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Switch From Oil or Propane to Natural Gas & Receive Up to $2,300 in Rebates

By Furnace, Heating, HVAC

Until March 31, 2023 get an additional $1000 rebate from Fortis BC.

Switch from oil or propane to a gas furnace

Reduce your operating costs and heating efficiency by making the switch to natural gas. Upgrade your home’s primary heating system  to an eligible high-efficiency natural gas furnace (95% AFUE or higher) and claim up to $2,300 in rebates. Here’s how you can claim the offer:

  • Apply for the rebate code by March 31, 2023
  • Have your new furnace installed by June 30, 2023
  • Apply to Fortis BC for the rebate within 90 days of the invoice date (no later than Sept. 30, 2023)

Get the full program details here

How much efficiency can you gain with a new furnace?
Most furnaces installed before 1990 are lower-efficiency models that average between 60 and 70 percent efficiency. Our high-efficiency gas furnaces range from 95 to 99 percent efficiency and come with warranties of up to 10 years. So if your furnace is nearing the end of its lifespan, an upgrade may be well worth the initial investment. Learn more about our furnace installations.

How does the cost of oil & propane compare to natural gas?
Visit the FortisBC website for a cost comparison of the average home in BC’s southern interior.

Interested in learning more about a furnace replacement? We’re a member of the FortisBC Trade Ally Network and can help you along the way. Contact us for a free estimate or click here to learn more about our furnace installations.

Have a section of your home not heated by your central air or interested in switching to a gas water heater? Ask us about additional rebates you may qualify for.

The Benefits of Combining a Heat Pump with a Furnace

By Air Conditioning, Furnace, Heating, HVAC

Are you considering the heating and air conditioning benefits of a heat pump for your home? We’re introducing a new offering that can seamlessly connect a variable speed heat pump to an existing gas or electric central air (ducted) furnace also referred to as a dual fuel system. It offers the convenience of being controlled through a single programmable thermostat to automatically switch between equipment for major efficiency gains.

Conventional heat pumps will turn off at -5C ambient outdoor air and switch to your back-up source of heat such as your gas or electric furnace.  Using a variable speed heat pump, typically used in mini split applications, our heat pumps operate down to -20C before switching to back-up heat.  This is especially attractive when you have an electric back up, because electricity is typically a higher cost to run than natural gas.  These heat pumps qualify for the HPCN (Home Performance Contractor Network) program.  The flexibility with these options are endless, and one of our experienced sales technicians can aid you in deciding which one is best for your home.

What are the benefits of choosing a dual fuel heating & cooling system?

Improved Cooling Efficiency
By seamlessly combining the efficiency of a heat pump with the powerful air movement of a forced-air furnace, the cool air can be distributed with very low energy costs.

Need a little assistance understanding the technical side of heat pumps? Here are a few frequently asked questions.

What is a Heat Pump?
Contrary to what their name suggests, heat pumps are dual purpose. They work to draw heat inside the home in the winter (even in very cold weather) and release heat outside the home in the summer working as an air conditioner alternative. Instead of burning fuel like a conventional furnace, they move thermal energy between the inside of the home and the outside of the home through refrigerant lines.

Do Heat Pumps Work Well in the Okanagan Climate?
Although heat pumps have been around for over 100 years, they usually weren’t used in colder, northern climates because heating efficiency was lost in cold weather. In recent decades, the technology has greatly improved making them an increasingly popular choice. Modern heat pumps can extract heat out of the air even at minus 20 Celsius, however, they operate less efficiently than traditional furnaces at lower extreme temperatures.

Why Choose a Heat Pump for Your Home?
Heat pumps are very energy efficient because they move heat energy rather than create it. This can help them achieve efficiencies of up to 300% under optimal conditions (3x the energy they consume). Modern environmental standards on new buildings in addition to low operating costs have made them a popular choice for homeowners.

Interested in learning more? Contact us for a free quote and see if a dual fuel system is right for your home.

Why You Should Consider Changing Your Furnace & AC at the Same Time

By Air Conditioning, Furnace, HVAC

If your home heating and cooling system is aging or a major component has quit altogether, it can be tempting to only change a furnace or an air conditioner. There is a larger upfront cost to replacing both at the same time, but there are a few good reasons to consider it.

Furnace and Air Conditioner Installation

Installation Cost Savings

There is work efficiency for an HVAC technician to replace both a furnace and air conditioner at the same time. This can be a significant reduction in your installation costs, particularly if your home requires a complex installation. If you replace one of your major units and the other breaks down shortly after, it could end up costing significantly more combined.

Parts Work More Efficiently in Unison

The furnace and air conditioner work together and utilize each other’s components. When you try to pair a new, efficient unit to an older unit that isn’t very efficient by modern standards, one can drag down the efficiency of the other. This can lead to much higher operating expenses than if both are replaced. The only way to guarantee that a component works at its rated efficiency from the manufacturer is to pair it with a matching new unit.

Efficiency of New vs Old Units

If we look at just a furnace or AC on their own, there have been major efficiency advances in the past decades. For example, most furnaces made before 1990 are lower-efficiency models that average between 60 and 70 percent efficiency. New high-efficiency gas furnaces range from 95 to 99 percent efficiency. Imagine the impact a 20-30% increase in efficiency could have on your bills.

Replacing One Unit Could Lead to Premature Breakdowns

Imagine you’re in the best shape of your life and you go for a jog in broken down, old shoes. You end up working harder and could even risk injury. The same is true in your HVAC system. For example, an old air handler may not be capable of keeping up with modern components and cause undue stress on the system.

You Can Reserve an Air Conditioner Before Demand Spikes

Last summer’s record-breaking heat wave combined with manufacturing delays due to the pandemic caught a lot of people off guard. The heat wave across Western Canada and the US created an extreme demand that equipment suppliers just couldn’t keep up with, no matter what brand of equipment you decided to go with. Installing an air conditioner in the off season is the best way to ensure you’re covered when a heat wave comes. 

 

If your home heating & cooling system is nearing the end of its lifespan or not running efficiently, contact us for a free quote.

Until Oct. 31, 2022, we’re offering a 10% discount when you install a furnace and AC in addition to $1150 in energy saving rebates from FortisBC.

When to change a water pressure reducing valve

By Plumbing

Pressure Reducing Valve - Kelowna PlumbingIf you’re having issues with your water pressure (too high, too low, or fluctuating), it may be time to replace your home’s pressure reducing valve (PRV). Another tell tale sign is hammering or vibrating noise in your pipes. While it may seem like a minor inconvenience, there is good reason not to ignore it.

What is a pressure reducing valve?
A pressure reducing valve is a key piece that connects your municipal water line to your home’s water lines. Just as the name suggests, it reduces the high pressure coming from the water source down to a lower pressure for your home.

Why is it important to have a properly working PRV?
Aside from annoyances in water pressure and noises from water pipes, your home’s water lines, faucets, and appliances (dishwashers, hot water tanks, laundry) weren’t designed to handle this level of high pressure. This can lead to excessive wear and tear and an increased potential of water leaks.

How often should you change your PRV?
A PRV will typically last 10-15 years with some lasting up to 20. The lifespan will depend on a variety of factors. At the first signs of water pressure issues, water pipe noise, or visible corrosion on your PRV, you should have it inspected. It can potentially cause major issues if left ignored.

What else can you do to protect your home?
Monitoring issues in your water pressure can leave a lot of grey areas. One additional tool that you can add to your home is a water monitoring system. A popular choice is Flo by Moen. This can detect changes in water pressure such as leaks or a failing PRV. It connects to your smart phone and will alert you of any issues and also allow you to remotely turn off your water supply. It can add a lot of peace of mind if you’re vacationing and also potentially save money on home insurance. If you install at the same time as you replace a PRV, it will usually save you on installation labour. Read more on these monitors here.

Wondering if it’s time to change your PRV? Contact us and tell us about the issues you’re having. We offer free quotes.

How to Claim FortisBC’s Furnace Rebates Up To $1,150

By Furnace, Heating, HVAC
FortisBC Furnace Rebates

Is your furnace nearing the end of its lifespan? At a certain point, maintenance on an older furnace will actually become more costly than upgrading to a newer model.

Beyond the maintenance factor, there are some huge energy-saving advantages to upgrading to a newer high-efficiency gas furnace. Most furnaces installed before 1990 are lower-efficiency models that average between 60 and 70 percent. New furnaces range from 95 to 99 percent efficiency. If you’ve been considering adding air conditioning, your old furnace may also not be effective enough at distributing air. We’ve written about this in more detail here.

Wondering if you qualify for the rebate?

Here’s a list of eligibility requirements we’ve simplified for homeowners in the Kelowna area:

1. You must have an existing FortisBC account.
If you are making the switch from electric, wood, propane, or oil, the rebate unfortunately won’t apply.

2. The home must be a year-round primary residence on a permanent foundation.

3. Upgrades must be installed by a licensed heating contractor.

4. The new furnace must be your primary heating source.

5. The existing natural gas furnace must be at least 10 years old.

6. Warranty replacements or emergency replacements aren’t eligible.
In order to claim your rebate, your furnace has to still be operational. So it’s important not to wait too long until your furnace completely stops working.

7. Rebate applications must be submitted within 6 months of the invoice date and the model number of the furnace must be on the eligible list.
All new natural gas furnaces we install are eligible. We can advise you of the efficiency ratings and rebates available for each.

The full detailed requirements are available on the FortisBC website.

How much will a new furnace qualify for?

There are two potential rebates for upgrading your furnace. More basic high-efficiency furnaces offering efficiency from 95-96.9 will qualify for a rebate of $800. More advanced models offering efficiency of 97-99% will qualify for the maximum rebate of $1000. We install Honeywell WIFI connected thermostats with all of our new furnaces, which makes you eligible for an additional $150.

Interested in learning more about a furnace replacement? We’re a member of the FortisBC Trade Ally Network and can help you along the way. Contact us for a free estimate or click here to learn more about our furnace installations.

Interested in financing? Find out financing details and prequalify here in 5 minutes.