Virginia Beach 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 Virginia Beach, Virginia. Also covered are nearby metro areas of Norfolk and Newport News. This information includes featured HVAC contractors plus a link to our free and handy printable grid to compare prices of installed systems. Here you will also find sources of energy efficiency and equipment rebates, the ratio of hours of cooling and heating needed each year, listings for HVAC schools 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 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 all the contractors will perform repair and maintenance on any kind 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 should be able to recommend another Virginia Beach 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 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 accordingly. For these reasons, comparing proposals, features, and prices can be more than confusing.
To help you sort through your options easily, 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 Virginia Beach climate and resources affect your HVAC needs and decisions
The VA Beach climate affects your cooling and heating loads and the payback period when comparing the efficiency ratings of different air conditioners, furnaces or heaters. On the climate map of the U.S. with 5 zones, this area lies in cooling zone 2 and heating zone 3. This area requires approximately 935 cooling hours and 2942 heating degree-days per year. As a relative guide, the average Virginia Beach uses the heater 3.1 times more than the air conditioner over a calendar year. Keep in mind that Virginia Beach is located near the border of two zones. Topographical influences, such as proximity to the ocean, can cause microclimates, so be sure to rely on actual calculations from your HVAC contractor.
Because of the moderating effect of the Atlantic, the Chesapeake Bay area experiences a humid subtropical climate. According to the Wunderground.com website, the hottest month of July brings average highs of almost 90 degrees F. During the coldest month, January, the average lows dip to near freezing. Outside these averages, the temperatures can dip to zero degrees F. and up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The climate here brings days (and parts of days) in which home heating and cooling may not be necessary. Even so, a dehumidifier, whole house air filter or fresh air ventilator could improve your comfort level substantially. The need for these is increasing due, in part, to buildings being built to tighter standards.
Pollen, allergies and air filters in the Virginia Beach area
In Virginia Beach air filters are a necessity to a growing number of residents. Certain coastal VA plants and trees can influence what sort of air filter you and your A/C system need. Examples of trees include the oak, sweet gum, and sycamore. Other allergens include ragweed, grasses, and molds. The daily pollen count and allergy forecast from Weatherbug.com can help you plan for and manage allergens to which you are sensitive.
Local utility and conservation providers
For the State of Virginia, the DSIRE database lists resources for energy efficiency, rebates and incentives. In many cases, your A/C and heating contractor can save you time and money by coordinating all available energy conservation and rebate programs, from federal tax credits to state and local rebates and incentives.
The availability of fuels such as natural gas or heating oil can determine which type of central heater will give you the best combination of comfort and lower energy bills. Since there are generally available in the VA Beach area, many owners have gas central furnaces or boilers rather than all electric resistance or “strip” heating. 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 layers or rock located close to the surface can limit the use of ground source heat pumps. For more 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 for a new A/C and heating system, look for a contractor who will include the heating and cooling demands of the Virginia Beach climate along with the size and condition of your home or building “envelope” into an essential load calculation. Avoid a rule of thumb load calculation based only on square footage or using the same size system as the old one without verification should. This calculation requires considerable expertise.
Resources for HVAC technical or vocational training in the Virginia Beach area
For those seeking to learn more about the technical aspects of air conditioning and heating in the VA Beach area, such as schools or courses to get a Virginia HVAC license, here are some local or regional educational and association links:
Hampton Roads Chapter of ACCA: Local branch of the Air Conditioning Contractors Association of America.
ASHRAE Hampton Roads Chapter: The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.