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How Efficient Should your Furnace be in Ontario?

Ontario’s cold winters make it vital for homeowners to install a furnace with the right level of efficiency to get maximum savings on utility bills. The more efficient the unit is, the more expensive it will be. It’s important to choose one that achieves the perfect balance between investment and efficiency.

Understanding Efficiency for HVAC Systems

Gas- and oil-fired furnaces require two resources to run: gas (or heating oil) and electricity. The efficiency of a unit in converting gas into heat is measured as a percentage, referred to as a unit’s annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. The higher the rating, the more heat the furnace can produce from every therm of gas.

Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations require a minimum 90 percent AFUE for furnaces with an input rate below 65.92 kW, and an AFUE of 78 percent for outdoor units, which are much less common. Note that the most efficient furnaces on the market reach an AFUE of approximately 97 percent, but they can be quite expensive.

Why Is Efficiency Important?

The more efficient furnaces are, the lower the heating bills will be. Generally, you can amortize your investment over the lifetime of the furnace thanks to the savings you’ll be making on your bills. However, there are other factors to consider, including climate, your home’s capacity to retain heat and utility rates in your area. Basically, the colder the climate, the more savings you’ll get from a high-efficiency furnace.

To maximize savings and minimize investment, you’ll want a furnace with the right efficiency level for your home and budget. Ask your contractor to calculate the estimated operating costs per year of different efficiency models. They have specialized software that will work out costs based on the layout of your home, the AFUE of the unit and utility rates in your area, among other factors. The results will help you determine which unit will be most economical to install while still maximizing your savings on utility bills.

Contact Reliance Home Comfort today if you have any questions about your heating/cooling needs and for the absolute best in furnace and air conditioner replacement services.

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