Heating with gas
For home heating, most people prefer natural gas because it keeps the temperature consistent in every room, it’s affordable and is one of the safest energy sources you can choose.
If your furnace is over 20 years old, you could be paying close to 45% more on your energy bill than you need to.
Ways to save on heating
Upgrading and maintaining your heating equipment is the first step to save on heating costs, but there are more ways to save. Follow these tips, to keep your house warm all winter – without changing or impacting your comfort.
Natural gas can save you money
If you are converting to natural gas from electricity, oil or propane, get ready for savings. When you compare, you’ll see that on average, natural gas is significantly less expensive than electricity, oil and propane.
Upgrade and maintain your furnace
- Consider upgrading an older furnace that may be inefficient or need frequent repairs.
- Service your furnace annually.
- Clean or replace your furnace filters regularly.
Adjust your heating
- Set your thermostat 3˚C (5˚F) lower while you’re asleep or away.
- Use a programmable or smart thermostat to adjust temperatures when you are home or away.
- Install a thermostat that heats areas in your home differently based on which rooms you are using, or do it yourself by closing doors and heating vents in rooms you aren’t using.
Reduce air leaks
- Better insulate windows or doors where air escapes.
- Use caulking or weather stripping to plug air leaks and save energy.
Improve air circulation
- Keep curtains and furniture from blocking your heating vents.
- Vacuum dust and pet hair off your warm air registers and cold air returns.
- Circulate heat using ceiling fans.
- Close your chimney damper when you aren’t using your fireplace.
Let the sun shine in
- Open blinds and curtains during the day to let the sun warm your house.
- Close blinds and curtains at night to keep heat inside.
Safety tips for heating your home
Natural gas is one of the safest ways to heat your home. Follow these tips to keep your home safe and warm using a natural gas furnace, boiler or fireplace.
Today’s most popular choice for home heating is the high-efficiency forced-air gas furnace. Keep your furnace running safely and efficiently.
- Give your furnace a checkup: Have your furnace inspected and maintained yearly by a registered HVAC contractor.
- Replace your filter regularly: A dirty filter will restrict airflow, forcing the furnace to work harder and increase your natural gas use. Change or clean your filter at least every three months.
Use these tips to keep your boiler running safely:
- Annual service visit: If your property is older, you may be using a hot water boiler. Keep your boiler in good condition with an annual service visit from a registered HVAC contractor.
- Leave a clear path for heat flow: Make sure there’s no furniture directly in front of the radiators.
- Clean dust: Clear any dust from the radiators.
A natural gas fireplace gives you all the cozy warmth and comfort of a traditional fireplace—with none of the hassles and hazards of a wood fire. Plus, it still works if your electricity service is interrupted.
- Maintain your fireplace: Review the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance and use.
- Be aware of the hot glass: The glass window and ceramic surfaces stay hot long after the fireplace has been turned off. Don’t leave children unattended near a fireplace, and/or use a screen barrier to protect them.
- Don’t put flammable materials near your fireplace: If the pilot light or flame goes out, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for relighting.
- Keep your fireplace off: Make sure your fireplace is completely turned off when it’s not being used.
- Make sure your fireplace is cool before cleaning the glass: Wiping hot glass with a damp cloth can crack it.
- Never use a fireplace with cracked glass: If your fireplace has cracked glass, have it inspected or replaced by a registered HVAC contractor.
- Ensure that your chimney is operating safely: Have your chimney inspected every year by a registered HVAC contractor. Regularly check your chimney for blockages.
Enbridge Gas does not sell or repair furnaces, boilers or fireplaces. If you find your home suddenly without heat, you may be able to solve the problem yourself. If you cannot find the source of the problem, consult a registered heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor to learn more about installing a natural gas furnace.
Before you call a contractor
- Ensure your furnace is on and turn your thermostat up a few degrees to see if your heating system activates.
- Make sure the vents in your home are clear and remove anything that may block them. Check appliance vents outside as well.
- Check your main electrical panel. If you have fuses, you may need to replace one. If you have a breaker, try resetting it.
- Clean or replace your furnace filter if it's dirty. Always turn off the power switch before opening your furnace. Close the furnace access panel before switching it back on. Watch a video tutorial.
- If your furnace has a pilot light, make sure it's lit. If your pilot light is out, follow the instructions on the furnace, or in the manufacturer's booklet.
- When the cold weather arrives, and you have no heat, a “Rush” request for service can be ordered by a registered HVAC contractor. You will be considered eligible for rush service under the following conditions:
- The home is occupied; and
- There is no heat being generated other than by portable heaters (e.g. electric); or
- The existing heating system/equipment is condemned with a valid warning tag or cannot be repaired
Tips to help you choose a HVAC contractor
Enbridge Gas does not sell or repair furnaces, boilers or fireplaces. If you require service, you’ll need to find a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor for repairs and maintenance.
Find and verify the certifications of HVAC contractors: Check the Technical Standards and Safety Authority(TSSA) and the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI).
Request references: Requesting references is a helpful way to assess your options in HVAC contractors.
Get a written quote: It's very important that you get detailed written quotes for your project. Get at least three written estimates, from different contractors, outlining the work to be done and the total price.
Tips for buying a gas furnace
Natural gas furnaces are economical, clean and safe, and add value to your home. In some cases, replacing your furnace may be more cost-effective than repairing it. You may qualify for incentives through one of our energy conservation programs.
- Choose a high-efficiency model: The more efficient your furnace is, the lower your heating bill. Before you purchase a furnace, find out your furnace's current Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating.
- Check your furnace’s AFUE rating: AFUE ratings will tell you how much energy your furnace converts to heat. AFUEs for gas furnaces range from 57 to 96 per cent. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the furnace.
Enbridge Gas does not sell or repair furnaces, boilers or fireplaces. However, you can consult a registered heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor to learn more about installing a natural gas furnace. Find and verify the certifications of HVAC contractors using these resources: the Technical Standards and Safety Authority(TSSA) and the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI).
*Calculations are based on the assumption that a typical residential customer uses about 2,400 cubic meters of natural gas a year for home and water heating.
**Natural gas rates are based on Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.’s residential rates effective April 1, 2018. Electricity rates are based on Toronto Hydro’s, Ontario Energy Board approved, rates effective May 1, 2018. Oil prices are based on publicly posted Statistics Canada historical prices as of May 2018. Costs have been calculated for the equivalent energy consumed by a typical residential customer and includes all service, delivery and energy charges. HST is not included.