Condensing gas furnaces are the most energy-efficient furnaces available on the market today. They are an ideal choice as a new or replacement furnace for virtually any home serviced by natural
gas. Here is why:
Look for the EnerGuide label
To determine the efficiency level of a gas furnace, check its EnerGuide rating on the back page of the manufacturer's brochure – the higher the rating, the more efficient the model. Check where the EnerGuide rating is situated on the scale to see if the furnace you are buying is in the high-efficiency zone.
Even better, just look for the ENERGY STAR ®
The symbol can be found on the furnace, on the packaging or in promotional or educational literature.
Only the top energy performers are eligible to use the ENERGY STAR symbol – residential gas furnaces must have an AFUE rating of 90 or higher to qualify. You may see the ENERGY STAR symbol displayed in various ways.
The international symbol for energy efficiency
The savings in a new high-efficiency condensing gas furnace may be the best investment you can make. The technology for high-efficiency furnaces has been available for many years and is well proven. In 2001, one out of every two gas furnaces sold in Canada (over 100,000) were high-efficiency condensing gas furnaces. They are fast becoming standard equipment in new homes. Upgrading from an old furnace to a high-efficiency gas furnace not only increases the resale value of an existing home, but can also reduce the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the use of fossil fuels. The Government of Canada has issued a challenge to all Canadians to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. Choosing an energy-efficient condensing gas furnace is one way to meet that challenge.
Ensure the AFUE is between 90 and 97 percent
Look for the ENERGY STAR symbol
Use an ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostat
Determine the right size of furnace for your home
High-efficiency condensing gas furnace
In a furnace, combustion gases generated by the burner pass across a heat
exchanger and release heat before being exhausted to the outdoors through a chimney. High-efficiency furnaces use additional heat exchange surfaces made of corrosion-resistant materials to cool and condense the combustion gases (causing them to liquefy), thus releasing more heat for the home. The small amount of waste water produced by this process is piped to a floor drain.
This condensing process has another important benefit – it reduces the temperature of the flue gases to the point where they can be vented through a PVC or ABS plastic pipe out a side wall of the house. This eliminates the need for a chimney, which is a major source of heat loss in homes with old furnaces.
Before making a purchase decision, ask a certified heating contractor to determine the right size of furnace for your home, taking into account recent technology developments, the heat loss and heat gain characteristics of your house, and other factors. An EnerGuide for Houses evaluation can help you identify possible measures to improve the overall energy performance of your home before you finally decide on the size of the unit.
For information about the energy, economic and environmental benefits of condensing gas furnaces, consult Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency's publication, Heating with Gas. You can view it on-line at oee.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/infosource or order your free copy by calling
1 800 387-2000 (995-2943 in the National Capital Region area) or by writing to
Office of Energy Efficiency
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa ON K1A 1L3
Source: Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) - Office of Energy Efficiency