Winter Heating

Vancouver’s weather has been all over the place this winter with record breaking temperatures in both directions. While the weather is inconsistent, to ensure you are maximizing the energy-efficiency of your furnace, and to save money on your energy bills, here’s a few things you should know.

According to Statistics Canada, home heating accounts for a large portion of Canadian household total expenses, noting that a Survey of Household Spending revealed in 2006 that, “Canadian households spent an average of $1,895 on electricity, natural gas, and other fuel for heating and cooking in the primary residence, which was slightly less than 15 percent of total household spending on shelter.” The report also noted, illustrating how important forced air gas furnaces are to Canadians well-being, that “Almost 6 out of 10 Canadian households reported using a forced air furnace as their primary heating system.” The City of Vancouver (, in its effort to become the greenest city in the world, provides a number of tips for sustainable living at home, noting that “Heating your home consumes about half of your total household energy. By lowering your thermostat, draft proofing your home, and ensuring your furnace is working efficiently, you can save big, while reducing your footprint.”

When it comes to getting the greatest efficiency from your current furnace:

  • Keeping your furnace clean can help your furnace run more efficiently;
  • Clean or change your furnace filter every three months;
  • Clean your ducts and air return vents as necessary;
  • Keep the area around your furnace clear; and,
  • Keep floor registers from being obstructed or blocked.

Other energy saving tips include:

  • Upgrading standard appliances to new, energy-efficient models;
  • Using a programmable thermostats, and by turning your thermostat down two degrees you can reduce your home heating costs by five percent.
  • Draft proofing your home to avoid losing heat through gaps and cracks - it can reduce your heat loss by 10 percent;
  • Replacing or upgrading insulation to make your home more efficient - start in areas that lose the most heat, such as attics, basements, and crawlspaces. A well-insulated attic can reduce year-round energy use by 20-60 percent.
  • Shopping local to reduce greenhouse gasses, like having your furnace repaired, maintenance, or replaced by Vancouver’s Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating Ltd.

Controlling your home’s temperature affects your comfort, your mood, and your overall happiness as well as your wallet as a new, energy-efficient model could lower your heating bills and save you money on repairs. At Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating Ltd. our certified technicians can repair any brand of furnace, or provide a free estimate on an energy-efficient replacement for your family’s safety and peace of mind.

If you are ready to upgrade your furnace in Vancouver or the surrounding areas, consider the age of your current unit, the frequency of repairs, and your annual energy bill to determine if a new energy-efficient model will be a worthwhile investment and make economic sense. If you are considering moving, consult with your real estate agent to determine if investing in a new high-efficiency furnace can increase the value and appeal of your home.

If you have questions about your current furnace or are considering upgrading to a new energy-efficient model, call your trusted Vancouver plumbers - Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating at 604-879-5301 today. Proudly serving the communities of Surrey, North Vancouver, Langley, Richmond, and Delta in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin.

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