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What’s the Best Heating System for Your Home?

What’s the Best Heating System for Your Home?

What’s the Best Heating System for Your Home?

The cold climate in Canada means that heating system accounts for over 60% of the energy used in a typical Canadian household. Choosing the best heating system for your home necessitates that this new heating system has to be able to reduce your household energy expense and at the same time giving you and your family comfort during the cold Canadian days.

According to Natural Resources Canada, heating accounts for 63% of the energy used in the average Canadian home, followed by water heating (19%), appliances (12%), lighting (4%) and space cooling (1%).

Here are the pros and cons of the different types of heating systems:

Furnace

Furnace – a type of heating system that heats air and uses a blower motor and air ducts to distribute warm air throughout the house – is powered by natural gas, propane, heating oil or electricity.

Furnace’s advantage is that it’s inexpensive. Its con is that some blower fans can be loud, especially in older models.

Boiler

Boiler – a type of heating system that heats water to generate steam or hot water for heating that’s then distributed via a series of pipes – is powered by natural gas, propane, heating oil, biodiesel blends or electricity.

Boiler’s advantage is that it’s easy to heat only the rooms that are being used. Its con is that it’s expensive to install and needs a minimum temperature to prevent the pipes from freezing.

Heat Pump

Heat Pump – a type of heating system that gets heat from the surrounding air for heating – is powered by electricity or geothermal energy.

Heat Pump’s advantage is that it can both provide cooling and heating. Its con is that some types can be expensive to install.

Active Solar Heating

Active Solar Heating – a type of heating system that makes use of the sun to heat air or liquid in a solar collector to immediately warm the house or store it for future use – is powered by solar energy.

Active Solar Heating’s advantage is that it can reduce fuel bills. Its con is that it requires a second heating source, which in effect makes the initial purchase more costly.

Electric Heating

Electric Heating – a type of heating system that makes use of electricity and converts it into heat – is powered by electricity.

Electric Heating’s relative advantage is that it’s inexpensive. Its con, however, is that it’s more expensive compared to a heating system that uses combustion.

Wood-Burning Appliance

Falling under this type of heating system are wood or pellet stoves and fireplaces. As the name suggests, this type of heating equipment is powered by wood.

Wood-Burning Appliance is good for ambiance. There’s, however, a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. As such, carbon monoxide detector is necessary.

Fuel Source of the Heating System

As mentioned, different types of heating systems use different sources of fuel. The availability of natural gas, electricity, wood, propane, heating oil, biodiesel blends, geothermal energy and energy solar energy in your locality has to be factored in deciding what heating system to choose. Aside from the availability of any of these fuel sources, the cost of these fuel sources needs to be considered as well in choosing a particular type of home heating.

ENERGY STAR

Another factor to be considered in choosing the best heating system for your home is to look for an ENERGY STAR certified heating equipment.

ENERGY STAR in Canada is a voluntary partnership between the industry that promotes energy efficiency and the Government of Canada. In Canada, the ENERGY STAR name and symbol are promoted and administered by the Natural Resources Canada.

“ENERGY STAR is helping Canadians save money on energy bills, increasing the competitiveness of our commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors, and helping us fight climate change,” Natural Resources Canada said. “Simply by looking for the ENERGY STAR symbol, Canadians can easily identify energy efficient products, new homes, and industrial facilities.”

According to the Natural Resources Canada, ENERGY STAR certified products meet the strict technical specifications for energy performance. The department said ENERGY STAR certified products save energy, save you money and reduce the impact on the environment without compromising performance in any way. A typical ENERGY STAR certified product is in the top 15 to 30 percent of its class for energy performance.

Thermostat

Another important aspect to be considered when buying a heating appliance is to see to it that the heating system can be integrated to a thermostat – a device that automatically controls the temperature of a heating system at a constant level or within a specified range. According to Energy.gov, installing a thermostat can save an estimated 10% a year on heating.

Lennox Furnace

When choosing the best heating appliance, consider the Lennox gas furnace, specifically model EL296E. When this model is paired with a Lennox electric heat pump, you’ll create a dual-fuel heating system. The heat pump will warm your home on milder days and on colder days, the gas furnace will warm your home. Switching back and forth between gas and electricity when necessary is a cost-effective way to warm your home.

Lennox furnace model EL296E is an ENERGY STAR certified heating equipment, saving you energy, saving you money and reducing the impact on the environment without compromising performance in any way.

In addition to its ENERGY STAR rating, Lennox furnace model EL296E has an AFUE of 96%. AFUE, short for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, is a measure of a furnace’s performance and efficiency. It’s similar to the miles-per-gallon rating on your car. The lower your fuel cost, the higher the AFUE rating. This model’s 96% AFUE essentially means it can convert 96% of its fuel into heat. This energy efficiency can save you hundreds of dollars on energy every year.

Lennox furnace’s energy efficiency isn’t limited to colder months. When paired with Lennox air conditioner, you can increase your overall energy efficiency for your heating and cooling system, referred to as SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio).

You can also save money by integrating your Nest Thermostat with your Lennox furnace.

Winter is Coming: Keep Your Home Warm with Lennox Furnace

Winter is Coming: Keep Your Home Warm with Lennox Furnace

Winter is Coming: Keep Your Home Warm with Lennox Furnace

It’s still months away. But we all know that it’s coming, winter, that is. Keep your home warm this coming winter with Lennox Furnace.

Canada is characterized by generally long and cold winters. According to Statistics Canada, cold climate in this country varies quite widely. In certain areas in Canada, cold climate sometimes lasts up to nine or ten months.

According to Natural Resources Canada, this country’s cold climate results in high energy used – a remarkable 63% of the energy used in the average Canadian home goes to space heating. As the bulk of the energy consumption of every Canadian household goes to space heating, it’s important to choose the right heating system for your home.

Aside from the financial cost, it’s also important to choose the right heating system for health reasons. Cold and damp houses are linked to poor health, especially for those who have weak immune system, including babies, small children, older adults and people who are ill.

According to Statistics Canada, majority of Canadian households, nearly 6 out of 10, use furnace as their primary heating system. A furnace works by blowing heated air via ducts. These ducts distribute the warm air to rooms throughout the house through grills or air registers. This type of heating system is also called a forced warm-air distribution or ducted warm-air system.

A furnace can be powered by electricity, natural gas or fuel oil. Natural gas and electricity are two of the main sources of energy to generate heat in the primary heating system in a home, with nearly half of Canadian households using natural gas and one-third of households using electricity.

Gas Fireplace versus Gas Furnace

A government survey found that a quarter of Canadian homes used a gas fireplace, with most of these houses using it as a supplementary or secondary heating system. Similar to its predecessor, the wood-burning fireplace, the gas fireplace is great for ambiance. Compared to the wood-burning fireplace, the gas-powered fireplace is considered safer as it emits a fraction of particulate matter – small particles and liquid droplets that get into the air and are considered as harmful to one’s health.

Compared to gas furnace, gas fireplace uses more energy. A Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation study (PDF) showed that compared to a gas furnace, the overall energy consumption of a gas fireplace was 10% higher for the reason that fireplace use consumes much more gas. Gas fireplace also results in the lowering of air temperatures in rooms located far away from the fireplace; whereas, gas furnace provides an even temperature in rooms around the house.

Not all furnaces are, however, created equal. Here are the 3 top reasons for you to consider the Lennox Furnace Model EL296E:

1. Saves Money

The annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of Lennox Furnace Model EL296E is 96%. AFUE is defined by the U.S. Department of Energy as “a measure of how efficient the appliance is in converting the energy in its fuel to heat over the course of a typical year”.

An AFUE of 96% means that 96% of the energy in the fuel turns into heat for the home and the other 4% escapes up the chimney or somewhere else. A higher AFUE percentage signifies a more efficient furnace. According to Consumer Reports, a furnace with a 90% AFUE might cost more than a similar size unit with an 80% AFUE, but you can often recover that additional cost through lower fuel bills over the life of the furnace.

Model EL296E of Lennox Furnace, in particular, has earned the ENERGY STAR label. This means that this furnace meets or surpasses the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The key product criteria to earn the ENERGY STAR for gas furnaces is a rating of 95% AFUE or greater.

Model EL296E comes with a limited warranty on the heat exchanger; 5-year limited warranty on covered components; and 10-year limited extended warranty coverage with product registration. If you purchase this product, you also qualify for rebates and incentives.

Your actual savings depend on the weather patterns in your area, local fuel rates and your family’s lifestyle. “Installing one of today’s energy-efficient furnaces can reduce your home-heating costs by up to 25 percent per year,” Natural Resources Canada said. “Depending on the efficiency of your old furnace, you could recover the higher initial cost of your new high-efficiency system in about seven years.”

2. Lennox Furnace Dual-Fuel System

The EL296E Model is powered by natural gas. It’s already classified as a high-efficiency furnace with its 96% AFUE and ENERGY STAR label. You can take your energy savings to the next level by pairing this Lennox Furnace model with a Lennox electric heat pump. You’ll create a dual-fuel system by doing so. By pairing the furnace with the heat pump, you can switch from gas on colder days and to electricity on milder days.

3. Not Limited to Winter Use

The Lennox Furnace Model EL296E isn’t limited to winter use. What if winter won’t come this year? Well, winter didn’t come in late 2015 and early 2016 in many parts of Canada.

According to the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the El Niño weather phenomenon and the shrinking Arctic sea ice canceled Canada’s winter in late 2015 and early 2016. The weather phenomenon resulted in the mildness and lack of snow in Canada, leading to the cancellation of winter carnivals and other winter activities, including dogsled races, ice fishing derbies and pond hockey tournaments.

The Lennox Furnace Model EL296E has a two-stage heating system, which allows you to operate at lower capacity during mild climate and higher capacity during bitterly cold days. Operating the furnace at lower speed of airflow lets air spend more time in contact with the air conditioner coil. This aids in reducing moisture levels inside your home during hot and humid months, giving your family members the comfort that they deserve. Connect with us today to learn more about the benefits and check out our winter specials.

So, even if winter won’t come, this furnace can be relied on to deliver comfort every day of the year.

5 Signs Your Furnace Needs Repairing

5 Signs Your Furnace Needs Repairing

furnace

Find out if Your Furnace Needs Repairing

Home maintenance is important, but there’s one part of the home that always seems to be neglected: Furnace

Gas heaters, furnaces, and HVAC systems always get the short end of the maintenance stick.  Most people don’t think about their heaters until there’s something wrong with them or it’s time to replace them all together.  

You aren’t expected to become an HVAC expert the moment you sign your mortgage, but there are some unmistakable signs that your furnace needs to be repaired.

Your heating bill keeps increasing 

You’re used to a slight rate increase as the years go on, but it seems like the numbers on your heating bill keep climbing.

You may not be experiencing a regular rate increase! Your monthly bill increases could be a sign that your gas heater is starting to have problems.

Take a good look at the usage section of your gas bill.  If you notice that you’re burning more than usual, you need to have your unit checked out.

Your gas heater is very noisy 

Heaters aren’t going to be 100% silent when they’re working, yet should be relatively quiet when operating.  A few small clicks are to be expected when it’s first turning on or adjusting.

The trouble comes when you can start to notice noise all of the time.

Squeaks, bangs, pops, and hisses aren’t normal sounds, especially if you continually hear them. 

Another sure sign of a heater issue is if you constantly hear the blower fan.  If you hear a constant whooshing sound or the sound of a fan being kicked on or off, you should call a repairman.

Your home isn’t evenly heated

You know that certain areas of your home are going to feel a bit different in terms of temperature. Sunny places are going to be a little warmer, and some areas near windows and doors may be a little cooler.

You’re used to slightly hot and cold spots, but all of the sudden it seems like entire rooms are icy cold or burning hot.

Uneven heating is a sure sign that your gas heater needs to be repaired.  It could be unevenly distributing heat, burning through gas far too quickly or slowly, or even be slowing down with age.

This is usually a sign of poorly designed ductwork and not a sign of malfunctioning furnace. However new furnace units are more powerful and should distribute more air through the vents.

Your home air quality is bad

Do you feel like the air in your house is stale?  Does your skin dry out in the winter and summer?  Are your allergies or asthma aggravated as soon as you walk inside?

Some people will attribute poor air quality to dirty HVAC filters and environmental issues they can’t control, but sometimes the problem can be your furnace.

As furnaces age and accumulate particulate matter, sometimes even the heartiest filters can’t get rid of dust and debris.  

If you’ve replaced your filters and have given your ducts a good cleaning, the time may come for you to replace the system completely. 

Your thermostat stops working

It seems like it doesn’t matter how high you raise the temperature, your house is always cold.

The issue may not be with the thermostat itself, but with the heater you’re using.

If the temperature in your house stays the same regardless of how much you touch the thermostat, call a gas heater repairman.

Questions?

Do you still have some questions about heaters and HVAC needs? Contact us so we can chat!