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Gas Boilers

What are ENERGY STAR gas boilers?

Many homes have improperly sized and poorly installed heating equipment. This can cause uncomfortable rooms and increased energy costs, while shortening the life of the equipment. An ENERGY STAR® certified boiler is a common solution chosen by many homeowners in areas with gas service to bring the benefits of luxurious radiant warmth and cost savings to their home.

A boiler heats your home by burning natural gas to heat water that circulates to wall mounted radiators or radiant floor systems. This type of heating technology distributes radiant heat for your home through a series of insulated pipes to individual rooms, rather than through a forced air duct and vent system. Radiant heat warms objects in the room and your body rather than just the air in the room, providing a comfort you can feel.

What are the benefits of ENERGY STAR gas boilers?

  • Radiant warmth: Delivers cost effective radiant warmth evenly and consistently throughout your home, warming your body rather than just the air in the room.
  • Zonal heating & choice: Separate areas or individual rooms can have their own temperature setting, adjusted to your preference. Choose between radiators or radiant floor heating.
  • Smaller space requirements: Compact size and ductless design allows for valuable space savings in your home. Ideal for open concept designs or homes of any shape or size.
  • Versatility: Options for space and water heating in one system provides versatility and less mechanical equipment in your home.

What are the costs of a high-efficiency boiler?

Costs for purchasing and installing a high-efficiency boiler system can vary significantly based on the size of your home, the type, make and model of boiler selected, as well as design and installation considerations. Be sure to get multiple quotes from contractors to compare costs, installation approach and warranties.

How do I ensure that I get the right gas boiler for my home?

Getting optimal performance from a new ENERGY STAR® certified boiler depends on more than just choosing the right equipment.

  • Consult with experts: Ask your energy advisor how this ENERGY STAR certified feature could transform your home.
  • Get a heat load calculation: Ask the builder to confirm that the heating contractor calculates the heat requirements to ensure your gas boiler is sized properly.
  • Ask about hydronic design: To ensure optimum performance and efficiency, make sure your contractor talks to you about all of the components, design and installation details for your system.
  • Don’t forget about commissioning: Commissioning is a critical quality assurance step that should not be overlooked to verify and document that the engineered performance has been achieved.
  • Maintain your equipment: Similar to servicing a vehicle, preventive maintenance is a good investment to minimize future problems. Arrange for annual servicing. Make regular adjustments to the controls of your system to ensure optimal functioning. Consult the owner’s manual for details.

What maintenance does my gas boiler require?

To ensure that your gas boiler operates safely and reliably, it’s important to maintain your boiler by having it cleaned regularly and scheduling inspections. It’s important to read over the owner’s manual for your gas boiler to understand what is involved for proper maintenance. Maintenance should be performed by a licensed gas contractor who is trained and licensed in gas boiler maintenance.

For more information on maintaining your gas boiler, visit FortisBC and the BC Safety Authority.

Can I use my boiler to also provide domestic hot water?

There are combination space-water heating systems that use hydronic boilers instead of water heaters. The hydronic boiler transfers heat through an exchanger to heat water for your home. Please note that combination systems must be professionally designed and properly sized. When hiring a contractor to install your combination system, they must be certified by the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) for designing combination heating systems. For more information about combination systems, visit Natural Resources Canada and the Water Heater Guide.

What accreditations do I look for when hiring a natural gas installer?

When hiring a natural gas installer, look for a contractor that’s licensed with the BC Safety Authority, professionally trained, and in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. The FortisBC Trade Ally Network is a database of gas contractors that adhere to the following criteria:
  • possess a minimum of $2 million liability and third-party insurance
  • have a business licence for each community they serve
  • have been in business for a minimum of three years
  • are informed about FortisBC energy efficiency rebates and innovative technologies
For more information, visit the Hiring a Contractor FAQs.

Get solutions for common problems & learn about energy efficient upgrades.