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Federal Government Announces Interest-Free Loan Program to Supplement Greener Homes Program

On Friday, June 17, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced the launch of the first phase of the new Canada Greener Homes Loan for homeowners, which will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 per household.
The first phase, starting on June 17, 2022, will be open to eligible homeowners who are applying or have an open application (pre-retrofit stage) to the Canada Greener Homes Grant. The second phase, starting in early September 2022, will expand the eligibility to homeowners who have closed their application (those who have requested their post-retrofit evaluation or grant), but still have remaining eligible retrofits they are interested in pursuing, that have not yet commenced.
Budget 2021 provided $4.4 billion for a new loan program to help homeowners and affordable housing providers complete deep home retrofits.
The Canada Greener Homes Loan is an inclusive program designed to help up to 175,000 eligible homeowners undertake deeper, more costly retrofits that will have a significant impact in reducing a home’s environmental footprint, energy bills, and in improving home resiliency.

The Canada Greener Homes Loan is part of the Canada Greener Homes Initiatives. The program builds on the Canada Greener Homes Grant offered by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) in helping Canadian Homeowners across the country improve the energy efficiency of their home. The Canada Greener Homes initiatives helps eligible homeowners make their homes more comfortable and affordable to maintain while supporting Canada’s environmental objectives, climate change plans and targets. These retrofits will also help stimulate the economy by creating good middle-class jobs in communities across the country.

 

For more information on this program, including helpful Q&As, click on the links below:
 

Two tips for a safe summer

The joys of summer barbecues and swimming pools are such a treat—but after a long winter, be sure to inspect outdoor appliances for broken or damaged connections. Whether inside or out, knowing the signs of a natural gas leak can also keep you and your loved ones safe.

Signs of a natural gas leak inside could include:
•    A distinctive rotten egg or sulphur-like odour.
•    Appliances that are hissing even when turned off.
•    Suddenly feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous.
Signs of a natural gas leak outside could include:
•    A distinctive rotten egg or sulphur-like odour.
•    A hissing or whistling sound.
•    A patch of dying vegetation among healthy plants.
•    Bubbles in puddles or mud.
If you experience any of these signs, call Enbridge or your supplier immediately to report a leak. Natural gas is not poisonous, but it is flammable—never smoke or start any motors near the leak.

Let’s keep everyone safe from dog bites
If your meter is in a backyard or somewhere accessible to your dog, please remember to leash or keep your dog inside when we visit your property. Consider posting a sign to alert us that a dog may be present. These simple steps help keep our employees safe—and your pet, too.

Navigating Your New AC Regulatory Requirements

What is the change?
 
Effective January 1, 2023, there will be new minimum efficiency standards for split-system air conditioners and split-system heat pumps. As well as a change to the efficiency rating test procedure, known as the “M1 Standard,” which will affect split-system air conditioners, splitsystem heat pumps and packaged units. As in the past, these standards vary by both product type and geographic region.
 
Why now?
 
About every six years, the Department of Energy evaluates energy conservation standards for most of the appliances you have in your home or those in commercial buildings. When DOE evaluates the need for a new standard, they decide whether there are significant national energy savings if the standard is increased.
 
Testing to a Higher  Standard
 
To comply with a new, more stringent testing protocol for reporting efficiency ratings, Manufacturers are required to:
• Re-test equipment to the new efficiency rating test requirements
known as the “M1 Standard.”
• Publish equipment efficiency ratings using the new efficiency metrics of SEER2, EER2 and HSPF2. Compared to the current test procedure the new test procedure increases the external static pressure from 0.1-0.3 ESP to 0.5 ESP to better reflect field conditions, for heat pumps a more representative heating load line will also be implemented. Since the new testing requirements are more stringent, in 2023, there will be new metrics and nomenclature – SEER2, EER2 and HSPF2. Here’s what will go into effect beginning January 1, 2023.
 
 

Caring for your new fireplace

Your purchase of a gas fireplace is an investment which will bring outstanding comfort, warmth and energy savings for years to come. To help ensure that your fireplace always opeartes at peak performances we recommend that your installation, annual service and inspection be performed by a profrssional , trained installer who will familiarize you with the opearting installations, Here are some additional simple guidlines for care and maintenance.

Gas fireplace care and cleaning

BEFORE DOING ANY MAINTENANCE WAIT FOR THE UNIT TO COOL DOWN.

Glass

Periodic cleaning of the viewing glass is required. Wait for the unit to cool completely before wiping the glass;wiping a hot glass with a damp cloth can cause thermal stress and subsequesnt breakage. Clean the glass after the first 10 hours of opeation. If deposits are not cleaned off regularly, a white, or grey film may appear on the glass that may adhere permanently to the glass surface. We recommend a gas fireplace glass cleaner available through your dealer. Avoid the use of abrasive cleaners which can scratch or damage the surface of treated glass. When removing the glass door for cleaning, remeber to note its fixed position and the placement of gaskets so that it may be easily and properly reinstalled. Read your owner's manual for any additional instructions. If the viwing glass or seal needs replacing, use only material specified in your manual. Items must be suiable for the application and temperature.

Brass Chrome Trim

Wait for the unit to cool before wiping any brass or chrome trim on your fireplace. Gently wipe with a clean soft cloth and buff lightly, being careful to avoid contact with any sharp edges. To remove fingerprints, wipe with soft cloth lightly dampened with lemon oil.

Logs & Embers

After cleaning or moving the logs or embers in your fireplace, be sure to place them as shown in your owner's manual. If the logs are not properly positioned, carboning will occure. Place a drop sheet in front of the fireplace to avoid soiling of capets. Do not place any hot items on a combustible surface such as carpet.

Maintenance

Like other heating products, your fireplace requires regular maintenance to ensure its safe and efficient opeation. Always make sure that the control compartments, burners, circulating air passageways and fans are kept clean;if your fireplace is going into home during construction or renovations, do not use the fireplace until the area is thoroughly cleaned. Drywall dust and other contaminents may harm the fan, motors and burners. More frequent cleaning may be required due to excessive inltt, dust or hair from carpeting, pets etc.

 

Link to Gas Fireplace Repair Page

Repair or Replace?

Should you Repair or Replace your Heating or Cooling System

1. When to repair
 
When considering repairs, there's surprisingly simple formula widely used across the HVAC industry for evaluating the best use of your money. Just multiply the unit's age by the cost of repairs. If the total exceeds $5,000, you'll want to replace it. You'll want to do the same if you're finding yourself repeatedly repairing the same system.
 
One the other hand, if your system calls for the occasional repair while performing well overall or if it's less than five years old, replacement won't be necessary for some time. Either way, your HVAC contractor can provide you with return or investment and lifetime cost analysis to help inform your decision. 
 
2. Know your system's age
 
Age absolutely matters when it comes to HVAC. According to Energy Star, if your air conditioning unit is older than 10 years and your furnace is older than 15 years, it's time to consider replacement.
 
3. Safety above all else
 
Your contractor is trained to identify issues like CO leaks or older wiring that might present a fire hazard. From there, they can help you determine whether you need some basic repairs or if replacement is the safest course of action. 
 
4.Advancments over time
 
The HVAC industry has evolved significantly in recent years. While older analog systems can function well, modern digital systems open up a world of efficiency and communication features. Depending on the age of your system, there are plenty of home comfort advancements that could absolutely transform your air, including drastically improved efficiency, variable-speed and variable capacity units, indoor air quality innovations, zoning technology that lets you control temperatures in different sections of your home, and smart thermostats with the amazing ability to monitor sensors in all of your hvac equipment to react, diagnose, and troubleshoot. Also, recent regulation changes mean that older units that still use the ozone-depleting R-22 refrigerant will prove harder and costlier to repair, as this compound is being phased out. In fact, it increasing scarcity is already resulting in inflated prices that will undoubtedly continue to rise at greater expense to homeowners. Currently, all Lennox units run on R-410A refrigerant to reduce energy costs and environmental impact.
 
5. Personal comfort
 
Beyond temperature and humidity, there's the general idea of how you air "feels". And all the latest advancements can make it so the only way your air ever feels is how you want it to feel, particularly when it comes to digital systems. Innovations like smart thermostats offer unprecedented control. While features like zoning ensure different parts of your household deliver and maintain different family members' personal degree of perfection. Basically, once you get used to living with perfect air, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. Should you choose to replace your HVAC, your Lennox Dealer can help you find the perfect system for your home. By considering factors including your house's layout, current ductwork, and the number of windows in every room, your dealer can quickly identify the right-sized, whole-home system that's tailored to your comfort. 
 
6. Beyond energy savings.
 
Ready to replace? You'll find added incentives in credits and rebates from manufacturers and your local utility company that often total up to thousands of dollars in savings. Ask your HVAC contractor or utility company for specific offers available to you.
 
7. Environmentally responsible
 
Choosing an Energy Star certified product that meets or exceeds federal efficiency standards will greatly minimize energy waste and that's something we can all feel good about. Additionally, your product may qualify for even more rebates.
 

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