Furnace Prices: Gas Furnace Installation Cost In Vancouver

Here are some ballpark prices for installing a gas furnace in Vancouver BC:

Basic 90-93% efficient furnace, budget installation: $4000
95% efficient two-stage furnace: $4800
95% efficient variable speed furnace:  $5300
95-98% efficient variable capacity furnace: $5800

• These are only ballpark estimates for an average home. Actual costs can vary widely depending on your home’s requirements, the contractor selected, present equipment costs, market conditions, and several other factors.

• These are approximations of what you should expect to pay for an installation by a reputable, established contractor who performs quality work. You can get a furnace installed for less if low price is your primary concern.

• These estimates do not include add-ons such as advanced filtration systems, advanced programmable thermostats, humidifiers, etc.

To determine the actual cost to install a furnace in your home, call 604 GOOD GUY (604 466 3489) to schedule your free in-home quotation. Or use our online form.

Visit our furnaces page to learn more about your options for installing a new furnace (such as the difference between single stage, two-stage, variable speed, and variable capacity).

Environment Canada: Hot Summer Forecasted For Canada (Including Vancouver)

Environment Canada has just released their most recent forecast for the summer, and they’re calling for a hot summer across Canada, including the Greater Vancouver area!

You can check out the forecasts at http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/saisons/index_e.html .

They admit that their long-range forecasts are only somewhat more accurate than chance, but quotes on air conditioners are free (except for apartments) so call and schedule yours today!

CMHC Study: Tankless water heaters use 46% less gas than hot water tanks

The Energy Factor (EF) rating system provides a means of comparing the efficiency of hot water heating systems. Hot water tanks, for example, have EFs ranging from about 0.53 to 0.62 (the minimum energy factor of a 40 gallon gas tank in BC was raised to 0.62 in 2010). This means that only 53% to 62% of the heat generated is actually used, while the rest is lost to standby losses (heat lost while the tank is not in use) and out the chimney (due to the inefficiency of the burners). This compares to the EF ratings of between 0.80-0.98 for tankless water heaters, which should provide energy savings ranging from 23% to 46% compared to hot water tanks (see image).

However, the EF ratings are based on equipment tests conducted in a laboratory setting, and it was unknown how accurately they predicted real world performance.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), in cooperation with Enbridge Gas, recently conducted a study on the real world performance of tankless water heaters. In 23 Toronto homes, hot water tanks were replaced with tankless units and the amount of gas used for hot water heating was measured before and after.

The result was an average energy savings of 46%, which is higher than predicted by the EF ratings. However, savings varied widely, from as low as 2% to as high as 66%. Much of this variation was due to changes in the amount of water used. For example, the household that only saw a 2% decrease in energy usage had increased their hot water consumption by 51% after installing the tankless unit, which still indicates a significant increase in efficiency.

On average, homes increased their water consumption by 2% after installing the tankless systems (although this varied widely from as much as a 31% decrease to a 62% increase). Yet the results still suggest that few homeowners greatly increase their water consumption after installing a tankless system (only 2 homes showed more than a 30% increase).

Due to the current low price of natural gas, installing a tankless system would only be expected to save $69 on gas per year. However in some homes the annual savings could be $150 or more. Tankless systems usually cost $2000 to $4000, compared to the approximate $1000 cost of a hot water tank. This means that the payback on a tankless system can be as little as 7 years, but is typically 20 years or more (basically the life of the system).

Homeowners stated that they liked the unlimited supply of hot water, but many did not like the delay in the supply of hot water to the tap (which varies according to the tankless installation, but was reported to average 20 seconds in this study).

Tankless systems also offer several other advantages such as longer life and lack of corrosion (see our tankless water heaters page for details).

The full report can be downloaded at http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/67548.pdf?fr=1336131516776

UPDATE: A similar study was performed by the Minnesota Office of Energy Security and produced similar results. The authors suggested that the higher than expected energy savings provided by tankless units could be because the laboratory tests used to determine EF do not represent typical usage in a real home (the testing only involves 6 uses of hot water per day, while usage is more frequent in most homes). The authors estimate hot water tank ratings are overestimated by 23% while tankless units are only overestimated by 10%. ASHRAE is currently developing a new testing procedure for water heaters. You can download the 91 page Minnesota report here.