The Best Heating & Air Contractors in San Francisco CA Are Verified as Safe To Hire
Heating & air contractors in San Francisco CA bearing The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol are the HVAC contractors that exceed the minimum California regulatory standard. They are the ones proven by our independent research to have passed the Top Ten requirements for value and ability, carry liability insurance as protection for you the customer, who use only employees legal to work in the U.S., and for whom our staff has called previous customers to verify high satisfaction with them for heating and air conditioning in San Francisco CA, including furnaces or ventilation systems for residential homes and commercial buildings.
Updated April 21, 2020
The Best Heating & Air Contractors in San Francisco CA Are Verified as Safe To Hire
The state of California requires HVAC contractors in San Francisco CA to be licensed by the state, such as those companies with the C20 license for heating, air conditioning, and ventilation specifically.
But the state license is no guarantee that any particular heating & air conditioning contractor in San Francisco CA is doing business ethically, providing real value, or satisfying customers.
This makes it all the more significant that all local heating and air conditioning services in San Francisco CA that bear The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have been cleared by our research staff. That means that all have passed the requirements for Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten status, including survey phone calls to previous customers to verify high satisfaction, good complaint record, verified state license, liability insurance, hiring only documented employees, and more.
HVAC Contractors in San Francisco CA Provide Numerous Heating & Air Conditioning Services
Heating, air conditioning, and ventilation contractors in San Francisco CA perform specialty tasks that are beyond amateur repairperson abilities. When considering which HVAC contractors to hire, keep in mind the microclimate in which you live, and if there are areas within your home or business that are difficult to ventilate or keep a comfortable temperature. HVAC contractors in San Francisco CA rely on this information to take the right measures for installing air conditioning units, furnaces, heater installation, ducts, home cooling systems and all types of ventilation systems for homes and businesses.
The best HVAC contractors in San Francisco CA provide heater, furnace and air conditioning repair or maintenance for several commercial or residential applications, including central heating and air systems, general duct cleaning and repair, reconditioned air, radiant heating, geo-exchange systems, and radiant floor heating.
Some HVAC contractors will also perform air duct cleaning or repair and can even design and build new, energy-efficient air conditioning systems or heating and cooling systems for your home or business.
Choosing a New HVAC System in San Francisco CA
The best HVAC contractors will not quote a system just based on the square footage of the home, but will survey themselves each room to be serviced by a climate control system. Knowing the total volume to be heated or cooled allows them to figure the load, meaning how much power your system would need and will also factor in your type of insulation, window space, and local climate data.
Next, the HVAC experts will determine the best location for your system. The amount of work an air conditioning unit will have to do can depend on where it's located, such as whether or not it's somewhere shady.
Air Conditioner Repair in San Francisco CA
An HVAC contractor should be used for any air conditioning repair and service other than routine cleaning, as the main components are sealed, and complex.
Central air conditioners usually are connected to a home's forced-air distribution system, if the home has one. The two main components of a central air conditioner are the condenser and the evaporator. The condenser unit is usually outside the home on a cement slab. The evaporator coil is in the duct above the furnace. Hot air is cooled by the evaporator as it flows through the return-air duct to the furnace. If the air conditioner unit outside works but isn't cooling the house, the problem is probably in this distribution system where the evaporator is located.
Central air conditioners should be inspected and adjusted by a local HVAC contractor before the beginning of every cooling season to ensure that they're in good working order and to avoid malfunction during hot periods and to maintain systems for longer operational lifespan.
Types of Heating Systems Available in San Francisco CA
Forced Air Heating Systems - Forced air heating systems are the most common type of home heating system in San Francisco and tend to be the least expensive. Air is heated in a furnace and then distributed through the building or home via air ducts.
Different furnaces use different fuels, such as propane, oil, natural gas, or electricity. A forced air heating system requires air ducts, which take up space in your building or walls, and it requires regular air filter changes.
Radiant Heating Systems - Radiant heating simply refers to the direct transfer of heat, such as from a stove. Most radiant heating is provided via infrared radiation. Radiant floor heating, usually provided by hot water tubing or other heating systems installed under floors, also falls under this category. Radiant floors are usually warmed by hot water that is heated by a boiler.
Radiant heating systems tend to be more expensive to install than forced air heating systems, and they require separate ductwork than air conditioning systems or other home heating systems that may already be installed in a home or building.
Good radiant heating systems directly heat floors, walls and ceilings, depending on the type of system setup. Consumers find that radiant heating has a number of advantages. It is often a more efficient type of home heating as compared to baseboard heaters or forced-air heaters. That's because it doesn't rely on ductwork to spread heat, so there isn't the same amount of heat lost as with other systems. Homeowners with allergies or sensitivities also find that radiant heating doesn't blow air, and therefore doesn't spread allergens around homes. Most radiant heat systems, especially water- or liquid-based systems, use boilers, solar heaters, or other sources of power and therefore use little electricity, cutting costs.
Hydronic Heating (Hot Water Baseboard) System Installation and Repair - Although hot-water baseboards use hot water heated by a boiler similar to in-floor radiant heating systems, the hot water is piped to baseboard units mounted along your walls that have fins that heat the surrounding air, which then rises to heat the room.
Not every company licensed for HVAC provides or installs hydronic heating systems or hot-water baseboard heaters, so if you want hot-water heated baseboards, look specifically for hydronic heating contractors in San Francisco CA.
Steam Radiant Heating Systems - Cast-iron steam radiators can still be found in older buildings or homes but are rarely installed new anymore. They tend to be considered bulky and unsightly by modern standards and can be replaced with vertical wall panel radiators, such as are often seen in apartments.
Installation of Geothermal Heating Systems - Geothermal heating and cooling in the form of a GHP (Geothermal Heat Pump) is the newest technology. Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of the constant temperature several feet underground with water pipes running from a heat pump above ground to several feet below ground where it is cooler.
GHPs is more energy efficient than other systems can can save 30%-70% on home heating or 20%-50% on home cooling according to the EPA, but are 50-100% more expensive to install, with a 3-ton geothermal heating system costing $5,000-$10,000 more than a heat pump system that runs on air.
With an annual energy savings of $350-$1,500, it can be many years before the additional expense of purchase and installation is recouped. Ask local HVAC contractors in San Francisco CA how much experience they have with GHP systems and how much in annual energy savings has been experienced by their customers in your area and climate.
Find the Best HVAC Contractors in San Francisco CA for Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation Services
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these HVAC contractors in San Francisco CA: Air Duct cleaning co San Francisco CA, Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating Berkeley CA.
Other contractors for heating & air conditioning in San Francisco CA that might still be in business include the following:
Questions To Ask Local Heating & Air Conditioning Contractors in San Francisco CA
Know What You Need From the Best HVAC Contractors in San Francisco CA
Explain what type of heating, air conditioning, or ventilation work is involved. You may have limited knowledge of your HVAC system, but your description should include the problems you've encountered and your climate preferences. For example, if your home has hot or cold areas, seems stuffy, feels humid or dry during certain parts of the year, or if your heating and cooling system is no longer keeping you comfortable, these are important facts to bring up with your local San Francisco HVAC company.
Knowing how your current system is running and any problems or issues you're experiencing with your home heating and cooling will help them diagnose problems.
Be prepared and be consistent in the way that you present the information so each heating, air conditioning, and ventilation contractor in San Francisco CA and your area of San Francisco will have an opportunity to offer an equally informed time and cost projection for your job. You want to compare the companies based on facts, so keeping a careful record of what each company told you and having them bid on the exact same specifications will be helpful.
Answer Questions from Good Heating, Air Conditioning & Ventilation Contractors
Listen carefully to the questions each HVAC contractor asks and answer each as specifically and honestly as you can. The more information you give, the better information you'll get in return. Then document the concerns of each heating, and air conditioning contractor. They may give you suggestions, tips, or basic troubleshooting advice. Note the level of detail and the amount of time they're willing to devote to you. It will help you assess each company's proficiency and work ethic and help you find the best San Francisco HVAC contractor for your needs.
Questions to Ask Local Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Contractors in San Francisco
Make a list of questions for the best heating and air contractors based on the notes you've taken and the basic information you've gathered. Supplement your own ideas with the sample questions we've listed below.
Try to ask questions that will help you determine the experience, availability, professionalism, and quality each HVAC contractor offers. As with any contractor decision, it's smartest to focus on value instead of price alone. Most heating and air conditioning systems fall within the same price range. The difference in cost usually comes down to quality installation and customer service, and that can be worth paying a little extra for.
The following questions will get you started:
• How long have the heating and cooling contractors been providing HVAC services in San Francisco CA? (Different regions have unique weather that effects choices in equipment and installation method. The length of experience doing heating & air installations and repairs in your location shows each contractor's familiarity with these aspects and can signal a better experience and final outcome for you.)
• How many installations have the San Francisco HVAC contractors done similar to yours in terms of size of job, budget, type of HVAC equipment, residential versus commercial, timeline, etc.?
• Will the heating and cooling company representative give you names and numbers of customers who had a similar kind of installation done that you can call as references? (All heating & air contractors bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have already had their customer references called by our research staff.)
• Will the HVAC companies provide a written estimate that is detailed, including brand names and product numbers of the equipment, as well as the type of material and amount used for installation? (This is key because cheap HVAC contractors in San Francisco often only seem cheaper because they skimp on labor, materials, or quote prices for inferior heating and air conditioning units.)
• What are the manufacturer warranties on the new units your air conditioning contractor will install? Will the San Francisco HVAC installers guarantee their installation fits manufacturer recommendations in order to maintain that warranty coverage?
• Do the HVAC contractors in San Francisco and near you provide a written warranty for their labor, aside from manufacturer warranties? Will they let you see a copy of that warranty before you sign a contract for HVAC services?
• Will permits be needed for any HVAC installations, repair work, or air duct installation services? If so, will the contractors be responsible for getting the permits, or do they leave that up to you?
• Can the heating and air conditioning company show that all employees sent to your property are legal to work in the U.S.? (All HVAC contractors in San Francisco bearing The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have already signed an obligation to hire only documented workers.)
• Will the companies show you proof of active workers' compensation and liability insurance that covers all employees sent to your property? (All heating & air companies bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have already had proof of insurance verified by our research staff.)
After you've completed interviews with all of the HVAC companies you're considering, review your notes and the estimates you've received and see if one company stands out above the rest.
Then, when you've chosen the best heating & air contractors in San Francisco CA for your specific needs, double-check their license status and insurance information before signing a contract with local HVAC contractors for heating and cooling services. (All HVAC contractors bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have already had their state license and insurance coverage verified by our research staff.)
Tips On Good HVAC Contractors in San Francisco
Take Time To Choose the Best San Francisco HVAC Contractors For You
Don't hire the first HVAC contractors that you can reach. If you do some research at the first sign of a problem with your heating or air conditioning system (or before you rush into HVAC system installation), you'll likely be happier with your choice of local HVAC contractors in San Francisco and you'll probably get a better end result. Think about what aspects of the service are most important to you—like customer service, reasonably fast response time, honesty, quality installation and repairs, reliable ongoing HVAC maintenance services, and more—and find a company that can offer what you're looking for.
Write a Description of the Job for the Heating & Cooling Contractors in San Francisco
You'll do better in assessing who the best HVAC contractors are in San Francisco if you write down details about the job specifics prior to contacting anyone. Then give that same information to each local heating and air conditioning contractor so they all have access to the same details and can provide information and bids based on the facts. That way, you'll be able to judge the qualifications of the different contractors without wondering whether they're working from the same set of standards as the other companies you've talked with.
Get Several Estimates From Local HVAC Contractors in San Francisco
Request HVAC service estimates from various good heating & cooling companies in San Francisco and your area in order to get a realistic idea of HVAC service fees and insight into the heating and cooling contractors' abilities. Most experts recommend seeking bids from three to five qualified companies. This will give you some variety in bids to review, but it won't be an overwhelming number of choices.
When deciding which companies to invite to bid on the work, be sure that you're choosing among qualified candidates. That means only interviewing and accepting bids from licensed and insured local companies that have good reputations for quality work and an emphasis on customer service. Don't bother talking to HVAC contractors that aren't licensed or insured, or those who have serious infractions against their licenses.
Additionally, be wary of heating and cooling companies that don't live within your local area. Companies that come from long distances may be harder to reach or harder to get back to your home for HVAC repairs, heating and cooling system maintenance services, warranty work, or other services you may expect or want in the future. While some companies do work in a large area and are good contractors, most HVAC companies prefer to serve customers within their local area.
Get Details of the HVAC Work in Writing from Heating, Air Conditioning & Ventilation Contractors
For the purposes of record keeping and preparedness, be sure that the local HVAC contractors you're considering hiring can provide you with a written description of all aspects of the work. This agreement should detail pricing, warranty information, and the projected time frame for completion. It should also specifically identify the make and model of equipment, including serial numbers and other identifying details.
Do Your Homework Before You Sign An Agreement with San Francisco HVAC Contractors
Before you agree to any home heating and cooling services from HVAC contractors in San Francisco, check HVAC contractor licensing, workers' compensation and liability insurance coverage on all of the heating, air conditioning and ventilation companies in San Francisco.
Communicate with Your Heating, Cooling and Ventilation Company During the HVAC Work
Communication is very important during any HVAC installation job or heating and cooling system repair services. If you have questions or concerns, speak up. Your San Francisco HVAC contractors should be willing to answer any questions you have. At the same time, you should be ready to answer questions your home heating and air conditioning professional has for you. Return calls, be at scheduled meetings, and be sure to talk with your contractor regularly before and during the work to help avoid any miscommunication, frustration, or communication problems.
Review the Heating & Air Conditioner Work Upon Completion
After the HVAC job is completed, walk around the newly installed heating system or home air conditioning system with the most senior HVAC contractor available and compare the work with the agreement you signed. Bring up anything that differentiates from this agreement. Ask your contractor to show you the work that was done and to explain the services. If you've had a new HVAC system installed or your system was repaired or serviced, ask for usage, maintenance, or upkeep suggestions to keep your system functioning smoothly.
Know Your Rights as a Customer of Local San Francisco HVAC Companies
Heating, air conditioning & ventilation consumers have some special rights depending on where they live. You're dealing with HVAC contractors in San Francisco, including San Francisco, so you can check out the consumer affairs website for the state of California.
Brands Used By Heating & Cooling Contractors in San Francisco CA
The best HVAC contractors in San Francisco CA provide, install, service, and repair many brands of heating & air conditioning equipment, including the following popular brands:
Actron Air, Airease, Aire-Flo, Amana, American Standard, Aprilaire, Arcoaire, Armstrong Air, Bard, Borg Warner, Bosch, Broan, Bryant, Burnham, Carrier, Coleman, Comfort-Aire, Comfortmaker, Concord, Cozy, Daiken, Daikin, Day & Night, Ducane, Empire, Fedders, Fraser-Johnston, Freidrich, Frigidaire, Fujitsu, Fulton, Gaffers Sattler, Gibson, Goodman, Heil, Holly, Honeywell, Intertherm, Janitrol, Lennox, LG, Lochnivar, Luxeaire, Maple Chase, Maytag, Midea, Mitsubishi, Modine, Nordyne, NuTone, Panasonic, Payne, Raypak, Reznor, Rheem, Rinnai, Ruud, Samsung, Sanyo, Slant Fin, Tappan, Tempstar, Tempstat, Toshiba, Trane, Unico, Utica, Weather King, Weil-McLain, Westinghouse, Whirlpool, White Rodgers, York
Contact your local heating and cooling company to find out if they service the make and model of HVAC equipment you have.
Resources About Heating & Air Conditioning Contractors in San Francisco CA
Associations & Licensing for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning in San Francisco CA
ACCA Air Conditioning Contractors of America www.acca.org
ASC Associated Specialty Contractors www.assoc-spec-con.org
ASHRAE American Society of Heating, and Air Conditioning Engineers www.ashrae.org
BBB Better Business Bureau www.bbb.com
CALSMACNA California Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association www.cal-smacna.org
CAPHCC Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of California www.caphcc.org
CSLB Contractors State License Board www.cslb.ca.gov
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs www.dca.ca.gov
MCAA Mechanical Contractors Association of America www.mcaa.org
MCA/NWPA Mechanical Contractors Association of Northwest Pennsylvania www.mcanwpa.com
MCAEPA Mechanical Service Contractors Association of Eastern Pennsylvania www.mcaepa.org
NATE North American Technician Excellence for HVAC www.natex.org
OHACPA Oil Heat Association of Central Pennsylvania www.centralpaoilheat.com
PAACCA Pennsylvania Air Conditioning Contractors Association www.paacca.org
PHCCA Heating, Cooling Contractors Association www.phccweb.org
Media & Web Resources for HVAC Services in San Francisco CA
Heating, Piping, Air Conditioning Magazine
Home Energy Magazine
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten Heating & Air Conditioning Contractors in San Francisco CA within the following zip codes:
94164, 94158, 94170, 94140, 94159, 94169, 94126, 94157, 94168, 94125, 94147, 94167, 94120, 94146, 94166, 94119, 94188, 94142, 94165, 94101, 94172, 94141, 94127, 94109, 94116, 94124, 94108, 94134, 94115, 94123, 94107, 94133, 94114, 94122, 94105, 94132, 94112, 94121, 94104, 94131, 94111, 94118, 94130, 94110, 94117, 94129, 94103 and 94102
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information on the Top Ten HVAC Contractors in San Francisco CA for the following cities:Presidio, San Francisco, Bernal Heights, Cow Hollow, Diamond Heights, Duboce Triangle, Eureka Valley, Fisherman's Wharf, Haight-Ashbury, Hayes Valley, Inner Sunset, Japantown, Laurel Heights, Marina District, Mission District, Nob Hill, Noe Valley, North Beach, Pacific Heights, The Presidio, Rincon Hill, Russian Hill, Sea Cliff, Sunset District, Telegraph Hill, Treasure Island, Twin Peaks, Western Addition, Outer Sunset and Union Square