Milwaukee 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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin and surrounding areas of Waukesha and West Allis. 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 each year and much more.
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. If you have not yet seen them, in the menu on top of 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.
Due to having relationships with equipment distributors or ownership by a manufacturer, some air conditioning and heating contractors install a limited number of equipment brands. Many independents have a brand they focus on or for which they are dealers, but will order and install any brand of new equipment you prefer to buy. However, most all the contractors mentioned will perform repair and maintenance on any brand of central heater, furnace and air conditioner.
In addition to heating and cooling for indoor comfort and energy savings, an increasing number of HVAC companies provide air quality services and products 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, such as the addition of solar screens or radiant barriers. If the service company you select does not perform conservation improvements on homes or buildings, they should be able to recommend another Milwaukee area company that 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 make the most of 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 Milwaukee climate and resources affect your HVAC needs and decisions
On the heating and cooling map of the U.S. with 5 zones, Milwaukee lies in cooling zone 1 and heating zone 1. These require approximately 584 cooling hours and 4626 heating degree-days per year. As a general and relative guide, the average Milwaukee home would need 7.9 times more heating than air conditioning over a calendar year. Differences in elevation, proximity to Lake Michigan, or other topographical features will cause microclimates, so be sure to rely on actual measurements from your heating and A-C contractor.
The humid continental climate in Milwaukee brings four distinct seasons. Winters are long and cold. In fact, according to Wikipedia, it is the second coldest metropolitan area in the U.S. (after Minneapolis). Although the highs in July average 81 °F, summer temperatures can spike to much higher levels for short periods. Between the annual extremes there are days, especially late spring, summer, and early autumn, in which neither home heating nor cooling are necessary. However, on these same days, a dehumidifier, whole house air filter or fresh air ventilation could make a huge difference in your comfort indoors.
Pollen, allergies and air filters in Milwaukee
In Milwaukee air filters for the home are a necessity to some residents. Certain southeast Wisconsin plants can strongly influence what type of air filter your occupants and your A/C system need. Spring trees include alder, cedar, and maple. Ragweed arrives with the fall, and there are intermittent allergens from grasses, molds, and more. The daily pollen count and allergy forecast for the city and the area surrounding Milwaukee can be found on the Weatherbug website.
Local to statewide utility and conservation providers
For the Milwaukee area, the statewide database from DSIRE provides alphabetical list of energy efficiency rebates and incentives. Since these programs are often subject to availability of funds, you will need to check the list periodically. In many cases, your A/C and heating contractor can keep you up-to-date and coordinate all available energy conservation and rebate programs, from federal tax credits to local rebates and incentives.
The availability of primary fuels such as heating oil or natural gas can determine which HVAC equipment will give you the best combination of comfort and lower utility bills. Since both are available in Milwaukee, many homes have central oil or gas furnaces rather than heat pumps. If natural gas or heating oil 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 solid rock or stone 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 Milwaukee 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 Milwaukee area
If you are interested in learning more about the technical aspects of air conditioning and heating in the greater Milwaukee area, such as schools or courses to get a Wisconsin HVAC license, here are some local or regional educational and association links:
NE Wisconsin Chapter of ACCA: Regional branch of the Air Conditioning Contractors Association of America.
ASHRAE Wisconsin Chapter: State chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.