Four innovative ways to get the most from “life in blue”

by in Energy

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The benefits of natural gas boilers, water heaters, pool heaters and stoves are no secret to most Québecers. But there are other great applications out there that are well worth discovering.

Natural gas has been gaining in popularity among business and residential consumers in recent years, as it is both efficient and offers greater comfort. But beyond the usual equipment and appliances, other uses make it possible to get even more out of this energy source. Here are four of them.

1. Recuperate and save: Condensing unit heaters

Ideally suited to warehouses, loading docks and other large spaces that require quick heating, condensing unit heaters can achieve 90% energy efficiency.

Suspended from the ceiling, these systems feature an efficient heat exchanger that recovers heat from combustion gases to then blow warm air into the space, horizontally or vertically. The result: a significantly reduced ecological footprint and energy bill compared with a standard unit heater.

Énergir offers a $1,700 grant for the purchase of a condensing unit heater. Plus, these units are so efficient they can help with obtaining LEED certification.

2. Warming people rather than air: Infrared heating

Designed for use in large, drafty spaces with high ceilings, such as train stations, warehouses, gymnasiums, sports fields or production facilities, natural gas infrared heating units offer superior energy efficiency.

Infrared technology transfers radiating heat from a hot entity to a cold one. Suspended from the ceiling, these systems transfer heat directly to people and objects, drastically reducing the amount of energy wasted from heating the surrounding air. From a comfort perspective, the effect is comparable to the feeling of being in the sun.

There are two categories available: high-intensity and low-intensity. Both generate 25% to 35% savings, require minimal maintenance and are easy to regulate with a thermostat.

Énergir offers grants of up to $500 for the purchase of an infrared heating system.

3. Flexibility in numbers: Tankless water heater combos

Tankless condensing water heaters offer many well-known advantages. They can be installed in convenient locations, take up little space and generate a virtually unlimited supply of hot water, on demand. The icing on the cake: they offer significant cost and energy savings, achieving an efficiency rating of up to 98%.

What most people don’t know, however, is that you can combine several tankless water heaters to flexibly meet a full range of needs. Some suppliers offer solutions featuring as many as 25 units; that’s up to 5 million Btu/h! They can be configured several different ways (wall-mounted, free-standing, back-to-back), and will remain easy to install and maintain. In fact, a full combo requires just three connections: cold water, hot water and natural gas. And any unit can be disconnected as needed without affecting the others.

Énergir offers grants to residential and business customers for the purchase of tankless condensing water heaters.

4. All the benefits, none of the hassle: Natural gas fireplaces

Great for both individuals and businesses, natural gas fireplaces offer all the benefits of a fireplace without the hassle of buying and storing wood, and cleaning up messy ashes. They also make an especially attractive option in places like Montréal, where local by-laws severely limit the use of wood fireplaces.

They come in all kinds of designs, from sleek and modern to traditional or contemporary. You have total control over the intensity of the flame, and some even run without electricity, making them a very handy heat source in the event of a power outage.

Natural gas fireplaces can be custom-made as well. Not only are they a wonderful addition to any home, they can also enhance common spaces in apartment buildings, hotels or restaurants.
Énergir offers grants of up to $200 to residential customers for the purchase of a natural gas fireplace.

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