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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Energy Star for Gas Furnaces Returns

As of February 1, 2012, Canada reintroduced Energy Star specifications for gas-fired forced air furnaces. To qualify for Energy Star status, a furnace must be thirdparty certified as meeting Version 3.0 or 4.0 requirements. Effective the same date, the new Version 3.0 Speicification now requires a minimum 95 percent AFUE and a two percent fan efficiency.


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Monday, April 02, 2012

Natural gas

High efficiency furnaces

Natural gas heating systems are rated by their Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), which describes how efficient a heating system is over the entire heating season. For example, a high efficient furnace with an AFUE of 92 per cent will provide 92 per cent of the natural gas energy to the home over the heating season.

High efficiency furnaces

A high efficiency natural gas furnace uses a secondary heat exchanger to extract energy from water vapour, which is a bi-product of burning natural gas. High efficiency natural gas furnaces have AFUE ratings of 92 per cent and above. It is estimated that you can reduce your home's annual heating bill by up to 35 per cent compared to using a conventional furnace.

High efficiency natural gas furnaces cannot use a conventional metal chimney to vent flue gases from the home. Instead, they use an approved plastic venting system to vent the lower temperature flue gases outside through the side wall or roof.

If you switch to a high efficiency natural gas furnace, you may be able to leave your existing natural gas water heater on your metal chimney as long as it vents properly and the chimney meets . Your contractor is responsible for informing you if the chimney meets the requirements. If it doesn't, you may need to modify your venting system. Another option is to install a natural gas water heater that vents out the side wall, or an electric water heater. Talk to your heating contractor about all of your options

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Monday, April 02, 2012


Electric furnaces or baseboard heaters use electric resistance heating elements to generate heat. As long as the electric heating system is located within the home, almost 100 per cent of the electricity consumed by the heating system contributes to heating the house.

If you're considering an electric furnace or baseboard heaters, you may need to upgrade your electrical service. Depending on the capacity of the electrical appliances and equipment currently installed in your home, and the size of your home, the Manitoba Electrical Code will allow a maximum of 8 to 10 kilowatts of electric heating load on a standard 100-amp service. Most homes will need more than this, so you would have to increase the size of your electrical service. This may involve changing your electrical panel or installing a new 200-amp service. A licensed electrician can tell you if any of these changes are needed.

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