Table of contents
- What is the ENERGY STAR Program?
- The ENERGY STAR Most Efficient Designation
- What ENERGY STAR Means for Canadian Consumers
- Are ENERGY STAR Products Worth the Investment?
- The Many Benefits of ENERGY STAR Furnaces and Air Conditioners
- How to Compare Furnaces and Air Conditioners for Efficiency
- Qualification Requirements for ENERGY STAR Certification
- ENERGY STAR Furnaces on the Market in Canada
- ENERGY STAR Air Conditioners on the Market in Canada
- ENERGY STAR Certified Thermostats
Have you ever noticed the ENERGY STAR® logo on things like lightbulbs, appliances, and other household items and wondered what it was all about?
The ENERGY STAR logo indicates that the product in question meets certain energy-efficiency standards. As a homeowner or renter, that means you’ll use less energy running it, so you’ll save more money on power bills.
If you want more information about this program, then this guide will tell you what you need to know to make informed decisions with your money when it comes time to buy new HVAC equipment like furnaces and air conditioners.
We’ll give you a brief history of ENERGY STAR, talk about certification criteria, go over the benefits of the program and certified products, discuss how it relates to heating and cooling systems, and answer some frequently asked questions.
Did you know! FurnacePrices.ca is a proud participant of the program as an advocate promoting environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient heating & cooling solutions for Canadians.
What is the ENERGY STAR Program?
ENERGY STAR is a voluntary certification and labelling program that was created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 1992. The idea was to help consumers identify energy-efficient products, making it easier for people to make environmentally responsible choices.
The overall aim of the ENERGY STAR program was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging and facilitating the purchase of more efficient products.
Initially, the program only certified office equipment like computers and monitors, but since then it has grown to incorporate:
- A broader range of appliances and electronics
- Household items
- Heating and cooling systems like furnaces and air conditioners
- Factories, plants, and manufacturing facilities
In 2001, Canada became an international partner of the ENERGY STAR program after an agreement was made between the EPA and Natural Resources Canada.
Manufacturers that want certification for their products in Canada must meet the strict eligibility requirements set by Natural Resources Canada.
The full list of certified products is available on the Natural Resources Canada website.
The ENERGY STAR Most Efficient Designation
On an annual basis, ENERGY STAR evaluates all the products that have qualified for certification that year. They find the top-performing and most efficient products in each category and designate those as the Most Efficient for that year.
Learn about the difference between ENERGY STAR and EnerGuide here
What ENERGY STAR Means for Canadian Consumers
Over 1,000 businesses in Canada have signed agreements with Natural Resources Canada to participate in the ENERGY STAR program. As a consumer, you know that companies participating in the program are working hard to create products that are more efficient and more environmentally responsible.
Natural Resources Canada also work to educate and inform consumers about how and why to buy these kinds of products, including through various advocacy organizations, such as FurnacePrices.ca, which is a participant.
ENERGY STAR has helped millions of consumers and businesses reduce their impact on the environment and save billions of dollars in energy costs.
Are ENERGY STAR Products Worth the Investment?
Qualifying products tend to cost more than comparable ones that aren’t certified. For one thing, there’s a cost to participate in the program, and this can get passed on to consumers.
More importantly, these products often require improved designs and materials, and while this increases the cost of production, it also improves performance and efficiency.
For consumers, ENERGY STAR products are usually worth the additional price thanks to the numerous advantages that come with certification, which include:
- Energy and cost savings
- Efficiency guarantees
- Environmental benefits
- Additional rebates
The Many Benefits for Furnaces and Air Conditioners
Energy Savings on Heating and Cooling Bills
ENERGY STAR furnaces and air conditioners are more efficient, and this means they cost less to operate. Certified gas furnaces, for example, use at least 6 percent less fuel than non-certified models.
Month after month and year after year, you’ll have lower energy bills compared to when you were running your older and less efficient heating and cooling systems.
Guaranteed Efficiency and Performance
Another benefit of buying an ENERGY STAR furnace or air conditioner is knowing the unit meets an efficiency minimum, that the model is as efficient as advertised, and that it’s among the most efficient in its category.
When you buy a certified heating or cooling system, you can expect it to perform at the efficiency level advertised. In short, it’s extra assurance that your unit will save you money over the long term.
It should be mentioned that efficiency ratings depend on certain conditions, including that the unit is properly sized for your home, that it’s installed properly, and that it’s adequately maintained.
Combating Climate Change
Another bonus of choosing an ENERGY STAR furnace or air conditioner is that you’ll be doing your part to help fight climate change by reducing carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases.
Finally, if you decide to purchase a high-efficiency ENERGY STAR furnace or air conditioner, there are often additional rebates available that non-certified models don’t qualify for.
This can help offset the additional cost of the unit. Rebates are often available through:
- The federal, provincial, and municipal government
- Banks and financial institutions
- Utility companies
- Local HVAC distributors
- Energy organizations
- Furnace and air conditioner manufacturers
How to Compare Furnaces and Air Conditioners for Efficiency
The efficiency of furnaces and air conditioners is measured differently, and being familiar with the measurements will help you choose the right model when it’s time for an upgrade.
- AFUE Ratings for Furnaces: Furnace efficiency is measured with AFUE, which stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. It measures how much fuel a furnace consumes versus how much of that fuel gets converted into heat. AFUE is a percentage, and the higher the percentage, the more efficient the furnace. For example, a furnace with an AFUE of 98 percent converts 98 percent of fuel into heat, so it only wastes 2 percent of the fuel it uses.
- SEER Ratings for Air Conditioners: Air conditioner efficiency is measured with SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio. This similarly measures how much fuel the unit consumes versus how much cooling it produces. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the air conditioner. Modern air conditioners have SEER ratings between 13 and 30, but in Canada, where summers are milder, the sweet spot between price and efficiency is generally between 16 and 18.
Qualification Requirements for ENERGY STAR Certification
ENERGY STAR has detailed guidelines for companies that want to apply to have their products certified and labelled under the program.
In general, the qualifying traits for certification include:
- Furnaces in Canada must have a minimum AFUE of 95 percent
- Air conditioners must have a SEER of at least 15
- The furnace or air conditioner must perform the same or better than others in its class
- Furnaces must be covered by a limited warranty from the manufacturer
- Heating and cooling units must be rigorously tested to ensure performance
In addition to these broad guidelines, Natural Resources Canada continuously monitors and revises their recommendations and eligibility criteria for each class of product. This is to ensure the guidelines stay current as technology progresses, meaning ENERGY STAR rated products are always some of the most efficient available.
ENERGY STAR Furnaces on the Market in Canada
|Goodman||GMVM97||98||Modulating gas valve with variable-speed blower motor and secondary heat exchanger|
|Goodman||GCVM97||97||Modulating with variable-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Goodman||GMVC96/GCVC96||96||Two-stage gas valve with variable-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Goodman||GMEC96/GCEC96||96||Two-stage with multi-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Goodman||GMVS96-U/GMES96-U||96||Single-stage gas valve with multi-speed blower, secondary heat exchanger, and ultra-low nitrogen oxide emissions|
|Goodman||GMES96||96||Single-stage with multi-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Lennox||SLP99V||99||Modulating with variable-speed blower; ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2020|
|Lennox||SLP98V||98.7||Modulating with variable-speed blower; ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2018|
|Lennox||SL297NV||97.5||Modulating with variable-speed blower and ultra-low NOx|
|Lennox||EL296E||96||Two-stage with constant torque motor|
|Lennox||EL296V/ML296V||96||Two-stage with variable-speed motor|
|Lennox||EL196E/ML196E||96||Single-stage with constant torque motor|
|Lennox||EL195E||95||Single-stage with constant torque motor|
|Lennox||EL195NE||95||Single-stage with ultra-low NOx|
|Carrier||59MN7A||98.5||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Carrier||59TN6||96.7||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Carrier||59TP6||96.5||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Carrier||59SC5||96.5||Single-stage with multi-speed blower|
|Amana||AMVM97||98||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Amana||ACVM97||97||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Amana||AMVC96/ACVC96||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower and continuous circulation|
|Amana||AMVS96-U||96||Single-stage with variable-speed blower and ultra-low NOx|
|Amana||AMEC96/ACEC96||96||Two-stage with multi-speed blower|
|Amana||AMES96||96||Single-stage with multi-speed blower|
|Amana||AMES96 – U||96||Single-stage with multi-speed blower and ultra-low NOx|
|Trane||XC95M||97.3||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Trane||S9V2-VS||97||Two-stage with variable-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Trane||S9V2||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Trane||S9X2||96||Two-stage with CTM blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Trane||S9X1||96||Single-stage with ECM blower|
|Keeprite||G97CMN||98||Modulating with variable-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Keeprite||G96CTN||96.7||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Keeprite||G96VTN||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Bryant||987M||98.3||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Bryant||986T||96.7||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Bryant||926T||96.5||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Bryant||925S||96.2||Single-stage with multi-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Bryant||915S||96.5||Single-stage with PSC blower|
|Napoleon||9600Q||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Rheem||R98V||98.7||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Rheem||R96V||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Rheem||R95T||95||Single-stage with ECM blower|
|Rheem||R97V||97||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Rheem||R96T||96||Two-stage with constant torque ECM blower|
|Ruud||U98V||98||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Ruud||U97V||97||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Ruud||U96V||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Ruud||R96T||96||Two-stage with multi-speed blower|
|Ruud||R95T||95||Single-stage with ECM blower|
|York||YP9C||98||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|York||TM9V/TM9Y||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|York||TL9E||95||Single-stage with ECM blower and ultra-low NOx|
|York||TM9E||95||Single-stage with five-speed blower|
|American Standard||Platinum 95||97.3||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|American Standard||S9V2-VS||97||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|American Standard||S9V2/S9X2||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|American Standard||S9X1||96||Single-stage with constant torque ECM blower|
|Armstrong Air||A97MV||97||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Armstrong Air||A962V||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Armstrong Air||A962E||96||Two-stage with constant torque PSC motor|
|Armstrong Air||A951E||95||Single-stage with constant torque PSC motor|
|Heil||G97CMN||98||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Heil||G96CTN||96.7||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Heil||G96VTN||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Daikin||DM97MC||98||Modulating with variable-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger; ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2020|
|Daikin||DC97MC||97||Modulating with variable-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger; ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2020|
|Daikin||DM96VE||96||Two-stage with multi-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Daikin||DM96SC-U||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower and ultra-low NOx|
|Daikin||DM96VC/DC96VC||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Daikin||DC96VE||96||Two-stage with multi-speed blower|
|Daikin||DM96SE-U||96||Single-stage with multi-speed blower, secondary heat exchanger, and ultra-low NOX|
|Daikin||DC96SE||96||Single-stage with multi-speed blower, secondary heat exchanger, and low NOx|
|Daikin||DM96SE||96||Single-stage with multi-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Luxaire||LP9C||98||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Luxaire||TM9V/TM9Y||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Luxaire||TL9E||95||Single-stage with ECM blower and ultra-low NOx|
|Luxaire||TM9E||95||Single-stage with ECM blower|
|Tempstar||F97CMN||98||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Tempstar||F96CTN||96.7||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Tempstar||F96VTN||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Payne||PG96VAT||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower|
|Payne||PG95ESA||96||Single-stage with five-speed ECM blower|
|Payne||PG95XAT||95.5||Two-stage with multi-speed blower|
|Comfortmaker||G97CMN||98||Modulating with variable-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Comfortmaker||G96CTN||96.7||Two-stage with variable-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Comfortmaker||G96VTN||96||Two-stage with variable-speed blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Coleman||CP9C||98||Modulating with variable-speed blower|
|Coleman||TM9V/TM9Y||96||Two-stage with ECM blower and secondary heat exchanger|
|Coleman||TL9E||95||Single-stage with ECM blower and ultra-low NOx|
|Coleman||TM9E||95||Single-stage with ECM blower and secondary heat exchanger|
Note that the available models may change at any time as manufacturers update models, release new ones and discontinue old ones.
ENERGY STAR Air Conditioners on the Market in Canada
|Comfortmaker, KeepRite, and Tempstar||CVA9/TVA9||19||Variable-speed compressor with variable-speed fan motor|
|Comfortmaker, KeepRite, and Tempstar||CCA7/TCA7||17||Two-stage compressor with two-speed fan|
|Comfortmaker, KeepRite, and Tempstar||CSA6/TSA6||16||Single-stage compressor with single-speed fan|
|Comfortmaker, KeepRite, and Tempstar||N4A7||17||Two-stage with two-speed fan|
|Comfortmaker, KeepRite, and Tempstar||N4A6||17||Single-stage scroll compressor with single-speed fan|
|Comfortmaker, KeepRite, and Tempstar||NXA6||16||Single-stage scroll with single-speed fan|
|York||YXV||21||Variable-speed scroll with QuietDrive fan; ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2018|
|York||YXT||19.75||Two-stage scroll with QuietDrive fan|
|Amana||AVXC20||24.5||Variable-speed with variable-speed ECM blower and inverter motor; ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2020|
|Amana||ASXC18||19||Two-stage with two-speed ECM fan|
|Amana||ASXC16||17||Two-stage with two-speed fan|
|Amana||ASX16||16||Single-stage with single-speed fan|
|Goodman||GSXC18||19||Two-stage scroll with two-speed ECM fan|
|Goodman||GSXC16||16||Two-stage scroll with two-speed fan|
|Goodman||GSX16||16||Single-stage with single-speed fan|
|Trane||XL18i||18||Two-stage with variable-speed fan|
|Trane||XL16i||16.5||Single-stage with single-speed fan|
|Carrier||24VNA0||20.5||Variable-speed; ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2019|
|Carrier||24ANB1||19||Two-stage with variable-speed fan|
|Carrier||24VNA9||19||Variable-speed with variable-speed fan|
|Lennox||XC25||26||Variable-speed; ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2020|
|Lennox||XC20||20||Variable-speed; ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2020|
|American Standard||Gold 17||18||Two-stage|
|American Standard||Silver 16||17||Single-stage|
|American Standard||Silver 14||16||Single-stage|
|Bryant||186CNV||26||Variable-speed with variable-speed fan; ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2020|
|Bryant||180C||20.5||Variable-speed with variable-speed fan; ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2019|
|Bryant||187B/187BNC/127A||17||Two-stage with PSC fan|
|Coleman And Luxaire||AC21/AL21||20||Variable-speed; ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2020|
|Coleman And Luxaire||CC17/TC17||17||Two-stage|
|Coleman And Luxaire||CC7/TC7||17||Single-stage|
|Payne||PA17NA||17||Two-stage scroll with single-speed fan|
|Payne||PA16NA/PA16NW||17||Single-stage scroll with single-speed fan|
|Rheem and Ruud||RA20/ UA20||20.5||Variable-speed|
|Rheem and Ruud||RA17/ UA17||17||Two-stage scroll|
|Rheem and Ruud||RA16/RA14**W/RA14||16||Single-stage|
|Rheem and Ruud||RA13||15.5||Single-stage scroll|
Note that the available models may change at any time as manufacturers update models, release new ones and discontinue old ones.
ENERGY STAR Certified Thermostats
Many HVAC manufacturers also make smart thermostats to pair with their heating and cooling systems, and smart thermostats are eligible for ENERGY STAR certification as well.
An ENERGY STAR smart thermostat is a great companion to a certified furnace and air conditioner, ensuring that you make the most of your high-efficiency HVAC system and save as much as possible on your monthly bills.
In fact, ENERGY STAR estimates you could save an additional 8 percent on your energy bills by installing a certified smart thermostat, and that works out to roughly $50 in annual savings.
How do I know if an ENERGY STAR product includes a rebate or incentive?
The Government of Canada’s website includes a searchable directory of rebates and incentives for ENERGY STAR products. You can use this tool to search by sector, keyword, location, or source (such as municipal, federal, or provincial).
You can also check out our heating and cooling rebates page to see the various incentives available in each province, including utility company rebates.
Is it only gas furnaces that are ENERGY STAR qualified?
No. Many major manufacturers have designed energy efficient propane furnaces, which are particularly useful for people who don’t have access to a gas pipeline. Although the majority of ENERGY STAR certified furnaces are gas or propane, there are also some certified oil units available.
What’s the incentive for my business to seek ENERGY STAR certification for our products?
ENERGY STAR products are clearly labelled for consumers, and this will make your customers happy and make it easier for them to make purchasing decisions.
Further, your organization will be publicly committed to protecting the environment through your dedication to improving energy efficiency.
Finally, your business will gain access to partner-only informational seminars, events, and marketing materials.