Sunday, January 3, 2010


On the 8th of December 09 I had a regularly scheduled inspection of my furnace. I normally get this done every year prior to Winter to ensure that the furnace will not fail me when I need it the most.

This time however, I was informed that the heat exchanger was cracked. Heat Exchangers are generally warrantied for the life of the unit, so getting a new one would not be a problem. The issue was the labor cost to get it replaced. It would cost me anything in the range of CAD 800-1200. After opening the unit however there would be other parts that would need replacing as is generally the case with a unit of it's vintage. After the repairs, I would still be stuck with a 15+ year old no efficiency and I'm not sure of going that route....

We decided to bite the bullet and replace the entire unit at a cost of CAD 5,500. I also went with an EcoENERGY audit that would reward me for the upgrade to a High Efficiency furnace. That means that the Canadian Government (Provincial and Federal) would give me back CAD 1,580 for this upgrade.

I now have 18 months within which to do all of the necessary upgrades after which the auditor returns, assesses the changes and then files the paperwork directly with the government to enable me to get my money.

So here's what I plan to do and what I expect to get back in return

High Efficiency Furnace - 1580.00
Energy Star A/C - 500.00
Attic Insulation to R-50 - 1,400.00
Basement Walls Insulation - Between 900.00 and 1,800.00 depending on the R value
Headers Insulation - 250.00
Crawl Space Insulation - 750.00
Air Sealing - 190.00 to 430.00 depending on the readings.
Replace Doors & Windows - 80.00 per unit
Replace Toilets - 130.00

With the exception of the furnace which is already done (and the fact that I would never touch Gas...) the only other work that I would subcontract is the blowing of the insulation into the attic. I's not that I can't do the job, I'm just very afraid of blocking the soffits and causing more harm than good. All other work will be done by me and while I will end up spending more that what I will get back, my expenses will be offset by sweat equity and I will be rewarded with a house that is more comfortable both in winter and summer, lower heating and cooling bills and a warmer basement without the need of supplemental heating devices.

Changing the toilets has to be the one area where I actually make some money. The units I got cost me CAD 250.00 each. HD had an offer where they dropped 100.00 off the price and the Region of Peel gives me 100.00 back making my units cost just 50.00. Then I get back 130.00 per unit from the EcoENERGY initiative.

There is really a lot to be done. And I'm here sitting and blogging.......

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