Thursday, September 3, 2009

A New Furnace at Less than Half Price

I just had a new high efficiency furnace installed. As most people are aware, the Canadian and Provincial governments are giving out a lot of money in an ecoENERGY program to help homeowners pay for energy-saving upgrades. With all the grants I’m promised, I’ll be paying for less than half of the furnace.

The process for me began with choosing a supplier and making sure that the high-efficiency furnace I chose was on the approved list for grants. I negotiated a price of $4209 (including sales taxes).

I then arranged for an ecoENERGY home energy audit before the furnace was installed. Now that I’ve had the audit and the furnace is installed, the audit people will come again to check that I actually installed a new furnace. The total cost of the audits is $420 with tax, and then the following grants and tax deductions are supposed to come rolling in:

$790 federal furnace grant
$790 provincial furnace grant
$150 provincial energy audit grant
$125 provincial power authority grant
$150 gas supplier grant
$145 furnace seller rebate
$481 home improvement income tax deduction (15% of $4209 minus $1000)

Total Savings: $2211 (after deducting the $420 for the energy audits)

This is definitely a case of YMMV (you mileage may vary). The various grant amounts seem to change frequently.

The final cost of the furnace to me is $1998, which is less than half of the starting price. Of course, it will take a few months for all of these grants to roll in, and while I did my best to understand how all this works, I can’t be sure I’ll get all my money until it actually arrives.


  1. You've got to wonder though how much of a mark-up the vendors have put on furnaces now that people can apply for grants. I bet it's the first thing out of the sales guys mouth when he shows you the price.

    Either way I am very interested. My 19 year old natural gas furnace is ready to be replaced. I imagine these grants won't last forever. Can I ask you who you went with for the furnace?

    We have a Lennox furnace and A/C. I'd want to replace the A/C at the same time as it's just plain old and noisy. It looks like the A/C will qualify as well for some cash back. Too bad I've used up all my renno-rebate money though.

    Are you sure you will get money back from both Fed & Provincial?


  2. Greg: I don't want to endorse any particular manufacturer or vendor because I don't claim to be an expert on gas furnaces. I got a Carrier Infinity 96 through Sears. I can't say I'm sure that I'll get any grant money, but the list of grants I'm expecting were consistent between what the salesman and ECO-Inspection guy told me.

  3. Is "96" the efficiency rating by any chance?

    I wonder what my old furnace is. Probably in the 7X-8X % efficiency rage. We would likely see a decent savings on our natural gas bill if we went with a new 92-96% model. Something else you could add to your equation.

    Good luck getting your rebates. If/When they do come in maybe you can post an update.


  4. Greg: The "96" does seem to be related to the efficiency rating. According to documentation I have, the efficiency is between 94.1% and 96.6% AFUE with no further explanation.

  5. Great story. I bought a mid efficient furnace through brother-in-law in 2003. Had it installed and total cost was just under $1200. You may have gotten all of these grants and rebates, but you got screwed on the the cost. Who won? The guy who sold you the furnace. Who lost? The taxpayers who subsidized this program.

  6. Anonymous: You may be right about furnace prices being artificially high at taxpayers' expense, but there are some good reason why a high-efficiency furnace costs more than a mid-efficiency furnace: more advanced technology to use gas more efficiently, and more work at installation because the new furnaces are vented differently. This may not add up to the $3000 difference between your furnace and mine, but it accounts for at least some of it. By my figuring, I expect to save about $250/year on gas and another $250/year on hydro (I run the fan continuously for air flow). These are based on my figuring -- salesmen quoted higher numbers. If I'm right, I'll make up the difference between your furnace and mine in 6 years plus pocket the grant money.