Updated Oct. 3, 2018
By Josh Rosenson
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First, a word about how we approach reviewing equipment. 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. Brands and advertisers cannot pay us to influence what we write about them. With that in mind, here is what you should know about Coleman Furnaces.
Coleman Furnace Series
Coleman residential gas furnaces come in three different series. The Echelon ™ Series is the top end and offers two units with modulating burners and variable speed ECM motors. It is the only series with units equipped with WhisperDrive ™ and ClimaTrak ™ comfort systems, which we will get into more later. These units also offer the best warranty, with a 10-year Complete Assurance ™ warranty.
There are nine different furnaces in the LX Series, Coleman’s middle tier. Different units come with different motor types. This tier comes with a 5-year Complete Assurance ™ warranty, which Coleman’s bottom tier does not have.
The bottom tier is the Comforteer ™ series, and offers two units. Both come with single-stage burners and four speed PSC motors. As with all the other series, it comes with a 10-year limited parts warranty. All units in all series, except the Comforteer’s TG8S/TGLS, come with a lifetime limited heat exchanger warranty. The TG8S/TGLS comes with a 20-year limited heat exchanger warranty.
Coleman also makes a Light Commercial Gas Furnace.
Where are Coleman Furnaces Made?
Coleman is headquartered in Norman, Oklahoma. Its parent company, Johnson Controls, is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Coleman claims that its products are made in the United States.
The WhisperDrive ™, available only on the Echeclon series, is Coleman’s system for reducing sound. It is comprised of a wing-swept fan, composite base pans, and a containment device the company claims reduces the sound to the level of a kitchen dishwasher.
ClimaTrak ™ is a control system that can be set up by an installer and configured for your home. This integration is available only on the Echelon ™ Series.
Complete Assurance ™ warranty is Coleman’s trademarked warranty. The Echelon Series comes with a 10-year, while the LX Series comes with a 5-year. This warranty is not available on Comforteer Series. The warranty offers the option to replace the unit if the heat exchanger fails within the first five or 10 years (depending on the series), as opposed to only replacing the heat exchanger.
What do Heating Contractors Say?
- One contractor was partial to Johnson Controls products in particular, when compared to other furnace options, saying, “We install a lot of the LX furnaces. JCI (York/Coleman/Luxaire) has the #1 furnace line on the market IMO. I'd go with the TM9V LX furnace.”
- Positives were noted about the warranty, including being able to get an additional year on the labor warranty, one contractor said, “IMO , In Coleman favor , has the better manufacture warranty , less upfront cost.” Another said, “Guessing you would pay a one hour labor with trip charge to have a yearly check to get the addition one year labor warranty on the Coleman . Seems fair to me.”
- One contractor pointed to reliability of the product, saying, “As I said before if you want a reliable unit I suggest a TM9V or a TM9Y. Either of these will work well and seem to be reliable.”
- More than one contractor notes Coleman lacks communicating tools other popular brands, like Carrier, offer with their products. “I am not familiar with newer Coleman equipment. One thing I do notice is the coleman equipment is quoted with a Honeywell thermostat. This would be a somewhat conventional way of controlling the system,” one said. A second contractor said, “I don't know what Colman is doing now but I guarentee the controls are not anything like the Evolution/Infinity.”
- A contractor familiar with Bryant and Coleman, which are often compared, prefers Bryant, stating, “I am very familiar with both, I have installed and serviced both. There is no comparison Bryant is a much nicer unit than Coleman. Evolution control is very nice.”
Coleman's highest tier product line, the Echelon Series, features modulating gas furnace options available from 80 up to 98 percent AFUE. Both units--the CP9C and CPLC--are equipped with variable speed blower motors for quiet operation and Coleman's EcoTrak function that allows the installing technicians to customize the furnace's operation to the homeowner's specific climate.
With seven models ranging between 80 and 97 percent AFUE, the LX Series offers a diverse selection of gas furnaces. Homeowners can choose between single-stage, two-stage or modulating heat options. Although the units differ in unique features and components, all models advertise low operation noise, a durable heat exchanger, and a compact size for easy installation.
Similar to the Echelon Series, the highest efficiency model in this series, the TM9M, was named a Consumer's Digest "Best Buy."
Comforteer Single-Stage Series
Standing at only 33 inches tall, the Comforteer Series has cabinets designed for easy installation in closets, attics or garages. This series offers two single-stage heating units with 80 and up to 95.5 percent AFUE. Both models are Hybrid Comfort System compatible and LoNox compliant units are available with the TG8S model.
Care and Maintenance
In addition to biannual service by a licensed contractor, Coleman suggests homeowners perform routine maintenance for their furnace to help increase performance and longevity of the unit. Regular filter cleanings, component inspection and cleanings, and professional air duct cleanings are recommended.
Depending on the model, Coleman furnaces are either equipped with a lifetime or 20-year warranty on the heat exchanger. All units come with a 10-year limited parts warranty although, if the unit is not registered online within 90 days of installation, the warranty term is automatically reduced to five years. Additional coverage plans for parts and labor are available through Coleman's extended warranty.