Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It includes the surrounding metropolitan areas of Camden and Wilmington, NJ. Useful information includes featured HVAC contractor information 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 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. In the navigation 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 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 equipment makes they prefer or for which they are dealers, but will order and install any brand of new equipment you prefer to buy. However, most contractors will perform repair and maintenance on any make 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 choose does not perform conservation improvements on homes or buildings, they will likely be able to refer you to another Philadelphia area company that does.
How to compare air conditioning and heating equipment price quotes
A-C 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 sort through your options, use our free and printer-friendly cost comparison organizer found in the navigation at 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 on one page, including: main components; equipment efficiency in SEER and AFUE; manufacturer’s and installer’s warranties; and equipment brand.
How the Philadelphia climate and resources affect your HVAC needs and decisions
Your local climate directly affects 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, Philadelphia 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 comparison, the average Philly home or building needs 4 times more heating than air conditioning over a calendar year. Differences in elevation or other topographical or climatic influences can cause microclimates, so be sure to rely on actual measurements and calculations from your heating and A-C contractor.
Southeastern Pennsylvania is classified as having a humid subtropical climate, but lies near the intersection with the humid continental zone. The area experiences four distinct seasons. Summer in the hottest months of June, July, and August average in the mid 80 degree Fahrenheit range, but can spike to over 100 degrees. Frequent mild spring and autumns bring days in which home heating and cooling may not be necessary. Due to humidity and other factors, on these same days, a dehumidifier, whole house air filter or fresh air ventilation could make a major difference in your comfort indoors.
Pollen, allergies and air filters in Philadelphia
In Philadelphia, home or office air filters are necessary for health reasons to some residents. Certain Southeastern Pennsylvania plants can influence what type of air filter you and your A/C system require. Examples of trees include the cottonwood, juniper, and maple trees. Late summer brings ragweed woes to many. The daily pollen count and allergy forecast for the Philly and the surrounding metro area can help you understand and plan for allergens year around.
Local utility and conservation providers
For the Philadelphia and PA, our research located two potential sources of energy efficiency resources, rebates and incentives. The DSIRE database provides alphabetical listings for the whole state. This press release from State of Pennsylvania’s PowerPort lists more 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 primary fuels heating oil or natural gas can go a long way in determining which kind of central heater will give you the best combination of warmth and lower utility bills. Since heating oil and natural gas are generally available in Philadelphia, many owners have central furnaces or boilers 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 daily fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Other local conditions such as solid rock or stone layers 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 buy a new A/C and heating system, look for a heating & AC contractor who will insert the heating and cooling demands of the climate here 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 Philadelphia area
If you are interested in learning more about the technical aspects of air conditioning and heating in the Metro Philly area, such as schools or courses to get a Pennsylvania HVAC license, here are some local or regional educational and association links:
ASHRAE Philadelphia Chapter: The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
Delaware Valley Chapter of ACCA: Local branch of the Air Conditioning Contractors Association of America.