The following was taken directly from the consumer reports website.
“How do most people go about buying a furnace? First, they contact contractors. To prepare this report, we did, too. More than 500 specialists in residential heating and air conditioning told us about their experiences in installing and maintaining heating equipment.
The major manufacturers of gas furnaces are United Technology (Carrier, Bryant, Heil, Tempstar, and Comfortmaker brands), Goodman (Janitrol and Amana), York (Coleman), Rheem (Ruud), American Standard (Trane), and Lennox (Armstrong). All offer furnaces in a range of capacities and efficiencies, and we think manufacturers generally deliver on those specifications. Each brand offers a generally similar array of key features.
The degree of similarity between manufacturers' offerings is one reason this report does not include Ratings of furnaces by brand. The most important steps in selecting a furnace, we think, are to ensure that the unit's specifications fit your needs, that it is bought from a contractor who installs it well, and that it's adequately maintained. Our survey results help confirm that view: When we asked about the most common reasons for service calls for furnaces, about twice as many contractors we surveyed cited human error—inadequate maintenance, for example, or improper installation—as cited defective equipment.”
At Barron Heating we also believe that the most important part of buying a heating or cooling system is, well, people like us. As Consumer Reports states above, it is not the equipment that is the deciding factor on whether or not you are satisfied, it is the contractor. Take time to dig deeper into what the company you are buying from is all about.