Omaha 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 installation in the Omaha, Nebraska metro area. Included are Elkhorn, Fremont, and Council Bluffs, Iowa areas. This information includes featured HVAC contractors plus a link to our free and handy printable grid to compare price quotes. Here you will also find sources of energy efficiency and equipment rebates, the ratio of hours of heating to cooling needed each year and much more.
About HVAC contractors
The contractor you choose makes a big difference in 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. In the navigation 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.
Because of relationships with their distributors or ownership by a manufacturer, some A-C and heating contractors install a limited number of equipment brands. Many independents have one or more brands they prefer or for which they are dealers, but will order and install any brand of new equipment you want to buy. However, most contractors will provide repair and maintenance service on any brand of central heater, furnace and air conditioner you have.
In addition to heating and cooling for indoor comfort and energy savings, an increasing number of 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, 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 usually can recommend another Omaha area company that does.
How to compare air conditioning and heating equipment price quotes
AC and heating systems are made of components or units, and these can be interchanged to create 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 Omaha 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 heating and cooling map of the U.S. with 5 zones, Omaha 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 home or office here would need about 4 times more heating than air conditioning over a calendar year. Winter snow averages about 30 inches a year here. When using a heat pump, there are maintenance and other considerations regarding snow and extended periods of cold weather. Refer to the page on heat pumps under Expanded A/C and Heating Details at the top of this page.
The continental climate of the Omaha area brings the typical hot summers and cold winters. In June, July, and August, high temperatures average in the mid 80s Fahrenheit with occasional spikes over 100 degrees. Conversely, in December, January and February, the average lows are in the mid teens. Between these highs and lows, especially in spring and autumn, there are days when neither home heating nor cooling are necessary. On these same days, however, a dehumidifier, whole house air filter or fresh air ventilator could make a big difference in your indoor comfort and satisfaction.
Pollen, allergies and air filters in Omaha
In Omaha residential air filters are a necessity to some residents. Certain east central Nebraska plants can strongly influence what type of air filter you and your A/C system need. Some notable examples include the ash and cottonwood trees, late summer ragweed, and other molds and allergens in all seasons. It is worth noting that the “cotton” that sheds from cottonwood trees also tends to clog the outside components of central A/C systems. The daily pollen count for the city and the surrounding counties can be found here.
Local utility and conservation providers
In the Omaha area, the OPPD Energy Information Center offer useful resources for energy efficiency and conservation programs. The DSIRE database lists additional regional and statewide programs. 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 a primary fuel such as natural gas or heating oil helps determine which central heater will deliver the best combination of comfort and lower utility bills. Natural gas is available in most Omaha neighborhoods, and fuels about 2/3 of residential heating needs statewide. More owners have gas central furnaces than heat pumps. If natural gas prices were to climb faster than electricity rates, this trend might change. Also, developments in equipment design, such as the dual fuel heat pump, are providing additional choices. 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 and humidity. Other conditions such as solid rock outcrops 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 a contractor who will insert the heating and cooling demands of the Omaha climate along with the size and condition of your “envelope” into an essential load calculation. 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 training and experience.
Resources for HVAC technical or vocational training in the Omaha area
For those interested in learning more about the technical aspects of air conditioning and heating in the Omaha area, such as schools or courses to get a Nebraska HVAC license, here are some local or regional education and association links:
ASHRAE Nebraska Chapter: The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.