Heating, Ventilating and Cooling Equipment (HVAC)

EnerGuide Rating System for HVAC equipment

The EnerGuide Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Energy Efficiency Rating System provides consumers with all the information needed to purchase energy-efficient home heating and air conditioning products and provides contractors with the tools to increase sales by educating consumers how to lower energy bills and protect the environment. Contractors can find out about the EnerGuide HVAC Rating System and how to benefit by joining Team HVAC.


Team HVAC represents a collaborative effort by NRCan, energy utilities and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning manufacturers and their dealers to encourage consumers to purchase energy-efficient equipment. Team HVAC includes:

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI)
HVAC manufacturers
Wholesale distributors
Canadian energy utilities

What members do:

  • NRCan promotes increased energy efficiency and the use of the rating system and collaborates with suppliers on dealer education programs.
  • HRAI promotes the program, ensures that all manufacturers participate, collects and submits sales data to NRCan, and participates in setting targets and evaluating the program.
  • Manufacturers submit sales data to HRAI and ensure that the correct EnerGuide Rating appears in each model's product brochure. Manufacturers are also expected to play a leading role in promoting high-efficiency equipment to contractors and consumers.
  • Contractors and dealers participate in HRAI/NRCan promotional programs and present the energy efficiency choice to consumers using the AFUE ratings for gas furnaces and SEER ratings for central air conditioners and heat pumps.
  • Utilities assist in promoting energy-efficient equipment to customers and contractors/dealers.

What is the EnerGuide energy efficiency rating system?

The EnerGuide energy efficiency rating system provides manufacturers and their dealers with the tools they need to promote the efficiency rating of their heating and cooling equipment.

EnerGuide ratings for residential gas and oil furnaces, central air-conditioners and air source heat pumps are published on the back page of manufacturers' product literature. The rating shows a horizontal bar scale that enables consumers to compare the equipment described in the brochure with the typical efficiency ratings of other equipment sold in Canada. EnerGuide ratings are based on standard testing procedures established by accredited certification organizations. Find out what the information on the EnerGuide Rating (AFUE/ SEER) means so that you can promote the sale of energy-efficient HVAC equipment.

HRAI administers and delivers the EnerGuide Rating System for HVAC Equipment in all provinces except Quebec. In Quebec, the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec (CMMTQ) delivers the program.

The EnerGuide Rating for:

Heating Equipment

Cooling Equipment



Furnaces – Gas & Propane

As a homeowner, buying a new heating system is one of the most important projects you will undertake. Many improvements in energy consumption have been made in heating systems in recent years. Still, the energy efficiency of heating systems can vary greatly. For example, choosing a high-efficiency gas furnace over a mid-efficiency furnace can save you money and energy.

Image: information on the EnerGuide Rating

One way to identify the efficiency level of a furnace is by reading the information on the EnerGuide Rating found on the back page of manufacturers' brochures for each model of gas or propane furnace. This information is excellent for comparison shopping since the scale shows you at a glance whether the furnace is a good or an average energy performer.

So read on to find out what the information on the EnerGuide Rating shows you so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing a new gas or propane forced-air furnace.

Plug into energy efficiency. Zoom in on EnerGuide.

Electric furnaces

Electric furnaces are not included in the rating system since there is relatively no difference in energy efficiency among the various models on the market.

Heat pumps – Air source

EnerGuide Rating

Selecting an energy-efficient heat pump is now made easy. EnerGuide has developed a rating system for heating and cooling equipment called the EnerGuide Rating System. The rating for the cooling mode, referred to as a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, found on the back of manufacturer's brochures, is designed to help you make an informed choice when buying a heat pump. We recommend that you refer to the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) for the heating mode found in manufacturer's brochure. So read on to find out what the information on the EnerGuide Rating for heat pumps tells you so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing a heat pump.

What is the ENERGY STAR air source heat pump, and where do I find it?

Manufacturers or retailers volunteer to place the ENERGY STAR symbol on those models for which they have demonstrated they meet or exceed the ENERGY STAR energy-efficiency criteria. Today, most leading manufacturers of home heating and cooling equipment are producing high-efficiency systems that qualify for the ENERGY STAR symbol.

Usually, you can locate the ENERGY STAR symbol on the back of the manufacturers brochures, beside the EnerGuide rating box. Use the EnerGuide rating to determine the SEER and HSPF ratings and locate the ENERGY STAR symbol to ensure you have the most efficient product available.

Water heaters

List of models: Electric Water Heaters
List of models: Gas Water Heaters
List of models: Oil Water Heaters

Check the Energy Factor

Once you've determined the capacity and size of water heater you need and selected an energy source, check the energy factor (EF) of different models to identify the most efficient heater that meets your needs.

Select a water heater with the highest EF. This information is found in the manufacturer's product specifications brochure or on the manufacturer's Web site. The EF measures the efficiency of the water heater by comparing the energy supplied in heated water to the total daily energy consumption of the water heater. The EF is determined by the manufacturer and is based on a standardized test procedure. Under Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations water heaters sold in Canada must achieve a minimum EF, which is based on the size of the storage tank. You will probably find that the larger the storage tank, the lower the EF, especially in sizes above 65 gallons.

The range in efficiency ratings within a certain tank size is accomplished through a variety of design features and quality of manufacture. In many cases, the higher efficiency units are usually more expensive, and perhaps carry a longer warranty protection.

The bottom line is, the lower the EF, the higher the operating costs.

Gas fireplaces