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Gas Furnace Construction Heat Update

Gas Furnace Construction Heat Update

The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) and its manufacturer members continue to insist that their furnaces will not be eligible for use for construction heat.  Although Association objections to this move resulted in the date of implementation being pushed forward from September 1, 2016 to May 1, 2017, and it was hoped that HRAI and its manufacturers would work with industry to find a better solution, their position has not changed.  At the same time, given the vagueness of the new ban wording to be included in their instruction manuals (below), CHBA (and OHBA) pressed for confirmation of exactly what this would mean.

"Gas furnaces manufactured on or after May 1, 2017 are not permitted to be used in Canada for heating of buildings or structures under construction."

The results of those discussions have lead to an understanding that construction will be deemed to have been completed post drywall installation, sanding and priming. Given that drywall dust has been expressed as the main concern by HRAI, once this stage is completed, furnaces will then be eligible for activation to provide finishing heat.

Construction Heat Furnace

Given the provincial nature of enforcing such requirements, HRAI elected to first work in Ontario to establish a protocol with gas utilities and the Ontario Technical Standards Safety Authority (TSSA), to provide a model to discuss with other provinces. The Ontario Home Builders’ Association and Canadian Home Builders’ Association engaged in this process both in the hopes of finding better solutions and to ensure that whatever the requirements were in the end, clarity on their implementation was at least achieved for members. Those meetings have now concluded and a protocol form (“A Finishing Heat Activation Form”) has been developed for Ontario, which we understand will be made available through the gas utilities. Although CHBA does not agree with the ban, at least the “rules of the game” and the ways to adhere to it will now be more clear.

We understand HRAI will now use this as a model for discussion with stakeholders in other provinces and/or their safety authorities.  We also understand TSSA is sharing the form with other provincial regulators through the Interprovincial Gas Advisory Council (IGAC) for their consideration.

CHBA’s participation in the process for establishing this protocol for Ontario is not an agreement that furnaces should not be used for construction heat.  CHBA has continually expressed its opposition and concern over this and a desire to work with HRAI and its manufacturers to find a better solution, unfortunately to no avail. To this end, CHBA Past President Bob Finnigan has been active in all meetings, as have CHBA staff. Also, CHBA’s participation in this process was undertaken to continue to work with HRAI to find a better solution or at least to provide clarity for implementation for members.

CHBA is happy to work with any other provincial associations as HRAI and/or provincial safety authorities move to establish the protocols around construction heat in other provinces.

Please feel free to contact Jack Mantyla ( or me should you have any questions or require any support.