Daikin Vs Rheem Modulating Gas Furnaces - Here, we compare two modulating gas furnace brands. Daikin and Rheem offer similar modulating gas furnaces. We sit them side by side and compare the similar models offered by both brands. We help you recognize the differences or similarities to make a better buying decision. These are premium model gas furnaces offered by the Daikin brand and the Rheem brand. Are they the same, or are they different? What are the differences, and how will they affect you if you buy one particular brand?

Daikin Vs Rheem Modulating Gas Furnaces

Daikin Vs Rheem Modulating Gas Furnaces

We will start by comparing the features of the two premium model furnaces. Many features are similar, including the warranties. For the warranties, a slight advantage goes to Daikin. Daikin offers a 12-year parts warranty versus the Rheem 10-year parts warranty. Many of the other components and features are similar; however, let’s explore to see who has the advantage in this match-up.


Daikin Versus Rheem Modulating Gas Furnaces Brand Feature Comparison

Daikin Versus Rheem Modulating Gas Furnaces
Compared ModelsDaikin DM97MC / DC97MCRheem Rheem Prestige® Series R98V- Series
ControlComfortNet™ Communicating SystemEcoNet Communicating System
Dual-Fuel CompatibleYes (recommended with Daikin Heat Pump)Yes (Recommended with a Rheem Heat Pump
AFUE Rating %Up to 98% AFUEUp to 98% AFUE
DiagnosticsSelf-diagnostic control board with constant memory
fault code
PlusOne® Diagnostics 7-Segment LED
IgnitionDurable Silicon Nitride igniterPlusOne® Ignition System – Direct Spark Ignition (DSI)
Energy Star Rated - May Qualify for Tax Rebates/Energy CreditsYesYes
AHRI CertifiedYesYes
Basic Parts WarrantyTwelve YearsTen Years
Heat Exchanger WarrantyLifetimeLifetime
Extended Parts & Labor Warranty AvailableAsk Dealer for Details (If Available)Ask Dealer for Details (If Available)

Control | Daikin Vs Rheem Modulating Gas Furnaces

In the first round, we look at control. Both systems have communicating controls. These communicating controls make the thermostat proprietary. What does this mean to you, the consumer? If something goes wrong with the thermostat, then you will have to depend on the dealer for a new thermostat. In many cases, these thermostats are expensive and take away an option for you, the consumer. That option is the ability to buy a thermostat online or from a hardware store.

Additionally, some communicating thermostats do not use conventional wiring. They often require fewer wires. What does this mean to you, the consumer? If you do decide to install your thermostat to get away from the proprietary thermostat, you will likely, also have to run new conventional thermostat wiring. That can be an additional hassle. Lastly, some of the modulating gas furnaces are not compatible with other types of thermostats. Therefore, you are stuck with the OEM proprietary thermostat.

Modulating Gas Furnaces | Daikin and Rheem

In the second round, we look at modulation. Modulation for gas furnaces is good for you the end consumer. It offers both added efficiency and comfort for the consumer. It does cost more for both upfront cost and in any future repairs because it is a more complex setup over other types of gas furnaces. The components and controls are more complex. If something does go wrong in the future, you will definitely need a competent and qualified HVAC technician to troubleshoot the problem.

On the plus side, the efficiency of the system offers lower energy bills through increased efficiency. Additionally, comfort for a modulating system is better over other types of furnaces that offer single and two-stage operation. It does this by reducing temperature “swing”. See the chart below to see the comparison in temperature from modulating to two-stage to single-stage gas furnaces.

Modulating Furnace temperature swing comparison

Air Source Heat Pump Tips | Dual Fuel Heating

A dual fuel heat pump is a heat pump with a gas furnace for backup heating rather than electric heat strips.

Air source heat pumps have a backup heating source. In most installations, the backup heating source is electric heat strips. Electric heat strips are very cheap to install in most cases. However, while electricity is generally regarded as 100% efficient, producing it is more costly than other heating methods. For a more efficient heat pump, consider a dual fuel heat pump, or a heat pump with a gas furnace for the backup heat source. It will be more costly to install, but your monthly bills will be reduced.

Blowers for Modulating Gas Furnaces

Next, we explore the blowers between the Daikin and Rheem modulating gas furnaces. It is necessary to have a variable-speed blower for a modulating system. The reason for this is because the airflow needs to modulate with the gas valve. That is synchronized between the blower and the gas valve. If the gas valve needs to increase the heat, then more airflow is required. If the modulating gas valve reduces the heat, the blower responds with reduced airflow.

The plus for this, both Rheem and Daikin have variable-speed blowers in their modulating gas furnaces. Any modulating gas furnace without a variable-speed blower will not function properly or efficiently.

AFUE Rating % and Diagnostics | Daikin Vs Rheem Modulating Gas Furnaces

The AFUE rating percentage is essential. It determines many things for the end consumer, including:

  • Return on Investment (ROI) term. The higher the AFUE, the quicker the ROI through reduced utility bills.
  • Qualification for tax rebates and energy credits.
  • It all comes down the energy efficiency and comfort. A modulating gas furnace gives you both of the best.

Diagnostics is another crucial factor for the end consumer. A bonus for communicating systems is they offer advanced diagnostics. The advanced diagnostics typically provide to connect the systems via WiFi or Bluetooth so a technician can see what is going on with the system. Additionally, some advanced diagnostic systems allow service records and notes to be kept for previous problem calls or adjustments made. That takes a lot of guesswork out of a technician’s job so they can more efficiently pinpoint problems if they develop.

Ignition | Daikin Vs Rheem Modulating Gas Furnaces

For a gas furnace ignition is essential. In this case, Rheem wins, in my opinion. They have a Direct Spark Ignition (DSI) system over the Daikin Hot Surface Ignition (HSI) system. What makes DSI better over HSI? Direct spark ignition lights the main burners directly. No pilot light. It is the same as HSI, except HSI uses a hot surface igniter. Historically, HSI uses either silicon carbide or a silicon nitride igniter that will glow red hot to light the gas. These igniters are fragile and prone to breaking and cracking.

The DSI uses a spark to light the main burners directly. The electrodes for the direct spark system are not as fragile and do not crack or break. That, in my opinion, gives DSI the advantage over HSI. In that regard, the Rheem modulating gas furnace beats the Daikin gas furnace.

Energy Star Rating and AHRI Rating | Daikin Vs Rheem Modulating Gas Furnaces

As mentioned above, these can give you great advantages over other furnaces that do not carry these ratings. The Energy Star rating opens doors for you with tax rebates and energy credits. The AHRI rating certifies the efficiency rating. Both ratings require the manufacturer to test their furnaces for efficiency rating certification. Furnaces without an AHRI certification rating mean the efficiency rating is questionable. The Energy Star rating gives you advantages with taxes and utility company energy credits. That will give you a better ROI.

Gas Furnace Pricing, Efficiency, and Return On Investment (ROI) Factors

Pricing Versus Efficiency Return On Investment
EfficiencyPricing Range for Initial Purchase and Subsequent Repairs outside of WarrantyROI (Return On Investment)
95% AFUE Plus$$$$$5 to 7 years depending on efficiency %*
90% to 95% AFUE$$$7 to 10 years depending on efficiency %*
80% to 90%$Over 10 years*
*Many factors depend on ROI such as house insulation, personal usage preferences, ductwork integrity, and other essential efficiency factors. The furnace AFUE rating is a high factor in the return.

Warranties | Daikin Vs Rheem Modulating Gas Furnaces

As noted above, Daikin takes a slight advantage over Rheem for the part warranty. However, for the heat exchanger warranty, both are the same. Lifetime warranties for the heat exchangers. HVAC warranties, too many, are not truly satisfying to the consumer. You can see this by reading many of the consumer reviews and opinions here at this site and other sites. The problem is, most consumers think the warranties should cover the entire cost of any repair. Unfortunately, they do not. Labor is rarely covered unless you have a part and labor warranty. Additionally, if a refrigerant leak occurs, the refrigerant is not covered.


Finally, to me, the brand makes no difference in many cases. The most important decision you can make with any type of new purchase for HVAC systems is the contractor. The quality installation is crucial. You can buy a Cadillac system but if it is not put together correctly it won’t be a Cadillac system. It won’t operate correctly or efficiently as designed in the factory. This will result in a system that is inefficient and will cause you problems over the time you use it. Check out the contractor to make sure you get the one that will do the installation correctly. Get the one who believes in the brand they install.

For a complete model technical review for Daikin and Rheem gas furnaces:

Daikin Gas Furnace Reviews | Rheem Gas Furnace Reviews

High Performance HVAC Heating & cooling

Daikin Vs Rheem Modulating Gas Furnaces