The province of Nova Scotia is no stranger to freezing temperatures. With an average of -3.6 degrees Celsius in winter and temperatures sometimes dropping into the -20s, owning a furnace that can comfortably and reliably heat your home is a necessity.
Table of contents
Our guide to buying a furnace features information on different furnace manufacturers, pricing details, tips on saving energy and information on where to save money such as government rebates.
Nova Scotia by the Numbers
Average Temp. (Summer): 16.7 degrees Celsius
Average Temp. (Winter): -3.6% degrees Celsius
Top Canadian Brands by Price Tier
Low Tier $2,400 + KeepRite, Goodman
Mid Tier – $3,000 + American Standard, Trane, Amana, Bryant, Napoleon, York, Rheem
Premium Tier – $3,400 + Lennox, Carrier
Purchasing a High-Efficiency Furnace
Many manufacturers offer varying warranty options, but, as a minimum, you should be looking out for a 10-year parts limited warranty a 20-year heat exchanger limited warranty.
Some HVAC companies will offer a lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger, and some will even offer a unit replacement warranty for a set period, which allows for a full replacement of the unit should something go wrong.
In addition, your local HVAC contractor whom you will buy the unit from and complete the installation, should also offer at least a one year guarantee on their work.
Having your brand-new furnace installed by a reputable and trustworthy HVAC contractor and/or company is crucial to the running and longevity of your unit. Also, look out for installation services that are offered with an installation guarantee.
If repairs are needed, the manufacturer’s warranty should cover the component, and the labour warranty will cover the actual service.
Government Rebates Available
Efficiency Nova Scotia offers certain rebates under their Green Heat programme should you meet the eligibility requirements.
Popular Furnace Brands in Nova Scotia
If you’re unsure of where to start looking, just checking out some popular brand’s websites can give you an idea of the different options available. Here’s a list of some of the brands that are currently popular in Nova Scotia:
Nova Scotia High-Efficiency Furnace Pricing
Although the exact price of purchasing a new high-efficiency furnace (including installation) can vary depending on model and manufacturer, our estimate of the average furnace price in Nova Scotia (including installation) is similar to the national average of roughly $3000 – $5500.
This of course depends on many factors like the model you choose, its efficiency rating, the size of your home and corresponding size/BTU output of the unit, installation factors and more.
Although this up-front cost may look daunting, many manufacturers or HVAC companies will allow for financing on a unit at purchase. Look out for local deals and promotions and be wary of interest rates when deciding whether to finance or buy upfront.
Four cost-saving tips to ensure your home is heated as efficiently as possible
1) Think about AFUE rating
A high-efficiency furnace is categorized by its AFUE rating. The AFUE rating shows how efficient a furnace is, and, the higher the number, the more efficiently it will run. This percentage also corresponds directly with how many cents in every dollar will actually go towards heating your home, so, for example, a furnace with a 95% AFUE rating means that 95% of the fuel is being converted to actual useable heat.
2) Think about other technology (single-stage, two-stage and modulating)
Although the AFUE rating is arguably the most important feature when looking to save money on your monthly bills, there’s other technology that can help along the way.
For example, consider different furnace speeds. Single-stage furnaces can only run at one speed, meaning temperature swings in your home as the furnace turns off and on when needed.
Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, have both low fire and high fire modes, meaning your furnace can maintain a lower temperature and then boost its power when it gets really cold – saving you money on your monthly costs and keeping your home evenly heated.
Most expensive, however, are modulating furnaces. These furnaces can adjust their power output by small increments meaning that they can stay in line with the thermostat with the most precision as well as save you money on your monthly bills.
Many units will also have variable-speed blowers, which are the components responsible for actually circulating the warm throughout your home. Variable-speed models, with electronically commutated motors (ECM) can precisely control air flow for more efficient operation and a more consistently-heated and comfortable home.
3) Furnace settings
Sometimes, when it’s cold outside, it’s easy to slip into the habit of making it too hot inside. Experiment with your thermostat and find the lowest temperature setting that’s the most comfortable for you.
If you find that your furnace is working so hard that everyone in your home is walking around in shorts and t-shirts and sticking to that leather sofa when it’s -20 outside, it’s probably too hot. Consider an extra sweater and a few degrees lower on your thermostat to save money on your monthly bills!
Also, some thermostats are programmable, meaning you can set different temperatures for different times of the day. When you go to sleep, reduce the temperature on your thermostat (again experiment until you’re comfortable) and you will not only improve the quality of your sleep but save money too!
Or invest in a learning or smart thermostat for even more adaptive heating, and higher savings!
4) Making your home energy efficient
There are a few things you can do during the winter to save money on your energy bills. For example, make sure your curtains are fully open during the day and shut at night. Even in the coldest of weather, the sunlight coming through can help warm your home, meaning your furnace doesn’t have to work so hard to maintain the temperature.
Also, check all windows and doors (including garage doors) for air leaks. This is often the culprit of higher than normal energy bills, as cold air entering your home and warm air escaping will inevitably make your furnace work harder! A heat-loss calculation by an HVAC professional will help you assess how air-tight your home is.
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Nova Scotia General City Information
Nova Scotia, one of the three Canadian Maritime Provinces, is home to just under a million people. Almost completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, if you’re looking for fine seafood, Nova Scotia is the place to be. Also home to an active economy, spearheaded by fisheries, forestry and energy industries, Nova Scotia is a vibrant and popular tourist destination. Supported by excellent transport links by air to the U.S, Europe, and the rest of Canada, Nova Scotia is an easily accessible destination which boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Road trips are particularly popular in Nova Scotia, so when visiting, be sure to check out some of the 3,000 lakes and the many shipwrecks, historical sights and lighthouses along the Eastern Seaboard.