Purchasing a High-Efficiency Furnace
Saskatoon can be dry year-round and even more so in the winter. Cold air just doesn’t hold as much moisture as warm air. Dry winters can leave residents feeling downright uncomfortable. Those with asthma or other respiratory problems can find the winters especially hard. There’s even some argument that low humidity increases your chances of becoming ill, as well. You might also notice wood floors, cabinetry and furniture in your home is more prone to cracking without the correct level of humidity.
A high-efficiency furnace with a humidity control feature or add-on can make all the difference to increasing comfort indoors. Many home heating systems now allow you to control the humidity level of your home from the thermostat, independently of the temperature.
But, how do you know what humidity level to set? Health Canada recommends a home humidity level of 30% – 50%. If your home is new, consider setting your humidity level for 35%, to allow for freshly poured concrete to cure and to compensate for the release of moisture from new wood products.
Outside Temperature/Recommended House Humidity
-20°C to -10°C/20%
-10°C to 0°C/25%
0°C to +10°C/35%
+10°C and above/ 40%
Summer months/ Off
Not sure if the humidity level is appropriate in your home? The first thing to check is your windows. If you notice an excess of moisture or fog on the inside of your windows, your humidifier may be set too high. You may also find that your home feels musty or damp.
Some examples of humidity control systems are:
- Value: GOODMAN
Goodman offers Auto-Comfort and enhanced dehumidification modes on most of its available models. They also have a line of humidifying and dehumidifying units as a part of their Clean Comfort Indoor Air Essentials line.
- Mid-range: PAYNE
The multi-stage blower enhances the dehumidification of its high-efficiency furnace models and most units are compatible with air purifiers and humidifiers.
- Premium: LENNOX
The Lennox Healthy Climate® humidifier or the Humiditrol® whole-home dehumidification system works to add moisture in the winter and remove moisture in the summer, as needed for maximum home comfort.
Warranty And Servicing
All high-efficiency furnaces come with some kind of warranty guaranteeing against unit failure and a limited warranty for parts. No two warranties are created equal, however.
Brands like Bryant and Carrier offer no distinction between models or tiers. They offer the same warranty coverage for all of their products. Because the brands offer a limited lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger, an expensive repair, however, this warranty is still considered a good deal by many buyers.
More comprehensive warranties are offered by brands like Lennox and ComfortMaker. Lennox warranties can range from 5 years to the life of your unit. They also offer the option to invest in extended warranties. Depending on the model, ComfortMaker offers a limited 20-year or lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger and a limited 10-year warranty on parts, as well as a 1-, 5- or 10- year limited No Hassle Unit Replacement™.
Depending on your HVAC provider, they might also provide a warranty and/or a guarantee of their installation and services.
When hiring a contractor or investing in a maintenance plan, check to make sure that the company has 24/7 emergency availability. You don’t want to be stuck in an increasingly cold home over the weekend.
Excelsior Mechanical: $500 off a new furnace
FurnaceFinancing.ca: Affordable payments on your new high-efficiency furnace and don’t pay anything for the first 6 months
Reliance Gregg’s: Get $1,200 in savings on a featured furnace
Government Rebates Available
The ENERGY STAR® Loan Program: Offers Prime +2% (OAC) financing on a loan for an ENERGY STAR certified furnaces (95% AFUE or higher) with a brushless DC motor. This program is available through SaskEnergy Network Members.
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