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Although the Bay Area may not see cold weather too often, it is still important to have a reliable heating system for the occasional chilly or damp night. For many homes, that means choosing between a furnace or a heat pump. While either is a good heating solution, they both have advantages and disadvantages.
Furnaces offer simple, reliable heating at a cost-effective price. Ideal for areas with access to natural gas, they heat air indirectly through a heat exchanger, and use a set of air ducts to distribute it throughout your home. They provide fast, even heating, and are quite efficient.
Basic models have an AFUE rating of 80%, meaning that 80% of the fuel is converted directly to heat for your home, while the most efficient furnaces have an AFUE rating of 97% or above. Maintenance is also relatively straightforward, with one service visit required per year and filter changes every three months or so.
Furnaces use a combustion-based process for heating, so like any fuel-burning appliance, they can release carbon monoxide and other combustion byproducts into your home if they are not maintained properly and repaired as soon as a problem is discovered. It also requires a natural gas connection, which may not be available in all areas, or a more costly propane supply.
In summer, a heat pump operates just like an air conditioner, absorbing heat from the air inside your home and releasing it outside. The cycle can be reversed in the winter, extracting heat from the outside air and bringing it inside. Because the system does not generate any heat (instead, it moves it from place to place through the use of a compressor and refrigerant), it is extremely efficient compared to other heating solutions.
With both heating and cooling in one system, the complexity and installation costs are also lower, and it requires less maintenance. Heat pumps are a cost-effective heating option for any area without access to natural gas.
Electricity can be costly, so even though a heat pump is more efficient than a natural gas furnace, the operational costs tend to be higher for the same amount of heat. A heat pump is a bargain compared to electric resistance heating, however. Another disadvantage of a heat pump is that the air coming out of the system is not as hot as a furnace, so it will not heat your home as quickly, and it may not feel as comfortable right away, though it will heat just as well given some time.
Whether you are considering the comfort and reliability of a furnace or the simplicity of a heat pump for your Northern California home, you can count on AIS Heating & Air Conditioning for an energy-efficient, professional furnace or heat pump installation. Our family-owned company has been serving the Bay Area since 2008, and we feature straightforward, upfront pricing, free estimates on new HVAC installations, impressive financing options, and quality work that is fully guaranteed.
“The team at AIS has been wonderful from beginning to end. They even followed up for my complimentary maintenance even though I forgot to follow with them. They were able…”
“I got quotes from three companies for doing a furnace and duct replacement and a/c installation. Ray Linden who came out from AIS to do the initial scoping and estimate…”
“When my plumbing leaked and into my furnace enclosure I had a big problem. Temperatures dropping and water leaking everywhere. Called a few places and no one seemed real anxious…”
“Daniel and his company are beyond excellent! His company, installers, and office staff clearly take the time for their customers and are willing to go the extra mile. I had…”