Houston 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 Houston, Texas. This information includes featured HVAC contractors plus a link to our handy printable grid to compare their bids and price quotes. Here you will also find sources of energy efficiency and equipment rebates, the ratio of cooling to heating needed each year, 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 browsed 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 Houston area 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 them 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 Houston 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, it is confusing to compare proposals, features, and prices.
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, this 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 Houston climate and resources affect your HVAC needs and decisions
On the heating and cooling map of the U.S. with 5 zones, the Houston area lies in cooling zone 5 and heating zone 5. These zones require approximately 2803 cooling hours and 1263 heating degree-days per year. As a general and relative guide, the average Houston home would need 2.2 times more air conditioning than heating over a calendar year. Bays, lakes or other topographical influences can cause variations, so be sure to rely on actual measurements and calculations from your heating and air conditioning contractor.
The humid subtropical climate in southeast coastal Texas brings many days in the spring and autumn and even winter during 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 indoor comfort.
Pollen, allergies and air filters in Houston
The pollen from certain southeast Texas plants can strongly influence what type of air filter your family and your A/C system need. A couple of notable examples from the daily City of Houston pollen count and allergy forecast include grasses; trees, such as elm, pine, ash, and cottonwood; ragweed in the fall and other types of allergy producers such as mold spores.
Local utility and conservation providers
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 Houston 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.
In our research for the Houston area, we found one utility, CenterPoint Energy, that offers efficiency rebates and incentives. 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.
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 Houston 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 technical or vocational training in the Houston area
If you are interested in learning more about the technical aspects of air conditioning and heating, such as courses to get a Texas HVAC-R license, here are some useful local and regional links:
Lone Star Reps, Inc
1011 N Thompson St
Conroe, TX 77301-1953
Texas Chapter of ACCA: Local branch of the Air Conditioning Contractors Association of America.
Houston ASHRAE: 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.
Finch Air Conditioning and Heating: Repair, replacement and maintenance service for the greater Houston, TX area. Finch services most makes and models of residential and light commercial AC and heating systems. Factory authorized dealer in Houston and I-10 East area for Trane, Mitsubishi ductless, AprilAire and more.