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Energy-efficient furnace retrofits can have a significant impact on homeowner comfort and utility bills. However in practice new equipment is often installed incorrectly, which can compromise energy savings, comfort, and equipment durability.

To address this, FortisBC wanted to develop a best practices guide that covered all components of a proper furnace installation including: examination of pre- existing HVAC system conditions, equipment installation, furnace commissioning, and proper maintenance practices. The guide was to consolidate current furnace replacement standards, guidelines, specifications and educational materials in a single resource.

Overall objectives were to: provide a general understanding on the importance of evaluating installation quality; improve furnace installation practices; increase homeowner understanding of heating systems and furnace maintenance; improve communication between contractors and homeowners; and develop furnace retrofit guidelines that could be used by government, utilities, and/or industry associations in demand side management programs.




Ecolighten Energy Solutions Ltd. partnered with RDH Building Science Inc. to deliver key services which included: a literature review on existing requirements, guidelines and checklists; the formation of a new steering committee comprised of government, utilities and HVAC industry representatives; and a presentation of the research findings, general outline and proposed content.

Upon approval from the steering committee, technical content was developed. For consumers this content included information on house-as-a-system, hints and tips, help with identifying quality installations, and an example quotation sheet. For contractors this included step-by-step information on pre-change out, installation, commissioning, education and maintenance, plus challenges and solutions, and an example quotation sheet.

Once the guide was finalized and approved by all parties, the team then supported FortisBC with industry engagement and awareness to promote the guide.

Technical Literature / Standards Research
Content Development
Stakeholder Engagement
Reporting / Presentations
  • Fortis BC

    FortisBC appreciates the technical expertise provided by Ecolighten to support the development of the High-Efficiency Installation Guide for Existing Homes. Ecolighten has been a great partner to FortisBC in helping to support our market transformation strategy focused on quality installations and this resource is an important contribution to these efforts.

    Fortis BC


    FortisBC distributed more than 720 copies of the High-Efficiency Furnace Installation Guide for Existing Homes to date. It has since become an important tool to educate consumers on the advantages of quality installations while encouraging contractors to apply best practices. This guide continues to address the workmanship practices required to close the gap between expected and actual furnace performance by highlighting the steps and procedures in one clear resource.

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