So, we've done our research, and have the furnace installation appointment set up for next week.
One step before that is the eco audit - an audit of our house's energy efficiency - air leaks, moisture build-up, ventilation efficiency, heating and cooling intake and output etc. Scheduling an audit before we install a new furnace allows us to take advantage of some rebates extended by the federal government. For more information about the program, you can go here.
Our house did pretty well! Some areas for improvement - i) furnace upgrade (check!) - the old one is actually bringing in quite a bit of cold air from outside - between its construction and venting, we have a "soccer ball" size draught in our furnace room, ii) adding some additional caulking to some corners of our window frames, iii) adding additional foam to the attic trapdoor, iv) upgrading our attic insulation from R-25 to R-50, v) plugging the electrical outlets on our exterior walls with child-proof plugs (which we already have from when Juno was a puppy!) - we couldn't believe the air flow coming in through those holes in the outlets.
So we'll do some of these improvements between now and March 31, 2012 when the program expires, book a follow-up audit, and based on the improvements, watch our eco audit score go up, making us eligible for some significant rebates from the government!
We'll keep you posted.