Currently, 20% of all the energy used in homes in Newfoundland and Labrador is for oil-fired furnaces.
While most homes in Newfoundland and Labrador use electric baseboard heaters, there are still many homes that use oil-fired furnaces to generate heat. Currently, 20% of all the energy used in homes in Newfoundland and Labrador is for oil-fired furnaces.
One of the key factors affecting the amount of fuel that the furnace consumes is its efficiency. It might be surprising to learn that if your furnace is 10 to 15 years old, it is probably only 60% efficient. This means that only 60 cents of every dollar you spend on heating is actually generating heat - the rest is lost in the furnace's operating process. New high-efficiency furnaces offer a solution.
These furnaces are typically 80-95% efficient. Switching an old furnace to a high-efficiency model will cost an estimated $5,000, but it will also cut your heating bills by about 35%. While the initial investment is significant, the cost to buy a new furnace could be recovered in a few years through significantly lower heat bills.
When buying a high-efficiency furnace there are two things to consider:
- Buy ENERGY STAR certified. High-efficiency furnaces in Canada are certified under the Federal Government's ENERGY STAR program. This program tells consumers which models are the most energy efficient. The ENERGY STAR label can be found on a variety of products in addition to furnaces, including household appliances and electronics.
- Right-size your furnace: The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) estimates that furnaces in most Canadian homes are oversized. If your furnace is oversized, it will run intermittently and not reach peak efficiency. A properly sized furnace should run almost continuously on very cold days to keep heat constant.
Look for the Energy Star label when buying furnaces and other household appliances. It's an easy way to tell which models are energy efficient and meet strict Energy Star standards.