Raleigh 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 Raleigh, North Carolina area. Included are the surrounding research triangle cities of Chapel Hill and Durham along with Cary and areas in between. The information provided 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, HVAC schools 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 units. 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 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 a brand 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.

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 offer 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 Raleigh 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 mixed/matched 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 accordingly. For these reasons, comparing proposals, features, and prices can be more than confusing.

To get a clear picture 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 at a glance.

How the Raleigh area climate affects heating and air conditioning decisions

The local climate is bound to affect your heating and cooling loads and the payback period when comparing the efficiency ratings of different air conditioners, furnaces or heaters. On the climate map that divides the U.S. into five zones, The research triangle area is located in heating zone 3 and cooling zone 3. An average home or building here needs 1402 cooling hours and 2942 heating-degree days yearly. As a relative comparison, the area needs about twice as much heating as cooling over a calendar year.

The climate of this area brings four distinct seasons, with all except summer being generally mild. Summers tend to be hot and humid, with June, July, and August averaging highs in the mid-80s F. The average daily lows in January and February are just below the freezing mark. Between the annual highs and lows are quite a few days in which home heating and cooling may not be necessary. However, on these same days, a dehumidifier, whole house air filter or fresh air ventilation could make a huge difference in indoor comfort for occupants.

Pollen, allergies and air filters in Raleigh

In Raleigh home air filters are a necessity to some residents for health reasons. Certain central North Carolina trees and plants can influence what kind of air filter you and your A/C system need. Some regional examples include the oak, poplar, and sweet gum trees, ragweed in the late summer and fall, plus allergens from flowers, grasses, and molds throughout the year. The daily pollen count and allergy forecast for the area can be found here.

Local utility and conservation providers

For the greater Raleigh area, Progress Energy offers information on energy efficiency rebates and incentives. The DSIRE database, a project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) is based in Raleigh. This program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, provides useful information for the entire U.S. Often, your AC and heating contractor will 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 type of central heating unit will give you the most comfort at the lowest cost. Since natural gas is available in most Raleigh neighborhoods, many homes and buildings have gas central furnaces 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 the average daily temperature, fluctuations in temperature, and humidity. Other local conditions such as solid rock outcrops located close to the surface can limit the use of ground source units. For more information on this topic, go to the top of this page and learn about heat pumps under Expanded A/C and Heating Details.

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 company who will insert the heating and cooling demands of the Raleigh climate along with the size and condition of your home or building “envelope” into an essential load calculation. For several 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 and experience.

Resources for HVAC technical or vocational training in the Raleigh area

If you are interested in learning more about the technical aspects of air conditioning and heating in the Raleigh and research triangle area, such as schools or courses to get a North Carolina HVAC license, here are some local or regional educational, board and association links:

State Board Of Examiners Of Plumbing Heating & Fire Sprinkler Contractors
1109 Dresser Court
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: (919) 875-3612

Wake Technical Community College
9101 Fayetteville Road, RE217
Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone: (919) 662-3515 ext.3

ASHRAE Triangle Chapter: Triangle chapter of The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.