Los Angeles Air Conditioning and Heating: Service, Repair, and Equipment Contractors
This page provides resources and information about A/C and heating service, repair, maintenance, and installers in Los Angeles, California and surrounding areas. There is a separate page specifically for Long Beach. This information includes selected HVAC contractors plus a link to our free, 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 each year, links to HVAC schools, and more useful information.
About HVAC contractors
The contractor you choose will make a big impact on your satisfaction with 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. A good generalization: “The most important day in the life of your A/C system is the day it gets installed”. In the top navigation 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 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 energy audits and 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 by your furnace. However, not all of them perform energy efficiency improvements to structures. If the service company you select does not perform conservation improvements on homes or buildings, ask if they can recommend another Los Angeles company who could do this if needed.
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 mixed/matched to make many possible combinations of performance and efficiency. Based on the particular situation in your home or building, these components should be chosen and installed accordingly. 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 price quotes for a new system, it will save you a lot of time and headaches. This grid layout 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 Los Angeles climate and resources affect your HVAC needs and decisions
On the heating and cooling map of the U.S. with 5 zones, the LA area lies in cooling zone 2 and heating zone 2. These require approximately 935 cooling hours and 3784 heating degree-days per year. As a general guide, the average Los Angeles home would need 4 times more heating than air conditioning over a calendar year. Keep in mind that Los Angeles is located near the intersection of two climate zones. Differences in elevation or other topographical elements can cause microclimates. Be sure to rely on actual calculations from your heating and air conditioning contractor.
The coastal areas of Los Angeles have a dry Mediterranean type climate that brings mild and moderately wet, cool winters. Summers consist of warm to hot weather with mild humidity. The coastal areas experience a “marine layer,” which is cloud cover caused by the ocean. This layer cools the temperatures all year long. Due to ocean breezes, summer temperatures can sometimes be as much as 25°F higher in the inland communities than on the coast nearby. There are days when neither active heating nor cooling is necessary. However, on these days, a dehumidifier, whole house air filter, or fresh air ventilator could make a big difference in the indoor comfort you experience.
Pollen, allergies and air filters in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles air filters are a necessity to some owners. Certain southern California coastal plants influence what type of air filter your A/C system and your occupants need. Local examples include the mulberry, walnut and ash trees; ragweed; and various types of pollen. The daily pollen count and allergy forecast for the LA metro area can help you plan for the heavier pollen days.
Local utility and conservation providers
In the Los Angeles area, Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas Company offer energy efficiency rebates and incentives. The DSIRE database for CA lists statewide programs and renewable energy rebate programs. Often, your A/C and heating contractor can coordinate all the available energy conservation and rebate programs, from federal tax credits to manufacturer incentives to local rebates.
The availability of natural gas can help determine which heating equipment will deliver the best combination of comfort, energy savings and lower monthly utility bills. Since natural gas is available in many Los Angeles neighborhoods, more owners have central gas furnaces than all-electric heat pumps. If natural gas prices climb faster than electricity rates, this trend might change. Recent developments in the “dual fuel” heat pump design are providing new alternatives and versatility.
How a whole house approach includes the “envelope” in the load calculation
If you get price quotes on a new A/C and heating system, look for installers who will insert the heating and cooling demands of the LA climate along with the size and condition of your home or building “envelope” into a critical load calculation. For many reasons, you should avoid installation companies who automatically use the same size system as the old one without verification. Why? The capacity of the old AC system may be too small, or (more commonly) too large. This calculation requires considerable experience or interpretation of software.
Resources for HVAC technical or vocational training in the Los Angeles area
If you want to learn more about the technical aspects of air conditioning and heating or job prospects in the greater LA area, such as schools or courses to get a California HVAC license, here are some local or area educational and association links:
ASHRAE Southern California Chapter: The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
CA Chapter of ACCA: State branch of the Air Conditioning Contractors Association of America.