Purchasing a High-Efficiency Furnace
Efficiency Rating + ENERGY STAR®
When purchasing a new furnace, keep your eye out for the efficiency rating. The efficiency rating is also known as the AFUE percentage, and for a high-efficiency furnace, you need to look no lower than 90%. Put simply, the AFUE percentage is how many cents in every dollar goes towards heating your home. So, over time, the higher your rating, the more money you will save! Also look out for the ENERGY STAR rating, which shows that the furnace has undergone strict testing by Natural Resources Canada proving its efficiency.
The BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating is the heating power of your furnace. Consider having your home evaluated by a qualified HVAC contractor – providing the specifications of your home is usually enough. Most manufacturers offer their furnaces with different BTU ratings to cover most sizes and shapes of home!
Four Tips To Getting The Most Out Of Your Furnace
If you’ve spent your money and time on a new furnace, you want to ensure you take good care of it. Here’s a handy checklist for making sure your furnace stays running at its full capacity, keeping you warm during the winter and hopefully keeping those technicians away! Remember, before doing any maintenance, make sure your furnace is off!
- Inspect and change your air filter regularly – ENERGY STAR suggests that to maintain your furnace properly, you need to check your filter every month. Keeping your furnace running efficiently is even more critical during the winter months when the furnace is working its hardest! If your filter looks dirty, don’t delay in changing it – a dirty filter will force your furnace to work harder and less efficiently. You should also consider changing your filter every three months whether it looks dirty or not.
- Keep the vents and ducts in your home as clean as possible – Much like having a dirty filter, your furnace is going to have to work harder if the ducts and vents that allow the warm air to travel around and enter your home are dirty. For example, ducts can gather dust and pet dander, so you should consider having a professional duct cleaning every three to five years. In the meantime, dust those vents yourself, and if you can access your duct-work try and hoover the inside every so often!
- Inspect the blower assembly – If you remove the panels that cover the filter you should see the blower. If any dust or dirt has got through the filter, it may be sitting on the blower which can cause your furnace to work harder in the long-run. If it looks dusty or dirty, contact your HVAC contractor to clean the unit. If you’re confident in your abilities to maintain your furnace system and understand how to remove certain parts safely, then go ahead and clean it yourself.
- Don’t skip on scheduled maintenance – When having your furnace installed, some companies will offer a maintenance plan, or scheduled maintenance visits as part of the deal. You may also be interested in purchasing additional visits on a maintenance plan, if not included in the original price, as a tune-up and a check-up by a professional HVAC contractor is a great way of keeping your furnace running smoothly!
Before you purchase a furnace, be sure to check out the various warranty options offered by different manufacturers. A good warranty is around ten years for parts and a lifetime warranty for the heat exchanger. Also, consider the installation of your furnace – be sure to ask your HVAC company whether they guarantee the installation, so you’re covered if any problems should arise.
Vancouver has a wealth of HVAC companies. Try not to be overwhelmed by all the choices and use this to your advantage by searching around for specific deals that are suited to your needs.
Currently, our Vancouver Certified Partner, Coleman Heating is offering a promo of NO GST! (available until Oct 31st)
Government Rebates Available
- BC Hydro Aboriginal Upgrade Program – The BC Hydro Aboriginal Upgrade Program helps Aboriginal community members and non-profit housing providers upgrade to various residential energy-consuming appliances, including heating and cooling systems. To qualify, you need to be a FortisBC member and not reside in a mobile home. Find out more here.
- BC Hydro Low-Income Program – Low-income residents that meet the qualifying criteria are entitled to receive a free home energy assessment and potentially a free energy-efficient home furnace! Check out more about this rebate program and how to qualify here.
To keep up to date with changes to rebate programs and new offers and incentives, keep an eye on FortisBC, and the BC Hydro websites.
Popular Furnace Brands
Residents of Vancouver, British Columbia, are buying units by:
- American Standard