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Choosing an efficient heating solution shouldn’t be taken lightly. Prior research is super important to ensure you’re choosing an appliance that meets your home’s heating requirements while maintaining reasonable energy expenses. Are you looking for an effective heating solution, yet uncertain about the ideal choice? Check out our guide to gain insight into the various devices, features, and price ranges.
Canadian winters are quite harsh and cold. As a result, during that time of the year, most Canadians find themselves pondering over the same concern: finding a heating solution that’s both efficient and cost-effective. There are several heating solutions available on the market, each with its set of characteristics and features. Here’s a list of heating systems to help narrow down your search for a heating appliance that best suits your home.
True to its name, electric heating is a heating system that relies on electricity to function. While being efficient, quick, sustainable, and eco-friendly, this type of heating solution requires little maintenance. Its installation is rather simple too. Furthermore, individual temperature settings can be managed within the home. Some systems can even reach the desired temperature within minutes. Due to their numerous advantages, electric heating solutions amount to roughly 85% of new heating systems installed in the province of Quebec. However, this type of device has a few downsides, notably in terms of energy costs, which may become quite a hefty expense. And, using an electric heating system can possibly dry out the ambient air in the rooms in which it’s used.
There are several models of electric heating solutions available:
Natural gas heating differs due to its use of non-renewable fossil fuels derived from the decomposition of animals and plants that existed millions of years ago. This type of heating system functions by way of gas. Its method of operation consists of pushing air into a warm air generator. Aside from being clean and eco-friendly energy, natural gas is easy to use and can be cost-effective. It can generate enough heat in very little time to warm an entire household, without so much as drying out the ambient air. However, note that gas combustion does emit health-hazardous particles. What’s more, purchasing the equipment has a rather steep initial cost compared to other heating systems. Plan on spending about $4,800 to $7,920.
There are several natural gas heating systems available:
Oil-fired heating systems were extremely popular at one point in Quebec. Oil is a hydrocarbon issued from petroleum refining processes, made with carbon and hydrogen. It offers excellent energy efficiency and allows for even air distribution throughout homes. However, using this system can cause dwellings to have a strong odour of oil and its noise level can be bothersome, and that’s without accounting for fuel costs (roughly $1.65 per litre of oil) as well as the potential for leaks.
Here are a few examples of oil-fired heating systems:
Attention: Oil-fired heating solutions have been banned from new constructions since December 31, 2021, and will be prohibited from sale after December 31, 2023.
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This heating solution harnesses a renewable energy source from within the earth. It’s powered by electricity and involves absorbing and transferring cold or warm outside air inside the home through a pump. Heat pump heating enables converting cold air into warm air, and warm air into cold air. As such, it functions as an air conditioner during summertime, and as a heater during wintertime. However, installation and maintenance fees can be quite expensive. Expect to pay between $2,300 to $5,000 for the procurement and installation. This heating system might prove insufficient during periods of extreme cold, necessitating another heating method for optimal performance.
Among the heat pumps available:
Solar heating is a system that uses the sun’s heat to warm a home and produce electricity. This type of system derives heat from a clean, renewable energy source and can generate up to 30% of the heat needed over a one-year period. A solar panel generates roughly 70% of domestic hot water, but installing numerous panels is necessary to make a significant impact, heating-wise. Note that this type of heating solution isn’t as efficient during wintertime, as it relies on solar heat to function properly. This means that, during that time of year, the energy produced by the sun isn’t very significant due to weather conditions, and the thick atmospheric layer slows down the sun’s rays. Solar heating absolutely must be supplemented with another heating system, such as a heat pump or boiler.
There are several different types of solar heating solutions:
With the plethora of heating systems available on the market, choosing the solution that best suits your needs and your home’s characteristics can be challenging. To make an informed decision, it’s important to consider several factors prior to going ahead and purchasing a system.
To help guide your decision, we highly recommend perusing our heating system-related articles:
Comment choisir le bon modèle de plancher chauffant ? (English version to come)
Comment choisir un radiateur électrique ? (English version to come)
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Last modified 2023-10-06
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SoumissionRenovation.ca • 02 Oct 2023
A patio heater allows you to comfortably bask in its heat on cold winter nights. In a way, it’s like reliving a night out in Miami while on vacation, but this time around, you’re in a snow-covered backyard in Quebec. And that’s probably the reason why patio heaters have become such a bone of contention between climate change advocates and skeptics because such devices literally heat the outdoors. It’s come to a point where, in 2008, UK-based hardware stores B&Q pulled all patio heaters from their shelves, while in France, they’ve been banned, plain and simple, since 2022. Are they a genuine threat to the environment, so much so that they should be banned in Canada too, or should they still be available for purchase here? Here’s everything you should know about patio heaters, so you can make the most eco-friendly decision possible. Patio Heater Characteristics Source: Canva A patio heater with a 12.5 kW power emits 34.9 kg of CO2, which amounts to the same energy required to make 400 cups of tea per hour, meaning 5,200 cups of coffee over a 13-hour period. How can you heat a patio during winter? You only have two choices when it comes to patio heaters: electric gas Gas-fueled patio heaters benefit from being portable and powerful, whereas the electric version, is efficient when wall- or ceiling-mounted. However, for a heating system that’s specific to your patio, here are a few factors to consider. How do you pick a patio heater over another? Abide by these five factors: Straightforward to operate Durable material Resistant product Appealing design Adapted system Wondering why we didn’t mention the cost in our list. Avoid looking at prices. Low-end patio heaters won’t necessarily have durable light bulbs. And, replacing a bulb costs no less than $200 apiece. A reputable patio heater brand will provide a heating bulb that can hold up for a period of 5,000 hours. Therefore, invest in quality light bulbs, especially considering the additional energy use, as a reputable brand will quickly pay for itself. At least when it comes to an electric patio heater considering that propane gas patio heaters are fueled by an open flame. Meaning they’re more decorative compared to their electric counterparts. Lastly, by adapted system, we mean a system that’s suited to your patio space. When your outdoor living area is open, a gas-fueled heater is perfectly fine since the carbon monoxide will be naturally aired out. On the flip side, for covered or closed patios, always opt for an electric heater. What kind of wattage should it have? Wattage Square footage 1,500 W (5,115 BTU) 35 sq. ft 3,000 (10,230 BTU) 64 sq. ft 6,000 W (20,460 BTU) 121 sq. ft Attention! The above-mentioned square footage and wattage don’t guarantee optimal comfort. Why, you ask? Because weather conditions are largely responsible for the warmth provided. It’s very much what happens when the wind blows through your patio; the heat from the flame will vanish along with it. Therefore, some experts in the field prefer to say that a device with 40,000 to 45,000 BTU is only truly capable of heating within a radius of 5 to 6 feet (2 m). So, should you select one of the very small models—those that can be plugged into a power supply—note that on top of consuming more electricity, their 1,500 W of power can’t warm up a space over 25 square feet. Are you looking for experts for your air conditioning or heating project? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Different Types of Outdoor Patio Heaters Source: Canva Electric Patio Heaters An electric patio heater releases 500 kg of carbon dioxide. This may seem like a lot, but it’s still seven times less than a propane-fueled patio heater. Hence, it’s much more environmentally friendly than a patio heater that runs on propane. However, there’s one major downside: it has to be connected to 240 V. This implies that not only will you need enough space in your electrical service panel, but you’ll also require the assistance of an electrician. Only 1,500-W devices can be plugged into an electrical outlet, but their power output won’t have a very wide range. On the other hand, they consume very little, they effectively heat enclosed spaces, and once installed, they can be stored outside year-round. Wall-Mounted Patio Heater This time around, the electric patio heater is wall-mounted. Given its radiant heating system, it has to be mounted at least 6.6 feet (2.40 m) high. Even so, it typically requires you to install it in a covered area. A wall-mounted patio heater isn’t designed for an open-concept outdoor space that’s vulnerable to the slightest gust of wind. Propane Gas Patio Heater A propane-fueled patio heater emits just as much carbon dioxide as a truck cruising at full speed (7,500 lb/3,400 kg per year). If your propane patio heater is turned on most evenings out of the year, you’re producing up to 4 tons of carbon dioxide. So what does this really mean? An outdoor space heated with a single propane gas patio heater releases ⅔ of the amount of CO2 that a fireplace would emit over the course of a year. And, to keep warm, it very likely may be that you’ll need more than one patio heater. Nevertheless, if you choose to go with a propane patio heater, you’ll be following along with 57% of people looking for outdoor patio heaters. Actually, it was the patio heater of choice for Quebeckers during COVID-19. However, beware should you choose this heating system. Since it’s a combustion heater, it can’t be used in a covered outdoor space, due to carbon monoxide emissions. How much propane does a gas-fueled patio heater need? You need one pound of propane to fuel a 21,600-BTU outdoor patio heater for an hour. Therefore, a gas-fueled patio heater can keep an outdoor space warm for anywhere between 9 to 13 hours. What about the carbon monoxide released? A propane patio heater releases carbon monoxide—a toxic, odourless, colourless, and tasteless gas that can cause fatalities when inhaled in large quantities. Therefore, certain cautionary measures should be taken when used. These safety guidelines depend on the manufacturer, but here’s the gist of it: keep away from doors and windows maintain a certain distance between the device and air vents don’t use in closed or non-vented areas install a carbon monoxide detector To prevent any accidents, remove the propane tank prior to storing it. Natural Gas Patio Heater Yes ma’am, natural gas patio heaters are a thing. They’re directly plugged into a source of gas fuel. Therefore, installation-wise, they do require the help of a professional. Their design is often better thought out compared to portable propane patio heaters. As such, this type of heater is best suited to an outdoor patio space. Furthermore, just like electric patio heaters, they’re fixed, meaning they can be left outside year-round. However, it isn’t “eco-friendly.” Natural gas is, after all, not a source of clean energy. But, replacing the word “natural” with “fossil” is instantly less glamorous. Yet, that’s what natural gas is: a fossil fuel. Much like propane, methane releases significant amounts of carbon dioxide during combustion. The figures we listed above in terms of propane apply here as well. Infrared Patio Heater An outdoor infrared patio heater is an electric heating system. “Infrared” basically refers to its functioning, meaning it heats through radiation. Therefore, to function accordingly, it must be mounted high up, preferably above the outdoor space’s lounge area. An electric infrared heater can be: wall-mounted hung from the ceiling Their operation system renders them more efficient than propane-fueled patio heaters. However, if installed too high, you won’t feel any of the radiant heat released as it won’t reach your vicinity. Portable heater or patio heater? We should also mention from the get-go that efficient and portable patio heaters are also gas-fueled. Why’s that? Because electric patio heaters, with a 1,500-W power, are always permanently mounted to a ceiling or wall. Only small patio heaters can be plugged into a 120-V outlet. Therefore, if you decide to invite your friends over, midwinter, for a drink on your patio, you’ll need to invest in a gas-fueled outdoor heater. Is there a “green” patio heater option? Source: Canva Eco-friendly heating and outdoor living spaces don’t really go hand-in-hand. An outdoor patio heating system will never be eco-friendly, if only for the concept of energy waste. Is there at least a solar-powered patio heater? Solar Patio Heater Don’t start hunting down solar-powered patio heaters because they simply don’t exist. For now, solar-powered heating simply allows one to heat an outdoor shower or a swimming pool with a solar pool cover. In fact, to heat a patio during wintertime, you need power and efficiency. The only effective energy sources that can warm up such an immediate setting are gas or electricity. Therefore, narrow down your focus to either one of these heating systems. Patio Heater: Outdoor Winter Fun Gets Even Neater Adding a patio heater to your outdoor space is a wise choice if you’re looking to extend your time spent outside, even during the winter, and to keep warm and cozy in the process. Whether you choose an electric, gas-fueled, infrared model, or even an outdoor chimney, this piece of equipment releases a more than welcome source of heat. It revamps your patio, thereby turning it into an even more warm and welcoming outdoor setting. Being able to comfortably enjoy your outdoor space during the colder months is a genuine asset to your quality of life. Investing in a patio heater is also investing in a more versatile outdoor space.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 27 Sep 2023
When you live in a region where the winters are long and harsh like they are in Quebec, it’s paramount to choose a heating system that’s not only reliable and efficient but also cost-effective. In a household, heating bills are indeed a significant expense. For that reason, choosing the ideal system shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially when it comes to installing or changing your household’s heating system. Selecting an electric heating system will definitely impact your electricity bill, but will also improve your comfort for many years to come. We’ll detail below what factors should be taken into consideration. How to Choose a Cost-Effective Electric Heating System Source: Canva Immediately, both a system’s retail price and easy installation make it a worthwhile option. However, don’t get too worked up about to idea of financial savings with so-called “cost-effective” heating solutions, as they can often be misleading. Start by analyzing your needs and the sum you’re willing the invest in a new heating system. Also, consider the size of your home, the number of rooms, the possibility of having ducts installed…maybe even some insulation work done too. Think about the likelihood of buying a hybrid system. What’s the most economical electric heating system out there? What factors should you consider when purchasing a cost-effective heating system? Look for a heating system that’s energy-efficient, one that will provide the desired level of comfort, and, let’s just be optimistic here, reduce your carbon footprint. Indeed, you’ve read that right, energy-efficient systems are both environmentally- and pocket-friendly! In a nutshell, keep in mind that the most efficient system will have to maintain an optimal temperature inside the dwelling, and do so while consuming as little electricity as possible. Electric Baseboards The infamous baseboard heaters—safely heating homes since 1976. The heat generated comes from electrical resistance installed within the baseboard system. The elements then cut through the metal plates and transmit heat to these same metal plates, which can then distribute the heat generated through the ambient air, along the walls of a room where the baseboards are installed. Baseboard heaters are most often installed beneath windows to counteract the cold outside air and radiate a more even heat. Although there are more effective heating systems, the low retail price of electric baseboard heaters, along with their easy installation renders them a popular electric heating option in Quebec. Also, people especially like the fact that these run on clean and renewable energy. Electric Furnace and Forced-Air System You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more cost-effective solution than an electric furnace. This appliance retails between $2,400 and $3,600 and is as simple as it gets. It warms up the air to then distributes it throughout the home’s heating ducts. It’s safe and easy to install and allows for an air conditioning system to be implemented. Once installed, this electric heating solution requires little maintenance and has a reliable performance for years. However, it does require a bit of space—you definitely need to have a dedicated space in your basement or elsewhere to install it. Also, it’s best if your home already has suitable ducts, otherwise, you’ll have to account for unplanned renovation fees, which can be quite significant. To ensure an even temperature throughout your home, every room must be fitted with a hot air vent. In terms of cost-effectiveness, the electric furnace is a worthwhile compromise. It’s probably why it’s found in so many homes. As energy-efficient as it can be, it’s still not considered the most cost-effective system out there. However, its lucrative factor does extend to its relatively decent electricity rates. A fan-forced electric furnace swiftly generates comfortable and even heat throughout the whole of the home. The desired temperature can be altered at a moment’s notice and the system can easily be programmed to suit the days of the week, whether it be daytime or nighttime. Heat Pump Rather than creating heat, like most heating systems, a heat pump collects and redistributes it throughout a space. You may have overlooked this fact, but a heat pump is rather an expensive purchase and installation ($4,800 to $8,400), and the repair bills are more than likely to send a shiver down your spine. Prices can vary according to the unit’s power and installation characteristics. Its decent efficiency aside, heat pumps are among the heating systems that can reduce your heating costs. However, note that you’ll likely need a space heater when temperatures dip to Siberian-like conditions (under -28 degrees Celcius). Yet, paired with another type of electric heating, a heat pump is a cost-effective way to heat your home, and it can also serve as an air conditioner. Note: In poorly weatherproofed and insulated homes, energy savings brought on by heat pumps are rather limited. Are you looking for experts for your air conditioning and heating project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Other Home Heating Systems Source: Canva Electric Radiators Electric radiators are most often used in mild-climate regions, or as a space heater. They can be used in areas that are harder to heat. Electric radiators are both easy to install and use and can be a really good way to bring additional heat into your home. Electric radiators are designed to swiftly accumulate heat and distribute it in a room via radiation, in a continuous, and surprisingly even, fashion. Furthermore, new-generation electric radiators are, for the most part, equipped with an energy-saving setting, which fixes the issue that’s most often brought up in regard to these systems. Here are the different types of electric radiators available on the market: Electric convectors Electric thermal storage heaters Radiant heaters Inertia radiators Double-core inertia radiators Inertia units allow you to save between 25% to 40% compared to electric convectors. Once it reaches the requested temperature, most units will go into pause mode, while still radiating heat, without consuming more energy. Space/Portable Heaters True to its name, electric space heaters are used as an additional heat source, paired with a traditional heating system. These are especially useful in common living areas during spring or fall when a central system isn’t yet needed. Space heaters are also practical when looking for swift heating, like in your bathroom post-shower. Since they’re most often portable devices, they meet numerous needs when moved from one room to the next. There are so many models available, hitting almost all price points. Keep in mind that, for a system to be considered cost-effective, it must be used occasionally and for a limited period of time. Wall Heaters Convectors are heating devices installed on walls or as built-in units to diffuse heat. When they aren’t used as space heaters (in a bathroom for example), they’re often installed near doors, much like baseboard heaters are positioned under windows. Besides, if you plan on using the convector often like you would an electric baseboard heater, their functioning isn’t quite the same. A convector distributes warm air in a room, circulating it as evenly as possible. Convectors are rather cheap, purchase-wise, and easy to install. Even built-in models are usually inexpensive to install. If they weren’t as energy-intensive, they would definitely be a worthwhile option, but they can’t be labelled cost-effective if used often. Radiant Floor Heating Unlike what you might be led to believe, radiant floor heating systems aren’t limited to luxurious homes. Nowadays, there are definitely more budget-friendly options suitable for various settings. We’re not going to lie, installation can be rather costly. However, it’s a real treat, comfort-wise. This heating system produces an even and extremely comfortable heat. WORTH A THOUGHT: With this type of heating system, flooring options may seem rather limited even though new options have made their way onto the market. This heating system is concealed beneath your flooring and allows you to benefit from your floor space entirely. It’s noiseless, odourless, and emanation-free. Despite its cost, radiant floor heating is definitely paving the way. Cost of Electric Heating Devices Source: Canva An electric furnace retails between $2,400 and $3,600 (provided that the ducts are already installed). A heat pump costs between $4,800 and $8,400, based on its capacity and energy efficiency (plan for a home visit for a cost estimate—this is typically done for free). Amongst the most budget-friendly electric radiators, the electric convector and the radiant heater can be most appealing, price-wise. However, from a financial standpoint, space heaters are rarely considered cost-effective electric heaters. Several factors can impact the cost of an appliance: the chosen model; the heating device’s power the heating system’s options (mainly programmable and regulated) the materials involved in the system’s composition the brand of appliance Knowing that, on average, 64% of a Quebec household’s energy expenses are related to heating, one has to truly be knowledgeable as to the different options available. As previously mentioned, combining a decent retail price with a reasonable installation fee is the reason why electric baseboard heaters are so popular. However, they’re not as efficient as a heat pump, and that’s without accounting for expenses related to their use, which can be quite unsettling. Retail price is one thing, installation is another. However, saving a few bucks or more isn’t worth much long term when you happen to purchase an energy-intensive appliance that ends up draining your savings. Verdict: Which electric heating system is actually cost-effective? Whether your electric heating system uses baseboards or an electric furnace, it manages to heat your home efficiently. However, when paired with a heat pump, that’s when it actually gets pocket-friendly and worthwhile. Why, you ask? Simply because a heat pump is the most cost-effective long-term option to heat a home during wintertime. The upsides of heat pumps definitely lie in the systems’ energy efficiency. Due to the continuous indoor/outdoor airflow, such units are a lot less energy-intensive and allow you to save on electricity bills compared to electric baseboards. For an identical electricity consumption, a standard heat pump will produce three times the heat compared to an electric baseboard heating system. Albeit the retail and installation costs are much steeper, during its 15-year warranty period, you’ll have plenty of time to profit from your investment.
N/A • 13 Oct 2023
With the cold front rearing its ugly head, we’re again going about storing our summer clothes, flip-flops, and barbecue gear. Out come the thick duvets, coats, and boots. But above all, we’re firing up the heat! According to statistics, more than 31% of households in Quebec use gas-fueled heating solutions to stay warm. About a year ago, the Government of Quebec announced a ban on installing and repairing oil-fueled residential heating systems. This ban will come into effect on December 31, 2023, and will also prohibit replacing oil-fueled boilers with another heating appliance requiring fossil fuel in existing buildings. We’ve published several articles about the different heating systems via our blog. Naturally, there are a lot of aspects to consider when pondering over changing a heating system. That’s why we’ve created a guide and a memory aid to help you better prepare for your heating system repair or installation project. This guide will be useful if you want to broaden your understanding of available options. BEFORE JUMPSTARTING THE WORK Source: Canva You have to be well prepared to ensure the work is efficiently carried out and doesn’t stretch on for an extended period. Take the necessary amount of time to ascertain your needs, figure out your budget, and find the contractors you’d like to collaborate with. Not sure whether it’s time to change your heating system? It’s always tough, especially when you have to account for all the various system costs. Furthermore, you’ll have to hire a professional to install the new system. All the more reasons why so many people tend to wait until the last minute to jumpstart such a project. Replacing your heating system is quite a binding procedure, but it genuinely has its upsides. Don’t overlook any of the warning signs! Heating Project Keywords Service life There’s nothing more normal than a heating system losing its efficiency over the years. Even if you’re a stickler in terms of maintenance, these appliances degrade over time. If your system has 20-plus years of service, it’s very likely that its time has come and should be changed. Energy savings Nowadays, more energy-efficient and eco-friendly devices are sold on the market compared to earlier years. They have the added benefit of reducing energy bills and using renewable energies. Maintenance When meeting with contractors, remember to also inquire about maintenance requirements for your heating system as well as any related fees. Installation cost We suggest meeting up with two or three contractors to compare projected costs. Don’t forget to consider the value for money factor and the amount of services offered in the provided quotes. Environmental consequences Some heating systems have a more significant environmental footprint compared to others. Natural gas, for example, is a fossil fuel which, when extracted, transportation and combustion generate enormous amounts of greenhouse gasses, further contributing to global warming. Questions to Ask Yourself to Determine Your Needs Source: Canva Still undecided about which heating system best suits your lifestyle? Before investing your hard earned money and regretting it shortly thereafter, you have to ask yourself hard questions to better ascertain your needs. Will the heating system be replaced in its entirety or partly? It may be that your home’s heating system works rather well, but can’t heat all the required areas. You could, for example, benefit from a hydronic heating system in your common areas, but maybe your hallway, entryway, or other areas could really benefit from an additional heat source. If so, you may want to consider installing electric baseboards strategically in areas where your central heating system isn’t as efficient. What are my aesthetic preferences? Some heating devices, like electric baseboards, blend in quite well with the rest of the décor. Other factors to consider are noise pollution, air quality, etc. Will I have to hire a professional to clean and maintain the system? To ensure the proper functioning of your heating system, it’ll have to be properly and regularly maintained. Make sure to inquire as to how often the heating system needs to be maintained, if it has to be cleaned by an industry professional, their per-service rates, etc. All Things Budget The required budget may vary greatly based on the following: Type of heating installed Number of devices required Installation complexity Contractor’s rates Therefore, it’s rather hard to pinpoint precise fees to determine the total cost. Check out this article to get a better idea about the related costs of installing distinct heating systems: The Cost of Different Heating Systems Do you need a permit when undertaking a heating renovation project? Source: Canva In most instances, heating systems aren’t usually grouped amongst home renovation projects that require permits. However, nothing should ever be taken for granted, and you should still check your municipal website or call up your city to ensure this information is valid for your particular situation. Check out this article to learn more about home renovation projects requiring building permits (in French only). Working with a Contractor Changing your heating system is a venture that requires the skill set and expertise of a qualified and reputable company. Prior to hiring the services of a professional, seek out a few different companies and request a quote from each to compare prices and different services offered. Are you looking for experts for your heating and air conditioning project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! TYPES OF HEATING Source: Canva The Benefits of a Hot Water Heating System This type of heating is still very much used in numerous homes throughout Quebec, especially in century-old buildings. While it dropped on the popularity scale over time, it’s more or less attributed to its installation cost being much more significant compared to other heating systems. Clean air Unlike fan-forced heating and old ventilation systems, hot water systems limit dust dispersion, pollutants, and allergens throughout the home. This makes it an ideal option for individuals with respiratory-related issues and/or allergies. Noiseless This heating system, when properly set, is very quiet. Budget-friendly The costs incurred by its use are less steep than those of a traditional, electric baseboard heating system, making it more economical in the long run. Low maintenance When properly maintained, a hot water heating system can last about 50, maybe even 60 years. However, you’ll have to hire a professional service provider to clean and maintain your boiler and the system as a whole. Check out our article to know what you should consider in terms of efficient hot water heating system maintenance: Everything About a Hot Water Heating System The Benefits of Electric Baseboards Nowadays, electric baseboard heating systems are the most common heating system found in Quebec households across the board. Such a system can be perfectly concealed in a compact casing, made with shock-resistant material, great performance, and easy maintenance, amongst other perks. This heating system’s new-age characteristics go a long way to explaining the popularity of electric baseboards in Quebec households. Easy installation This heating system is relatively easy to install. However, you’ll still need to hire an electrician; they’ll be able to install it in the blink of an eye. Adjustable Electric baseboards function independently from one another. Therefore, they have the added benefit of being controlled based on the needs of any given space. The temperature in every room can be controlled using thermostats, allowing you to reach the desired level of comfort based on the given needs. Service life Electric baseboards require little maintenance, and their low maintenance will allow them to perform efficiently for years. Typically, this heating system will last for at least 25 years. Space-saving By and large, this heating system is quite compact. Therefore, it can be installed even in tiny or fully furnished rooms. Baseboards can be installed just about anywhere in a house or apartment. Thermostats: Minor factor to consider Manual thermostats…if you know, you know! Typically, HVAC specialists highly recommend changing them for new generation models: smart thermostats. With these, you can meticulously set and control the desired temperature in every room while still heating efficiently. To learn more, check out our article about electric baseboards: Baseboard Heaters: A Myriad of Options for Your Needs The Benefits of Radiant Floors Source: Canva Even with a functional heating system, during cold winter days, keeping your feet warm can be a hard feat. By installing radiant floor heating, you’re choosing a comfortable and evenly heated living space. It’s a floor-based heating system that’s acclaimed for its efficiency but also the comfort provided. Even though its installation is more costly compared to a radiator heating system, the equipment used for the former is more modern and healthier for your whole family. There are two types of radiant floors: An electric floor heating system uses infrared waves to heat the floors and nearby walls. Hydronic floor heating uses liquid-filled pipes and said liquid is pre-heated using a heat pump or boiler. Comfort One of the main advantages of radiant floor heating is undoubtedly the uniform warmth. Space-saving A heated floor system benefits from its underfloor installation, which is a completely concealed heating apparatus. Noiseless A radiant floor system is completely inaudible since it doesn’t have a motor or air circulation system. This commodity is highly regarded by noise-sensitive individuals and people suffering from dust-related illnesses or different allergens. Check out this article to learn more about it: Everything to Know About Heated Floors The Benefits of Biomass Heating Systems Source: Canva You might begin hearing more about using forest biomass for heating purposes. Hailing from renewable resources, meaning, as a population, we're contributing to conservation efforts. Biomass is made from plant matter and non-fossilized organic matter (like straw, waste wood, grass, household waste, and animal waste). It has zero commercial value and is best recycled instead of disposed of. Biomass combustion is considered carbon neutral, meaning its use preserves environmental balance. The burning resource rejects the same amount of CO2 into the atmosphere that it absorbs during its lifetime. Cost-effective The cost of biomass remains relatively low and stable. Sustainable The use of biomass isn’t detrimental to the environment. Renewable In Quebec, biomass is primarily issued from forest industry-derived waste. Respiratory health Paired with a high-performance device, biomass emits 12 times fewer fine particles into the air than oil and slow-combustion stoves. To know all about biomass heating, check out this article (in French only). The Benefits of Different Heating Systems There are all sorts of heating systems, which are, let’s face it, indispensable to get through the harsh Canadian winters. Heating systems can generally be categorized under two models: water-fed or air units. These two models operate with a heat generator, either a heat pump or furnace, to transmit heat to the terminal (radiator, radiant floor). Fan-forced electric furnace Silence, efficiency, and safety are THE three keywords to retain when defining this heating unit. A fan-forced furnace, or a “forced-air furnace,” replaces the standard electric furnace. The standard model was traditionally installed in a building’s basement to ensure a natural hot air circulation upwards. What are the advantages of a fan-forced furnace? Ensures uniform temperature throughout the home Can be connected to an existing network Potential of adding other features (fan, air purifier, heat pump, etc.) Silent system Consumes little energy Boiler Not unlike a furnace, a boiler is used to generate heat. However, it heats water or steam (depending on the model) instead of air. The hot water (or steam) is then driven through the ducts to the heating apparatuses. The advantages of a hot water or steam boiler: Cost-effective Eco-friendly Ductless heating A ductless heating system uses gravity convection. Usually, the heating system is installed in the walls or beneath the flooring. Ductless heating units can run on gas, oil, or electricity. You can also choose a model equipped with a thermostat. However, more and more ductless heating systems are heat pumps. What are those, you ask? A heat pump is a device that brings in outside air inside a dwelling by compressing it. The advantages of a ductless heating system: Compact Easy installation Energy-efficient Efficient during winter and summer Check out our article about the various heating systems to know which model best suits your needs (in French only). The Benefits of Space Heaters Space heaters can be handy, given the sheer amount of poorly insulated apartments out there. If it weren’t for the wide-ranging options retailed, purchasing a 120-volt electric space heater would be pretty straightforward. Regarding pricing, it pretty much goes hand in hand with the device's efficiency. And, as is often the case with electric heating, to prevent unforeseen issues, best inquire about energy consumption. Portable Space heaters are portable. Therefore, you can use the device where and when you need it. Variety There are numerous models on the market. Therefore, you can most likely find a device that suits both your budget and aesthetic requirements. Check out this article for more information (in French only). HOW TO SURVIVE A HEATING SYSTEM CHANGE Changing a heating system can be a hectic project, especially if you’re planning on swapping the entire system and its accompanying devices. Therefore, it’s the type of project that could affect your daily life for a few days. To sidestep too many inconveniences, consider drawing up a plan to help you stay on track with your daily habits. If you happen to work from home, you could, for example, consider another area in which to work during the duration of the work to ensure the noise isn’t negatively affecting your productivity. Ask yourself these questions: Am I staying put while the work is carried out? How long will the work take (if everything goes according to plan)? Do I have a Plan B in case it takes longer? What else should be considered? When you’re ready to request quotes from select contractors, take advantage of the situation and ask for your home’s insulation to be ascertained. If you think your heating system isn’t adequately heating your home, even though it’s working at full speed, the insulation might be at cause. Inquire about the different grants available. Through Energy Transition, the provincial government offers the Chauffez vert program to encourage people to turn to greener energy. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the Government of Quebec is actively promoting energy transition as a means to fight against climate change. The Chauffez vert program was initiated for homeowners and allows qualifiers to save up to $1,275 when replacing their oil-fired central heating system with green energy like electricity. Considering that you need at least six electric baseboards to heat an apartment, this grant could cover 70% of installation costs. Lastly, to wrap this up and help you make the best choice possible based on your situation, carefully consider the following factors: Your heating and domestic hot water energy requirements The availability of the chosen energy Its cost The system’s comfort level The pollutants emitted
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 05 Oct 2023
In the latter part of 2022, Steffes, in collaboration with Hydro-Québec, had already supplied 75 households with a central heating system with electric thermal storage and was expecting 100 more orders. Maybe you’ve heard about it? What is it exactly, and how does it work? Well, it’s an innovative solution that might just revolutionize heating. Here’s what convinced these households, and what may also appeal to you. How does a central heating ETS system work? Source: Canva Hydro-Québec struggles to cope with high consumption during peak winter season. So much so that the electricity producer and distributor giant reached an agreement with IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator), an Ontario-based electricity manager, to secure an additional 600 MW during peak demand periods. The inability to produce enough power isn’t the sole reason behind power outages. Every year, storms, freezing rain, or heavy snowfall damage power lines. To ensure you don’t end up without heat in the dead of winter, storing heat is the ideal eco-friendly solution. Doing so allows you to heat your home without electricity and fossil fuels. The Physical Function of an Electric Thermal Storage System A central heating system with electric thermal storage is pretty straightforward, as its name suggests, it relies on sensible heat storage. In the case at hand, it means heating high-density ceramic bricks to create: an endothermic reaction (heat absorption) and; an exothermic reaction (heat release). The electric thermal storage system is then connected to the household’s ventilation ducts. Hence, it benefits from the calories absorbed by the ceramic, courtesy of thermal storage. Scientifically speaking, it relates to increasing a material’s enthalpy, meaning the sum of its energy. The Practical Function of an Electric Thermal Storage System In practice, a thermal storage system is a relatively simple device made with a high-density ceramic thermal mass. The thermal mass is penetrated by a flow of warm, drawn air, facilitated by electricity. During peak periods, the thermal mass is programmed to suspend heat storage. The drawn air will then go through it and be warmed upon contact. Next, it’s channelled through the ventilation ducts to heat up a home’s living quarters. To ensure optimal comfort, and prevent zones from overheating, the heating system automatically shuts off when the ambient temperature is too high. Therefore, the goal is to fully benefit from Hydro-Québec’s dynamic pricing, by combining an electric thermal storage system with a heat pump or furnace. As such, when used efficiently, a heating system with electric thermal storage results in potential savings of up to 23% on power bills, due to its storage capacity reaching 284,000 BTU (80 kWh). To attain these energy savings, you must have: a top-performing heat pump; smart meter and; a rate Flex D or DT. At the very least, Hydro-Québec accesses energy savings of $200 to $300 on your power bill every year. Are you looking for experts for your heating and air conditioning project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! How long can an electric thermal storage system give off heat? Four hours. At least, that’s what the electric thermal storage system developed by Hydro-Québec and Steffes, known as Serenity, can do. The goal behind this operation? Heat ceramics to high temperatures to create heat storage. With this process, Hydro-Québec hopes to free up the grid from peak power requests between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and again between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. However, the aforementioned four hours can last well over that since thermal usage varies based on the following: size of dwelling; insulation quality and; ideal temperature setting. How much does a central heating system with electric thermal storage cost? Source: Canva It costs $28,750, and this price includes the cost of the electric thermal storage system, as well as the heat pump installation. Given that it exceeds 1,500 pounds, there’s no surprise there, the Steffes Serenity device isn’t cheap. Yet, looking for ways to spare the grid during peak hours, as well as limit the need for fossil fuels, seems to be a priceless endeavour for the government. Hydro-Québec Heating Financial Assistance For that reason, and to lower household power bills, Hydro-Québec offers $15,000 in financial assistance to dwellings adopting central heating systems with electric thermal storage. On an even better note: the government is also offering an additional financial incentive of $7,000 if you also purchase and install an ENERGY STAR heat pump. This adds up to $22,000 in potential financial aid, contingent on the 9 following terms: Being a resident of Quebec and living in an area served by authorized professionals Purchasing a Serenity model 4120 or 4210 Programming it to cover peak hours Being a homeowner (single-detached, single-attached, townhouse, or duplex) Owning a forced-air heating system that serves only one dwelling Having a concrete basement (an electric thermal storage system weighs 1,536 lb) Opting for either a rate Flex D or DT Having a smart meter Having access to Hydro-Québec’s Customer space You can gather as much that an electric thermal storage system isn’t mandatorily connected to a heat pump. In fact, it can also work well with a furnace. Central Heating with Electric Thermal Storage and Other Systems Source: Canva Steffes Serenity Furnace Not all central heating systems can be paired with a thermal storage system. To function properly, the latter requires a forced-air heating system. Therefore, Steffes, the company that developed Serenity with Hydro-Québec, retails forced-air furnaces. Heat Pump This is the most cost-effective solution. It relies on: the heat pump’s efficiency and; the price of electricity. A heat pump extracts the thermal energy in the ambient air to draw out the heat and warm up the dwelling. Therefore, for 1 kWh of electrical energy consumed to function, a heat pump will provide between 2 and 3 kWh of heat. Nonetheless, the colder the air, the less the heat pump can extract the necessary calories to heat your home. Therefore, pairing a central heating system with electric thermal storage can mitigate this issue. Central heating systems allow you to heat your dwelling, no matter what. Central Heating System with Electric Thermal Storage: A Promising Innovation for Your Thermal Comfort The new central heating system with electric thermal storage is regarded as a promising tech innovation in domestic heating solutions. By efficiently storing and releasing heat, this system offers significant advantages in terms of energy efficiency and thermal comfort. This technology allows you to optimize your energy usage while reducing your long-term heating costs. However, having in-depth knowledge about the workings of this device is vital, as well as hiring certified professionals for installation and maintenance needs.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 04 Oct 2023
Heating solutions are in a state of flux; they're more diverse than ever, most notably because, nowadays, residential constructions benefit from options that were once reserved for commercial buildings. Case in point: the heated ceiling. While it’s a great alternative to radiant floor heating, it’s still little used in Quebec residences. Yet, it’s beautifully discreet and allows you to set up any room however you want without considering wall-mounted heaters or limited flooring options. So, how does it work? What are the defining aspects of ceiling heating solutions, and what are the advantages and drawbacks of the different models available? Read this article to learn all about it. What is ceiling heating? Source: Canva Ceiling heating is definitely a heating solution you'll want to look into. It ensures unparalleled thermal comfort. Nevertheless, it’s not the only reason homeowners should consider this type of heating system—it has one of the lowest energy consumption. At first glance, the idea of heating your home via the ceiling may seem like you’re defying the laws of physics. Hot air rises; it’s undeniable. So, how can a room be heated if the heating device is ceiling-mounted? Well, the answer is relatively straightforward: A ceiling heating system doesn’t warm up the air, but rather masses (people and objects). Thermal radiation from a ceiling heats just like the sun’s rays. Upon contact, objects and people in its vicinity will feel the system's warmth. The air inside the space warms up, too, when in contact with warm objects. The comfort provided means you can heat your home at a temperature lower than you’d typically require with another heating system. The heat transfer rate through ceiling radiation is 80%, while only 20% is via convection. The heat generated by radiation-based heating systems will be absorbed by inside surfaces (walls, floors, ceiling), increasing their temperature, while convection heating systems don’t work like that. For example, when a ceiling reaches a temperature of 23°C, the floor is at 19°C, and the walls are between 19°C and 20°C. All interior surfaces radiate and emit heat. And, since the human body swaps about 35% of its heat via radiation, it increases comfort. * The percentages indicated are for reference only. They can vary based on the insulation's quality as well as other factors. How does ceiling heating work? An electric ceiling heating system works much like a radiant floor heating system. This heating solution uses electric cables or a hot water pipe network. No matter the method, the device’s wiring is on the other side of the ceiling. The heat emitted through radiation is diffused evenly in the room via exterior panels concealed by drywall. An electric ceiling heating system is connected to a thermostat and the home’s electric system. On the other hand, hydronic ceiling heating systems are fueled by a reversible heat pump. Yet, in either case, the temperature is set in such a way as to maintain optimal thermal comfort, whatever the season. The Advantages of Ceiling Heating The benefits of ceiling heating are very similar to those of floor heating…with a few other perks. Let’s start off by saying that while radiant floor heating is complicated—or near impossible—to install in a home, ceiling heating will often be considered a quick and easy heating solution, especially during a remodel. Not unlike floor heating, the heat diffused unfolds gently and evenly. There are no obstacles. When it comes to choosing a heating system, energy consumption is one of the factors that most people first consider, and ceiling heating allows you to save financially. Since the system has little inertia, it can swiftly heat a room. The temperature climb will typically happen within 30 minutes. This system also reacts pretty well to weather changes, and its temperature can be regulated throughout the building, ensuring a continuous comfort level. Ceiling heating allows you to gain space-wise (it only lowers ceiling heights by about 10 centimetres or so) and leaves you access to all your walls to set up your furniture as you want, and you can also choose whichever flooring you want. Lastly, its installation is rather quick and requires little maintenance afterwards. NOTE: Installing a ceiling heating system requires roughly 10 centimetres of ceiling space. However, the room’s ceiling must be at least 2.5 metres high. Are you looking for experts for your heating and air conditioning project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! The Different Types of Radiant Ceiling Panels Source: Canva Compared to different heating systems, radiant ceiling panels evenly produce heat over 60-90% of a surface area, compared to the 3-7% of radiators and the 50% of radiant floors. Ceiling heating provides swift comfort and significant financial savings. While an electric baseboard instantly heats, providing heat throughout a confined space will still take quite a bit of time. With a radiant heating system, you can feel the heat immediately. As for ceiling heating, more and more options are available for consumers. Electric Ceiling Heating The workings of electric ceiling heating panels Two types of electric ceiling heating systems exist—radiant panel modular (RPM) and plasterboard radiant ceilings. In either case, the heat is emitted into the room through radiation. While their mode of operation differs, their pros and cons remain the same. Pros Swift temperature climb Homogeneous comfort Allows for space gain by simply taking a few centimetres off the ceiling height Can be done during the building or remodelling process Maintenance-free Cons Ceilings must be at least 2.5 metres high for the best possible installation Its installation is more complex compared to other electric solutions Installation is more expensive Infrared Ceiling Heating The workings of an infrared radiator There are two types of infrared radiators. First, short-wave radiators are equipped with heat-producing halogen lamps. Said heat is transmitted to objects through radiation. Given its short range, it's mainly used as an additional heater or as a patio heater. Secondly, long-wave radiators are equipped with a resistance-heated carbon plate. They’re highly prized for their decorative appeal and are designed to heat people and objects. Pros Heats rapidly Generates an even and comfortable heat Noiseless Doesn’t generate airflow; it contributes to a healthy, pleasant atmosphere Maintenance-free Fitted with a thermostat, regulates temperature with precision Discreet, suits any room Cons Only lightweight and thin models can be ceiling-mounted Not energy-efficient Relatively expensive if used throughout the entire residence Radiant Panel The workings of a radiant panel Radiant panels heat through both convection and radiation. It consists of a carbon plate or metallic alloys heated by electric resistance and a sort of honeycomb façade that diffuses heat. It directly heats walls, furniture, and people. The heat is then distributed throughout the room by radiation through the different masses present. Pros Performance-wise, it generates an even and pleasant thermal comfort More cost-effective than a convector Its temperature climb is quick and even The wall behind the equipment doesn’t need to be insulated Some unique models are made from noble materials and perfectly blend in with the décor Radiant panels are either installed vertically or horizontally to fit the designated space Doesn’t spread dust Enables heating regulation and programmable settings for the entire house Cons It can be deemed energy-intensive when used as the central heating system The absence of an inertia-based functioning lowers the perceived comfort level and leads to a temperature difference between the floor and ceiling It shouldn’t be used in older buildings The control system may be too rudimentary to manage the temperature precisely Once turned off, it completely ceases to heat, which leads to a quick change in comfort levels It tends to dry out the air It’s rather an expensive purchase based on its performance level The panels’ positioning will affect the system’s overall performance Fan Heaters and Ceiling Fan Heaters The workings of a ceiling fan heater It has a three-step process. First, the ambient air is drawn into a fan, then warmed up through resistance, and, lastly, blown back into the room. Pros Very useful during extremely cold periods Allows you to heat a room efficiently Cons An electric fan heater can only be used as a space heater. It can’t effectively heat an entire dwelling over an extended period. Water-Bearing (or Hydronic) Ceiling Heating The workings of water-bearing surface heating (See section detailing the different types of systems.) Pros Very good at regulating temperatures Diffuses a gentle and homogeneous heat throughout the entire house The radiation is strong enough to warm the floor to the touch The heat diffused won't be hindered by any obstacles Quick temperature climb Allows to save on electricity bills Maintenance-free It can be installed in a new home or during a home remodel Fosters a better relative humidity level It’s a reversible system, meaning you can benefit from air conditioning too Cons It’s expensive Complex installation process How to Install a Radiant Ceiling Source: Canva There are three different types of products: A radiant panel modular system has panels fitted with heating elements, mineral wool, and a finishing layer. Plasterboard radiant heating has freestanding panels, insulation, and electricity-fueled heating films. The water-fed or hydronic version is fueled with a water boiler. It’s a closed-circuit system working with hydronic pipes. Since every ceiling heating system is unique, their installation methods will differ. Installing a Radiant Panel Modular System Radiant modular panels are supported by metal furring, much like T-bar ceilings. The ceiling is then closed over with a neutral and decorative panel of your choosing. Installing a Plasterboard Radiant Heating System Heat-producing plasterboards are supported by the same metal furring used for T-bar ceilings. The panels are covered by standard drywall panels once connected to the electrical network. Installing a Hydronic System The water pipes are affixed to the ceiling, covered by insulation and concealed by suspended ceiling panels. The water pipes are connected to a reversible heat pump or boiler. Using a Ceiling Heating System in Specific Areas Source: Canva Naturally, regarding heating, a household’s needs differ from room to room, whether it’s regarding the amount of space available or the occupants’ needs: additional space heater, confined space, suspended ceiling, etc. Therefore, some solutions are a better fit compared to others. Below are some noteworthy suggestions. Bathroom Ceiling Heating In a bathroom, ceiling heating may be preferred to a radiant floor. Once the plumbing devices are installed, the space available to heat a floor can often be too limited for the system to be efficient enough as a main heat source. Whereas, in a ceiling, there’s a lot of space! For optimal comfort, it’s best to use a pulse-based electronic controller. Infrared panels are perfect for heating a particular space at any given time. The heat is instantaneous, much like the comfort level experienced. A ceiling fan heater quietly distributes heat above head level, making it ideal for bathrooms with limited wall space. It can be installed near the shower or bathtub. Since this device circulates air around the room and efficiently diffuses heat, it reduces the likelihood of foggy mirrors or windows. Kitchen Ceiling Heating With a ceiling-mounted radiant heating system, heat is dispersed onto surfaces, objects, and people. Infrared ceiling panels are flat heating panels that can be easily affixed to a ceiling or built-in. They’re subtle, easy to install, and can be wall-mounted or inserted into a suspended ceiling furring. What is the best garage heating system? The ceiling-mounted fan heater is, by far, the winner here. It’s an affordable heating solution that’s both fast and near-noiseless. Additionally, it typically boasts a stylish design and is available in bright colours. What heating system is best suited for high ceilings? Infrared radiators are perfectly suited for high-ceilinged rooms. Some are more energy-efficient than others and are remarkably efficient in large areas. The Smart Rooms panels are a great option. These panels have electrical wire circuits available in two different shapes. They’re inserted between the ceiling joists and then concealed with standard gypsum boards. They can also be left exposed.