Which Furnace Reviews Can You Really Trust?Remember the State Farm commercial with the girl who met her ‘French Model’ boyfriend on the internet? They can’t put anything on the internet that’s not true, right? Actually, yes they can… and yes, they do! If you Google ‘best furnace brands’ you’ll find several sites touting their lists of the Top Furnace Brands of 2015 with ‘reviews’ on each of the top rated furnaces that made their list. What you won’t find on most of these ‘review sites’ is a straightforward explanation of what criteria was used to determine the best furnace rated furnace brands in the list. So you have no way of knowing how the brands in their rankings were evaluated. The ratings on any of these ‘review sites’ could be based on the best-looking furnaces for all anyone knows. However, one site I found in that list does state that their rankings are based on a minimum of 5 reviews that people have left on their site about a specific furnace. Not exactly a very scientific way of determining the quality of a furnace. In fact, this is perhaps the most inaccurate way to evaluate furnace brands. The people posting random furnace reviews on their website are certainly going to be basing their review on different things they liked or didn’t like about their new furnace. Not to mention that the publishers of these review websites don’t verify that the people leaving the ‘reviews’ on their site actually own the furnace they’re posting about. I couldn’t even find evidence that the people behind the furnace ratings on these websites even verified that the reviews on their site were posted by real people. What you will find on all the review sites like furnacecompare.com and toptenreviews.com is paid advertising. Often in the form of ads asking you to enter your zip code in order to find local contractors or get a free estimate on a new furnace. Almost every ‘review site’ you’ll find online is actually a ‘lead-generation’ website. (You are the lead they are generating) They are designed to lure you in with content they’ve written (or bought from a ghost writer) that sounds authoritative, in the hopes that you’ll click on one of the ads you see on the webpage. The ads typically link to other, better-known websites who then sell the lead (your information) to contractors. So where can you find honest, objective ratings of the best furnace brands from an independent source you can trust? You probably already know the answer… Consumer Reports. The editors at Consumer Reports compile service and repair data on the top furnace brands over a 2-year period. They use the number of service and repair calls owners of each of the brands reported over that 2-year period to calculate their rankings of the most reliable furnace brands.
It’s important to keep in mind that Consumer Reports also makes it very clear that choosing a reliable contractor you can trust is the most important factor to consider when buying a new furnace. Hiring a reputable, trustworthy contractor to install (and stand behind) your new furnace is more important than which brand you install, which specific model, and it’s even more important than the price.Consumer Reports doesn’t accept advertising of any kind, and they don’t generate leads for companies for contractors either. They generate revenue strictly from consumers who subscribe to their magazine and website. So they have no conflict of interest and no hidden agenda when it comes to evaluating the different brands. In the latest Consumer Reports rankings of the most reliable furnace brands, American Standard was the number one rated brand. However, it’s important to note that there was only a very small statistical difference in reliability between the top five furnace brands. (Disclosure: Our furnace repair company installs American Standard equipment, along with most of the other top brands) So if you’re looking for accurate rankings of the most reliable furnace brands, check out the ConsumerReports.org website. You’ll have to become a subscriber to see their best furnace ratings, but the subscription is worth the cost if you’re looking for honest, objective reviews of just about any product. And when you’re ready for that new furnace… find yourself a well-known, reputable heating and air company in Denver, check out their online reviews, and give them a call. Remember, the local company that installs your new furnace is even more important than the brand – just ask the folks at Consumer Reports.