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More efficient heating with these handy tips and resources.
With leaves falling and temperatures dropping, it’s time to rev up your home heating. Since your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system accounts for almost two-thirds of your home’s energy consumption, you’ll want to make the most of your home heating budget. Keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape with these five tips from our energy experts.
Don’t let your HVAC system work overtime to compensate for poor insulation or drafty windows. If your home’s thermal envelope — the exterior barrier that keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer — is compromised, seal in the heat with insulation, caulking and draft-proofing.
For maximum efficiency, clean your heating and cooling system every three to five years. Turn off the power on your HVAC. Unscrew the air duct covers from walls, floors and ceilings, and clean the grates with a brush. Use the accessories hose on your vacuum to give your ducts a thorough cleaning.
Clogged furnace filters diminish your home’s air quality. Plus, they consume more energy and force the system to work harder. Check the furnace filters monthly, and remember to clean or replace them every 90 days, depending on whether they’re disposable or permanent.
Clanging, knocking or popping sounds may be signs of worn-out or loose parts in your heating system. If you hear any unusual noises from your furnace, it may be time for repairs. Call a certified HVAC technician to inspect your system.
Once a year, invest in a tune-up with a qualified HVAC technician to ensure your system is running at optimal efficiency. Preventative maintenance will help spot potential issues before they become bigger problems.
To find a qualified licensed technician, call the Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) at 1-877-467-4724 or check out the
contractor locator portal.
Schedule servicing every fall to keep your heating system running safely and efficiently.
All systems that burn fuel give off gases, so put a fresh battery in your carbon monoxide detector.
Keep the area around your furnace clear and keep flammable items well away.
Do this to improve air quality and airflow. Refer to your owner’s manual to see how often you should do this.
Add an electric water heater blanket to insulate and reduce energy loss by up to 40 per cent.
Set your thermostat to 21°C when you are at home. Lower it when you are sleeping (18°C) or away from home (16°C).
Set your ceiling fan to spin clockwise to circulate the hot air downwards.
Caulk, seal or weatherstrip drafts around doors and windows to reduce heating costs up to 30 per cent.
About 20 per cent of your airflow is lost to leaky or disconnected ducts. Seal holes and cracks with mastic sealant or foil tape (avoid “duct" tape as it does not last long).
Keep humidity levels at 30 per cent to 40 per cent to keep your home feeling warmer and more comfortable.
The air in your home is too dry or dusty
Your system is more than 15 years old
It’s unusually noisy
You need major parts replaced
Rooms served by the furnace are chilly
Ask friends and neighbours to recommend a local contractor
Do your research and read online reviews
Get at least three quotes in writing and compare estimates
Ask for an inspection of your current system
To protect yourself, ensure your contractor has general liability insurance
Ask about services post-installation, including annual servicing and maintenance
Don't know where to start? Contact the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute or
consult their list of qualified contractors.
A detailed list of all work to be completed
An itemized list of all equipment to be installed, including name, quantity, model number and energy rating
Proof of warranty for both the equipment and installation
Sizing calculations or results of any tests performed
Liability insurance information (minimum of $2 million)
Proof of licences and certification
For ECM-equipped furnace replacements:
TSSA Registration number to confirm licenced technicians (Gas Technician 1 or 2 or OBT 1 or 2 certification number)
For ENERGY STAR® certified CAC system installations:
313A Refrigeration and Air Conditioning licence or a 313D Residential Air Conditioning Licence
Payment terms and schedule
Start and completion date.
While high-efficiency units tend to have a higher purchase price, lower operating costs mean you will spend less over time.
Better warranty protection
Improved air quality
Lower energy usage.
The Annual Fuel
Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating, found on the official Canadian EnerGuide label, is a measure of how efficient your furnace is. The higher the rating, the more efficient the model.
Learn more on how you can save by Fuel Switching?
Learn more about fuel switching
Reduces home heating costs by 25% per year†
Must be equipped with ECM motor. Offer ends December 31, 2018.
Newer models are more reliable and less prone to breakdowns.
Must be ENERGY STAR® certified, minimum 18+ SEER/13 EER rating.
Save up to 50% on heating costs†. Also works for cooling!
$50 when you install a new adaptive thermostat.
Reduce energy costs up to 15%
Significantly increases energy savings and is easy to install
Must have a variable-speed ECM motor
*Incentives are available for installation of eligible equipment completed between January 1 and December 31, and submitted no later than February 1. Subject to additional terms and conditions foundhere. Equipment must be purchased from and installed by a participating contractor.
†Estimated annual electricity cost savings are based on past program experience. Actual savings may vary.
Subject to additional terms and conditions found at saveonenergy.ca. TM Trademark of the Independent Electricity System Operator. Used under license.