What type of gas furnace should I choose - high vs. low efficiency?

4 years ago

I am about to replace our old gas furnace, and try to decide on which new one to choose - a high efficiency furnace (AFUE of about 95%), or a lower efficiency one (AFUE of 80%). Saving gas (and eventually cost) with a high efficiency furnace sounds attractive to me, but I am worried that the higher efficiency models might be more repair prone (for example, they have two heat exchangers that can break down, instead of just one in the lower efficiency furnace). What is people's experience with high efficiency gas furnace breakdown and repairs? Are the other more high-end gas furnace features like two stage gas valves and variable speed blower motors worth it? Is there a noticeable difference to the more basic furnace types with one stage gas valve and single or dual speed blower?

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