Frequently Asked Questions

Solar Panels – A Personal Testimony

Are you considering solar panels? One of our clients wrote a personal testimonial answering a lot of common questions in (non-technical) detail, that may help you consider the different aspects and understand what to expect and how to get the most out of a residential roof-top installation. Click here to read.

Solar and Solar Thermal

What happens if I have hail damage?

We always request that you notify your insurance company before the installation of solar modules so that they may be included in your home insurance plan.


What are the steps in getting a Solar PV system installed?

We`ll come by to verify that your roof is suitable for a Solar Thermal system. Together we`ll decide what size of system would meet your needs. Then we`ll take some measurements and have a good look at the space where your hot water heater is located. All of this will take less than an hour. You`ll receive a quote from us and a time frame for the installation. When you`ve made your down-payment we`ll arrange for the permits, install the collectors and piping and commission the entire system to ensure it is working as designed. For average-sized systems this takes 1-2 days.To ensure optimal performance of your Solar Thermal system it is also a good idea to schedule an annual check-up visit (just as you would service your furnace in the Fall).


I live in a condo complex. Can I still put a Solar Thermal system on my roof?

Roofs are often considered to be `Common Property` or `Managed Property` in the condo complex. Any changes to this property generally have to abide by your condo by-laws. Be sure to consult with the company that is managing your condo complex and/or the board of directors of the condo complex for guidance before proceeding with a roof installation.


What are my potential savings from installing a Solar Thermal system?

Because natural gas is quite cheap in Alberta right now the installation of a Solar ThermalSystem is motivated by the desire to use less energy and reduce carbon emissions. These savings outweigh the cost considerations for those who choose to install this type of system. We can estimate these savings once we establish the size of system that you wish to install.

Energy Efficiency

How long does it take to replace a standard efficiency boiler with a high efficiency boiler?

This is very difficult to estimate until we know how the boiler is to be used and what the venting requirements will be. It can be as quick as a single day on site. Other installations can take up to three days if the boiler installation is being integrated with a new water tank replacement or a fan coil installation, or if additional piping or new routings of pipes or vents are involved. The best thing is for us to give you an accurate estimate when we know what you wish to have in your home.


What are the venting requirements of a high efficiency boiler and how may that differ from what I have now?

High efficiency appliances require their own separate exhaust venting for each appliance. They also require that the vent be sized to the appliance and be made of approved material. Often existing appliances have exhaust venting that is made of metal and is shared between appliances such as the water heater and the furnace. The exhaust from high efficiency appliances is designed to condense before it exits the exhaust vent. This means that acidic water droplets are running down the inside of the exhaust pipe from the vent back into the appliance from where they are directed down to a floor drain. This fluid is corrosive to traditional metal venting. One solution is to run a new exhaust pipe (called a `sleeve`) made of approved material up through the existing exhaust vent. Another solution is to build a new exhaust pipe from the same material and run it next to the old metal exhaust pipe if space permits. The final solution is to run that new exhaust pipe out of the house through a new location, either through the roof or out the side of the house(called `side-venting`).


What are my potential savings from installing a high efficiency boiler?

Once we know the size of your system that you will require we can estimate the savings that you can expect to achieve.


How long does it take to replace a standard efficiency furnace with a high efficiency furnace?

With some advance planning as to the venting requirements and routings we can often complete the replacement in one day.


What are my potential savings from installing a high efficiency furnace?

We can give you an accurate estimate when we know the efficiency of your existing furnace vs. the high efficiency furnace that you are looking to install.


What are my potential savings from installing a high efficiency domestic hot water heater?

Because natural gas is quite cheap in Alberta right now the installation of a high efficiency domestic hot water heater is motivated by the desire to use less energy and reduce carbon emissions. These savings outweigh the cost considerations for those who choose to install this type of water heater.


How long does it take to replace a standard efficiency domestic hot water heater with a high efficiency domestic hot water heater?

With some advance planning as to the venting requirements and routings we can complete their placement in one day.


What are the venting requirements of a high efficiency domestic hot water heater and how may that differ from what I have now?

High efficiency appliances require their own separate exhaust venting for each appliance. They also require that the vent be sized to the appliance and be made of approved material. Often existing appliances have exhaust venting that is made of metal and is shared between appliances such as the water heater and the furnace. The exhaust from high efficiency appliances is designed to condense before it exits the exhaust vent. This means that acidic water droplets are running down the inside of the exhaust pipe from the vent back into the appliance from where they are directed down to a floor drain. This fluid is corrosive to traditional metal venting. One solution is to run a new exhaust pipe (called a `sleeve`) made of approved material up through the existing exhaust vent. Another solution is to build a new exhaust pipe from the same material and run it next to the old metal exhaust pipe if space permits. The final solution is to run that new exhaust pipe out of the house through a new location, either through the roof or out the side of the house(called `side-venting`).


How long does it take to install a drain water heat recovery pipe?

If your drain water pipe is easily accessible this can be completed in half a day or less.


What are my potential savings from installing a drain water heat recovery system?

Savings can be estimated for you when we have an idea of annual water consumption in your home. We can tell you right now that the installation of a drain water heat recovery system is one of the easiest and cost-effective upgrades that you can choose to save energy and money in your home.


Do you have any questions?

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