Okay, I admit it, when I think of energy efficiency products Sears is not one of the first companies that comes to mind, except maybe in the appliances category. I know they have great appliances and many are Energy Star rated, but the other areas, such as tankless hot water, air purifiers and drainwater heat recovery never even occurred to me. Imagine my surprise when, at the Healthy Home launch at Downsview, it turned out that Sears was one of the major sponsors. Huh. Here I am, scouring Toronto to find companies that sell, install and service energy efficient products and all kinds of green products, and it turns out Sears does a lot of it too.
In the Healthy Home display, Sears not only supplied all of the kitchen appliances (which you can read about in my kitchen post), but also the utility room equipment as well as bedroom furniture, and all window coverings. This post is dedicated to the utility room appliances only.
Furnace: Kenmore 76150 Series (95% AFUE) natual gas furnace with an ECM (electronically commutated motor) variable speed motor, which promotes more efficient energy use. 95% AFUE means that 95 energy units out of 100 produced by the furnace is used to heat your home (AFUE stands for “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency”). In addition, every forced air furnace needs a fan to circulate the air. Fans draw electricity so the more efficient the fan motor is, the less electricity it will draw. An ECM motor uses direct current DC electricity which is much more energy efficient and Altenate Current (AC) and will be up to 70% more efficient than an AC fan motor. Because the fan is variable speeds, it is an excellent choice for zoning, meaning you can control temperature in different parts of your home and keep electricity consumption at lower levels.
Heat Recovery Ventilator: Venmar Constructo 1.0 HRV (Energy Star rated). A heat recovery ventilator transfers heat from stale room temperature air to incoming fresh air to warm it room temperature before circulating it into your home. This unit can exchange between 40 and 100 cubic feet of air per minute. Maintains even temperatures in your home while giving you a constant supply of fresh air.
Tankless Hot Water: Bosch Tankless Hot water heater. Because tankless hot water systems heat water only when used, it can save up to 50% of your hot water heating costs annually. These tanks have a flow rate of 7.3 – 9.2 gallons per minute depending on the model.
Central Air Conditioning: Kenmore 77410 Series 14.5 SEER rating, CAC, using R-410A refrigerant. Central Air Conditioners are the biggest energy hogs in your home, so the more energy efficient unit you have, the better it is for your Hydro bill. In addition, the refrigerant most commonly used for central air conditioners is R-22 which contributes to ozone depletion. Units which use R-410A refridgerants are safer for the earth’s ozone layer as it does not cause ozone depletion if leaked.
A SEER rating stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. It is calculated by assuming an average summer temperature of 28C, and is the amount of cooling provided by an air conditioning unit over the amount of energy used by the unit over the same time period. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit. A minimum SEER rating for Ontario is 10.
Drain Water Heat Recovery: Using the Power Pipe Brand, a conductive coil that is wrapped around the outgoing drain, the conductive metal piping transfers the heat from the outgoing waste water and warms incoming water flowing into your hot water heater. This is an excellent system to use in conjunction with tankless, but it can also be used with any storage tank system as well. It is most efficient if the pipe to the drain is next to the hot water heater (less heat loss).
The Healthy Home is on display at The Hangar at Downsview Park (1-35 Carl Hall Rd., Downsview, ON).
Hours: Open to the public: Monday to Friday 6-9pm, Saturday and Sunday, 12-3pm.