Frequently Asked Questions

About BWR Heating & Cooling, HVAC & life in general.

Frequently asked questions about BWR & HVAC

I need emergency repair. Does BWR offer 24-7 service?

Well yes, in a way.

Our office hours are 7 am – 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, with dispatch hours from 6 pm to 9 pm. Those are very long working hours, and we’ll do what we can to fit you in without delay.

Also, if you pre-schedule an appointment for the weekend, we’ll show up on Saturday and even on Sunday. Our technicians are exceptionally dedicated and won’t leave a job hanging. If they need to work later to finish the repair or installation, they will.

And if you live in Norco, Corona, and other cities close to us in Riverside County, we do have a quick response team that we’ll send to your address as soon as possible. And we’ll do this without tacking on extra fees.

We’re known for our exceptional customer service. It’s not unusual for our technicians to voluntarily work late, even on weekends, to get a customer’s AC, furnace, or HVAC system up and running.

We think you’ll find that BWR Heating & Cooling:

  • Is far more responsive than other heating and cooling services.
  • Can diagnose your problem and repair it faster than other heating and cooling services.
  • Is completely transparent with all repairs, and won’t charge you for anything without your consent to repair.
  • Is customer-focused. We’ll listen to you and address your concerns. We’re far more interested in customer satisfaction than in making a quick buck.

How much does it cost to have new air conditioning installed?

How much does it cost for a pair of new shoes?

Not to be flip, but air conditioners are like anything else — they come in a range of prices, and this depends on their size and output, the quality of their manufacture, and so on. If you live in a tiny home, you can spend much less on your air conditioner than the owner of a mansion in Beverly Hills.

All heating and cooling dealers offer similar pricing for air conditioners and furnaces, because prices are more or less set by the manufacturer — usually from $3,000 on up for an HVAC air conditioner. The big difference between BWR and other heating and cooling companies comes down to customer service and expertise.

We’ll recommend the right air conditioning system for your home or business, and won’t try to oversell something you don’t need. Also, if your old AC unit is still perfectly serviceable, we won’t try to sell you a new one.

But if we install new AC for you, we’ll install it correctly and maintain it annually if you wish to extend its life as long as possible. And we won’t overcharge you for the service.

How much does it cost to replace an HVAC system?

It depends! According to HomeAdvisor.com, “The cost to replace an HVAC system averages $7,000, with a typical range of $5,000 to $10,000. This translates into $25 to $60 per square foot of coverage, depending on the brand and size.”

And according to Modernize.com, “The average HVAC replacement cost is $3,250 to $12,586, which would include installation of both a new central AC unit and gas furnace combo. If you need to replace ductwork as well, you can expect an additional $1,875 for a single story 2,200 square foot home.”

The cost of an HVAC system depends on the size of your home, the condition of your ductwork, and even on your geographical area. Needless to say, replacing an entire HVAC system is a major expense, given that you’re installing a new air conditioner, a new furnace, and sometimes even new ductwork and an advanced air filter. It’s a job that can take 3 to 5 days to complete.

Cost also depends on the contractor you call for an estimate. AC and furnace prices are mostly set by the manufacturer, but some dealers may try to sell you more AC and furnace “horsepower” than you really need.

Call us for an estimate. We’ll help you determine what needs to be replaced and what doesn’t, we’ll recommend the best AC units and furnaces for your home or business, and we’ll install those appliances correctly to reduce your energy bills and to extend the life of your new HVAC system.

Finally, we offer low-cost financing to qualified customers who haven’t stashed an extra $5,000-plus dollars in a sock drawer.

Why does it cost so much to run my air conditioning?

Air conditioners are energy hogs compared to most other appliances. There’s no getting around it.

But new air conditioners far more efficient than air conditioners made only 10 years ago, especially if you spend a little more to purchase an air conditioner with a high SEER rating.

Other things can drive up your energy bill as well.

  • Dirty or leaky ducts make your AC much less efficient.
  • Low refrigerant makes your AC work much harder than it needs to.
  • Failing parts, like motors, compressors, capacitors, etc.
  • Lack of maintenance. Have you called BWR recently?
  • A faulty installation, which is why you should always turn to a reputable heating and cooling company for service.

How long has BWR Heating & Cooling been in business?

Brian and Rebecca Weaver founded BWR in 2004.

Previously, Brian Weaver had worked for several years as a licensed independent contractor. He had also been employed by the City of Riverside, the Union, and by several local heating and cooling companies. All told, BWR boasts well over 20 years of HVAC industry experience.

We’ve been at it for a long time, and we stay on top of industry trends and technology.

Does BWR offer discounts?

Yes, we do. We have a standing 10% discount for seniors and members of the US military on all jobs, up to $500 maximum on large jobs. In addition, we run periodic promotions available to all customers, and we honor all AAA discounts.

Please visit our Discounts & Guarantees page to learn more.

We accept all major credit cards, and for qualified customers who need extra help, we work with an established bank to offer low-interest financing.

Why should I hire BWR and not a handyman who’s cheaper?

First, we’d like to point out that our pricing is fair, and we’re always upfront with it. We don’t gouge customers, we don’t spring unpleasant surprises, and we’ll never perform a service that you don’t need!

But a more important point is that BWR specializes in heating and cooling: air conditioners, furnaces, and HVAC systems. It really IS all we do, aside from an occasional lunch break.

We know AC, heating, and HVAC systems inside and out in a way that a generalist never could. We’ll diagnose your problem correctly, fix it fast, and fix it to last.

As for new appliance installation, the contractor who installs your heating and cooling system is responsible for all warranties, including labor and materials. Then there’s the question of liability and workman’s compensation. If something goes wrong and the contractor is underinsured, you the homeowner could be liable.

  • All BWR technicians are professionally trained, licensed, bonded, and insured. We don’t hire subcontractors to do the dirty work for us.
  • Our technicians average 5 years of work experience in HVAC, heating, and air conditioning.
  • BWR technicians receive 75 hours of additional technical and customer service training per year.

What is HVAC? Are HVAC and air conditioning the same thing?

HVAC stands for “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.” HVAC systems include an air conditioner, furnace, ductwork, and sometimes even an air filtration device. They’re controlled by one or more thermostats, and they’re all part of the system that delivers warm or cool air to your home or business.

Simple air conditioners are one-trick ponies — they run during the hot summer months, but do nothing for you in January, when temperatures can dip below freezing.

HVAC systems are essentially “set and forget,” especially when connected to a smart thermostat. They cool your air when needed, heat it during the winter, and circulate indoor air even when they’re not heating or cooling it. HVAC systems are hands down the best for energy efficiency and comfort.

“HVAC” and “central air conditioning and heating” are sometimes used interchangeably. They’re actually different things. A central air conditioner may be part of an HVAC system, but it’s always centrally located in the building.

Different units of an HVAC system can be placed anywhere in or outside the building, as long as they’re all connected to the same ductwork or ventilation system. The furnace may be in the garage and the air conditioner may be on the roof. A central air conditioner and furnace, on the other hand, are always close to each other near the center of the home or business.

What questions should I ask about HVAC?

These are some of the more common questions we hear:
 
  • Is it time to replace my old HVAC units?
  • How can I boost HVAC efficiency and lower my energy bills?
  • How often should I have my HVAC units serviced and ductwork inspected?
  • Should I have my air ducts cleaned?
  • What are the benefits of a maintenance plan, and is a maintenance plan worth the money?
  • What are the best appliance brands and types for my home or business?
 
And actually, there’s no need to ask any of these questions at all! If you call us and arrange a visit, we’ll give you an honest assessment of your HVAC system, list your options, and schedule additional service if necessary.
 
We don’t use pressure tactics to sell air conditioners and furnaces, but when you do decide to buy, we’ll recommend the best appliances for your needs and lifestyle, install them correctly, and offer a great price on the whole shebang.
 

Do I really need annual HVAC service or annual checks of my AC and furnace?

Not any more than you need to maintain your car!

You wouldn’t take a badly maintained vehicle on the 405 at rush hour, would you? Well, a poorly maintained HVAC system is far more likely to break down when the mercury hits 105 degrees F, or burn megawatts of electricity, or pump out polluted air. Plus, a faulty gas furnace can be lethal if it develops a carbon monoxide leak.

All manufacturers of air conditioners and furnaces recommend an annual inspection and tuneup. We recommend two: one in the spring and another in the fall.

You’ll extend the life of your appliances, lower your energy bills, and breathe much purer air for it.

Can I DIY clean my air ducts?

Yes, you can, and you should. By this, we mean you should regularly vacuum the vents and clean the areas around your furnace and air conditioner.

But DIY cleaning can’t be compared to professional duct cleaning, which is done with state-of-the-art “negative” air equipment to clear your air ducts of dust, debris, pet dander, allergens, and grime. Commercial-grade vacuums remove years of accumulated grime, leaving air ducts almost like new.

With BMR’s air duct cleaning, you can significantly reduce the amount of dust in your ventilation system, leading to better health and ultimately a better quality of life.

What are the benefits of air duct cleaning?

As stated, the main benefit is better health and ultimately a better quality of life. You’ll breathe in far fewer irritants like insect feces, pet dander, pollen, and dust.

The average American spends 90% of his or her time indoors. Indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air.

Benefits include:

  • Increased heating and central air conditioning system efficiency, which saves you $$$ on your energy bills.
  • Allergy relief.
  • Less dust and dirt in your home.
  • Less contamination in your HVAC system.
  • Cleaner household surfaces (carpet / upholstery / wall coverings & clothing)
  • Far better air quality; healthier home.

How often should I clean my air ducts?

Every three to five years! That’s the standard recommendation. But you may need to have air ducts cleaned more often if you:

  • Live in a dusty area.
  • Have a house full of pets or clutter.
  • Have a mold problem in your home.
  • Run your HVAC system often.
  • Suffer from breathing problems.

Pay attention to the warning signs. If you find yourself sniffling from morning until night, or experiencing frequent headaches, it may be time to clean the ducts. If rodents or insects have taken up residence in your home, call us to clean the ducts.

How Much Does Air Duct Cleaning Cost?

That depends entirely on the size of your home or business and the number of ducts that need cleaning. As with carpet cleaning, there’s no one size fits all charge or approach!
 
But if you call us, we should be able to quote a ballpark figure over the phone, and our technicians always provide a guaranteed quote before they embark on any job, air duct cleaning included.
 
Suffice it to say that BWR offers some of the best rates for professional duct cleaning in the LA metro area, and it goes without saying that we give you the very best service.
 

Does BWR install heat pumps? I’ve heard they’re very energy efficient.

Yes, we do. And yes, they are, compared to a standard furnace, if you live in the right climate for a heat pump: moderate and dry.

During the summer, a heat pump extracts indoor heat and moves it outdoors, replacing your air conditioner. But during the winter, a heat pump works in reverse, pumping warm outdoor air into your chilly home. Even 45-degree outside air usually contains enough heat for a heat pump to operate as designed.

Unlike a furnace, a heat pump isn’t directly warming air as much as it’s moving already warm air from one place to another.

If there’s not enough warm outside air to match your thermostat setting, that’s when the auxiliary furnace kicks in — but only then. Since a heat pump uses far less energy than a furnace, the result is significant savings on your energy bill.

Is a heat pump better than a furnace?

They’re different animals.

In the right conditions, a heat pump transfers 300% more energy than it consumes. In comparison, the most efficient gas furnaces are only about 95% efficient. However, during the coldest snaps, when temperatures dip into the 30s, 20s, and even teens, the heat pump animal goes into hibernation and the furnace animal is at its best.

In a mild climate, you may be able to get away with a heat pump in the winter and no furnace, but often a heat pump is attached to the furnace. The heat pump operates in a range between 40 and 70 degrees or so, and the furnace takes over when the temperature goes low.

So, in a limited range of conditions, a heat pump is “better” than a furnace because it uses so little energy. But on a frosty 25 degree F night, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you had the foresight to also install a furnace.

At what point does a heat pump fail to generate enough heat?

Heat pumps draw warmth from outside air and transfer it indoors. In this respect, they’re very different from a furnace, because they don’t directly warm the air with gas or electric heat.

Surprisingly, even 50 degrees F air contains enough heat for a heat pump to work efficiently. But below 40 degrees F or so, there simply isn’t enough stored heat in outdoor air for a heat pump to do its job. Another thing is that high humidity reduces the efficiency of a heat pump.

So the short answer is that below 40 degrees F, you may have to switch on the furnace to stay comfortable in your home. The good news is that in a city like Riverside, CA, the average low temperature in January is 42 degrees F and conditions are relatively dry.

So in most Southern California cities, it’s possible to rely on a heat pump for about 90% of your winter heat and to save a nice chunk of change in the process.

But in a city like Duluth, Minnesota, or Cleveland, Ohio, a heat pump simply wouldn’t be practical. Both those cities, by the way, are outside the BWR Heating & Cooling service area.

My two-story house is always hot upstairs. But the thermostat is downstairs, where it’s always cold. What should I do?

You might be a candidate for zoning. Or more precisely, maybe you should consider temperature zoning for your home.

Commercial buildings are zoned for climate control — that is, each business within the building has the ability to set a preferred office temperature, and even within each office, there may be multiple thermostats to keep some areas warmer or cooler than others.

Did you know that you can do the same thing in your own home? A temperature zoning system is especially useful in homes where:

  • One part of the house has a much warmer or cooler exposure (i.e, upstairs vs downstairs).
  • An area of the house receives less circulation.
  • Different people have very different temperature preferences.

By zoning your home, you can:

  • Be much more comfortable.
  • Save on energy bills, as warm or cool air is distributed more efficiently.
  • Enjoy more peace and quiet. Your AC won’t be running constantly during the summer!

To learn more, please contact BWR Heating & Cooling for a free consultation.