Are you considering buying a new furnace and narrowing your choices between a Lennox EL296E and EL296V? Both have almost the same specs, so what are the differences between the two? We did some research, and here's what we found out.
The biggest difference between the Lennox EL296E and EL296V furnaces is their motor. The Lennox EL296E has a Power Saver™ constant torque motor, while the EL296V has a variable speed motor.
Read on below to learn more about these motor types. We'll also explain how each furnace differs in performance. With that said, let's dive right in!
Lennox EL296E Vs. Lennox EL296V Furnace
Lennox furnaces are widely known for their energy efficiency and quiet operations. They currently have three product category lineups for their furnaces, and these are:
- Elite Series
- Merit Series
- Dave Lennox Signature Collection
We will focus on the first one, the Elite series. Products under this category are known for their high efficiency and low emission performance.
Differences Between The Lennox EL296E And EL396V
The main difference between the Lennox EL296E and EL296V is in the motor. The EL296E has a Power Saver™ constant torque motor, and the EL296V has a variable speed motor.
Both motors are highly efficient, so you can't go wrong with whichever you prefer. However, your choice should depend on what you want to get out of your furnace.
Another notable difference is that the EL296V has enhanced humidity control while the EL296E doesn't.
Power Saver™ Constant Torque Motor
Lennox EL296E's Power Saver™, a constant torque motor, works like a standard motor but with higher efficiency. This type of motor can adjust its airflow as the conditions in the air duct change.
For instance, if the air in the ducts gets restricted due to dirty filters, the system's static pressure will automatically increase, and the airspeed changes accordingly. It equals less use of energy.
This feature makes the system less prone to overheating or shutting down. To avoid overheating, change filters regularly as per product recommendations.
Variable Speed Motor
The EL296V has a variable-speed motor. This type of motor is the premium option in many HVAC systems because of its "smart" feature and high efficiency.
Variable speed motors allow their system to run at a very low speed and then increase its capacity to 100%. Its other benefits include quiet operations, humidity control, air filtration, and huge savings on your bills.
Here's a video on how a variable speed blower fan works from YouTube:
Let's Compare These Two Systems
Contact torque motors have set speeds depending on the demands of the thermostat.
On the other hand, variable speed motors can automatically fluctuate between low to high speeds because of their brushless design.
It can sense changes in conditions of the duct system, such as a dirty filter, making it highly efficient.
Thus, the EL296V is ideal if you live in an area with varying, humid, and sticky weather. The system can adjust its fan speed according to the varying environmental conditions.
The EL296E would be ideal for those living in areas with constant hot or cold weather conditions.
To further understand how these motors work, check out this highly informational comparison video below of the three motors used in the HVAC industry.
Energy Efficiency In A Furnace
What does the term "efficiency" mean in furnaces? This is the measure of fuel input versus energy output.
Standard efficiency furnaces convert only about 80% of their fuel to heat. High-efficiency furnaces use less fuel because it converts 90% up to 98% of their fuel to heat energy.
Similarities Between These Two Furnaces
We covered the differences above, but you might be wondering too about the similarities between the two products.
To give you a rundown, they both have these listed features:
- 96% AFUE energy efficiency
- Energy Star certified
- Two-stage heating
- Fully-insulated cabinets for quiet operations
- Sealed blower compartment
- Air filter and humidifier compatible
- Ultra-low continuous fan
- Dual-fuel capable
- SureLight Silicon Nitride ignition
- Duralok Plus primary heat exchanger
- Compatible with natural gas or propane
- Lifetime limited warranty on the heat exchanger
- Five-year limited warranty on parts
Both models are two-stage gas furnaces. Two-stage heating enables the unit to release two levels of heat output at different intensities.
This means you can turn it to high heat on freezing winter days and low heat on mildly cold weather. Most furnaces only have one heat level output, so this high-efficiency feature provides more comfort.
Lennox EL296E Specs
The Lennox EL296E is a two-stage furnace with Power Saver technology. It has a heat output of two intensities for better comfort and energy efficiency.
It has a dual fuel capacity which means it can alternate between electricity and gas when paired with a heat pump.
The EL296E can give you annual savings on your bill by up to 37%. It can save you hundreds of dollars that can be spent on more important things.
Lennox EL296V Specs
The Lennox EL296V is a variable-speed, two-stage gas furnace. This means that airflow will remain consistent, and you won't get the typical blasts of air upon system startup.
Just like the EL296E, this also has a 96% AFUE, which means for every dollar you spend on fuel, you are assured that 96 cents is used up efficiently for heating and does not go to waste.
During the hottest time of the year, the EL296V's variable speed motor provides a more controlled airflow, increasing the efficiency of any outside cooling unit.
Is The Lennox EL296V Quiet?
The Lennox EL296V has a fully insulated cabinet comprised of sound-absorbing materials. It also has a sealed combustion chamber.
These features, together with its extremely low continuous fan speed, make it one of the quietest furnaces on the market.
Is A High-Efficiency Furnace Worth The Money?
A high-efficiency furnace can cost thousands of dollars more than standard-efficiency furnaces.
To give you an idea, here are the estimated installed cost of the high-efficiency (AFUE 90% or higher) furnaces:
- Lennox Elite EL296E: $6,200 - $9,995
- Lennox Elite EL296V: $6,550 - $10,700
Here are the prices of standard efficiency (AFUE 80%) furnaces:
- Merit ML180E: $3,400 - $5,900
- Merit ML180V: $4,550 - $6,200
Depending on the brand and model, the price range when installed can be from several hundred to thousands of dollars. Is it worth the extra money?
According to reviews on the Lennox website, winter electric bills can save you hundreds of dollars.
It can also save you money on natural gas because it is more fuel efficient. As fuel costs continue to rise, this type of savings can be significant.
While the initial installation cost can be overwhelming, the yearly energy savings will be more practical in the long run once you compute the cumulative cost.
On a side note, it is difficult to check the actual price of Lennox products because it is not indicated on their website. Sales and pricing are handled by their dealers and distributors.
If you need more information on pricing, check out a local Lennox dealer near you.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Lennox Furnace?
A Lennox furnace has a lifespan of around 15 to 20 years.
However, its reliability and longevity will depend highly on whether it is properly maintained and the harsh weather in which it is located.
Fortunately, Lennox also provides generous and flexible warranties. For the Elite Series products, here's what you can get:
- Five years warranty on covered components
- Ten years warranty on the compressor
- 20 years or Limited Lifetime warranty on heat exchanger (depends on the furnace model)
Lennox gives the option to extend Basic Limited Warranty to an Extended Limited Warranty for their Elite Series products. Further details can be viewed on their Warranty Your Way page.
To Finish It Up
The Lennox EL296E's constant torque motor and the EL296V's variable speed motor are both highly efficient. Whichever you choose, you're sure to get only the best performance from a Lennox product.
Thank you very much for reading through. We hope our discussion was able to help you understand the motors and functions of the two Lennox furnaces.
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