Central Heating Systems
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Central Heating Systems
Furnace/Central Heat Installation
We just bought a house in the fall and are living through
this cold, cold winter without adequate heat. I am looking
for current recommendations for individuals/companies who do
heating installations (the reviews on the site date back to
2009). Our house was built in 1921 and has never had central
heat--and we are investigating both forced-air and radiant
If we go with forced air, we would need to cut registers and
run ducting--in other words, this would be a brand new
install. We also have a full basement and can do radiant
heat (but know this is more $$$).
Specifically, we are looking for recommendations BOTH for
people who install furnaces and who install radiant heat.
In 2009, when we moved into our 1920's home in Oakland, I
looked to BPN for recommendations for a furnace company
since we had no heat on the 2nd floor. I contacted a few
companies and ultimately chose A-1 guaranteed and have been
EXTREMELY happy with them. They are a diamond certified
company and they have earned it. The installation went
smoothly and the workers were extremely professional. They
gave us recommendations for where we should put the
registers and thermostat. (I had no clue.) Their bid was
comparable to the other companies and as I understand it,
they are also contracted with Home Depot. We have not had a
problem with our Trane furnace since we had it installed and
they come out every other year to do maintenance on it. I
cannot say the same about the furnace installed by the
previous owners for our main floor. When it goes down,
which we expect it will, we plan on contacting A1 guaranteed
to replace it.
Hope this helps.
Warm and happy
We used ABC Heating and Cooling in San Leandro for forced
air heat--we already had heat, but had asbestos ducts in an
old house, so basically did everything except cutting out
the floor (new ducting, new furnace, etc.) I don't have
anything to compare them to, but we liked working with them
and they were efficient about getting the work done and
following up on inspections. Also check out Energy Upgrade
California's programs to see if you qualify for one of them
to help with the cost. Good luck! Warm in Oakland!
I cannot recommend Hassler Heating and Air Conditioning
enough. www.hasslerheating.com/ Mike Hassler himself is
very responsive and kind. Everyone from his team that I
have interacted with is professional and kind. They get the
job done to your satisfaction and then bill. We have used
them a few times in the last year for things ranging from
improving or repairing our duct work to helping us
distribute heat through our house more evenly. We will need
a new furnace in the coming years and will work with Hassler
for that project. anon
For your project I can highly recommend Apple Heating and
Air Conditioning at 510-530-8868. Bobby and his team have
installed several furnace systems over the years for me
including removing the old ones and installing new ducting.
Great to work with. Roger
Just want to share our experience on installing central heat
and furnace. Our house was built in 1923 (~1000 sq. ft) and
had never had central heat before we had one installed in
2008. At the time I only looked into forced air system. We
decided on Atlas Heating and Air Conditioning in Oakland
based on their reputation. Their responses were prompt and
professional for the estimate and installation. As I recall
the installation was painless (we both work full-time out of
the house) and clean, so we were happy with Atlas. grrljock
Inspection of heating system and gas stove
We're looking for a company that does inspections of heating
systems and gas stoves to identify and repair leaks. Do you
have someone you've used? We don't have any current problems
but wanted to get things checked out just for regular
maintenance. Thanks! anon
Every fall I call P.G. and E. and ask for a free inspection
of my heating system; they always ask if I also want my hot
water heater and stove inspected too.
Does anyone have any recommendations for furnace repair man
in the Albany area? Our gas heater seems to have a broken
igniter (sic?) Brrr...
I can recommend Malik with Cal Comfort in Richmond. Our old
(I mean old!) furnace went out in November during a cold
snap. I found him on Yelp, gave him a call. He was over at
the house before noon that day and in 30 minutes had
determined that the blower motor had burned out. He managed
to find a replacement that would work, made some minor
adjustments, and we were up and running by 4 pm. VERY
impressive. It was a WHOLE LOT cheaper than a new furnace
and frankly considerably less than I was afraid it was going
to cost. I would not hesitate to use him again for furnace
or AC work.
His # is (510) 377-5662
Heating Services Recommendation?
We would like the filter in our furnace changed and possibly
the ducts cleaned as well. Our furnace is unfortunately
under the house and requires crawling on elbows and knees
through the crawlspace to access it. Can anyone recommend an
affordable and reliable heating services company? Thanks.
We recently had a problem where our furnace was blowing cold
air and making a gurgling noise. I called 3 different
companies based on yelp/bpn reviews, and we wound up hiring
Hessler Heating. Mike Hessler returned my calls very
promptly (within the hour) and was able to get someone out
to my house faster than anyone else. Their hourly minimum
was also the most reasonable ($85 vs. $125-$145 from the
other guys). Our furnace is also under our house in a tiny
crawl space, but the guy who came out, Mike Pagliuca, didn't
bat an eye. He correctly diagnosed and fixed the problem and
gave our system a once-over in less than an hour. He also
said if what he did didn't solve the problem, he'd come back
and fix it for free (which turned out not to be necessary).
He was also great about explaining everything to me clearly
and wasnt at all bothered by my noisy two year-old, who
decided that she wanted to plunk her potty down in front of
him and take a pee while he was telling me what was up with
our furnace. We have a new system, and it was a pretty
simple problem to fix from the sound of it. So I can't speak
to how they'd do w/ something really complicated. But our
customer service experience w/ them was excellent. I'd
definitely call them again. A Rockridge Mom
Gravity heating system?
We just bought a home in the Thousand Oaks neighborhood, and
it has an old Homart gravity heating system. Because it
contains asbestos, we will have to replace it. However, we
don't like the feel, sound, and maintenance requirements of
forced-air heating systems, and don't like the expense of
water-circulating radiant-heat systems, so we are
considering replacing the old gravity system with a new
gravity system. I have three questions about this:
1. Can anyone recommend a good and relatively inexpensive
asbestos- abatement company?
2. Does anyone know of a manufacturer of modern, efficient
gravity heating systems?
3. Most importantly, can any of you who have gravity heating
systems comment on their comfort, convenience, and quietness
compared with other heating systems? I especially dislike
the way forced-air systems blow out hot, dry air, and am
assuming that gravity systems feel noticeably different, but
I want to confirm this first!
The answer to your question is actually pretty complicated.
First, my experience. We had a gravity heating system for
awhile. With no fan, the heat sat on the ceiling, and I
never felt warm in the house no matter how long the heat was
on. The fan in a forced air system is noisy, but it mixes
the air, so warm air is at all levels and people feel
comfortable. I would recommend forced air.
Next, info and advice.
Forced air has a fan, which makes the noise. Gravity is
quieter than forced air because there is no fan. That is its
one advantage. But forced air can be quiet enough to be
unobtrusive. One: if you insulate your house and put in
double paned windows, you will need less heat, and the fan
will be on less often. Two: wear sweaters, hats and slippers
in the house so you need less heat. Three: make sure the
system is sized properly; ducts that are too small or a fan
that is too big will create extra noise. Four: make sure
your furnace and ducts are properly insulated; this will
make the system more efficient (so the fan is on less often)
and will cut down on noise. Both plenums and the ducts
should be insulated.
All heating systems will make the air feel dry. Radiators.
forced air. Gravity. Electric baseboard. Etc. All of them.
You can combat this in several ways. Hang your laundry to
dry in your heated space. Put a pan of water on the stove on
low. Use a mister and spray the air. Get a humidifier and
I suggest you get several bids for heating systems and quiz
the contractors about the factors that are important to you.
Central Heating product and installation
Does anyone have a good recommendation for a company that
sells and installs central heating. Ours needs replacing.
Also if you know of the best product to install that would
be great too. Kim
Anchor Heating, Eric Miller and Josh Maderos,925-263-2311,
are great! They are the best in the field, and I have worked
with several other heating contractors in the past. I can't
recommend them highly enough.
New furnace and old furnace removal
We have an old gravity furnace with asbestos covered ducts
that are wrapped over with something. I would like to
replace the furnace and the ducts with something more
practical that is quiet and perhaps even gets a state
rebate. I would like to get this all done by one person if
possible. I live in the SE part of San Francisco. Does
anyone have any recommendations on any part of this? (a
person, company, or type of furnace) Thanks, Time to update
Try Cabrillo plumbing and heating. They are SF based, and
very reliable! Lisa S
One of the best I've seen in my 32 years as a general
contractor is Gioi Nguyen, 510-604-5656. Larry
Central Heating Repair
Our central heating system (installed in 2003) is leaking
water through the attic into the downstairs room below it
and doesn't respond to the thermostat controls consistently,
so I'm hoping that someone could recommend a reliable and
professional heating repair company?
Many thanks in advance!
I have used American Air Conditioning Co. several times and
have been thrilled! They installed our a/c, fixed our
heater, fixed my parents heater and installed a new heater
in my brother's house, we have all been pleased with their
service and price. They were very polite and accomodating
and I would recommend them for any job, large or small.
They were prompt, friendly and efficient, and the price was
very reasonable. Their number is: 510-417-2955 and think
you should absolutely call for an estimate. Good luck.
We've used Atlas Heating and Cooling for repairs and then
for a new heater and air conditioner. I can highly recommend
I would highly recommend Philip Tao (PT Cooling & Heating)
to anyone who needs a variety of heating, ventilation and
air conditioning services. He's very friendly, reliable,
honest, and professional. He's a licensed contractor and has
over 16 years of experience. His phone number is
Looking for a low cost heating solution
I have had quotes from 6 to 9k from local companies (Atlas
was one) to put in a heating furnace to heat the ground
floor of an old 1908 building
- approx 1600 sq feet in size. I am wondering if i can get
it done for less. Currently the apartment has electrical
baseboard heaters which are inefficient and cost a huge
amount to operate, and they take forever to heat the place,
and then only in part. (I don't want wall heaters and while
I would love radiant heat or radiators plumbed with water,
these options are even more expensive, so open to a furnace
- or low cost alternatives.) I see many licensed contractors
advertise heating installations services on Craig's List and
wonder if anyone has found someone this way and if so, what
the experience was like overall. Also looking for a
reasonable cost solution to replacing water heaters at two
separate locations. Thanks! Cold in Winter!
I have used American Air Conditioning Co. several times and
have been thrilled! They installed our a/c, fixed our
heater, fixed my parents heater and installed a new heater
in my brother's house, we have all been pleased with their
service and price. They were very polite and accomodating
and I would recommend them for any job, large or small.
They were prompt, friendly and efficient, and the price was
very reasonable. Their number is: 510-417-2955 and think
you should absolutely call for an estimate. Good luck.
Looking for low cost heating?
Let me say the radiant heating is definitely the way to go.
I installed the first part of my system in my 110yo Vic here
in Berkeley about 10 years ago. The next piece of the puzzle
about two years ago, and I'm installing the last section
now. Depending on how your house is constructed and if you
have a basement space, or a 'taller' crawl space, it is
certainly a doable option. You can check out the company
Radiantec in Vt. and I did a lot of research and after many
hours, decided on their system. I liked it for it's
simplicity and efficiency. Also, you don't mention if your
house has been insulated or not. If this has not been done,
I'd start there before I waste any money on new heating
Heater Installers and Central Heating Systems
I am considering replacing my central heating system and
want to know if anyone can recommend any of the new energy
saving heaters and can share their experiences with these
two heating and plumbing companies for an installation of a
new heater: Atlas and Harry Clark.
We replaced our furnaces (we have two) two years ago. I
got bids from Atlas and Kruse. Atlas had the better deal
at the time. We also received rebates from PG&E and the
manufacturerer. One of our furnaces is high energy
efficient (92.5%). Our PG&E bills are noticeably lower in
the winter, and the furnaces work great. Atlas' crew was
very efficient and easy to work with. Good luck!
We had a great experience with Dan Fink of Energy Solutions.
He was recommended by a friend, and I believe has some old
referrals here on BPN. We got several quotes, including the
'big names', and we found Energy Solutions to give us more
for the money - basically, a better quality furnace, ducts,
etc. for the same or slightly less than what we were being
quoted from others, and he had creative ideas for locating
the new furnace in a way that maximizes our usable space in
the basement area. I liked that Dan is not only the one who
does the quote, but also does the *work* - this seems rare
in the industry, most companies sent out a sales guy to give
us the quote. Dan was very conscientious about cleaning up
after completing the work, following up with us to make sure
we were satisfied, and completed all of the permits and
rebate applications on our behalf. We couldn't be happier
with our new ultra-efficient furnace! He's in Antioch but
does work all over the Bay Area. Energy Solutions - (925)
Buying a furnace from Sears
We need a new furnace and are wondering if Sears does a
good job. We have been happy with them for our appliances
but didn't know about their heating/cooling services.
Does anyone have experience with them?
We bought a furnace earlier this year. We had a few
different companies in for estimates. 3 of the estimates
were similar in price, but for some reason the Sears
estimate was over twice as expensive, for no good reason
that we could discern. So, we didn't really even consider
them at that point. We ended up going with RD heating, a
small company but we liked their service.
We had a new furnace put in by Sears in March. Our house had
an ancient floor furnace that we upgraded to a new central
furnace, a process that included adding all vents and duct
work. Sears was easy to work with for the actual estimate
and set-up --- the guys who came out to do the quote were
really nice and happy to come out a second time when we
changed our mind about our first furnace choice and opted
for a high-efficiency model.
However, Sears uses local subcontractors, so your actual
installation experience may vary. The local guy that they
sent to us was friendly and good about communicating with us
and being considerate of our home. He worked late several
days to complete the job on time (took about three days
total, mostly because of the duct work). But a few weeks
after the work was completed we got a notice from the city
that his check for the permit had bounced and hence the
permit was no longer valid! We had trouble contacting him
afterwards and went through a bit of a headache
straightening out the permit mess. Sears was not terribly
helpful on this front.
Overall, our experience was mixed. If not for the permit
issue it would of been very positive, but it seems to me
like the permit was a very basic thing that they should have
been able to get right.
Hi we use AT Mechanical for all our Hvac work, Tony and crew
are very professional and respectful.
We used them on a couple homes we have had, they do great work.
We prefer to use a local company over the big corporation,
we like to put a face with our calls. With ATMech we know
what to expect.
Tonys number is 510 604 5832
Forced Air Energy Efficient Heating System wanted
We live in a large Berkeley house that has never had central heat and we
like to install a forced air energy efficient heating system---any
recommendations on systems and installers (either to use or not to use)
be very helpful (I looked on the log, but nothing looks very current)
Barron McEwing of Albany Heating Contractor dba BMC
Mechanical (510) 684-6848 installed our energy efficient
forced air system last year. We were very pleased with his
work. He was reasonable, reliable, professional and did a
I saw a post recommending Barron McEwing of Albany Heating
Contractor dba BMC Mechanical and I have to disagree. We
hired Barron to install a complete new forced air heating
system for us. While the work is good, he didn't honor the
contract of removing the old heating element from our home.
In addition, his work did not pass Oakland inspection and
he refused to fix it so that so we could get our permit
Heating/HVAC person needed
Hi, I'm looking to have the heating system (furnace and
ducts) replaced in my 1926 Albany home. Does anyone have
any recommendations for a heating/HVAC outfit that does
quality affordable work? Also, I'm already planning on
getting bids from Harry Clark and Atlas, so if you have any
pros or cons about either one, please let me know. Thanks!
Tim Wright Contracting for Heating systems or electrical.
Top notch work, reasonable prices. Nice customer service.
Warm at home
I recommend Atlas for heating. They helped us to pick a system this past spring
and had their contractors install it. We were pleased with the service, and we got
a Union Rebate, a PG and E rebate and a $1500 rebate through The Federal
Stimulus Package. Our 95.5% efficient York was bought and installed at
approximately 40% OFF.
Hope this helps.
I just had my furnace installed by Heating Experts. Ron Pringle is a very honest
solid person who did a great job. We needed the whole works--ducting, holes
in the flooring for vents, etc. Ron and his helper installed the furnace and left
the house pretty clean afterwards. We are delighted with having heat again and
I would definitely recommend Heating Experts, 510-593-3818.
Warm again in Berkeley
Need furnace inspected
I need a furnace repair person who, for a reasonable fee, will
come to the home I am renting and give me an honest assessment of
the furnace. It is an older furnace and I am concerned about its
safety. However, I do not want to approach the landlord with a
complaint unless it is truly justified. I need a true
professional with lots of experience who will not try to sell me
(or my landlord) a new furnace if it is not needed. I just want
to know if the one we have is safe for my family. Thanks!
Too Scared To Turn It On!
A while back PG&E provided this service for free. We called and
they came out and inspected our furnace and recommended some
fairly minor repairs. You should call and see if this service is
If you just want a safety check, PG&E will come do it for free.
The account may have to be in your name - not sure.
Furnace/HVAC contractor needed
We're looking for a furnace contractor who can design an
efficient system to match the unique layout of our house. We're
looking at a totally new forced air (with new ducts) or radiant
system, but a few big firms we've talked to have sent out
employees who just don't seem interested in a thinking through a
good design. Our house is not an unusual layout, but I've had
the feeling they are going through the motions rather than taking
a real interest in finding the most efficient way to make our
home more comfortable. (The efficiency rating of the furnace is
easy to check, but there are many more design variables that
affect overall system efficiency, from what I understand). Many
contractors are talking up ''green'' these days -- has anyone found
a heating contractor who really understands the issues and can
We recommend Advanced Home Energy, 510-540-4860, on Pardee in
Berkeley. They can do an assessment of ways to make your home
more energy efficient and comfortable, and then work with a
number of contractors to do the work. Their email is
firstname.lastname@example.org and they have a web site,
I highly recommend BARRON MC EWING of BMC Mechanical. He did an
excellent job and his customer service can't be beat. He is
honest and reliable. Barron can be reached at (510) 684-6848
Last fall we had an entirely new system installed by Keith
Johnson Mechanical, and I recommend him very highly. Keith is
really into the science of mechanical systems and he is a
thorough, patient designer who will work with you to come up with
the best system for your particular needs. He is familiar with a
wide variety of products -- not just furnaces, but control
systems, air filters, radiant heat and just about any component
of building mechanics, so he was able to offer some very creative
solutions. We've tried to make our renovation as ecologically
smart as possible, but on a modest budget. Keith was able to
explain the value of certain design choices and products so we
could maximize heating efficiency and stay on price. He talked
about the long-term maintenance costs of various choices (so
there would be no surprises with cheap plastic ducting failing
within a few years) and generally took a personal interest in the
success of our project. I learned through discussions with him
about overall building efficiency that he has also done
conditioning/refrigeration on a commercial scale as well as
residential. He ran projects for a company with several large
office buildings and that exposed him to many advanced
technologies for heating/cooling systems. He had so much
sidework and missed getting his hands dirty so he left the
corporate scene, luckily for us. Most homes are not as involved
as many of the projects he's led, but I liked having someone who
can look at the building's conditioning/mechanical needs as a
whole. He's also a licensed electrician so if your project
involves any wiring you won't need a separate contractor. Of
course he and his helpers were on time and kept the workspace clean.
If cost is your only consideration, I believe Keith can be very
competitive. I found that other firms offer low-ball bids for
bare-bones systems, but they don't explain how much these
shortcut systems might cost in maintenance, and if you want
something a little different they mark the price way up. As our
design with Keith evolved, we were able to improve comfort and
efficiency at reasonable prices -- we definitely got the best
value with him. Of course we passed inspection without a hitch.
I can't recommend him highly enough. http://www.kjmhvac.com, or
I don't know of anybody that does both ''dry side'' (forced air),
and ''wet side'' (radiant) really well. For wet side I'm a big
fan of Jim Lunt at Lunt Marymor plumbing in Emeryville. He's a
real pro - knowledgeable, personable and honest. His
counterpart on the dry side would be Tom Harp at Walter Mork
Company. neither of these companys tend to be low bidder, but
they're not outrageous either, and will spend the necessary
time on your project to get it right.
If you want a Heating, Ventilation and A/C contractor to properly
design a new heating system for you that works properly and is
''green'' your best bet is to go to the source that defines
''green''. For houses, that source is builditgreen.org's Green
Point Rating System for homes.
Like other home energy efficiency professionals such as HERS
raters, home performance contractors or California Title 24
compliance pros, the Green Point Rating system recommends,
''The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) has developed
a set of calculation manuals-Manual J, D and S to determine the
appropriate size and design of a home's heating, ventilation and
air conditioning (HVAC) system.
Design and install the HVAC system according to results obtained
from Manual J (the home's heat load calculation), Manual
D(ductwork, design and sizing) and Manual S (equipment selection
Any properly trained HVAC contractor should be able to do this
for you. However, then you need to get the system tested by a
third party (HERS or BPC) to verify the system works as designed.
That is how you get a properly designed, installed, tested and
''green'' HVAC system.
We used Comfy Heating and Air Conditioning a couple years ago for adding an air
conditioning unit and zoning system to our existing furnace and for a few repairs
our heater recently. My husband and I found the owner Abel to be very
knowledgeable, friendly and a trustworthy person to work with. He went through
the crawl spaces with my husband initially to figure out how the duct systems in
place worked for the zoning and really took the time to answer all our questions.
We shopped around and found him to be the most reasonable too. He returned
several times to fix unforeseen problems and always gave us his honest opinion
without being too pushy. We have recommended him to our friends as well. He
could probably help you with your project. You can call them at (510) 317-7375
visit their website at www.comfyhvac.com.
Give Freddy a call at Barry Construction (415) 577-6642. I
know that he is intelligent, thoughtful, and patient. He will
help you find the best possible solution to your HVAC design
challenge. He is a general contractor, but is also
individually licenced as an electrician and an HVAC contractor.
He helped me locate the mysterious source of an electrical
failure affecting 30% of my house, and then proceeded to fix
the problem quickly and with an elegant and clean solution.
Re: New furnace/asbestos abatement
I had American Air Conditioning put in my AC and was very
impressed with their work. They were very reasonably priced and
the work was done quickly and neatly. The installer was there
on time, was polite, and answered all my questions. I found the
company easy to work with and would highly recommend them. We
also had to have asbestos removed and he advised and helped
with that. His name is Anthony and the company is American Air
Looking for recommendations on someone to do maintenance
Any names/#s would be appreciated. Also, if
anyone's used Comerford's (just got an ad in the mail), and can
speak to their experience?
We just had all our ducts replaced and our furnace cleaned out by
Rory McHale's Company. I am completely satisfied with the work
they did. It was a big job and they came every day (including a
Saturday) until it was done (4 days), did an excellent job, and
left everything clean and tidy.
252 Stoakes Avenue
San Leandro, CA 94577
work: (510) 714-9100
Can anyone recommend a good heating repair company that serves
Oakland and San Leandro. I have a newish wall furnace that needs
a new ignitor. It's a pretty simple job, but I still want someone
who will do the job right!
I would like to _highly_ recommend an HVAC company
called ''Energy Solutions'', owned and operated by Daniel Fink.
Energy Solutions just finished installing a brand new HVAC
system complete with all new duct work in our home. Daniel and
his employees are highly professional, reliable, concientious
and kid-friendly to boot. Daniel is extremely knowledgeable
about both product specific and PG&E rebates, lowering the
total cost of the system by almost 2k. Although we got bids
from several larger and better known companies, we decided to
go with Energy Solutions because of Daniel's unsurpassed
knowledge base and are so happy (and warm!). Please contact him
directly at 925-584-5973.
I would like to recommend Rich Witczak of AirZone Heating and Air
Conditioning. I have worked with a great number and variety of
trades people while building our house. While most of them
generally advanced our project, there are only three I recommend
without hesitation. Rich is one. He possesses a thorough
knowledge of his trade, is enjoyable to interact with, and hems
as honest as they come. Relax and know that hemll only recommend
work that needs to be done, hemll do it right, and hemll stand
behind his work. His number is 925-829-9401. jls
We need to replace our furnace and most of our ducts. Can anyone
recommend a good heating contractor for forced air heat in a
little old Berkeley bungalow from the 1920's? Thanks in advance!
Synergy removed all my asbestos-covered heating ducts last year,
which were then replaced by Compare Heating, 925.686.1366. I was
very happy with their work and prices and highly recommend them.
They are MUCH, much less expensive than either Atlas or Ceridono.
We have had good luck with Atlas Heating. I think they are in
Our furnace was not starting up so we called
AC Heating & Air Conditioning. They came
out to our place and quoted $475 + tax for a new humidity/water
pump. They said it was ''half parts and half labor''. It turns
out the identical pump to the one that's stopped working is $48
online and is connected with 2 hoses and plugging it in an
outlet. When I told them that I wanted to talk with them about
their quote, he said ''my manager said we could do it for
$360''... Just reporting the facts.
We are going to replace our furnace (circa 1947)...yes you read
right. We have already receive a quote from Atlas. Does anyone
have any feedback on how Atlas performed....timeliness, came in
on budget, addressed concerns and worked to correct them,
completed job in its entirety, etc. Do you recommend anyone
else. Thank you for your input.
-Al Gore is making me do it
We used Atlas and were very pleased with their work. The
salesperson was reasonable and the installers were punctual and
polite. We replaced an ancient (1920's) gravity furnace with a
forced air furnace and it works well. We also had Atlas come
back a couple of years later and install AC, which was done
quickly and professionally also.
Warmer in the winter now
We used Atlas last year and were really happy with their service.
They were prompt, on budget, and very easy to work with. We had a
meeting to decide which system to go with, and the guy from Atlas
didn't push anything on us. He just laid it all out, told us the
basic unit we could use for our size house, explained the options
from there and let us decide. I would recommend them highly.
We have owned 2 homes and replaced furnaces in both of them.
Atlas was recommended to us by a happy customer and I am pleased
to be able to also provide a good reference. They were prompt,
knowledgeable, courteous, and provided good products.
We also recently replaced our ancient furnace, and I got quotes
from several companies, including Atlas. However, A-1
Guaranteed (thru Emeryville Home Depot) cost much lower for the
exact same installation and furnace and a better warranty.
They were the nicest, most respectable, cleanest, most honest
guys. Good work, too. The company's follow-up and and follow-
thru is unparalleled. They happily and promptly came back to
do some work (free) in order to pass inspection that wasn't in
the contract- like installing a new lighting fixture. I can't
say enough good about them.
We just got a new forced-air heating system (Carrier Infinity) to
replace our useless wall heater. We were delighted with the
services of Mike Hassler of Hassler Heating and Air Conditioning
in El Cerrito (phone 510 848 3030). One of the heating guys we
saw told us we didn't have enough room in our crawl space to
install a heating system, but Mike said it was plenty of room.
Not only did he give us the lowest quote, he patiently explained
various options, and installed the system quickly and
efficiently. He was even nice to my fascinated kiddos. We love
the new system and we wholeheartedly recommend Mike!
We recently had a new furnace installed by A-1 Guaranteed.
They were the most professional and considerate workmen that
I've dealt with. (and I've dealt with many!) Not only was
their bid the lowest by far (for the exact same product and
installation as other installers) but they really went above
and beyond to make sure I was happy with the job. After the
city inspection, they came back quickly and politely to 'fix' a
couple of things that weren't even really their fault. One guy
made a small scratch in the floor near the heat register, and
he promptly got me and showed me. They called several times
afterward to see how they could make it up to me, even though i
wasn't pushing it. (Sent me a home depot card) Oh, and these
are the contractors that the Emeryville HOme Depot subs their
work out to. (That's how i found them.) They're wonderful and
very responsible! They have the best guarantee for their work
long-term, as well. Highly recomend them!!!
I would like to recommend a fantastic furnace guy named Rich
Witczak from AirZone Heating and Air Conditioning at 925-829-9401.
Our heater would not turn on and we got some other people to
come clean out our vents to see if that would fix the problem and
to check on what the problem was. They cleaned the vents but
spent 5 min checking out the system and said we needed a new
circuit board which is like 500-700$. We called Rich on a rec
from a friend and he spent over an hour and meticulously
evaluated the whole system, informing me about everything along
the way and determined it was a faulty thermostat and he replaced
that; all for $180. He was honest, very professional and
meticulous and just did an awesome job and the best is we now
have heat! He said most of the other heater people all say
''replace the circuit board'' without even looking at the system.
I have an old gravity-flow heating system. I love the system,
but half the burners are currently clogged and they need to be
cleaned. It's a rather involved process. Does anyone know
someone who does this type of work? I would be grateful for
We found Atlas Heating from the archives and they did a great job
on our old furnace. Earlier, I had another company come out
(Atlas was busy) and they tried to sell me a new system. Enough
I highly recommend Airco Mechanical for Heating, Air
Conditionong and Sheet Metal work. They also do gutter and down
spouts. Airco is a small family owned business. They offer
both standard and energy saving high efficiency heating and
Their prices are very fair and their staff is profesional.
They are fully licensed.
Contact: James Loera (707)322-4620
Our home only has central heat downstairs and we are freezing
upstairs. Could anyone recommend someone to bring the vents to
the upstairs rooms? Is that how it would be done?
When we moved into our house, there was central heat on the
bottom floor but not on the top. We contacted Atlas Heating, and
they told us it was cheaper to put a second furnace in the attic
and cut vents in the ceiling, than to run ductwork up onto the
second level (as a means of using the downstairs furnace to heat
the whole house). We went with their recommendation and now have
the advantage of two distinct climate zones. We usually turn the
upstairs heater off during the day, which saves a lot of $
warm and toasty
I very highly recommend A-1 Guaranteed Heating. I got 4 bids
for a new furnace installation, all of which were on BPN
as 'reasonably priced.' They were by far the cheapest, and
they were the most friendly, reliable, professional, tidy, and
courteous workmen that i have encountered in all of our
renovating. (a lot!) One guy put a tiny scratch in our wood
floors, and promptly found me to show me and took full
financial responsibility to have it fixed, if i wanted. (i
didn't, and they sent a gift card instead.) They have placed
several follow-up calls just to be sure that we're 100% happy
with our furnace/installation, and also give a 5 yr parts and
labor warrantee. I ordered the work through emeryville home
depot, and they are who they contracted out for the work- i'm
so pleased. you could just go directly through them, though
warm and happy in Berkeley
When we moved in to our 1910 house, there was a floor furnace in
the dining room downstairs, and nothing else. We had central
heat installed, using the old floor furnace grate as a cool air
intake, and adding vents to the kitchen, living room, and
bedrooms upstairs. Your job sounds much simpler, and if your
current heater is powerful enough, should require only the
addition of vents. You'll need to identify where the new vents
can go - ours take up some closet space both downstairs and up,
and are also fed through some attic crawl space to get between
bedrooms. All of that is the good news. Finding a good
contractor may be harder. We used Harry Clarke Plumbing &
Heating. There were several things they did that caused
additional work on our part:
- Their estimator said we would be able to punch vents into the
upstairs rooms with ease, but the installers didn't see a way to
do that, and it took an extra day and a visit from the foreman
before they figured out how to do it. The way they came up with
caused approximately $1000 in plaster damage (that we had to pay
a different contractor to repair).
- Their initial clean-up was inadequate, and we had to request a
follow-up visit to remove significant amounts of plaster dust.
- They cut one of the heat registers directly under the doors of
our built-in, which means the built-in doors are drying out and
swinging open because they've shrunk. This was a different spot
than we had agreed upon in the walk-through.
- They cut a different heat register without reinforcing the
floor planks that were cut. Those planks are now cracking.
- They installed a new thermostat without leaving us an
On another house (the one we sold to move into this one) we had
our heater replaced by Superior Plumbing & Heating of El
Sobrante, 510-223-6246, and were very happy with the work,
although it was a less complicated job. Their bid was almost 30%
more expensive than Harry Clarke's for the same work, but, after
our experience with HC, it seemed worth it.
Heated twice, burned once
I'd like to recommend Scott Raykiewicz, Air Quest Heating and
Air Conditioning, to anyone (in the Contra Costa area) needing a
new air conditioner or heater, or service on an existing unit.
He has provided excellent service. His phone number is 925-820-
I'm going to install a completely new central heat (and hopefully AC, too) which
means all new ducts and the units. I'd like to get several quotes, and the posted
recommendations all seem pretty old. I'm in Lamorinda. Thanks! ~kristi
We live in Moraga and recently used Atlas to put in air conditioning. They are fantastic
and I can recommend them highly. Their number: 510-893-1343
I posted this to BPN in November 2004, which doesn't seem that long ago to me --
how ''updated'' did you want?!
From the archives:
''Central Heat Installation -- Last year we ripped out our old forced air central
heating system and had a whole new one designed for us. We got many bids and
talked to many companies, and ended up with Atlas Heating in Oakland. We were
impressed with them and I highly recommend them. They are a local, family-owned
business with lots of experience. Ours was not a simple job, but they did a fine job
with good follow-up. And the heating works great! You can call them at 800-750
-0074. -- Warm & Happy ''
Still Warm & Happy two years later
During the my 2001 home renovation project, one of the last
subcontractors turned out to be one of my best. I hired RC Air
to design and install a new heating and ducting system. One
critical element of the design was that I wanted no visible
ductwork, even in the basement. Ron accepted the challenge of
working within the combined new and old structure, and designed a
highly aesthetic, efficient result. All ducts are fully hidden
as well as soundproofed.
He recommended a highly efficient (92%) condensing gas furnace,
which has lowered our heating bills from our former model, even
though we're now heating more space. In addition, we added an
electrostatic filter, to alleviate our allergies.
His installation work was extraordinary. He is very fast and
efficient, but remarkably careful. He is attentive to the
minutest detail. I watched him ensure printing on sealing tape
is consistently oriented (who would have thought)? He rotated
all PVC pipes so that the purple printing on them pointed away
from view. His PVC pipe priming - that purplish dye on white
pipes - is crisp and dripless. Every port and duct is labelled
clearly with flow and destination.
And it's all covered under drywall and beadboard. And he knew it
would be. Ron put extra effort into making his ductwork look
beautiful even though he knew it would ultimately be covered and
unseen. He told me he didn't want someone 50 years from now,
when maybe renovating the house again, to look poorly upon his
work. He's clearly concerned with quality that lasts, and he
defines his reputation through his craft.
Ron warrants his work, yet we have had no problems. He left us
with a clear binder of maintenance and repair information, but
I've never needed to consult it.
We are immensely pleased to have worked with Ron, and are
delighted by (and very comfortable due to!) his work
We need to have our unreliable central heating repaired (or
maybe ultimately replaced). The recommendations on the bulletin
board are a couple of years old, and I'm wondering if anyone has
more recent experience with any of the following companies:
Atlas, Harry Clark, Best Heating, Ceridono, or Walter Mork?
Thanks for your help!
Go with Atlas, we've had them replace 2 separate heating systems.
They did our first house which had only an ancient floor
furnace, they installed a new furnace and all duct-work, very
professional and clean, and got the job done in a matter of days.
They were so wonderful to work with that we hired them again
when we moved into another house that also needed a complete
heating system installed.
warm in berkeley
I would HIGHLY recommend Val Betti for any heating job. Val
Betti scheduled a same-day appointment for an estimate, which
was HALF the estimate of the other company I had talked to.
Then they scheduled the work for 2 days later. They gave me a 2
hour window in which their workers would arrive, but they
arrived at the very beginning of the window and replaced my
wall furnace and flu within 1 hour. They cleaned up nicely and
did a perfect job on it. They are very professional and great
to work with. I know they do central heating, air conditioning
and plumbing as well. You can reach them at 232-5593 (in
warm and happy customer
I have checked previous postings and nothing seems to be recent. I'm looking for a HVAC specialist in the Lamorinda area. Your recomendations are appreciated.
For the person looking for an HVAC specialist in Lamorinda, we are in Walnut Creek and use
LJ Kruse and are very happy with them. We found them on BPN, in fact. You can look them up
on the web at http://www.ljkruse.com/. We had them replace both our furnace and our AC,
and they now do our maintenance. Jeff Brown is the HVAC manager and he's just great. We've
been pleased with the folks whom we've worked with since Jeff's initial evaluation of our
project as well. Good luck!
We just finished having a new heating system put in by Kazen Heating and Air. They are a
small, family run (father and son) business and they did a great job at a reasonable
price. We had our old furnace removed from a hallway closet and a new furnace installed
up in our attic so we can use the closet space to make our master bathroom larger. They
work anywhere between Sacramento and San Jose. Matt Kazen, the owner, can be reached at
We called AC Heating and Air conditioning (510-271-0771) to come
take a look at our two heaters. They have the largest ad in the
SBC Oakland Yellow Pages (pg 40). They told us that there would
be a $45 charge for the service call to find the problem and if
we decided to have them fix it the $45 would go towards the costs
of repair. So, the guy showed up, did little more than just
re-light our pilots (no parts, laughable labor time) and was done
in 15 minutes. He then asked for $120!!! I was shocked. Needless to say I didn't pay him $120. But, the experience
wasn't fun and everyone should stay far away from these folks. Almost Burnt
As winter lurks around the corner, I want to replace my 2
ancient floor furnaces (in a 70-yr old house) with central
heating. Any recommendations?
We loved Atlas. They even were supportive of our doing the installation ourselves. Very nice company to work with. Elizabeth
To the person asking who she should call to replace her old floor furnaces, and in support of another person who recently praised their work, I recommend contacting Jeff Brown at LJ Kruse. He may be more expensive, but knows what works in our old homes to ensure efficiency and he is sensitive to maintaining the integrity of an old home. We had a heating and cooling system installed by LJKruse before the Indian summer of 2004, and we love it! (Who knew that you need air conditioning in Berkeley, but I am now a convert.) His crew is professional and courteous and he is a delight to work with.
Comfortable in Berkeley
I know we haven't had a crazy hot summer so far (2005), but my hubby
and I decided to install air-conditioning in our house this year. We
hired Ceridono Heating/Cooling.
Our "3-4 day job" ended up taking 30
days and by the time they left our house not only did we end up
with half of the things they promised us, only half of our house is
cool. Sadly, it's not the half that needs cooling. Our bedroom on
the top floor was 92 degrees the other day with the "air-conditioning"
running. And they are still expecting us to pay in
called in Jeff Brown from LJ Kruse to be our salvation and are just
kicking ourselves that we didn't hire LJ Kruse from the get go. Jeff
and his team can be reached at 644-0260. (Oh, and several postings
from the last couple of years list Jeff Brown at Ceridono - he doesn't
work there anymore... now he works for LJ Kruse.)
disgruntled and HOT in Oakland
We have had great experience with RD Heating & Air Conditioning. They installed a heater for us a year and a half ago and an air conditioner this spring. I would definitely use them again. Their phone number is 1-800-606-6456.
In response to an inquiry from a member about the ins-and-
outs of a new forced-air system for her home, I recommend
that you contact my partner Jeff Brown, who heads the HVAC
division at LJ Kruse Company. Jeff has over 25 years in
this industry in the Bay Area, so he knows all of the HVAC
challenges of older homes. He and his crew are thoroughly
knowledgeable, professional and will design a system that
will truly enhance the quality of your home life. Jeff
can be reached at 644-0260 or 549-5314 (direct).
GREAT HEATING CO.!
Our furnace/heating system just died a few weeks ago!
Unexpectedly and in a real bind, my husband called a few heating
companys. WE LUCKED OUT BIG TIME and came across a company
that is small; family owned for many years and they were a God-
send! BEST HEATING AND AIR CO. OWNER JOHN HALSEMA is smart,
respectful, pleasant and knowledgable as well as fair and
straight! He came over that night, put in a NEW furnace that
next day, worked his butt off late into the night to get our heat
back on and running! We were SO happy and just want to spread
our good fortune to anyone who is in need of help with your
heating or cooling system in your home! Relax and call...
* JOHN HALSEMA * # (510 ) 530-2092
john AT bestheating.com
Central Heat Installation
Last year we ripped out our old forced air central heating
system and had a whole new one designed for us. We got many
bids and talked to many companies, and ended up with Atlas
Heating in Oakland. We were impressed with them and I
highly recommend them. They are a local, family-owned
business with lots of experience. Ours was not a simple
job, but they did a fine job with good follow-up. And the
heating works great! You can call them at 800-750-0074.
-- Warm & Happy
We have an old gas furnace which I was told is not energy efficient. I
contacted one heating company and a guy said that my furnace is losing
about half of the gas it uses. He then give me an estimate for replacing
it to a new, energy efficient furnace. He said that it is almost 95% energy
efficient. I can probably save $50 ~ $70/month for gas. However,, to
replace it their estimate was $4700. (7 rooms (4 bedroom) house.)
It takes almost 10 years to pay off the cost of replacement from the
money we save for gas. It seems long,,, but if PG & E keeps raising their
price up consistantly we may be able to pay off sooner,,,.
Should I replace the furnace or not???
Mom trying to save money and energy
We replaced our furnace last year not by choice but by
need. Our old one finally gave out. However, I learned a
lot about the process and maybe this will help you. First,
now is probably the worst time to put in a furnace. All of
the heating companys are busy and you will have little
flexibility in the price. We were fortunate that ours went
out in April last year. I found that the April-May period
is one of the slowest for furnace and A/C work. (Usually
the same company will do both). People tend to wait until
they have the need rather than be proactive and the furnace
companies now this. Definitely get several estimates. We
ended up getting the highest rated installer in the area to
match the price of the cheapest (and lowest rated)
installer. This ended up being almost a 25% price
difference! Make sure the estimators do a heating load
calculation for your house. I surprisingly discovered that
the heater that had been installed previously was double
what the house needed and likely had a shortened life
because it had to work too hard to force air through our
existing ductwork. Also, we ended up not getting the
highest efficiency heater as the cost differential was high
and would take too long (in our case more than 10 years) to
justify the cost savings. Good luck!
In order to save money and energy, it probably makes sense
to insulate and weatherstrip first. Most important is
insulating the attic. It is less helpful, but usually
relatively easy to insulate the floor. You can get
weatherstripping at the hardward store and install it
yourself so less cold air comes in around the windows.
Then, when your old inefficient heater finally ''bites the
dust,'' replace it with something more efficient.
My typical 1920s Albany bungalow has only a wall heater
(located in the hallway, which is useless for the rest of
the house). We are looking into getting central heating
installed. Has anyone done this recently? Approximately
what does it cost? Any recommendation for a company to do
We recently had central heat installed in our duplex.
There was a furnace in the original house but when it was
raised and the downstairs flat built about 25 years ago,
no central heat source was replaced. After many cold
winters in the house, we finally sprung for central heat.
We hired a local contactor whose name I don't have handy.
It was about $15,000 for 2 units and some extra costs for
plumbing contrator (gas) and an electrician. We're still
dealing with the aftermath of the work a few months later
but it sure is nice to have a warm house when it's cold
out! Contact me for more info.
I have a typical 1920 bungalow too (Thousand Oaks, not
Albany) and installed central heating about 5 years ago. I
used Walter Mork, who was fabulous. At that time it cost
about $5,000. I expect it's a bit more now, but I highly
recommend that company. Very fast and professional.
Our central heating was installed by Atlas, a locally owned
company. They did a great job.
Our home also only had one wall heater, which was basically
useless. We hired Harry Clark plumbing and heating three
years ago to install forced-air central heating throughout
our 1400 square foot single story home. They put in a new
furance, all new duct work, vents, etc. They did a
wonderful job. I believe it cost around $5500-6000.
happy with Harry Clark
We also live in a 1920s albany home and recently installed
central heating which is fabulous - such a quality of life
difference especially with a baby. I really liked our
heating person, he was hardworking, honest, respectful,
knowledgeable and helpful. He and his wife run their own
business out of Antioch, but do work in Albany and
Berkeley often. His name is Allen Delgado of Delgado
Heating. 925 825-5995. You can let him know that Chalyn
Newman in Albany recommended him. He can also give you a
list of customers to call for more recommendations (that's
what we did). It will cost somewhere between 5-6,000 for
the whole house and should take about a week to install.
His prices are quite reasonable (he does all the work by
Enjoy the new heat!
After getting three bids, I used the following:
1041 -- 44th Ave.
Oakland, CA 94601
The two men (Mark & Joe) who ARE the company were very
agreeable, gave me the lowest quote and did the work
quickly and efficiently. They have also come out to cut a
new vent in my bathroom when I had it re-done (wow! a warm
bathroom, what a luxury!) and will be coming today to check
on my condensation drain. They are honest and nice men. I
recommend them highly.
We had central heating installed in our 1,400sf 1912 South
Berkeley home about two months ago. Based on reviews from
this site we went with Harry Clark Plumbing and Heating
(http://www.harryclarkac.com/), and overall we've been very
For our house, with 8 vents, the cost range was $5,000-
7,000 depending on the furnace you choose. We went with
the more expensive (& more efficient) variable speed
furnace and love it. (Of course, since we had no heat
before that, we probably would love anything). The air
feels good, there are no big gusts of air, and the furnace
is very quiet.
The installation took about 4 days, and there was about a 4
week wait to get scheduled at that time. The work was very
professional & clean.
Does anyone have hydronic heat in their house? We need to
replace our heating system and I'm interested in hydronic
heat. Specifically because my husband has allergies and
asthma. I need recommendations of heating companies that
can install it. If possible, please email me personally as
well as posting on the newsletter.
We replaced our in-floor furnaces with a central heating
system last winter, and used Harry Clark. Absolutely no
complaints -- they stuck to their schedule, cleaned
everything up, and the job captain was polite and
professional. And I'm just absurdly, disproportionately,
happy with the benefits of central heating and a
We need to update heating system in our house-- are having
trouble finding contractor/ company who isn't wierd or scary.
If you have used someone and it was a good experience please
We have an old heating system of two floor furnaces with metal
grills. Now that we have a toddler, we would like to move up to
the 21st century and get forced air heating (and maybe cooling
Atlas (893-1343) installed forced hot air in our house. It
was excellent. The estimator explained everything, there
were no surprises. The work was very well done. There was
one small mistake, but they corrected it well.
I would recommend Walter Mork Co. at 845-0992, 2418
6th Street, Berkeley. They replaced our 30+ year old gas
furnace with a new, quiet, reasonably priced efficient
model. They did it quickly, professionally and crawled into
a very tight space under our house to do it. The owner's
son also happens to also be a friend of ours, so I can
vouche for his excellent character and high work quality.
He does the estimates/bids for the company and specs out the
job. His name is Berkeley Choate.
We need a new furnace and have already gotten an estimate
from Atlas Plumbing and Heating. I'm interested in hearing
from anyone who has had them do work, as well as getting
suggestions for a company that might give us another bid.
Some duct work may also be part of the job. Thanks.
J.M.Campbell Company just installed a furnace system in our
house and did a fantastic job. They showed up when they
said they would and did the work in the time frame they
promised for the price they quoted. AND they did quality
work putting in a quality furnace for a reasonable price--
much less than quoted by Atlas and/or Harry Clark. They
even cleaned up after themselves! I recommend them highly;
We are installing a new gas furnace and would like any recommendations for
furnaces. Two well-recommended HVAC companies independently have
Carrier furnaces; does anybody have an informed opinion on that furnace
Response to person replacing furnace: We did this and used Roeber's and
were NOT happy. We had to call in someone else to fix things. We were
VERY happy with them. You could speak to Danny at Lavine Heating
and Cooling. I believe they are located in Berkeley. Colleen
Can anyone recommend a good heating contractor who could add a vent to
our existing central heating system? We felt that the contractor we
engaged to do the original installation was very pricey. We live in
To the person looking for a good heating contractor, I highly recommend L.J.
service is great, the people are great--couldn't give a better recommendation.
around by other companies on quotes, not showing up when they said they
would, etc. With
Kruse, I got efficient and friendly service. The number I have for them is
Furnaces are supposed to be inspected annually. We have ours done by
Atlas Heating and Ventilation in Oakland. They originally installed the
furnance (before we owned the house) so we just kept with them.
I have no idea how often furnaces should be serviced, but I am confident
that it is more often than every 15 years. We had a new furnace put in
last year, and used Harry Clark Plumbing and Heating. We thought they
did a fine job. Also recommended is Atlas Heating.
Right now Lavine & Co Heating and Air Conditioning, 5933 Foothill Blvd,
Oakland, 632-0203 is having a special, I think its about $250, half
price. We just had our furnaces cleaned on Monday. They did an excellent
job. Its a family owned business. Really nice and professional
folks. He told us its good to have it cleaned about once a year
depending on use, whether or not you have pets and so forth. I felt they
were really honest. We will have them come back to fix one of the pipes.
What ever you do, DO NOT CALL COMFORD. They are a rip off. When I was 9
months pregnant they insisted our funrnace was no good, and that gases were
leaking into our home. Their furnace cost was $8. He was really pushing a
sell. We ended up calling PGE. They came out right away. And informed us
that there were no gases leaking into the home. That our furnace is old
but ok. I would not recommend them....
It would be better not to repeat our experience, so here it is. We had an old
gravity Atlas heater when we bought our house, and didn't do anything until
about 8 years later. We called Atlas and they came out and told us we had to
shut it off immediately because it was very dangerous. The combustion chamber
had rusted through in places, and we were getting gases into our house, I
presume carbon monoxide. I don't know if it was a fire hazard or not. In any
case, we got a new heater right away from Atlas.
I can also recommend Atlas Heating, which is also a long-time Bay Area company
and family owned. They inspected the ancient floor heater that was in my house
when I bought it last year and ultimately replaced it. I would like to caution
against relying solely on PG&E for assurances of safety, particularly with an
old unit: Atlas found a leak that PG&E did not. The second PG&E inspector
acknowledged that it had been overlooked the first time, because the PG&E
technicians did't carry mirrors with a handle long enough to reach down to
reflect the bottom of the floor heater, which is where the crack was. I gave
PG&E person #2 a ruler and some tape to extend the reach of his mirror, and
then I had to point out the leak, which he did at last observe and confirm.
I get my furnace checked each year by PG&E. They come and check it for
free for safety. If you want something more than that, I would suggest
Atlas Heating and Air Conditioning.
I've also used Berkeley Plumbing and Heating to repair my furnace
when a cheap programmable thermostat fried it and they were
very very nice and did a great job. And they were reasonably priced.
We have just had a new forced air heating system installed in our small
house in Oakland, and used Harry Clark Plumbing and Heating. We have no
history with the heater, but Harry Clark's people were very helpful and
pleasant to work with. We also got a bid from Ronnie at Atlas Heating;
Atlas is more expensive, but it's a union shop and is highly regarded.
I want to chime in with Wendy on 9/1's
Parent Digest regarding Harry Clark Plumbing & Heating. We had them
install a new heating system in 2 homes with great success. We also used
their plumbing services for both minor repairs and major pipe
replacement/installation and found them to be excellent. We also got bids
from Atlas Heating -- they are highly regarded and more expensive.
However, after having used Harry Clark since 1988, we still have the same
plumbers coming to our home and they seem quite satisfied with their shop.
Albert Nahman has also serviced us for plumbing, and is equally good.
My furnace and heating ducts were supplied and installed by Ceridono
Engineered Heating in Berkeley. They are in the yellow pages under
heaters-sales and service. I had one of those small floor heaters
in my downstairs so that the heat never made it upstairs. My furnace
is in my attic (the crawlspace under my house wasn't big enough) and
the vents are in the ceiling. They were pretty inventive about
placing the ducts because I have an old house with few places to
hide stuff, but they managed to do it.
The original furnace and installation cost about $3500 10 years ago.
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