Minneapolis 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 the twin cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. This information includes featured 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 heating to cooling needed each year 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 type and size of equipment for your situation and they control the quality of the installation. If you have not yet seen them, in the pull-down menu at the 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 relationships with their equipment distributors or ownership by a manufacturer, some air conditioning and heating contractors install a limited number of equipment brands. Many independents have one or more brands for which they are dealers, but will order and install any brand of new equipment you prefer to buy. No matter which equipment they sell, most HVAC contractors 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 offer 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 contractors install 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 Minneapolis 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 make 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 accordingly. For all these reasons, comparing proposals, features, and prices can be more than confusing for most owners.
To help you sort through your options, use our free and printer-friendly cost comparison organizer found in the menu on the top of this page–above the photos. If you get multiple price quotes, it will save you a lot of time and headaches. This grid allows you to easily 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 Minneapolis climate and resources affect your HVAC needs and decisions
On the heating and cooling map of the U.S. with 5 zones, Minneapolis-St. Paul lies in cooling zone 1 and heating zone 1. These require approximately 4626 heating degree-days per year and 584 cooling hours. As a general and relative guide, the average Minneapolis home would need 7.9 times more heating than air conditioning over a calendar year. Differences in elevation or other topographical or climatic influences (such as large lakes) can cause microclimates, so be sure to rely on actual measurements and calculations from your heating and air conditioning contractor.
The Minneapolis area has a humid continental climate with four well-defined seasons. Winters bring enough cold and snow to make it the coldest major metropolitan area in the country. Although the high temperatures in July average 83 °F, summer temperatures can spike to much higher levels for short periods. Between the extremes of winter and summer there are days or times in days, especially spring and early part of the fall, in which neither home heating nor cooling are needed. However, on these days, a dehumidifier, fresh air ventilator or whole house air filter could make a major difference in your comfort and health.
Pollen, allergies and air filters in central Minnesota.
In Minneapolis, whole house air filters are a necessity to some residents. Certain south central Minnesota plants can influence what type of air filter your occupants and A-C system need. Examples of trees include alder, elm, and maple. Plant allergens range from late summer ragweed to grasses, molds, and flowers. The daily pollen count and allergy forecast for the twin cities and Bloomington can be used to help take action to be less affected by pollen inside your home or building.
Local utility and conservation providers
For the Minneapolis-St. Paul twin cities area, the DSIRE database provides a useful statewide alphabetical resource for owners wanting to find sources of energy efficiency rebates and incentives. In many cases, your heating and AC contractor can coordinate all available energy conservation and rebate programs, from federal tax credits to local rebates and incentives.
The availability of primary fuels such as natural gas or heating oil can determine which central heater unit will provide you the best combination of warmth and lower utility bills. Since both fuels are generally available in the twin cities area, homes tend to have oil or gas central furnaces rather than heat pumps. If primary fuel 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 stone or rock 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 for a new heating and A-C system, look for a contractor who will insert the heating and cooling demands of the Minneapolis climate along with the size and condition of your home or building “envelope” into a critical load calculation. For many reasons, avoid a rule-of-thumb load calculation based only on square footage or using the same size system as the old one without verification. Why? This calculation requires considerable expertise or software and interpretation, and it may not have been done correctly the last time equipment was installed.
Resources for HVAC technical or vocational training in the Minneapolis area
If you are interested in learning more about the technical aspects of air conditioning and heating in the Minneapolis area, such as schools or courses to get a Minnesota HVAC license, here are some local educational and association links:
ASHRAE Minneapolis Chapter: City branch of The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.