One way we can help our environment (and our wallets) is by installing in our homes a high efficiency furnace. We would all like to spend less on our monthly utility bills (especially in Canada where we spend two thirds of our household energy on heating) and if possible reduce the pollution to our environment while at the same time keeping our homes and businesses warm and comfortable during those cold winter months. If your furnace is on its last legs or even if it is working fine but it is an older less efficient model, you should consider replacing it with a high efficiency furnace with condensing technology which extract heat from the water vapour contained in combustion gases that low efficiency furnaces just send up your chimney. Natural Resources Canada estimates that condensing gas furnaces can capture and utilize up to 11% of a furnace’s total heat energy from the water vapour that would have been lost. What’s more, you have to ensure that your furnace is equipped with a high-efficiency motor. Natural Resources Canada also reports that a high-efficiency motor can help us cut our annual electricity consumption by more than 70% compared to a standard model that does not use a brushless DC furnace motor to constantly circulate the warm air.
When you decide to purchase a high efficiency furnace you should look or the ENERGY STAR symbol (we often see this symbol on literally anything which uses energy). This is a government-backed certification (endorsed by both Natural Resources Canada and the EPA in the USA) which aims to help consumers identify products and practices that reduce greenhouse emissions and other pollutants which result from poor use of energy. Of course, by purchasing these products we also reduce our utility bills, often significantly, without sacrificing performance, features and comfort. That little bit extra we pay for these products is usually recouped within a reasonable amount of time, so buying them is definitely worth it. In order for a furnace to qualify for an ENERGY STAR, it must have at least 95% AFUE, meaning that at least 95 cents out of every dollar you spend to heat your home actually goes to heating and not to the operation of your furnace. It also means that the furnace has a fan efficiency of 2% or less which means that the electrical consumption while your furnace is operational is less than 2% of the total energy needed to heat your home.
Most of you may now be wondering about the “Bottom Line”! Well, the truth is that prices for these furnaces vary depending on the manufacturer, where you live – since local competition can affect prices, the size of your home is also a factor and how easily it can be installed. It is quite important thought that you have the correct size furnace and that it is installed properly by an experienced and reputable company with certified and licensed technicians like the ones you will find at Lew Plumbing and Heating Ltd. If you are considering replacing your furnace, call us today to discuss your options and to receive a quote.