Before exploring heating and cooling systems, make sure that your home has great insulation so that no air is escaping through the attic, ceiling, vents, floor, or walls.  Insulation will help you keep the desired temperature in your house all year round, protecting it against cold in winter and excess heat in summer. Insulation is also useful to reduce noise pollution. A well-insulated house is very energy efficient and will need very little additional heating and cooling. Use this calculator for a rough estimate on how much you could save by insulating your home. Visit the incentives page to see the 1000s of dollars of incentives that are available to you to help with installation and purchasing costs.

Intro to Heating and Cooling

On average, about a THIRD of the energy used in a home in California goes to heating and cooling.

 

That’s why its important to have a plan BEFORE your old appliances break down. It may be tempting to switch to the same system your home has used for decades once your old one bites the dust, but there are other electric technologies that provide a whole host of cost-saving, energy-saving, and environmental benefits. 

In Alameda, most buildings are not equipped with cooling systems. As climate change brings hotter summer weather, you might find yourself wishing you had air conditioning.

Explore Incentives

Alameda's are eligible for a number of incentives relating to heating and cooling technology. Visit the Incentives page to learn more. 

What's out there?

Heat pump HVAC systems provide BOTH HEATING AND COOLING services all in one unit in a highly efficient way - saving you money. Heat pumps use electricity and they can reduce your electricity use for heating by approximately 50% compared to furnaces and electric baseboard heaters. Unlike natural gas systems, heat pumps circulate air while providing filtration and dehumidification, meaning that the air in your home will be cleaner and healthier. Heat pumps use clean energy and can be paired with solar and back--up power, so you can ensure your home is resilient while enjoying greater savings. 

How do you know which heat pump HVAC is right for you?

 

If your home has no ductwork, look for mini-split heat pumps which are designed for homes without ducts. If you have an existing forced-air furnace, then a heat pump can take advantage of the existing ductwork to distribute heat through your home.

Use a Smart Thermostat to increase energy efficiency even more. Check out the Incentives page to see how much you can save on a new purchase.  

Smart Thermostat
Electric Furnace
Solar Heat Pump Space Heater
Central Air Conditioning
Consider this...
If you have...

Your Options...​

Central Heat Pump

Overview
Average Cost: $5,000 to $10,000 installed
Savings: $1,000 per year
Payback: 5 years
Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
Rebate available: Yes

*Note that these numbers are highly subjective. Contact a BayREN Energy Advisor for a more accurate quote specific to your circumstance

What is a Central Heat Pump?

Central air to air heat pumps use efficient technology to heat and cool your home. They use the same principle as refrigerators to heat and cool your house by exchanging the heat between indoor and outdoor air. A standard air to air heat pump has two main components - an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor evaporator/air handling unit.

Pros

  • One unit can both heat and cool your home

  • More eco-friendly as heating is not done through the burning of fossil fuels..

  • Very energy efficient. On average, a heat pump can save you 30%-40% on your heating and cooling bills.

Cons

  • High Initial Cost

Pros

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  • Low monthly energy bills; they provide a quick return on investment compared to other heating and cooling sources.

  • Relatively fast to install

  • Very efficient when compared to other forms of electric heating. They use 25-50% less energy than traditional types of electric heat like baseboard, wall, ceiling, or forced air furnaces.

Operational Considerations

  • When choosing a heat pump, be sure to check if your home’s voltage range is compatible; you may need to do some rewiring in order to support the heat pump’s capacity.

Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump

Central Air Conditioning


A central air conditioner is a ducted system for cooling your home. If you also need heat in winter, a heat pump that does both is your best savings. Click here to learn more about central air conditioning.
Click here to see available rebates.




Hot Water Baseboard


Hot water baseboards use hot water in long pipes along the base of the wall, with small fins on the pipes to conduct heat to the air in the room. They are commonly referred to as hydronic baseboards and are similar in look to electric baseboard heaters but distribute heat differently. There is potential for air to water heat pumps to aid with the system's efficiency. Click here to learn more about hot water baseboards.




Smart Thermostat


A smart thermostat is a home automation device that controls your heating and cooling system. Smart thermostats can learn your patterns and preferences and automatically adjust the temperature accordingly. Many offer remote access to control the device with your mobile phone. By intelligently managing your temperatures, smart thermostats can save you an average of $180 per year. Click here to learn more about smart thermostats.
Click here to see available rebates.




Electric Radiant Floors


Electric radiant floors are a heat distribution system that uses electric resistance heaters, essentially a mat of wires, to heat up the floor, which then radiates heat into the room. Floor heating mats can be purchased in various sizes, and are relatively easy to install under various floor finishes, including wood, tile, or embedded in concrete. Click here to learn more about Electric Radiant Floors





Central Heat Pump (Ducted)


Central Heat Pumps are ducted systems that efficiently heat and cool your home. Heat pump technology extracts heat from one place and transfers it to another. During the summer time, heat pumps capture the heat inside your home and send it outside via an environmentally-friendly refrigerant line, leaving cool air inside your home. During the colder months, this process is reversed. Although these units carry a high initial cost, a heat pump can save you 30%-40% on your heating and cooling bills because they are so efficient. In order to accomidate a heat pump, you may need to upgrade your home's electrical panel - talk with a BayREN home energy advisor for more information. Click here to learn more about Air to Air Central Heat Pumps Click here to see available incentives.




Mini Split Heat Pump (Ductless)


Ductless Mini Split Heat Pumps are ductless systems that efficiently heat and cool your home. Heat pump technology extracts heat from one place and transfers it to another. During the summer time, heat pumps capture the heat inside your home and send it outside via an environmentally-friendly refrigerant line, leaving cool air inside your home. During the colder months, this process is reversed. Due to their efficiency, heat pumps can save you 30%-40% on your heating and cooling bills. In order to accomidate a heat pump, you may need to upgrade your home's electrical panel - talk with a BayREN home energy advisor for more information. Click here to learn more about ductless mini split heat pumps. Click here to see available incentives.




Electric Furnace (Ducted)


An electric furnace is a ducted heating system. Electric furnaces are inefficient compared to other heating systems such as heat pumps and can be expensive to operate but they have the potential to be paired with a solar panel system. Click here to learn more about electric furnaces.




Solar Hot Water Space Heater (Ductless)


Solar hot water space heaters are solar heat collectors that use sunlight to heat water, that is then transferred to the interior of the building for space heating. The collectors can be flat plate collectors, evacuated tube collectors, or concentrated solar collectors. A system usually includes insulated hot water storage tanks to store heat for when it's needed. This kind of system works best with radiant hydronic heating if the required water temperature for heat distribution is relatively low, around 95 to 115 degrees fahrenheit. Click here to learn more about solar hot water space heaters.




Hot Water Baseboards (Ductless)


Hot water baseboards use hot water in long pipes along the base of the wall, with small fins on the pipes to conduct heat to the air in the room. They are commonly referred to as hydronic baseboards and are similar in look to electric baseboard heaters but distribute heat differently. There is potential for air to water heat pumps to aid with the system's efficiency. Click here to learn more about hot water baseboards.




Electric Radiant Floors (Ductless)


Electric radiant floors are a heat distribution system that uses electric resistance heaters, essentially a mat of wires, to heat up the floor, which then radiates heat into the room. Floor heating mats can be purchased in various sizes, and are relatively easy to install under various floor finishes, including wood, tile, or embedded in concrete. Click here to learn more about Electric Radiant Floors




Central Air Conditioning (Ducted)


A central air conditioner is a ducted system that cools your home. Click here to learn more about central air conditioning.
Click here to see available tax credits.




Smart Thermostat


A smart thermostat is a home automation device that controls your heating and cooling system. Smart thermostats can learn your patterns and preferences and automatically adjust the temperature accordingly. Many offer remote access to control the device with your mobile phone. By intelligently managing your temperatures, smart thermostats can save you an average of $180 per year. Click here to learn more about smart thermostats. Click here to see incentives.