Gas furnaces

May 2017

Technical bulletin on amending the standards

Webinar – May 2017

On March 4, 2017, the Office of Energy Efficiency at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) issued a Notice of Intent to amend Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) to adopt more stringent standards for gas furnaces. This technical bulletin has been released to initiate the consultation process and to collect stakeholder views on the requirements being considered for gas furnaces.

Input received during this stage of the process will inform the development of the Amendment 15 proposal. In addition, NRCan will undertake a cost-benefit analysis using the best-available Canadian market data to assess the economic and environmental impacts of these updated standards and to ensure Canadian consumers and businesses benefit from their implementation.

The Government of Canada intends to pre-publish a regulatory proposal in the Canada Gazette, Part I, within approximately two years of this bulletin.

Background

Through the Pan Canadian Framework and Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference the federal, provincial and territorial governments have committed to working together to achieve climate change goals. Through this collaboration, governments agreed that standards for some heating products could, for climatic and market reasons, exceed the stringency of those in the United States. There was also agreement to assess the feasibility and benefits of energy efficiency standards at the ENERGY STAR® level for certain products, including gas furnaces.

In Canada, gas furnaces manufactured as of February 3, 1995 are subject to the Regulations. NRCan is considering increasing the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for gas furnaces, clarifying the scope of gas furnaces used in mobile homes, and updating the test standard for central gas-fired furnaces.

NRCan is considering increasing the MEPS for gas furnaces that are already using condensing technology, namely those already required to meet a minimum AFUE of 90%. No increase is being considered at this time for gas furnaces with MEPS less than 90%.

Also under consideration is a change to the definition of a gas furnace to remove the exclusion given to gas furnaces for mobile homes and recreational vehicles. While the term “mobile homes and recreational vehicles” is not defined in the Regulations, the exclusion was intended to apply to furnaces for small relocatable dwellings intended for seasonal use. The increasing use of factory-built housing in the housing market, as well as a shift away from the use of the term “mobile home” in Canadian building codes and standards, necessitates revising the furnace definition to adapt to the evolving housing market.

This change would clarify that the gas furnace MEPS apply to those used in factory-built housing such as manufactured homes, while furnaces for small relocatable seasonal structures would be identified as such but would not have a regulated annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) level.

Recreational vehicles and park model trailers

NRCan intends that gas furnaces for recreational vehicles and park model trailers, as defined in CSA Z240.0.2-14 General requirements for recreational vehicles and CSA Z241.0-03 Definitions and General Safety Requirements for Park Model Trailers respectively, would not be required to comply with the regulated AFUE level, but would be required to be marked as only for use in recreational vehicles or park model trailers.

Product description

Gas furnaces are gas-fired vented heating appliances that use air as the heating medium. The heat is generated by the combustion of gases and transferred through heat exchanger surfaces to air. The heated air is then circulated by a blower fan through the house ductwork.

Gas furnaces as defined in the Regulations are those with an input capacity of not more than 117.23 kW (400,000 Btu/h), but does not currently include gas furnaces for mobile homes and recreational vehicles.

Energy performance testing standard

NRCan is considering referencing the following energy performance testing standards:

  • CSA P.2-13Testing method for measuring the annual fuel utilization efficiency of residential gas-fired or oil-fired furnaces and boilers
  • CSA 2.3-2016Gas-fired central furnaces

The CSA testing standards can be ordered from:
CSA Group
Toll free phone: 1-800-463-6727
In Toronto, call 416-747-4044
E-mail: sales@csagroup.org
Website: http://www.shop.csa.ca

Some CSA energy efficiency testing standards are also available at no cost on their website. To access free standards you will first need to create an account to join the CSA Communities of Interest.

Energy performance standard

NRCan is considering defining gas furnaces as follows:

  • an automatic operating gas-fired central forced air furnace that uses propane or natural gas and has an input rate of not more than 117.23 kW (400,000 Btu/h).
Minimum energy performance standard being considered for gas furnaces
Product type Testing standard MEPS
Gas furnaces that have an input rate of ≤ 65.92 kW (225,000 Btu/h), and use single-phase electric current CSA P.2-13 ≥  95% AFUE1
Gas furnaces that are through-the-wall, have an input rate of ≤ 65.92 kW (225,000 Btu/h), use single-phase electric current and have an integrated cooling component CSA P.2-13 ≥ 95% AFUE1
Gas furnaces that are outdoor furnaces, have an input rate of ≤ 65.92 kW (225,000 Btu/h), use single-phase electric current and have an integrated cooling component CSA P.2-13 ≥ 78% AFUE1
Gas furnaces that have an input rate of ≤ 65.92 kW (225,000 Btu/h) and use three-phase electric current CSA 2.3-2016 ≥ 78% AFUE1, or
≥ 80% TE2
Gas furnaces that have an input rate of > 65.92 kW (225,000 Btu/h) but ≤ 117.23 kW (400,000 Btu/h) CSA 2.3-2016 ≥ 80% TE2
Gas furnaces that are for recreational vehicles or park model trailers, and that have an input rate ≤ 117.23 kW (400,000 Btu/h)   No MEPS
Required marking only, see Background

1 AFUE is the annual fuel utilization efficiency
2 TE is thermal efficiency

Important dates

These regulations would come into force six months after the date of publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

NRCan is considering applying the new standards to gas furnaces manufactured on or after July 3, 2019.

Verification requirements

NRCan would require that gas furnaces carry a third party verification mark indicating that the product meets the MEPS and that information to be reported has been verified.

The verification mark is the mark of a Standards Council of Canada accredited certification body that operates an energy efficiency certification program for the product.

Reporting requirements

Energy efficiency report

There is no change being considered to the energy efficiency report requirements for gas furnaces.

NRCan is not considering requiring energy efficiency reports for gas furnaces for recreational vehicles and park model trailers at this time.

The Regulations apply to products imported or shipped inter-provincially for sale or lease in Canada. The energy efficiency report must be submitted, by the dealer, to NRCan before the product is imported into Canada or traded inter-provincially for the first time.

Import report

A dealer who imports these products into Canada would include the following information on the customs release document:

  • name of product
  • model number
  • brand name
  • address of the dealer importing the product
  • purpose for which the product is being imported (i.e. for sale or lease in Canada without modification; for sale or lease in Canada after modification to comply with energy efficiency standards; or for use as a component in a product being exported from Canada)

Comments invited

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide stakeholders with the technical detail required to comment on the requirements under consideration for gas furnaces. 

Additional information on Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations including a current list of Standards Council of Canada accredited certification bodies can be found in the Department’s website.

We welcome your comments by May 30, 201. All correspondence should be forwarded to:

Natural Resources Canada
Office of Energy Efficiency
580 Booth Street
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0E4
E-mail: nrcan.equipment.rncan@canada.ca