Home heating accounts for up to 61 per cent of the energy used in the average Toronto home. A furnace uses ductwork and vents to distribute warm air throughout your house. High-efficiency gas furnaces are quiet, reliable, and effective at maintaining a comfortable home, and they can reduce your energy bill by up to 45 per cent.
An ENERGY STAR® certified forced-air furnace, fueled by gas uses 6 per cent less energy, fueled by oil uses 9 per cent less energy, on average than a standard model. Space heating represents more than half of your home’s energy use and offers the most potential for reducing your energy bill.
If your furnace was installed before 1990, it’s probably a lower-efficiency model, as regulations for furnaces in Canada have been updated since then. If you upgrade to an ENERGY STAR® certified furnace, you will save money and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases you emit.
What to Look For
- Choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model.
- Check the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. Some are rated as high as 98.5 per cent, which means there’s very little wasted energy.
- High-efficiency furnaces may cost more, but you’ll save on your energy bills and reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change.
Things to Consider
- Have the unit installed by a qualified, licensed contractor.
- Ask your contractor to calculate the heat requirements of your home to make sure your furnace is the appropriate size.
- For maximum efficiency, install a smart thermostat as well.
- Gas furnaces typically last 15 to 20 years. If your existing furnace is nearing it-end-of-life, think about replacing it before winter sets in.
- Clean or replace the air filter periodically.
- Hire a licensed heating contractor to regularly inspect your furnace, which will increase the life and efficiency of your furnace.
- Consider financing your home energy improvements through the City of Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP).
- Scheduling an EnerGuide home evaluation can help you understand more about how to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
- Check with your municipality, utility or retailer to see if there are any rebates available.
$2,000 – $8,000.
Source: Natural Resources Canada