San Diego HVAC Repair and Installation

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HVAC Buyers Guide for Repair and Installation San Diego, California

Purchasing a new HVAC system for your property in San Diego, California carries with it many important considerations. You will find yourself faced with decisions that include choosing a contractor, what type of system to buy, and if you should purchase an annual service agreement to maintain it. This Buyer’s Guide touches on the most important aspects of HVAC installation that every property owner should consider before signing on the dotted line.

Getting Started with HVAC Repair and Installation in San Diego

Since a new HVAC system is a significant investment, it would be beneficial to do your homework by obtaining at least three estimates from reputable local contractors. Prices can vary widely between HVAC companies as well as the quality of installation and equipment they provide, so ask for references to verify the quality of their work, timeliness and jobsite cleanliness. Verify that they hold the required State of California licenses and certifications as well as the necessary workers compensation and liability insurance coverage.  

The contractor will help you choose the right size and type of HVAC system for your home. Sizing requirements are based on several factors including: the overall square footage and cubic feet of the building; the condition of the exterior walls subjected to outside temperatures; duct work, and attic insulation. The contractor should go over the types of HVAC equipment that would be suited for your property. These could include a variety of heat pumps, straight cool systems or mini split-ductless systems, among others.  

Climate Considerations for HVAC in San Diego, California

San Diego experiences an abundance of sunshine throughout the year with overall mild temperatures. This Mediterranean type climate experiences average monthly temperatures ranging from 57 degrees F in January to 72 degrees F in August.  Consider purchasing an HVAC system that will provide and maintain temperatures suited to your desired comfort levels anytime of the year. There are many HVAC systems suited for the climate of San Diego and the selection should also take into account the size, condition and energy efficiency of your property.

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Before You Sign

Before signing on the dotted line, ask your competing contractors these pointed questions and compare the answers:

  • How much money can I expect to save in reduced energy use? This will depend on the SEER and HSPF ratings of the new equipment. Remember, more energy efficiency means a higher system cost.
  • What is the total cost of labor and installation of the system? Beware of hidden costs and unforeseen circumstances. Read your estimate thoroughly to verify what you are paying for.
  • How long is the warranty period and who is responsible? In most cases, the manufacturer covers the equipment against defects and workmanship while the contractor covers the installation. Make sure you get both in writing.

To protect your investment, you should also ask your contractor about extended or annual service agreements. Many HVAC companies offer discounted parts and labor for customers who sign up for the program. This can provide an added benefit, especially when it is included in your installation estimate.

Funding Options for HVAC in San Diego

Purchasing a new HVAC system is a sizable out-of-pocket expense for most. Before deciding on a system type and SEER rating, it would be beneficial to explore the many rebate and incentive programs that can help reduce the initial costs. Government — — agencies, utility companies and others offer a variety of tax credits, incentives and rebates designed to promote energy efficiency for home improvement projects.

Not all HVAC systems qualify for a rebate so it is wise to explore the many options available in San Diego before purchasing one. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is a great place to start as it provides a list of the most current policies and incentives by state. For more information on programs that might be helpful to you, visit Energy Efficient Programs in California or the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) websites.

Although these programs may help defray some of your new HVAC costs, you will still carry the largest burden of its expense. Many HVAC companies and home improvement centers offer great financing terms to attract your business. Many even provide no interest financing for terms up to 60 months. That is a good deal for necessary equipment. You can also explore the many funding options available through lending institutions in your area or consider a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) to pay for your HVAC system.

Permits for HVAC Installation in San Diego

Installing a new HVAC system will require that you or your contractor obtain a building permit. This is to your advantage, as a building inspector will verify that your HVAC system and all electrical upgrades and connections comply with the local building codes. Although you can pull the permit yourself, the responsibility should be your contractor’s and be included in the original estimate. For information on obtaining a building permit, visit The City of San Diego Development Services Department or contact them by mail at 1222 First Avenue, MS 301, San Diego, CA 92101-4101.

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