Updated Oct. 12, 2018
By Josh Rosenson
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We have no bias towards or against any particular brand of heating and cooling equipment. Since 2002 our job has been to provide information, reviews and commentaries on equipment, not to tell you to buy one brand over another. With that in mind, here is what you should know about Amana furnaces.
Amana offers two residential rated gas furnaces. One is a 90+% AFUE, with 10 units. The other is an 80% AFUE, with 7 units. Both come with units equipped with multi-speed and variable speed motors. Eight of the 10 90+% AFUE are Energy Star Certified. Some ship with ComfortBridge and CoolCloud, both of which we’ll discuss more later.
In the 80% AFUE furnaces, two of the seven are compatible with ComfortNet ™ communications system, which we will detail more below.
The parts contained are the same as those in Goodman air conditioners and can be used interchangeably. Many of these units are also compatible with Goodman brands such as the ComfortNet system.
Where Amana Furnaces Made?
Amana is owned by Goodman, and Amana furnaces are manufactured in its Houston, Texas facility. Goodman is headquartered in Waller, Texas, under Daikin North America, a division of parent company Daikin Group.
ComfortBridge™ technology is a thermostat and communicating device located on the air conditioner. The device manages the unit, aimed to keep it running at top efficiency. The device also collects data to make adjustments, which Goodman claims will minimize the amount of energy used to heat.
ComfortNet™ is a high definition thermostat. Amana claims, it is also able to perform diagnostics. Some features include the ability to set a high and low temperature, scheduling, and dealer contact information.
CoolCloud™ is an app for contractors. It enables them to communicate with the furnace’s control board.
What do Heating Contractors Say?
- The Amana warranty gets some attention in the industry, as one contractor noted, “While many Manufactures offer a limited lifetime Heat Exchanger Warranty to the original owner once the product is registered Amana gives a whole new furnace if HX fails to the original owner registered product on many of their models. You can also purchase an extended labor warranty from Amana that's backed by Amana, do not know if the Carrier extended labor warranty is backed by UTC/ Carrier or its through a 3rd party.” Another said, “Hard to beat Amana warranty.”
- It’s more like owner Daikin than Goodman in features, as one contractor said, “Goodman (as opposed to its Amana & Daikin sisters) tends to be more basic.”
- It can be less expensive to fix, as one contractor noted, “Goodman generally has the cheapest parts.”
- One contractor had high praise, saying “Amana has the best 90% heat exchanger out there.”
- Someone reported an issue with the boards on Amanas, and at least a couple of contractors were familiar with the issue. “Change the board. Had this exact same problem a few weeks ago on a customers goodman,” one said. Another said, “Amana/goodman boards do this to me all the time. It's the 115v relays on the board I think. They do the same thing with the blower motor sometimes. Voltage disconnected measures good, but as soon as you apply a load the board chokes.”
- There seems to be a common complaint about the noise of Goodman/Amana. One contractor said, “The Goodman and Amana furnace are made in the same factory in Houston with the same material and by the same people. Functionally they are decent equipment. However they are NOISY.”
- Multi-Position. "Multi-Position" furnaces can be installed in different positions. This might be useful to homeowners who need to fit a furnace into an odd location.
- Silicon Nitride Igniter. Electric igniters are safer and more efficient than traditional furnace igniter systems.
- ComfortNet Compatibility. Some of the furnaces are compatible with Goodman's ComfortNet, a system that monitors temperatures in order to create efficient and rapid responses from the heating system. The system includes a thermostat display and can be connected with four wires to the main unit.
- Multi-Speed. Multi-speed heaters can save energy because they can operate at various different levels depending on the amount of work that needs to be done. These can be compared to single stage heaters, which can only operate at full blast or not at all.
- Variable Speed. Variable speed furnaces operate according to a similar principle, but have the capacity to vary their speed across a continuous range, instead of providing discrete options.
The standard models have AFUEs (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratings) of around 80%. This number means that 80%
of the energy that goes into the furnace is converted into thermal energy for the house.
These furnaces, including the Amana AMV9, range in efficiency from 92% AFUE to 95% AFUE. Some of this efficiency is due to better insulation; some is due to more sensitive control over the heating function. Many of the same combinations of features as above are available.
Some of the efficient furnaces have two stages, which means that in addition to operating at multiple or variable speeds, they engage a separate component for heavy-duty heating. This process is relatively energy efficient.
Two of these models (ACVC95 and ACH95) are downflow furnaces: cool air comes in at the top and warmth rises from the bottom to heat it. This is an efficient model because of the way it harnesses the heat's rise.
The 'top model' of this bunch is the AMVC95, which has at 95% AFUE, two stages, and variable speed. It has a dehumidification element and an electronic control board that allows individualized control over its various elements.
Care and Maintenance
It's always a good idea to have your furnace checked out annually by a certified technician. Even the most efficient furnaces can encounter trouble from dust accumulation so it's wise to schedule annual inspections.
This page has a series of questions and answers about maintaining and replacing the filters for your Amana furnace.
Most of the models come with ten-year limited warranties for their parts. The top models also come with lifetime warranties on their heat exchangers. This warranty and the possibility of buying additional coverage are organized by Goodman.