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Looking for a good HVAC contractor

Bonus time is almost here and this new Duluth resident would like to add air conditioning to the upper floor of the house I bought last August. (With our current weather, it seems like summer is just around the corner.) Home uses hot water to heat, so no ducts! Can anyone recommend someone?

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13 Comment(s)

  1. If you are new to Duluth I think you should spend one summer here before “updating” to air conditioning. Reminds me of when I moved to Seattle. We rented a really nice apartment and as summer approached I worried that it didn’t have air conditioning. Then we decided since it was a “luxury apartment” without air conditioning, air condition must not be needed in that climate.

    That said, if this winter is any indication, we might have an unusual summer.

    A couple fans and a couple trips to Park Point during the two weeks we have a heat wave might be enough for you.

    Sun Dog | Feb 18, 2012 | New Comment
  2. I bought the house on August 5th, and we are in Kenwood, “up on the hill.” My living room gets southern sun and gets hot! Last year I used a window unit but hated the noise. My wife will be much happier with some A/C, and by extension so will I!

    Joel | Feb 18, 2012 | New Comment
  3. Yes, I remember we had a few uncomfortable days around that time last summer.

    Sorry I can’t recommend anyone.

    My mom tells stories of the ole days when people would sleep on the first floor during those hot days.

    I hate the noise of air-conditioners too.

    Sun Dog | Feb 19, 2012 | New Comment
  4. Duluth only has about one week a year where ac is needed. We (and most of Duluth) get along perfectly fine with window fans and a window AC in the bedroom (some hot summer nights can be killer with no bedroom unit).
    I’d follow the advice of others and wait to see if you actually need it.

    BadCat! | Feb 19, 2012 | New Comment
  5. Also, some newer window AC units are much quieter -- that’s an option too.

    BadCat! | Feb 19, 2012 | New Comment
  6. Ceiling fans. It does get nasty for about a week or so, but trips to the beach (Brighton is usually good to cool you down) keep things in check. | Feb 19, 2012 | New Comment
  7. I second the ceiling fan suggestion. I installed two last year and am planning on one more. They make an amazing difference on those 10 or 12 days when Duluth actually gets hot.

    TimK | Feb 19, 2012 | New Comment
  8. We used Summit Mechanical for a Geothermal heating and cooling system in our home. They do AC also. I highly recommend them. They bid the best price, did the job quickly, and were incredibly conscientious about cleanliness and respectful of our home. They are great for any follow up, and have fantastic customer service. They get an A++ from us.

    Dulusion | Feb 20, 2012 | New Comment
  9. Check out the Duluth Energy Efficiency Program (DEEP). We offer a comprehensive home performance audit that will show you what your house needs for comfort and money savings year round. Often a house that is properly air sealed and insulated doesn’t need air conditioning in our climate — if your house is drafty, cold and expensive to heat in the winter, it’s likely it will be hot (and expensive to cool) in the summer.

    We can also connect you with reputable contractors in the area for HVAC work (or air sealing and insulating, if this is what your house needs).

    DEEP will also help you find any rebates or other incentives for your project. Currently DEEP is offering rebates of up to $2500 for qualified improvements.

    See more at or call 218.336.1038.
    Sarah Hannigan
    DEEP Program Director

    sarahhannigan | Feb 20, 2012 | New Comment
  10. We’ll be installing two more ceiling fans in the house in the coming years. One this spring in the stairway between the first and second stories of the house … air movement is key to beating the heat, and moving as much cooler air from the lower level to the upper as possible via the stairs should help keep the bedrooms cooler.

    The other will take a little more doing as the living room needs to be wired for electricity in the ceiling so we can put a low velocity/higher volume fan in the common area.

    We have swapped out the old (inefficient) fan in the boy’s room with a much more efficient Hunter and immediately noticed a difference in the overall temp in that space.

    Our house came equipped with fans in the kitchen (two), dining room, and one each in the main bedrooms (kid’s rooms) when we bought the house. A fan unit in the living room and in the window on the landing upstairs helps pull cooler air into the house and the overhead fans pull and circulate that air throughout the house at a minimum of electrical expense, which is far better than paying for powering an AC unit. | Feb 20, 2012 | New Comment
  11. I’ve heard that whole-house fans (installed in the attic) are good at keeping a house cool, especially a warm second-story.

    BadCat! | Feb 20, 2012 | New Comment
  12. Perhaps you make more money than this (overpaid?) state of Wisconsin employee. I think I’ve been here 11 summers and honestly I’m still not sure I’d put multiple thousand dollars into this plan.

    kerc | Feb 20, 2012 | New Comment
  13. I second Dulusion’s endorsement of Summit Mechanical. I’ve been on lots of remodeling and new home projects the last 20 years. If I was going to pick one HVAC contractor from all the ones I’ve worked with over the years, I’d pick Summit.

    Chris | Feb 22, 2012 | New Comment

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