is just as important as the brand you choose.
Few within the industry dispute that point. If they do dispute it, they’ve got a particular brand they want to sell you.
Therefore, our encouragement to you is to choose your furnace company carefully.
1). Ask friends for furnace company suggestions
2). Make a list of 3-5 companies you’ve heard good things about
3). Check their websites to learn about the company’s history and experience
4). Interview three of the companies. Learn about the qualifications and the experience of the crew that will install your furnace.
5). Compare all the information you’ve gathered, and select a qualified furnace installer with a fair price.
If that installer prefers Amana, then Amana is the brand you should buy.
If the installer sells Goodman, then Goodman is your brand.
Now, many installers offer both. So, your decision comes down to saving money on a Goodman or potentially getting a furnace replacement warranty on an Amana.
That’s a long process! It can take several weeks to do your due diligence. That’s OK if its summer, and you’re replacing your furnace because it is old. Though you might not have time for such a long process.
If its winter, then two weeks is too long. We can shorten the process to just a couple days with our Free Local Quotes service. You’ll receive written estimates in a couple days. All contractors that use the service are licensed and insured.
We trust this Guide has helped you make your decision. We’ve completed a similar comparison guide for Goodman vs Amana air conditioners, helpful if you’re planning a complete split system replacement.