Whether your needs are small or large, finding the right system is easy. Being informed about your options will help you make the right decisions.

Home Heating and Cooling 101

Heating and cooling systems are a critical part of living comfortably in a home. The term “HVAC” is the acronym used to describe home heating and cooling systems. It stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, the three primary functions of a home system that control air temperature and humidity, and maintain the quality of the air in your home.

Heating and Cooling Systems

Heating and cooling systems are classified as central or local. Central heating and cooling is the most standard method and is defined by a system that produces warm or cool air in one central area and then distributes it throughout the home. There are many types of systems that work as central systems, from traditional split systems to packaged product systems.

Local heating and cooling, on the other hand, produces warm or cool air at the location where it is needed and serves small spaces. Room Air Conditioners and Duct-Free Split Systems are examples of local heating and cooling.

Duct-free Split Systems (DFS)

As the name implies, a duct-free split system does not rely upon air ducts to route treated air through your home or office. Instead, these specialty products are added for a specific room, such as a home theatre, an exercise room, a garage, or other room where adding ducts is impractical. These comfort systems can supply heating, cooling, or both, and are a split-system in that the condensing unit sits outside your home while the indoor unit sits unobtrusively on the wall to control and direct the airflow.

Hybrid Heat Systems

A hybrid heat split system is a more energy-efficient variation of the traditional heating and cooling split system. The inclusion of a heat pump allows the option of electricity-fueled heating and cooling in addition to gas furnace heat.

Carrier Total Indoor Comfort System: Infinity Series Hybrid Heat with Greenspeed Intelligence

Aarvaks Heating & Air Conditioning has been providing quality furnace and air conditioning service and repair, and new installation since 1929. A full-service HVAC contractor, we service and repair all makes and models, and are an Authorized Carrier Dealer.

Shown is the Carrier Total Indoor Comfort System featuring the Infinity Series Hybrid Heat with Greenspeed Intelligence

Health and Indoor Air Quality

Complete home comfort is about more than just temperature — it’s also about maintaining a healthy home with indoor air quality.

Dusty, dirty homes at any temperature can mean discomfort. The air in homes can become stale as the same indoor air is circulated and re-circulated. In fact, indoor air quality is among the Environmental Protection Agency’s top three health concerns. The agency reports that with dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, skin flakes, chemical fumes, cigarette smoke, Radon gas and more, the air inside your home can be three to five times dirtier than the air outside.

We offer a wide range of air quality solutions, including air cleaners, humidifiers, ventilators, and other products that can eliminate many of the pollutants threatening your home’s health and improve indoor air quality.

Air Cleaners and Air Purifiers

Air Cleaners can remove airborne particles as small as 1.0 microns, including smoke and dust particles normal disposable filters can’t. The good air filter cells can also be washed, saving you money on replacements.

An Air Purifier doesn’t just filter air, it captures and kills airborne pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and mold.


During different seasons and within certain climates, air can become dry. If you experience static electricity, dry skin, or respiratory ailments caused by dry air, you may need a humidifier.


In a central HVAC system, air can circulate within a home and become stale over time, potentially increasing the levels of viruses, bacteria, and pollen. Ventilators can bring in fresh air while dramatically reducing heating and cooling costs.

Consumer Resources — Rebates and Tax Credits

Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings

When evaluating heating and cooling options, we understand that efficiency and cost savings are important factors in your decision. The information below provides a brief overview of the different heating and cooling ratings you may want to consider.

Energy Star

Energy Star

Products that earn the ENERGY STAR designation use less energy and prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

Aarvaks only recommends products with the ENERGY STAR designation. And, many of our HVAC ENERGY STAR products are eligible for tax credits and rebates!

Visit the ENERGY STAR site for more information — www.energystar.gov

Heating and Cooling Efficiency Ratings Explained


Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is the measure of efficiency by which the cooling process of air conditioners and heat pumps is rated. The higher the SEER number, the greater the efficiency and, therefore, the greater the energy savings.

If you are currently considering a new air conditioner or heat pump, make sure it has at least a 13 SEER rating.


Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is the standard measurement of efficiency for gas and oil-fired furnaces. Given in percentages, this number tells you how much of your fuel is used to heat your home and how much fuel is wasted. The higher the AFUE rating, the greater the efficiency.

If you have an older furnace (with an AFUE of approximately 60%), you could save up to 40% on your heating bills by replacing it with a new high efficiency furnace!


Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is the efficiency measurement used to gauge the efficiency of the heating mode of heat pumps. The higher the number, the greater the efficiency and cost-savings. Higher efficiency in heat pumps and air conditioners may cost more but lower utility bills will bring you a return on your investment. We can help you determine about how long it would take you to recover the additional cost in energy savings.

One additional factor that affects the efficiency of your air conditioning or heat pump system is your indoor coil. If your condensing unit is not matched with the proper indoor coil, it may not give you the stated SEER and/or HSPF ratings and could even develop performance problems. When you replace an existing system, make sure you replace both units so your new condensing unit will give you optimal performance, efficiency and comfort.

Tips and Tricks to Save You Money

  • Use a ceiling fan to circulate warm air from the ceiling to the floor in the winter.
  • Be sure the damper to your fireplace is closed when the fireplace is not in use.
  • Install an Energy Star thermostat to optimize your system settings. According to EnergyStar.com, homeowners can save about $180 a year by changing thermostats to a new, digital, programmable thermostat and maintaining those settings.
  • Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer.
  • Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or, at minimum, quarterly.
  • Have us perform preventive maintenance on your furnace during the off season to keep your system in good condition before you begin using it again. We offer seasonal discounted service rates. If you are on our Preventive Maintenance Plan, we’ll make sure this check up service is included automatically.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they're not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  • Bleed trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season.
  • Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing; when replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.
  • During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
  • During the cooling season, keep the window coverings closed during the day to prevent solar gain.
  • Assess your home’s energy use by using the ENERGY STAR Home Energy Yardstick tool.
  • Take an Energy Star room-by-room tour to see how else you can save energy.

After interviewing five heating companies, it was a slam dunk to hire Aarvaks. From the initial walk-through to the many subsequent questions to the actual installation, the process was painless and smooth. Jeff was wonderful in listening to my needs and then ensuring what I wanted was doable and within my budget. If you have a heating or air conditioning need, want an excellent bid with excellent work delivered on time, call Aarvaks.
— Lauren W., Berkeley

Carrier will send you a $100 rebate check when you trade in your 30-something year old Carrier air conditioner, heat pump or gas furnace for a new Infinity® or Performance™ series unit. We promise, the $100 rebate check is just the beginning of the savings you’ll see each month in the form of lower utility bills.

Ask us to learn more…

Thank you again for the furnace, I love it, it makes no noise at all. The other day I was talking to a neighbor and I told her that we had to have a new one installed. She asked how I was able to pick one out and what I looked for in the furnace; I told her that Jeff picked it out and I love it! She was talking about researching them, and I just said I trusted whatever Jeff said when it came to heat!
— Joan B., Berkeley

Carrier is the world’s leader in high technology heating and air-conditioning systems.

Carrier experts provide sustainable solutions, integrating energy efficient products, building controls, and energy services for residential and commercial customers. Founded by the inventor of modern air conditioning, Carrier improves the world around us through engineered innovation and environmental stewardship.

Aarvaks is proud to be an Authorized Carrier Dealer. Our technicians have completed specialized training to understand heating and cooling systems, indoor air quality problems, and to identify the right solutions for your home or commercial application.

Turn to us for your indoor air quality solutions.

Carrier - Turn to the Experts

I’m a general contractor, and Aarvaks is tops on my list! They’re reputable, responsive, do what they say, are easy to work with, and clean. They have never let me down!
— G.K., Berkeley

Authorized Carrier Heating & Air Conditioning dealer

Contractors License #709492

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