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Guide - Purchasing Furnaces

This guide is offered to help you make the best decisions and to think about aspects of the purchase you may have not thought about prior. If you have any questions on this guide or wish to speak to us call us at (920) 734-1436 or email us at [email protected]


There are a lot of furnace models out there, and they all have differing features. Most customers are learning about furnaces when their current one has failed. This guide is meant to be to the point and break down the differing features and what you can expect.

The Brand Name

The brand name doesn't matter as much as it used to, due to companies merging and buying out other companies. There are so many brands today, but they are produced by only a handful of factories. Not all manufacturers prioritize quality, so it's good to check with others who have bought a furnace that you trust. One thing to be on the lookout for, though, is that even an amazing furnace will run like garbage if installed wrong.

The brand name is only as good as the company selling it to you. If they don't install it well you could be in for trouble and repairs throughout the life of the furnace. Find a company you trust. They will sell brands they trust.

How We Do It:
We take our time to find brands we trust and want to install. We also do not just give up on brands if they hit rocky roads. Truth is all companies go through ups and downs. When you buy from us you're buying our support and that we will go to fight for you if there are problems. We have your back and will do our best to give you top notch service on everything we sell. We currently sell Amana and Durastar. Both of those brands we wouldn't hesitate to put in our own homes. They are reliable and have great history of supporting customers and dealers with information and parts. They also have very low failure rates, something everyone appreciates.


Most furnaces come with 10 year part warranty and 1 year labor warranty. Back in the 00's, 5 year part warranty was common. Most products offer a 10 year part and labor warranty upgrade, so if you want a true peace of mind for a decade, get it.

A good question to ask, is "Is this warranty handled by the manufacturer?" This lets you know if they hire out a third part company to manage it. I think we all have had insurance stories where they have no interest in doing what is right and to deny claims. You can run into this with third party warranty companies way more than manufacturer controlled warranty.

How We Do It:
We sell all Amana Furnaces with a 10 Year Part AND Labor Warranty. While they are reliable, we do not want you to have to worry about repair bills in the first 10 years on the furnace.

Blower Motor Types

There used to be three different types, but with regulation changes as of July 3rd 2019, all furnaces now have to have a version of an "ECM" motor for a blower motor.

Fixed Speed ECM (aka X-13): This is the standard motor option. It has the high efficiency operation, but it is limited to operating much like the older motors operated, at set fan speeds. You'll see this called an X-13 in some cases, as this motor was originally designe in 2006 to help get Air Conditioners up to a 13 SEER rating.

True Variable ECM: This is the premium motor option. It has high efficiency with intelligence built in. It can figure out when restrictions are in place and it will adjust as well as it can to make sure it's delivering the right amount of air flow over the furnace. The blower also has nice low circulate speed and designed to be running all the time (with your thermostat fan switch set to "on"), which helps keep your home more consistent temperature, and makes your filter and air cleaning system much more effective.

How We Do It:
About 90% of our furnaces that we sell are Full ECM motors. We recommend them if the budget allows. It is not required by any means, but it certainly improves comfort and allows air cleaners (Filtration, UV Lights, and Ionizers) to do their job 24/7.


Very rare do we install standard efficiency furnaces (80-85%), we have been almost entirely high efficiency (95-98%) furnaces for the past 20 years. Efficiency of a furnace once it hits the 95% point is silly. A furnace's efficiency fluctuates and especially on two-stage and modulating furnaces, the efficiencies are different at different firing rates. Regardless, they are still high efficiency and they are saving you money.

The testing methodology versus practical in home use is different, so it will give different results. Much like a car's EPA rating not matching what you get out in the real world. Be happy knowing you're picking a high efficiency, but don't pay more to get a 97% over a 96% because it won't amount to much savings in real life.

How We Do It:
On our tune-ups we perform electronic combustion analysis tests, and the efficiency rating goes all over from 92-98. It depends where in the cycle it is, and many other things that real world applications have that the test environment does not. Get a fancier furnace for features, not for higher efficiency ratings. Our top selling furnace is

Stages of Operation

Furnaces are available in typically three options, single stage, two stage, and modulating.

Single Stage: This is a classic furnace, that is on or off, there is no fanciness to it whatsoever. If your thermostat tells the furnace to come on, it comes on at 100% heat until the thermostat says stop.

Two Stage: Two stage is built to have a longer run cycle. When your thermostat tells the furnace to come on it will run for a specific number of minutes at around half capacity. If it cannot get the thermostat satisfied, it will jump up to 100%.

Modulating: Instead of specific stages, the furnace gas valve is computer controlled. There is logic on the control board that tells it to run in a smooth curve. It will ramp up and down based on demand. Each brand does modulating a little bit differently, and may require a special communicating thermostat.

The idea of going with more stages is how evenly heated your home is. All systems are going to reliably heat your home, but if you have problems with some rooms not getting very warm, you will want a furnace that has a longer run cycle.

How We Do It:
Very rarely are we putting in single stage equipment. A majority of our installations are two stage, and in 2023 we have seen a huge increase of customers wanting a modulating furnace. All units will efficiently heat your area.

Company Installing It

A company you trust is very important. A furnace when installed incorrectly can shorten the life of your furnace and can give you trouble over the years. Here is a check list to help you.

How We Do It:
You are very fortunate if you live in the Fox Valley, as we have so many companies that are able to take care of you. We are excited to be one of those options. The installation process is painless, and our estimators are

Have Questions?

Most people do not plan for replacement of heating and cooling equipment. There is a lot to take in, and if you'd like to ask questions please feel free to reach out to us. Our team is happy to help give you helpful advice, with no pressure.

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Address: 4450 W Greenville Drive. Appleton, WI 54913
Phone: (920) 734-1436 Fax: (920) 734-0929
Hours of Operation: 8:00a to 4:30p (Mon-Fri)

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