Understanding Furnace Reviews


The internet is a great source for information. But it tends to accumulate very positive and very negative things.  How often do you see a situation like this:


It takes a very good or very bad experience for us to take time from our busy lives to write up a review on the internet.


York thrives in most assessments.  Consumer Digest and Good Housekeeping, both of which base their reviews on assessing the equipment by taking it apart and understanding it’s operations, have repeatedly awarded their Consumers Digest Best Buy and Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.


Consumer Reports is the third well known review resource out there. Their methodology is slightly different.  They call consumers at random and ask them to report their experience (it’s an aptly named company).  York’s ratings have suffered within Consumer Reports.  They cite a high repair/breakdown rate.  There are a couple of relevant points to provide:

  1. York has been very proactive in addressing issues. A drain pan problem over the past several years (since corrected) has led to many hundreds of proactive repairs in Rochester alone, before a problem arises, which would lead to over-reporting York’s “repair rate.”  The focus on 2011-2016 will disproportionately represent furnaces with this drain pan issue.
  2. The quality of installation is also vital. While all furnace makes and models have both good and bad contractors installing them, this is the vital component that Boccacino Heating can control.  We can make sure to install the furnace properly, and to achieve maximum effectiveness.


FurnaceCompare.com is another reputable source of furnace reviews based on the experience of customers. They have aggregated many thousands of reviews dating back to 2006.  York is the highest rated major brand on that list.  (4th of 29 overall, and the top 3 are relatively small manufacturers)


It’s worth noting that York is thriving on the review site that asks you to assess your overall experience with a furnace (FurnaceCompare) and lags on the reviews that are based on a specific set of questions that can be prone to over-valuing certain criteria, misreporting, or answers that can lead to flawed or incomplete pictures (Consumer Reports).


This discrepancy in ratings between Consumer Reports and FurnaceCompare.com highlights the difficulty of relying on consumer ratings as the sole criteria to gauge the quality of a furnace. It’s a product that the general public doesn’t have a lot of personal experience with (one bad trip to McDonalds is erased in weeks by the next good visit, one bad furnace lasts a decade), it’s hard to compare across brands (I’ve tasted Coke & Pepsi, driven Honda & Ford, worn Nike & New Balance, but it’s difficult to effectively compare York & Trane furnaces for most people).


That brand review we showed in #1 above was for a furnace manufacturer on FurnaceCompare.  Here are the ratings for all the major brands:








American Standard


The depressing takeaway from all this, is that more homeowners stating their opinion on the internet are Very Unsatisfied than Very Satisfied with virtually every major brand. York is the only exception on this, with more Very Satisfied reviews.


Here’s why we have stuck with York over the years.

  1. They stand behind their product. Every manufacturer will have ups & downs.  Furnaces have become complex machines.  What matters is if you stand by your product if there’s an issue.  York has been exemplary in that respect.
  2. Their warranty backs this up. York is unique in the industry in that they don’t outsource their warranty to a 3rd party financial firm.  They write the warranty, and if there’s a problem, the repair comes out of their pocket.  That’s a meaningful vote of confidence.
  3. Our relationship with York is 40+ years, and we are their largest installer in Upstate New York. They value our business and take our feedback seriously and with highest priority.
  4. Because we are the largest installer in Upstate New York, we have experience with many York furnaces. We have intimate firsthand knowledge of how things are working, and service issues that arise across a large sample size.  It’s something we live with on a day to day basis.  If the newer model furnaces were having issues, we’d know.
  5. This also speaks to the power of the installer. We experienced the drain pan issue just like everyone else, which was a temporary flaw in design that was corrected.  We hope that our quality installation and duct systems prevent a good furnace from showing up as a problem child on these review sites.  That’s the difference we can provide.


It’s no fun to say so, but anyone who promises you a trouble-free furnace is selling ‘too good to be true’.  Furnaces can have long and stress-free existences if you start with a quality product, focus on good installation, and provide active maintenance over the life of the furnace.  Even then, there’s the risk of malfunction; but that approach is the best way to reduce the risk of a bad experience.  We won’t offer ‘too good to be true.’  What Boccacino Heating will offer is a 60+ year track record of quality craftsmanship and accountability, at a competitive price.  We have paired up with York for 40+ years because they’ve offered us the same over the years.