Austin

Austin Air Conditioning and Heating: Service, Repair, and Equipment Contractors

This local page provides resources and information about A/C and heating service, repair, maintenance, and installers in Austin, Texas. This information includes featured HVAC contractors plus a link to our handy printable grid to compare price quotes. Here you will also find sources of energy efficiency and equipment rebates, the ratio of hours of cooling and heating needed, HVAC schools and more.

About HVAC contractors

The contractor you choose will make a big impact on your satisfaction and purchase of a new air conditioning and heating system. Why? They determine the size and type of equipment for your situation and they control the quality of the installation. If you have not yet seen them, in the top navigation menu on this page you will find quick tips and expanded topics on two essential topics: how to select the right HVAC contractor and how to buy a new heating and cooling system.

Most air conditioning and heating contractors stock and install a limited number of equipment brands. Some independent contractors will order and install any brand of new equipment you prefer to buy. Most of these service companies will perform repair and maintenance on all brands of central heaters, furnaces and air conditioners.

In addition to heating and cooling for indoor comfort and energy savings, many HVAC companies perform air quality work such as air filters, dehumidifiers and humidifiers, ventilation and prevention of toxic carbon monoxide gas from your furnace. However, not all of these perform energy efficiency improvements to houses or buildings. If the service company you select does not perform conservation improvements on homes or buildings, they should be able to recommend another Austin company who does.

How to compare air conditioning and heating equipment price quotes
Air conditioning and heating systems are made of components or units, and these can be interchanged to yield many possible combinations of performance and efficiency. Additionally, based on the particular situation in your home or building, these components must be chosen and installed to accommodate them. For these reasons, comparing proposals, features, and prices can be more than confusing.

To help you sort through your options, use our free and printer-friendly cost comparison organizer found in the navigation on the top of this page. If you get multiple price quotes, it will save you a lot of time and headaches. This grid allows you to compare the essential features from contractor bids including: main components; equipment efficiency in SEER and AFUE; manufacturer’s and installer’s warranties; and equipment brand.

How the Austin climate and resources affect your HVAC needs and decisions

The local climate affects your heating and cooling loads and the payback period when comparing the efficiency ratings of different air conditioners, furnaces or heaters. On the climate map that divides the U.S. into five zones, Austin is found in heating zone 5 and cooling zone 5. The average home or building here needs 2803 cooling hours and 1263 heating-degree days yearly. As a relative guide, Austin needs about twice as much cooling as heating over a calendar year.

The humid subtropical climate in central Texas brings many spring and autumn days in which home heating and cooling may not be necessary. However, on these same days, a dehumidifier, whole house air filter or fresh air ventilation could make a huge difference in your comfort.

Pollen, allergies and air filters in Austin

In Austin air filters are a necessity to many residents. Certain central Texas plants can strongly influence what type of air filter you and your A/C system need. A couple of notable examples include the juniper trees that cause the much maligned winter “cedar fever”, ragweed in the fall, and other types of allergy producing wildflower pollen in the springtime. The daily pollen count and allergy forecast for the city and the surrounding hill country can be found here.

Local utility and conservation providers

In the Austin area, Austin Energy, Texas Utilities, Pedernales Electric Co-op, and Texas Gas Service provide electric utility and Gas service. Each of these utility companies offers energy efficiency rebates and incentives from time to time. Austin energy has won numerous awards for many innovative initiatives, such as their free programmable thermostat program. In many cases, your A/C and heating contractor can coordinate all available energy conservation and rebate programs, from federal tax credits to local rebates and incentives.

The availability of natural gas can determine which HVAC equipment will give you the best combination of comfort and lower utility bills. Since natural gas is available in most Austin neighborhoods, many consumers have chosen gas central furnaces rather than heat pumps. If natural gas prices climb faster than electricity rates, this trend might change. In situations where a heat pump makes the best choice, some of the factors that affect air source heat pumps include the average daily temperature, fluctuations in temperature, and humidity. Other local conditions such as limestone located close to the surface limit the use of ground source heat pumps.

How a whole house approach includes the “envelope” in the load calculation

If you plan to get price quotes to buy a new A/C and heating system, look for contractors who will insert the heating and cooling demands of the Austin climate along with the size and condition of your home or building “envelope” into a complex, but critical load calculation. For many reasons, a rule of thumb load calculation based only on square footage or using the same size system as the old one without verification should be avoided. This calculation requires considerable expertise or software and interpretation.

Resources for HVAC in the Austin area

If you are interested in learning more about the technical aspects of air conditioning and heating in the Austin area, such as courses to get a Texas HVAC license, here are some local or regional links:

Austin Community College: ACC Offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration technology (HART). Contact information:
1020 Grove Blvd
Austin, TX 78741
Phone: (512) 223-6142

Austin Chapter of ACCA: Local branch of the Air Conditioning Contractors Association of America.

ASHRAE Austin Chapter: Acronym for American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

Texas A&M Energy Systems Laboratory: Research on HVAC and energy conservation. Located at The Texas Engineering Experiment Station. One of the largest university based HVAC research programs in the U.S.

McCullough Heating and Air Conditioning: Repair, replacement and maintenance service for the greater Austin, TX area. McCullough services most makes and models of residential and light commercial AC and heating systems. Factory authorized dealer in Austin for Carrier, Mitsubishi ductless, AprilAire and more.