Worst Furnace Brands: Unraveling the Least Reliable Options

Charlie Hardcastle

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When it comes to keeping your home warm and comfortable during the colder months, choosing the right furnace is essential. With so many brands available, it can be challenging to know which one is the best fit for your needs. Unfortunately, not all brands live up to their promises, which is why it’s crucial to do thorough research before making a purchase. This article aims to inform you about some of the worst furnace brands, helping you make an informed decision and avoid potential issues down the line.

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Several factors contribute to a furnace’s reliability and efficiency, including the brand’s history, manufacturing quality, customer satisfaction, and past recalls. Some furnace brands have gained a negative reputation due to their poor performance, high failure rates, and lower satisfaction scores in consumer surveys. Among these brands are YorkColeman, and Westinghouse, which have all experienced large-scale recalls, affecting thousands of consumers.

By being aware of the worst furnace brands, you can ensure that you invest in a system that will efficiently heat your home, provide a comfortable living environment, and deliver reliable performance for years to come. Keep in mind that while this article focuses on the brands to avoid, there are many trusted and reliable furnace brands available that deliver excellent value for your investment.

Factors Contributing to Worst Furnace Brands

Quality vs. Cost

One of the primary factors contributing to the performance of furnace brands is the balance between quality and cost. Many of the perceived worst furnace brands choose to use cheap components and manufacturing practices to offer more affordable options for consumers on a budget. However, this approach often leads to compromised durability and performance.

Short Warranties

Another factor that contributes to the inferiority of these furnace brands is the provision of short or limited warranties. Companies with confidence in their products typically provide longer warranties as a sign of trust in the product’s reliability. Short warranties indicate that the manufacturer expects the furnace to experience issues soon, leaving consumers to deal with potential costly repairs or replacements.

Unreliable Performance

Unreliable performance is a significant factor in determining the worst furnace brands. A furnace that fails to provide consistent heating and operation can cause inconvenience and discomfort for homeowners. In some cases, this can stem from subpar quality control during production, leading to furnaces that

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Worst Furnace Brands to Avoid


Tempstar furnaces, although affordable, tend to have lower efficiency and reliability ratings. Frequent repairs can lead to high maintenance costs. Compared to other furnace brands, Tempstar’s warranty coverage is not as comprehensive, making it a risky long-term investment.


Arcoaire is another budget-friendly option, but its furnaces’ short lifespan and high failure rates make it a less-desirable choice. Known for low-efficiency models and less-impressive performance, Arcoaire furnaces may not meet your heating requirements while also increasing your energy bills.


Ducane furnaces suffer from poor quality components and subpar customer service. The brand’s lower-end products have a higher tendency to break down, resulting in additional repair costs over time. Their customer support is often criticized for insufficient responsiveness and assistance.


Evcon furnaces have a history of recalls and safety concerns. Although they are relatively inexpensive, their frequent malfunctions make them unreliable heating options. With multiple issues, such as ignition failures and heat exchanges, Evcon furnaces can put a dent in your wallet due to increased repair expenses.


Weatherking, while known for its affordable prices, has consistently low customer satisfaction ratings. These furnaces often experience issues with their heat exchangers and flame sensors, resulting in inconsistent heating performance. The brand has also faced several recall incidents, casting doubts on its overall safety and reliability.

Burnham Furnaces

Burnham Furnaces is yet another brand to avoid due to their products’ high failure rate and poor performance. With a brand rating of 2.8 out of 5 in brand surveys, customers have expressed frustration with Burnham Furnaces’ inefficiency and propensity for breakdowns, ultimately impacting their heating experience.

Maintaining the Worst Furnace Brands

Types of Furnaces

There are two main types of furnaces that homeowners should be aware of when maintaining the worst furnace brands:

  • Oil Furnaces: These furnaces use oil as their primary fuel source, which can be more expensive than natural gas or electricity. Regular maintenance for oil furnaces includes changing the oil filter, cleaning the heat exchanger, and inspecting for any leaks or damage.
  • Electric Furnaces: Electric furnaces use electricity to heat the air, which is then distributed throughout the home. Maintenance tasks for electric furnaces include cleaning or replacing the air filter, inspecting the heating elements, and checking for any wiring issues.

It is important to consistently perform proper maintenance on both types of furnaces, regardless of the brand, to ensure optimal indoor climate control and energy efficiency.

Longevity and Efficiency

Furnace efficiency is often measured using AFUE ratings. A higher AFUE furnace will have better energy efficiency, which can result in lower energy bills. However, even the worst furnace brands can still have a reasonable lifespan if they are properly maintained. Homeowners should aim to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and perform tasks such as:

  • Cleaning or replacing air filters regularly
  • Scheduling annual professional inspections and tune-ups
  • Checking for and fixing any leaks or damage
  • Ensuring proper ventilation and airflow

By doing these tasks, you can help to improve the overall efficiency and longevity of your furnace, even if it is considered one of the worst brands on the market.

Predicted Reliability

The predicted reliability of a furnace brand is a factor homeowners should consider when investing in central heating. Consumer Reports has rated some furnace brands like Westinghouse as having a 2 out of 5-star rating in Predicted Reliability. Although the worst furnace brands may have lower predicted reliability, homeowners can still maximize their furnace’s lifespan and performance through proper maintenance and care.

Maintaining your furnace, regardless of its brand or type, is essential for ensuring a comfortable indoor environment and energy efficiency. By following proper maintenance practices, homeowners can help to improve the performance and reliability of even the worst furnace brands.

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Alternatives and Buying Guide

Higher-Quality Brands

When looking for a reliable furnace, consider brands such as TraneLennoxRheem, and American Standard. These brands typically offer high-quality products that last longer and perform better than some of their competitors, like Goodman or Buderus.

Some top-tier furnace models to consider include:

Research and Considerations

Before making a purchase, take time to research and compare various furnace models. Look for:

  1. Efficiency: Furnaces with a higher AFUE rating are typically more efficient at converting fuel to heat.
  2. Size: Proper sizing is critical for efficiency and comfort. Consult with a professional to correctly size your furnace.
  3. Warranty: Look for furnaces with comprehensive and lengthy warranties, at least 5-10 years for the main components.
  4. Reviews and Ratings: Research customer reviews and ratings to gauge the reliability and performance of different furnace brands.

Installation and Replacement

Proper installation is crucial for the long-term efficiency and lifespan of your furnace. Seek out a reputable and experienced HVAC contractor who can correctly install and maintain your central heating system. Some top brands like Carrier and Daikin have specific requirements that need to be met for optimal performance.

Replacing an unreliable furnace with a higher-quality brand can save you time, money, and frustration in the long run. While the initial investment might be higher, the return on investment through energy savings, better performance, and fewer repairs will be worth it. Consider brands like Ruud and Carrier Infinity for a reliable replacement.


After examining various furnace brands and their performance, some brands stand out as ones to avoid, while others have established themselves as reliable choices. One such furnace brand that has shown decline in product quality in recent years is Westinghouse. The brand’s century-old reputation doesn’t necessarily guarantee the quality of their furnaces today.

Another brand with a low rating is Buderus, which might be a cheaper option but has shown a high failure rate and low customer satisfaction. With a brand rating of 2.8/5 and a customer satisfaction rating of 43% in 2020, Buderus furnaces may not be worth the initial savings in the long run.

It’s essential to balance cost, reliability, and performance when choosing a furnace. Companies that focus on providing mid-grade furnaces, such as Better Gas Furnaces, offer more affordable options that still deliver good durability and a typical longevity range of 17-22 years with adequate maintenance.

When selecting a furnace, it’s crucial to consider not only the cost but also the brand’s reputation, customer reviews, and warranty options. By doing thorough research and avoiding brands with known issues, homeowners can make a smart investment in a furnace that will provide comfort and warmth for years to come.

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