Sacramento 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 Sacramento, California and the SAC metropolitan area. This information includes featured HVAC contractors plus a link to our handy, free printable grid to compare price quotes. Here you will also find sources of energy efficiency and equipment rebates, the ratio of cooling to heating needed each year, air conditioning schools and 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. 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 a brand for which they are dealers, but will order and install any make of new equipment you request. However, most contractors 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 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 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 should be able to recommend another Sacramento 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 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.

Take a look at 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 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 Sacramento climate and resources affect your HVAC needs and decisions

Your local Sacramento climate affects the heating and cooling loads in addition to the payback time when comparing the efficiency ratings of different air conditioners, furnaces or heaters. On the climate map of the U.S. with 5 zones, Sacramento resides in cooling zone 2 and heating zone 2. These require approximately 935 cooling hours and 3784 heating degree-days per year. As a relative comparison, the average Sacramento home or building needs about four times more heating than air conditioning over a calendar year. Keep in mind that Sacramento is located near the border of three climate zones. 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 air conditioning contractor.

The Mediterranean climate in California’s central valley brings hot dry summers and and relatively mild winters. The hottest summer months of June – September average highs around 90 degrees F. The four cooler winter months of November – February drop to lows around 40 degrees. This type of climate has days, especially in the spring and autumn, in which home heating or cooling may not be needed. On these same days, however, a dehumidifier, whole house air filter or fresh air ventilation could significant increase your comfort indoors.

Pollen, allergies and air filters in the Sacramento Valley

Home or office air filters are a necessity to some residents here. Certain central valley plants can influence what type of air filter your occupants and your A/C system need. Notable examples include the mulberry, oak and walnut trees in the spring. Other allergens come from wildflowers, grasses, and molds. The daily pollen count and allergy forecast for the city and the surrounding areas can be found at on the Weatherbug website.

Local utility and conservation providers

For the Sacramento area, the following utilities or agencies offer energy efficiency rebates and incentives. 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.

California Energy Commission
Emerging Renewables Program
1516 9th Street MS-45
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (800) 555-7794

Electric and Gas Industries Association
3800 Watt Ave., Suite 105
Sacramento, CA 95821
Phone: (866) 367-3442

Roseville Electric Rebates
3800 Watt Ave., Suite 105
Sacramento, CA 95821
Phone: (877) 419-7271

More local and statewide Links
DSIRE database

The availability of primary fuels such as natural gas or, to a lesser extent heating oil, can determine which of the central heaters will give you the optimum mix of comfort and lower utility bills. Since natural gas is available in many Sacramento neighborhoods, many owners 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 located near the surface can limit the use of ground source heat pumps. For in depth information on this topic, go to the top of this page and visit the heat pump page 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 contractors who will insert the heating and cooling demands of the California central valley 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 Sacramento area

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

Sacramento City College
3835 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento, CA, 95822
Phone: (916) 558-2111

Sacramento Valley ASHRAE Chapter: Regional branch of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers

CA Chapter of ACCA: California State branch of the Air Conditioning Contractors Association of America.