Crystal Air P.O. Box 1501 Weaverville, CA 96093                                   1-530-623-1000                                                  California State License Board #762833
Heil Heat Pumps & AC
Daikin Ductless Systems
Heil Furnaces
Honeywell Controls

Heating, Cooling, GeoThermal, Hot Water &
Air Filtration Experts

Heating, Cooling, GeoThermal, Hot Water &
Air Filtration Experts


Welcome to the Crystal Air Heating and Cooling systems Installation Page. If you were looking for information on installation of Ventilation and Air filtration services, please follow this link to our information page on those products....Ventilation/Filtration

Choosing the system that works best for your comfort and lifestyle is something we can help you navigate. We have the tools and knowledge to do so correctly and efficiently for all required codes, desires and your budget.

We offer the following services and knowledge database to help you understand more about what works best for you.

Heating and Cooling System types can be delineated between two aspects.

  1. The delivery method of the heating and/or cooling. This can be either radiant or forced air

  2. The fuel or heat/cooling source. This can be electric, air sourced, ground sourced, or fossil fuels such as propane, natural gas or fuel oil.
      Heating and Cooling delivery

Forced Air - Forced air units are systems that use duct work in the walls, under a building or in an attic crawl to move hot and cold air from a system throughout the building. This can be from a Heat Pump (Heating and Air Conditioning), an Air Conditioner, a fossil fuel burning Furnace or a hybrid of Air Conditioner and Furnace.

The key benefit of a forced air system is that has a very rapid response time adjusting to your comfort demand and can incorporate BOTH heating AND cooling. Installation costs are also less in comparison to most radiant systems and any implementation of a forced air system allows for easy addition of filtration, humidifiers/dehumidifiers and ventilation by using the ducts in common.

Radiant Heating systems: Radiant systems "radiate" heat in a building. Baseboard electric heaters and baseboard hot water or steam registers fall into this category as do radiant floor loops (a.k.a. "hydronic") for heating water circulated through tubing in the floor.

The key benefit for radiant floor heating and hot water registers is that there is no loss of heating resource via ductwork as in forced air systems and the plus of a low operating cost. The dynamics of radiant heat are also a very "background" type of system without the presence of moving air as in ducted systems. The key drawback is that, it is essentially heating only (no air conditioning). * Efforts to engineer radiant cooling systems continue but, at this time are very costly and still have many design issues to overcome. Read more about radiant systems here.

     Fuel Types for Heating /Cooling Resource

Two primary Distinctions exist. Fossil Fuel Furnaces and Electric Systems

  1. Fossil Fuel furnaces such as fuel oil, propane and natural gas burn the fuel to create heat which is used to heat a boiler in a radiant system or to heat air in a forced air system.

    The primary benefits for fossil fuel furnaces are that they react very rapidly to demand for heat and if air conditioning is not desired, a lower cost of installation

    Fossil fuel furnaces with or without hybrid systems that include air conditioners are becoming less and less popular due to environmental concerns, higher operational costs, health and safety concerns and commodity driven pricing on the fuel. For more information on Furnaces, please click on the link here…..

  2. Electrically Driven systems typically use refrigerant lines and a process via thermal exchange to drive either an air conditioner (cooling only) or heat pump (both heating and air conditioning) and transfer the energy to a radiant loop or an air blower and ducts.

The benefits that electrically driven air conditioners and heat pumps provide is they have a low operational cost, reduced carbon emissions, their fuel source is not commodity driven and, they do dry out the air inside the building envelope.

Heat pumps of various types have become very popular and dominate the total numbers for new heating and air conditioning installs. Read more about how Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners work below.

     Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners

Heat Pumps and Central Air Conditioning systems are kindred cousins. They work off the same
principle of compressing refrigerant and "moving" heat to or from the building. The difference is
that an air conditioner only services a desire for cooling but, a heat pump provides
both heating and cooling for just a few more dollars. Heat Pumps and air conditioners are
driven by electricity and require 2 pieces of equipment to do the job. One piece of equipment,
the condenser, is placed on the exterior of the home and is tied via a refrigerant line to an
indoor blower unit integrated with a refrigerant coil. In the case of Air Conditioning only,
the refrigerant coil absorbs warm air from the house through the central air system of ducts
and "moves" it to the outside where it is released into the air. Heat pumps do the same in
summer but in winter, are able to reverse the process extracting heat from the outside air
down to 30 degrees and deliver warm refrigerant to the inside coils for heating. For temperatures
below 30 degrees, the system is equipped with back up electric heating coils to take up the
slack of diminishing efficiency in lower temperatures. Nonetheless, Heat pumps are very
efficient and cost effective when compared to fossil fuel furnaces. Operational savings
vary depending on local utility rates and fossil fuel types but, can be up to 70% less than
propane and 50% less than oil burning furnaces. Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners also do not
radically alter the humidity level in the building. Open flame furnaces often dry the air in the
home significantly and, swamp coolers can raise humidity levels to an uncomfortable point.
Well-designed ductwork is essential for success in this type of installation. Typically ducts are
installed inaccessible attic space or under the building in acrawl space. Central Forced Air
systems powered by Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners are excellent for integrating with Air
Filtration and Heat Recovery Ventilation since ductwork can be often shared as a plugged in
addendum. Follow the links to learn more about Filtration and Heat Recovery Ventialtion

So far we have explained traditional "air source" heat pumps but, technology has brought us to the cutting edge of "ground source" heat pumps known as Geo Exchange or Geothermal. Take some time to learn more about the tremendous efficiency, cost savings and environmentally conscious concept on our Geo Page.

     Ductless or Mini Heating and Cooling

New technology has given birth to Ductless or "Mini" split heating and cooling and offers
an innovative alternative to traditional central air delivery systems. Ductless systems
operate on the same principles as central air heat pumps and air conditioners but are
as the name implies, without ducts. An outdoor is still the workhorse that drives the
system and delivers refrigerant to a unit inside but, the indoor equipment consists of
small localized wall mounted coil unit(s) that draw air through them. Ductless systems
can be air conditioner only or heat pumps for heating and air conditioning and are used
wonderful for conditions in which building construction does not allow for ducts to
be used, for small enclosures where large systems are not economical or when the
aesthetic appeal of a building design would be disrupted by ducts and air registers.
This has been growing area of installation for us particularly in lofted cabins that
customers are "tired of hauling wood" to feed wood stoves.


Propane, natural gas and fuel oil fired heating systems are still, albeit diminishing, part of
our installation forte. Installation and system costs are generally lower than other systems
if heating needs are the only consideration. If heating and cooling are desired (hybrid or
"duel fuel" systems) installation costs are virtually the same as a heat pump. Furnace
operating efficiencies though, are often overlooked by consumers when considering fossil
fuel systems and in the long run, will translate into overall higher net costs even with
lower installation expenditure. Additionally, furnaces dry the air as a matter of open
flame burning of fuel. This can reduce comfort and for some, lend itself to additional
health issues without the aid of an air filtration unit. NOTE: manufactured homes require
specialized and approved furnaces for installation. Crystal Air regularly continues to
maintain and practice expertise for this type of installation.

       Radiant Heating (Hydronic)

Radiant heating is an application that has been around for a long time but, for many
years decreased in implementation due to some inherent drawbacks. Of late, due to
new technologies and concepts it has seen a resurgence. In the past, we had what is
commonly known as a "boiler" that would heat water and deliver it throughout the
house via large bulky metal registers as very hot water or steam. Large amounts of
energy or fuel were consumed and the registers themselves had a distinct presence
in the home. Today, slim line baseboard registers are available but better yet are lower
temperature loops of tubing laid throughout the home in special flooring. With this type
of system, our efficiency is improved and there is no obvious presence of equipment
in our living space. Water is often heated via a a heat pump at a lower temperature
than with a boiler and continuously circulated with  a low voltage pump rather than
passive recirculation. The net effect is a more even heating at reduced cost.

Another benefit for radiant heating as an option is that it can be integrated with the homes hot water heating needs.

Up front installation cost is a consideration. The materials and labor for installing special flooring and delivery apparatus runs higher than heating with central forced air and, the system will only heat the home not cool it. Radiant floor heating costs between ten and fifteen dollars a square foot for installation.


Going beyond…..

How often anymore do you hear about something that is truly great?

We have something BIG we want to share. Take time to visit our page for Geothermal (Geo Exchange) heating and cooling.

Hey, if nothing else, you might impress your family, boss or that "know it all" friend at your next get together.