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Amana makes a large number of gas furnaces, which they divide into the categories Standard and High efficiency.
The majority of these furnaces use hot aluminum coils. These can be supplemented with secondary heat exchangers, which use stainless steel. They are all gray in appearance and have finishes to protect their exterior.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.