Notice for All Homeowners About Gas Furnace Installation Requirements

Holmes Heating wants to inform all Ottawa homeowners of new minimum energy performance standards for residential gas furnaces – standards that may affect how a new gas furnace is installed into your home.

Effective December 31, 2009, all new residential gas furnaces that are imported into Canada or shipped across provincial borders for the purpose of lease or sale will need to comply with new minimum energy performance standards – a seasonal efficiency of at least 90% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency).

A high-efficiency furnace is a vital component in a modern energy-saving, eco-friendly home. Not only do these furnaces reduce overall energy consumption (using as much as 13% less fuel than mid-efficiency furnaces), but they also help you get the most out of your heating bill. A furnace rated at 90% AFUE means that 90% of the fuel is being used to warm your home, while 10% escapes as exhaust.

Compare this to low- and mid-efficiency furnaces, where 20% or more of your heating bill is wasted, and you can easily see the significant energy and cost saving advantages provided by a new high-efficiency furnace.

How the New Requirements Affect Your Furnace Installation

High-efficiency gas furnaces work slightly differently than low- and mid-efficiency furnaces. As a result, they must be installed differently in your home. If you’re looking to have a new furnace installed after December 31, 2009, there may be several installation issues you will have to be aware of:

The first-time installation of a high-efficiency gas furnace requires the installation of condensate handling components (piping, and in some cases, a filter or a pump) and through-wall venting not usually associated with older furnaces. If your existing mid-efficiency furnace is jointly vented with a conventional gas water heater, you may also need to line the vent.

There may also be situations where, due to the configuration of your house or property restrictions, access to an exterior wall for the new venting configuration may be more complicated. Most of these situations occur in narrow attached houses with front and rear obstructions such as closely spaced doorways, large windows, full-width porches, or decks where through-wall venting can be very difficult (or impossible) to install.

If your current mid-efficiency furnace is more than 15 years old, and your home features any of the installation complications listed above, you should consult the licensed HVAC professional at Holmes Heating. We’ll assess your specific situation and make firm recommendations for your home – so you aren’t left out in the cold when it comes time to replace your furnace in 2010.