Money Saving Tips
What to Look For
With as much as 60% of your annual energy bill going towards heating and cooling your home, it makes sense to invest in energy-efficient central heating and cooling systems.
Equipment sizing: It is important that your system is sized correctly. Over-sized systems will use more energy and provide less comfort. Your contractor should perform a heat loss/gain calculation that considers such things as the age of the home, square footage and home’s exposure to the sun.
ENERGY STAR qualified equipment: It has the same features as standard products but also incorporates energysaving technology. They can save up to 15% a year on your heating and cooling costs.
Programmable thermostat: Maximize your energy savings by having your participating contractor help you program your heating and cooling system for different times of the day.
- Over time, a more efficient system’s lower operating cost will more than pay for the higher upfront cost.
- Review your options. When comparing quotes, look at the type of equipment as well as the price.
Warranty: Ask about the manufacturer’s warranty.
Maintenance: Without regular service, heating and cooling systems waste energy and are more likely to break down. Ask
your contractor about annual servicing and also what maintenance you should perform (for example, replacing filters).
Heating System Specific:
Consider the system’s Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)
rating: Rates consumption efficiency.
- Minimum available in Canada is 90% efficiency (natural gas).
- High-efficiency furnaces have 92–97% efficiency (natural gas).
Consider furnaces with variable-speed motors and/or twostage
- Variable-speed furnace: Purchasing high-efficiency equipment with an electronically commutated motor (ECM) qualifies for the HEATING & COOLING INCENTIVE and can reduce the electrical consumption of the furnace motor by as much as 60% over a standard motor.
- Two-stage furnace: Operates at low fire or high fire. The longer run periods with low fire allow for fewer start/stop cycles, less drafts and very little temperature variance.
Cooling System Specific:
Split systems are most commonly found in the home. These consist
of an outdoor condenser, indoor evaporator coil and blower motor.
Consider the following:
Evaporator/Condenser: The evaporator is located inside your furnace
and the condenser is the unit that is located outside the home. Both units
need to be properly matched to work together and both should be replaced
at the same time for maximum efficiency.
Air ducts: Ensure your contractor inspects the ducts for leakage, damage,
under-sizing and compatibility with your new system. Up to 30% of your
system’s efficiency is a result of proper duct work.
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER): Measures how efficiently a cooling system will operate over a season.
- Energy Efficiency Rating (EER): Measures how efficiently a cooling system will operate when the outdoor temperature is at a specific level (32o Celsius).
A minimum SEER of 14.5 and minimum EER of 12.0 is required to meet the ENERGY STAR ratings to qualify for
the HEATING & COOLING INCENTIVE.