Hot Water Tank Prices: Water heater installation cost in Vancouver

Here are our current prices for installing a hot water tank:

40 gallon gas: $899  (This is the most common size of water heater)
50 gallon gas: $1119 (For homeowners who wish to upgrade)
40 gallon electric: $888
50 gallon electric: $938
Removal and recycling of old tank: $30
Vacuum breaker (if required): $35

Our gas water heaters meet the new energy standards (with an Energy Factor of 0.62 or greater, they use up to 20% less energy than older tanks) and include an 8 year warranty against leakage and a 1 year labour warranty. Our electric water heaters include a 6 year warranty against leakage and a 1 year labour warranty.

In most cases, the above prices include everything necessary to install a hot water tank.

Additional charges may be required if:

  • A narrow tank is required. New gas hot water tanks are 20” wide (for the 40 gallon model) and 22” wide (for the 50 gallon model). This is slightly wider than older tanks. If a special thinner model is required, this will cost extra. Power vented models also cost extra.
  • Additional fees for permits may be required in some municipalities (call for info).
  • An additional fee may apply if the hot water tank has to be transported up a flight of stairs or over a gas line.

How do these prices compare to the competition?

We always believe in putting quality first, even if it means we have to charge a higher price. This is because low quality will usually cost our customers more over the long run. This makes us more expensive than many of our competitors on some of our products and services. However, our hot water tank installation prices are highly competitive. Many of our competitors charge more for hot water tanks, and we don’t know of any well established competitor who charges more than 10% less for hot water tank installations.

Optional add-ons

Our technician might recommend additional add-ons. These include extended warranties and items (such as drain pans and automatic shut-off valves) that reduce the risk of water damage (these are especially recommended in homes where the tank is located in an area where a leak may cause significant damage). We might also recommend an expansion tank (especially in municipalities where water meters with check valves are being installed, as the tank can be damaged when water expands as it is being heated). These options can increase the costs substantially, but they are optional.

Schedule your hot water tank replacement by calling 604 GOOD GUY (604 466 3489) or use our online form.

Learn more about why you should choose Good Guys for your water heater installation on our hot water tanks page.

Lennox vs Trane vs Carrier Furnaces: Which brand of gas furnace is best?

Lennox, Trane, and Carrier are probably the 3 most popular brands of new furnaces in British Columbia (with Amana probably being a close 4th). We have made this post to provide homeowners with a quick overview of the furnaces offered by these brands.

First will compare each manufacturer’s published furnace specifications.

Each of these 3 manufacturers offer a similar lineup of furnaces. New furnaces can be divided into 6 categories or “classes”, and each manufacturer makes a model that fits into each one (except Carrier makes 2 similar models in some categories).

Class 1) A high efficiency furnace with a variable speed blower motor and modulating burners (Lennox SLP98 vs Trane XC95m vs Carrier Infinity 98/ Infinity ICS)
Class 2) A high efficiency furnace with a variable speed blower motor and two-stage burners (Lennox EL296V vs Trane XV95 vs Carrier Infinity 96 New Edition/ Performance 96 Two-Stage)
Class 3) A high efficiency furnace with a multi-speed motor and two-stage burners (Lennox G61 vs Trane XL95 vs Carrier Performance 93)
Class 4) A high efficiency furnace with an energy-saving single-stage blower motor and single-stage burners (Lennox EL195E vs Trane XT95 vs Carrier Boost 90). These furnaces are for homeowners who wish to install an air conditioner or heat pump but cannot fit a variable speed furnace into their budget.
Class 5) A high efficiency furnace with a standard multi-speed motor and single-stage burners (Lennox ML195 vs Trane XR95 vs  Carrier Comfort 92)
Class 6) A budget high efficiency furnace with a standard multi-speed motor and single-stage burners (Lennox ML193 vs Trane XB90 vs Carrier Base 90)

Carrier also offers the Performance 96 Single Stage, a furnace with a variable speed blower and a single stage gas valve.

Note: If you want to learn what the terms above mean and the importance of the different features, then visit our furnace info page or watch our 5 minute video on new furnace options.

Class 1 Comparison: Comparing the top-of-the-line systems. Each of these manufacturers makes one model of a high efficiency variable speed modulating furnace (except Carrier makes 2).

Lennox SLP98Trane XC95mCarrier Infinity 98 / ICS
Efficiency (For 90K or 100K BTU model)97.5-98%95-96%97.3%  for Infinity 98 (96% for Infinity ICS)
Burner modulationFrom 35% to 100%From 40% to 100%From 40% to 100%
Fan motorVariable speedVariable speedVariable speed
Noise levelQuietest furnace available (mfr’s claim)*Does not claim to be quietest availableQuietest furnaces available (mfr’s claim)*
Heat exchanger warrantyLifetime limitedLifetime limitedLifetime limited
Warranty on other covered parts10 years10 years10 years

*Both Lennox and Carrier claim their higher-end furnaces are the quietest on the market. This is probably due to their different testing procedures.

It is apparent that Lennox is equal to or better than Trane or Carrier when it comes to the published specifications. But it isn’t by a large margin: The Lennox SPL98 (when looking at the 90-100K models, as this is a common size) is up to 3% more efficient than the comparable Trane and Carrier models, and has a burner which can operate at a slightly wider range of outputs (it can operate at as low as 35% capacity, compared to 40% for the competition).

Class 2 Comparison: High efficiency furnaces with variable speed blower motors and two-stage burners (Lennox EL296V vs Trane XV95 vs Carrier Infinity 96 New Edition / Performance 96 Two-Stage)

These furnaces all offer variable speed blowers and two-stage burners. The efficiency ratings are 96% for the Lennox, 95% for the Trane (for the most common sizes: the 80K and 100K BTU models), and 96.1-96.7% for the Carrier. The Carrier Performance 96 does not offer full variable speed operation like the Infinity 96 does. These models all have lifetime limited heat exchanger warranties and a 10-year warranties on other parts (with system registration) is available in some circumstances.

Class 3 Comparison: High efficiency furnaces with multi-speed blower motors and two-stage burners (Lennox G61 vs Trane XL95 vs Carrier Performance 93)

These furnaces all offer multi-speed blowers and two-stage burners. The Lennox is rated at 94.1-95%, the Trane is rated at 95% for the upflow version and 96% for the downflow version, and the Carrier is rated at 92-93%. All 3 offer a lifetime limited warranty on the heat exchanger and a 10-year warranty on all covered components with system registration and if other criteria are met.

Class 4 Comparison: High efficiency furnaces with energy-saving single-stage blower motors and single-stage burners (Lennox EL195E vs Trane XT95 vs Carrier Boost 90)

These furnaces are designed to be low-cost options that still work well with air conditioners, heat pumps, and air purification systems. The Lennox and Trane are rated at 95% efficiency while the Carrier is rated at 93%. All 3 offer a lifetime limited warranty on the heat exchanger and a 10-year warranty on all covered components with system registration and if other criteria are met.

Class 5 Comparison: High efficiency furnaces with standard multi-speed blower motors and single-stage burners (Lennox ML195 vs Trane XR95 vs  Carrier Comfort 92)

The Lennox and Trane are rated at 95% efficiency, and the Carrier is rated at 92-95.5% (depending on the size).  The Carrier Comfort 92 only offers a single-speed blow motor, unlike the others which offer multi-speed motors. These furnaces offer a lifetime limited warranty on the heat exchanger (except the Lennox offers a 20 year heat exchanger warranty) and a 10-year warranty on all covered components with system registration and if other criteria are met.

Class 6 Comparison: Budget high efficiency furnaces with standard multi-speed blower motors and single-stage burners (Lennox ML193 vs Trane XB90 vs Carrier Base 90)

The Trane and Carrier systems are rated at 91-93%, depending on the size, whereas all sizes of the Lennox ML193 are rated at 93%. These furnaces offer a lifetime limited warranty on the heat exchanger (except the Lennox offers a 20 year heat exchanger warranty) and a 10-year warranty on all covered components with system registration and if other criteria are met.

What about reliability?

In our furnace reviews/ ratings post, we showed the results of the most recent Consumer Report’s reliability survey. Consumer’s Reports concluded that there were no “statistically meaningful differences” in reliability between the brands. Keep in mind, however, that this reliability data was published in 2008 and is based on furnaces that were made up to 12 years ago. It’s also based on a wide variety of models, so it doesn’t likely say much about any given model of furnace on the market today.

The least reliable brand required 23% more repairs than the most reliable brand. But the choice of installer could increase breakdowns by more than 50%!



In fact, installation quality is probably more important than brand selection. Consumer Reports stated that: “The most important steps in selecting a furnace, we think, are to ensure that the unit’s specifications fit your needs, that it is bought from a contractor who installs it well, and that it’s adequately maintained. Our survey results help confirm that view: When we asked about the most common reasons for service calls for furnaces about twice as many contractors we surveyed cited human error—inadequate maintenance, for example, or improper installation—as cited defective equipment.”

Note: We primarily install Amana and Lennox, and find them both to be very reliable.

Installation quality is much more important than furnace model selection

The EPA has stated that, when it comes to heating and air conditioning systems, “more than half of new systems in U.S. homes do not perform to their rated efficiency as a result of improper installation. In fact, improper installation can reduce performance by as much as 30%.”

As the EPA says: “ A contractor who follows good sizing and installation practices may cost more, but the results can dramatically affect how well your new equipment will deliver comfort and savings.”

Also, in their AC & heat pump reliability tests, Consumer Reports found that heating & air conditioning systems that were installed by general contractors broke down more than 50% more often than systems installed by heating & air conditioning companies.

 

Conclusion

Although brand differences do exist, installation quality is usually the most important factor. Some brands of furnace may be rated at 2 or 3% more efficient that others, but improper installation can reduce performance by up to 30%! According to the Consumer Reports reliability survey, the least reliable brand broke down 23% more often than the least reliable brand. But the choice of installer could result in over 50% more repairs.

To schedule a free quote on a new furnace, call 604 GOOD GUY (604 466 3489) or use our online form.

Learn more about new furnaces on our furnaces page.

High efficiency furnaces can be difficult to install in townhomes, as reported in the Toronto Star

A recent article in the Toronto Star reports how some homeowners are finding high efficiency furnaces very difficult to install in their homes. This is particularly a concern for townhouses and homes where the furnace is located near the centre of the basement.

Since 2010, all new furnaces imported into Canada must be at least 90% efficient. These furnaces require new venting and drainage systems which can be difficult to install in some homes.

The new venting must be run outdoors to a location which is not too close to any doors or windows, as this may allow the exhaust gases to re-enter the home. The article notes that this is often a problem in townhouses, especially middle units. It was also a problem for one homeowner, Bruce Meacock, who had a furnace located in the centre of his basement. In order to install a new furnace, he would have had to relocate his furnace and reconfigure the ductwork, at a cost of about $15,000.

At Good Guys Heating, we still have mid-efficiency furnaces in stock (non-high efficiency furnaces manufactured before 2010 can still be installed in Canada). These furnaces are rated at 80% efficiency. They are much easier to install because they can use your existing venting and do not require drainage. If you live in a home where a high efficiency furnace might be difficult to install, then we encourage you to call 604 GOOD GUY (604 466 3489) today to schedule a free in-home quotation on a new system (or use our online form).

Signs a high efficiency furnace may be hard to install in your home include:

  • Your furnace is not located near an exterior wall (it is located near the centre of your home)
  • Your furnace is located near an exterior wall, but there are doors or windows nearby
  • Your furnace room does not have a functional drain
  • Your furnace is located in a closet or very small room (it may be difficult to fit a high efficiency furnace in)

If any of these factors apply to your home, call us to schedule your free quote on a new system, and our comfort advisor will evaluate your home and tell you if a high efficiency furnace will be difficult to install.

In the Toronto Star article, the homeowner chose to install a tankless water heater with a hydronic air handler. Tankless water heaters are mainly designed to provide hot tap water. But they can be hooked up to a hydronic air handler, which can transfer heat from hot water into a home’s ductwork, and thus replace a furnace.

In some cases, this may be less expensive than installing a high efficiency furnace. However, it will still be much more expensive than installing a mid efficiency furnace. Plus, a hydronic air handler will be part of a more complex system and thus more expensive to maintain.

Also beware of any contractors who suggest hooking up a hydronic air handler to a regular hot water tank. This is not allowed by code, as it is highly energy inefficient and will likely be hazardous to your health as it will require an open store of lukewarm water which may become contaminated with bacteria.

To learn more about your options for installing a new furnace, visit our furnaces page.

FortisBC Energy Star Tankless Water Heater Program: Install a tankless water heater and get a $400-$500 rebate from FortisBC

When you install a new tankless water heater before June 30th, 2013 FortisBC will give you a $400-$500 rebate. The amount of the rebate depends on the efficiency of the tankless water heater:

Water heater typeEfficiency rating*Rebate
Non-condensing tankless​0.82 – 0.89 EF​$400​
Condensing tankless​0.90 – 0.99 EF​$500​
Condensing hybrid ​90 – 99% TE$500​
Condensing storage tank​90 – 99% TE$1,000​

*EF = energy factor; TE = thermal efficiency

 

A hybrid water heater is a tankless water heater that also has a small hot water tank. This eliminates the delay in hot water delivery that tankless water heaters have.


Benefits of a tankless water heater:

-Tankless water heaters use 46% less energy than hot water tanks, according to a recent CMHC study.

-Tankless water heaters never run out of hot water. Units are available that can supply 2 or more outputs (showers, washing machines, taps, etc.) at a time.

-Last about twice as long as a hot water tank (expected to last 15+ years).

-Are made of materials such as stainless steel that will not rust and potentially compromise water quality.

-Take up less space than a hot water tank.

-Reduced risk of water damage. They do not have a large store of hot water that will inevitably leak.

Cons of a tankless water heater:

-Higher initial costs. Cost at least $1000 more than a hot water tank to install.

-Longer start-up delays. A tankless water heater usually takes at least 10 seconds longer than a hot water tank to supply hot water to a tap. (“Hybrid water heaters”, which are tankless units with a small storage tank, eliminate this problem and also qualify for a $500 FortisBC rebate.)

-Require more maintenance than a hot water tank.

Learn more about the pros and cons of tankless systems on our tankless water heaters page.

Note that there is also a $1000 rebate for condensing storage tanks. These tanks are expensive (over $4000 to install), but they offer a much greater output of hot water than a regular hot water tank, in addition to being more energy efficient. For homes that use hot water for space heating (either radiant in-floor or baseboard), some models of condensing water heater can also be used to heat your home.

Learn more on our condensing storage tanks page.

To schedule a quote on a tankless water heater or condensing storage tank, call 604 GOOD GUY (604 466 3489) or use our online form.