Coleman Echelon Furnace Review

My 35 year old Ruud furnace had been working ok, but it was getting pretty old and was really inefficient compared to newer models. So I decided to look into getting a new high efficiency furnace with the $1500 tax credit that is available. Here is my review:

I ended up getting a Coleman Echelon Furnace with a 97.5% efficiency rating. I was somewhat unsure about getting a Coleman at first since I was only aware of them making low end camping equipment and coolers. But after more research I found that Coleman is actually the same furnace as the York brand, just with the Coleman badge attached.

The Echelon is Coleman’s top model.  It has a fully modulating burner and blower which in theory should output the exact amount of heat required. Instead of being either off or 100% on, the Coleman can output only say 40% of the maximum heat if that is all that is needed. The Echelon costs more than their other models, but I plan on keeping it for 30 years like the old one so I may as well have a good one.

In theory Coleman’s modulation sounds great. Instead of a non-modulating furnace cycling on and off all the time, the Coleman is supposed to run more often at a lower setting. This should keep the temperature in the house at a more constant temperature. Unfortunately the furnace doesn’t really seem to do this. It might do it a little because I hear it come on at a lower speed and then ramp up after a few minutes. But it doesn’t really perform like their description says.

From what I have read the best furnace is the Rheem modulating furnace. The Rheem has a special thermostat which can tell the furnace the exact temperature of the house. If the house is at 65 degrees but the thermostat is set for 70 then the Rheem furnace knows that it will need to output a lot of heat so it outputs 100%. The Coleman only knows that it needs to be warmer so it doesn’t know how much heat to output. I probably would have gotten the Rheem, but the Rheem barely missed the efficiency cut off for the tax credit so I didn’t get it.

The Coleman furnace was installed by PPS Heating and Air Conditioning. Their install seems to be pretty good. But they couldn’t get a new thermostat wire run. They were supposed to go do some research and then call me back to get it fixed. But of course they never bothered to call back. I guess once they have their money they don’t care about doing the things that they said they would do.

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9 Responses to Coleman Echelon Furnace Review

  1. John says:

    My 10 yr old Echelon 9.T has horribly loud thumping and grinding type noise when the furnace or A/C kicks on. We noticed this while purchasing the home and demanded it be fixed before the sell. The owners called a tech out and they wrote up a formal ticket saying the whole furnace checks out OK and the sound is simply inherent to the multi stage fan motor. We let it go out of desperation to buy the house but now it wakes us up at night. Squirrel cage seems to rotate freely without making the noise.

    any suggestions?

  2. Steve says:

    I have had this furnace for six years and had the board switched 3 times due to water shorting the board. Also every year it doesn’t light the first cold wave.
    Now my service company says that it’s due to not having a tune up every year. I think Coleman is a fraud of calling these lemons.

  3. Tim says:

    I got one of these Coleman Echelon furnaces in 2005. They said it would pay for itself in savings within 2 1/2 years. NOT! Not only did it not save me loads of money as they said it would every winter for over 5 years the furnace would fail and I would have to call a repairman. And here we are at 2015 and I am still having to watch it like a hawk so we do not wake up in the morning freezing our backsides off. I ALWAYS throws a red 4 flash error.
    We got this furnace to have ease of mind as we went into retirement to not have problems.
    Man were we ever wrong. In fact, we were never informed we could have gotten a 10 year extended warranty on the unit.
    VERY poor furnace, Corporate Coleman tells you to deal with your dealer. HAH , the dealer is rinky dink also.
    We feel we got raped on this junk furnace. We would not recommend this furnace to anyone. Save you money and do a lot of research prior to changing your heat unit.
    We are with other owners of this junk furnace that a class action lawsuit should be filed against Coleman for putting out junk that is not reliable.

  4. Quinton says:

    I work for an HVAC contractor and have installed and serviced many of these Coleman furnaces. As for Bev, if you still getting fumes from your furnace and it is not your EAC then I would definitely have the Furnace checked for carbon monoxide leak. Other things you might want to get done would be to have your flue gases combustion analyzed by a professional. It would help me to know if your furnace was vented with a one or two pipe system. The Furnace cabinet it self should only have 3% max leakage at the doors but if you have a single pipe vent for exhaust only then you could be getting monoxide from the combustion air intake pipe. If your combustion air for your home is inadequate any negative pressure in your home could cause flue gas to be sucked into your home.

    As for everyone else with the echelon Coleman furnace it sounds like most of of you have had poor installs and or set up done. Most HVAC companies do not commission there furnaces after install and this can cause numerous problems. The echelon furnace has an abundance of very sensitive systems and sensors incorporated into it and needs all of them to run at peak performance. Most techs are not qualified or knowledgeable enough to work on this equipment because of it complexity. Everyone always does there research on the product but then just figure anyone can install it.

    Not every application is suitable for this product but it is easy to sell at its high price point because of the features it offers. We use this furnace for zoned heating applications because it’s features directly contribute to the requirements needed for complexity of pressure and cfm required to run individual zones together or separate. One of the key features to this furnace that no one has mentioned is that it contains a static pressure sensor and can control your fan speed based on the resistance it gets from your ducting.

    Any ways good luck to you all and Bev if you have anymore details or questions for me just post them.

  5. Bev says:

    We have had he Echelon 9.C series for 1 1/2 years now. My biggest problem with the new furnace is the fumes that are
    coming from it! Had tech out twice. Turned off the Electric Air Filter, still the fumes are coming in the house. Any ideas from anyone on this site? I am tired of being sick from the smell.

  6. Neil McRury says:

    We purchased an Echelon due to it’s reviews coupled with our requirements. Since then…a lot of trouble, pressure switches, Pressure Transducer, water,…error codes for a blocked condensate switch or roll out sensor “open”. Our installer does not deal with resedences any longer, and the closest technician is 4 – 6 hours away. I have repaired most myself, but now the blower will not kick to high…I’m thinking it’s the motherboard now…sigh!

  7. Levon says:

    Also, when you say “Modulating”. Please be aware that the Coleman Echelon has what we consider a Modulating GAS VALVE, as well as a Modulating fan motor. Rheem doesn’t make a furnace with a Modulating gas Valve, the only make the Modulating Fan motor. Big difference.

  8. Levon says:

    The “special Thermostat” can be installed on your Coleman Echelon furnace as well. If it is not preforming as it should, it could be at fault to improper set-up. If the installing contractor failed to customize the set-up to your home’s needs, this could be a problem. The Coleman Echelon was considered the best Gas furnace on the market according to Consumer digest report in 2010.

  9. Hyram says:

    But you didn’t comment on the cost of the furnace unit or the installation cost had you not received the tax credit

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