Derek Jackson with Wardlaw Heating & Cooling discusses where he sees the industry moving to in the decades to come
A lot has changed in the heating and cooling industry over the last 40 years. When Wardlaw Heating & Cooling first opened their doors in 1981, they were a fuel oil delivery company.
These days, Wardlaw Heating & Cooling is a full-service HVAC contractor that continues to adapt to the changing industry in order to best serve their customers.
I asked Derek Jackson, Sales and Marketing Manager for Wardlaw Heating & Cooling, a few questions about what has changed in his industry and where he sees it going.
How have you seen the industry change over the course of your career?
“Heating homes with less expensive and more ecofriendly fuels are two common goals. Oil delivery to homes has been phased out in most areas and it has been replaced with gas or propane.
Air conditioners are more efficient than ever. Thank goodness because more Canadians have them than ever before. According to NRCan, natural gas furnace efficiency was about 65 per cent and now we are achieving 97% efficiency with highly efficient gas furnaces.
Homes are built differently, too. As homes no longer have the natural exchange of indoor and outdoor air, it is important to use devices like air exchangers which circulate stale indoor air out and bring in fresh air from outside.
Smart HVAC is getting smarter. Systems can now run on a programmed schedule, self-regulate, be adjusted remotely, and send us notifications when something goes wrong. It is worry free when you can go away on vacation and get an email if your furnace breaks down or turn the heat up from your office before heading home.”
What changes can people expect to see in the years to come?
“Cold climate heat pumps are becoming more popular. They can be either ducted and ductless and any home can be retrofitted for them. Since heat pumps use electricity as their fuel source, there are two main concerns for consumers. Will the current electric grid be able to sustain the uptake in consumption? Will their utility bills go up? The answer to these questions will depend on how they are currently heating their home, what they are switching from, and where they are. Our team can help answer these questions.
It is no surprise that indoor air quality is top of mind for many families. Systems, including our Napoleon lineup, are now available with built in air purification systems. Air quality, including humidity control, high quality filters, and UV-C lights are transitioning from a luxury for few homes to the expectation for many.”
Are green fuels or sources of energy going to make an impact in the way we heat and cool our homes?
“In a way, we are going back. At the moment, we are still seeing many homes transition from electric heat to gas heat due to the high price of electricity. We expect this trend to end in the near future as heat pumps become the new normal. We saw this in the past when homeowners transitioned from oil to gas or propane. High-efficient electrically heated and cooled homes are the future.
Geothermal is also a technology that is continuing to improve. It will continue to be available for those properties and homes where it will work and is the most efficient way of heating. We did see large government subsidies in geothermal in years past, and I expect those will come again in the future.”
Are there current subsidies available for households who want to upgrade to more eco-friendly HVAC systems?
“The government is supporting the industry in the transition to greener homes. That means there are great rebate options available to homeowners at the moment, especially when purchasing heat pumps. Some of the programs require energy audits or can be a bit overwhelming. Our team can help walk the homeowners through how to take advantage of these savings.”
For more information about how Wardlaw Heating & Cooling can help move your home or commercial property into the future, call them at (705) 230-3148. Visit them online on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.