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Personal: Residential

ENERGY STAR® for heating your home


ENERGY STAR is the international symbol for energy efficiency. It is designed to help consumers quickly identify products that save energy. When properly designed and installed, ENERGY STAR qualified heating equipment can save you 15 percent or more on heating and cooling bills each year, depending on where you live and how much you pay for your energy source.

Currently ENERGY STAR qualified heating equipment include:

ENERGY STAR Qualified Forced-air Furnaces

Gas-fired Forced Air Furnaces.

In Canada under the Energy Efficiency Regulations, the AFUE performance level for gas-fired furnaces was raised to 90% effective January 1, 2010. Until a more stringent ENERGY STAR specification is finalized, ENERGY STAR qualifications for gas fired furnaces are no longer recognized in Canada.

The ENERGY STAR specification for gas-fired furnaces is currently under revision. Materials related to this revision process are provided below. Participants and other interested parties with questions or concerns regarding the revision process can consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website.

Oil-fired Forced Air Furnaces.

Oil-fired forced air furnaces must have a minimum of 85% AFUE to be ENERGY STAR qualified. Manufacturers apply the ENERGY STAR symbol to models that have been proven to meet or exceed the ENERGY STAR energy-efficiency criteria.

You can usually locate the ENERGY STAR symbol on the back of the manufacturer's brochures, beside the EnerGuide rating or on retail showroom display signs. Use the EnerGuide rating to determine the AFUE rating and the ENERGY STAR symbol to ensure that you have the most efficient product available.

Some high-efficiency furnaces using a variable-speed direct current (DC) motor to run the air circulation fan can significantly reduce electricity consumption while providing better heat distribution.

Along with a high-efficient furnace, consider a programmable thermostat as well. These thermostats have daily and weekend settings and other features. They automatically adjust the temperature to the comfort setting you choose – lower when you are normally away, higher when you are at home.

More information on programmable thermostats.

ENERGY STAR Qualified Residential Boilers

Residential boilers must have an AFUE rating of 85 or higher to qualify for the ENERGY STAR symbol.

Heat/Energy Recovery Ventilators

Water Heaters

List of models: Gas Water Heaters
List of models: Tankless Water Heaters

ENERGY STAR qualified water heaters use at least 5 percent less energy than conventional models. The energy efficiency performance for water heaters is measured by the Energy Factor (EF). The higher the EF, the more efficient the water heater. There are also requirements for the First-Hour Rating (FHR) of the storage, condensing and heat pump water heaters. The FHR is the amount of hot water in litres a water heater can supply in one hour starting with a full tank. For tankless water heaters, the rating used is Litres per minute (LPM). LPM is the amount of hot water in litres per minute that a tankless water heater can supply over a 42.8 Celcius degree rise. The following types of water heaters must meet or exceed the following EF levels in order to qualify as ENERGY STAR:

January 1, 2009
Product Category Minimum Efficiency Rating First – Hour Rating
Gas storage water heater
Until August 31, 2010
EF ≥ 0.62 FHR ≥ 254 litres per hour
Gas storage water heater
As of September 1, 2010
EF ≥ 0.67 FHR ≥ 254 litres per hour
Gas tankless water heater EF ≥ 0.82 LPM ≥ 9.5 over 42.8°C rise
Condensing gas storage water heater EF ≥ 0.80 FHR ≥ 254 litres per hour
Heat pump water heater EF ≥ 2.0 FHR ≥ 190 litres per hour

More information on water heaters

ENERGY STAR Qualified Heat Pumps

ENERGY STAR qualified air–source heat pumps are about 6% more efficient for heating and about 8% more efficient for cooling than standard models. The energy efficiency of this product is measured by Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). Typical residential systems are “split” with a separate indoor evaporator unit in the furnace ducting and an outdoor condenser unit. There are also “single package” systems that have the evaporator and condenser in one unit. The following levels must be met or exceeded to qualify for ENERGY STAR:

In effect: January 1‚ 2009
Region V   Canada
Split ≥ 7.1 ≥ 14.5 ≥ 12.0
Single Package ≥ 7.0 ≥ 14.0 ≥ 11.0

HSPF for Region IV are 8.2 for Split and 8.0 for single package. Region IV is used in the United States.

More Information on heat pumps

Ground-source heat pumps use the thermal energy of the ground or groundwater to provide a heating or cooling source for a home. There are three basic types:

  • closed loop
  • open loop
  • direct expansion

The cooling function is measured by an energy efficiency ratio (EER), and the heating function is measured by a coefficient of performance (COP). The higher the EER or COP number, the more efficient the heat pump is. ENERGY STAR qualified ground-source heat pumps must meet or exceed the following EER and COP levels:

Product Type EER COPV
Closed Loop 14.1 3.3
Open Loop 16.2 3.6
Direct Expansion 15.0 3.5

List of models: ground source heat pumps

More information on ground sourced heat pumps

ENERGY STAR Qualified Programmable Thermostats

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) suspended the ENERGY STAR specification for programmable thermostats effective December 31, 2009. NRCan and the Environmental Protection Agency are currently working on the development of a new specification for climate controls that will replace the current specification. Please continue to consult our website for information on when this specification will come into effect.

Frequently Asked Questions on Heating, ENERGY STAR and EnerGuide