Have you ever wondered what HVAC is? HVAC is the abbreviation of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. According to a chart from Statistics Canada, Canadian households paid an average of $2535 in 2019 for utilities, including gas, electricity and water. This expense is easily managed compared to annual living costs. However, this number can rise drastically if your HVAC Appliances are not working accordingly and efficiently. That is especially important now that many of us are working from home.
According to this chart from Natural Resources Canada, space heating took up about 61.6% of the energy used in Canadian homes in 2017, water heating took up 19.3%, and space cooling took up 1.9%.
The expected lifespan of a Space Heating Appliance is 15 years, increasing the importance of the operation cost for heating vs the price of designing, upgrading and increasing its efficiency in the whole house. In order to minimize the cost of heating and cooling, the efficiency of the home as a system needs to be optimized.
1) The performance of Heating Appliances and how well they’re working is an important part of improving efficiency in the whole home. In this next article, we are focusing more on Gas Appliances. In Ontario, home heating is usually done using Hydronic or Forced Air Heating Appliances. If your boiler or furnace is utilizing a Chimney for the flue exhaust and a metallic tube, the appliance’s efficiency is less than 80%.
This indicates that 20% of the burnt gas energy is being wasted in the chimney. Whereas, Energy Star Appliances are 90%-97% efficient and usually utilizing PVC or ABS pipes for exhaust.
Another important factor about Forced Air Heating Furnace is its blower fan motor. The Modern ECM Blower Fan Motors consume less electricity compared to PSC Motors.
2) Performing annual maintenance is recommended by all the manufacturers to verify that the equipment is working safely and efficiently. Maintaining a clean filter for a Furnace and other Forced Air Heating and Cooling Systems is the first and most important part of furnace maintenance that needs to be done by the user.
3) Installing a Programmable Thermostat for a Forced Air Furnace. By scheduling it to lower the temperature when the home is unoccupied and when sleeping helps minimize the heating cost. A good thing to consider is keeping the temperature lower and wearing warm clothes to decrease heat loss and save on heating costs.
4) How well insulated is your home? Do you see cracks on the insulations around the doors, windows and other openings? Fixing the cracks and adding insulation to the attic is the easiest and cheapest way to increase its efficiency in the whole house.