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IF you have never needed to use an HVAC contractor before, you may have some concerns about making the best decision and how to go about hiring a licensed company that will help you out without any fear of charging you too much or doing the job without the right license and insurance coverage. In this article we will discuss how to avoid unlicensed HVAC contractors and get you on your way to a solution for your problem.

1. Avoid door to door salesmen

If anyone comes to your door and says that they have done previous work for your neighbor down the street and are currently looking for more clients, do not buy into that. Real contractors do not have the time to go door to door and they use other marketing methods for building up their client list. While some of these scam artists may sound legit, more than likely they are not.

2. Always ask for their papers

This means always asking to see proper licenses, bonding, and insurance information. Most legit contracting companies will also have workman’s compensation papers and references. Do your homework and check into all of these papers and the company before accepting any bids. If you need to contact an inspector to verify the information is correct, than find out how to do so. An inspector’s job is to protect the home owner from incompetence and fraudulent bids.

You will also want someone who is familiar with each brand of air conditioning and heating units that are out there. Some contractors like to specialize in specific brands only and when looking for parts, may have a hard time finding the most affordable prices.

Also be sure that when the contractors and technicians come to your home that the licensed person is the one who is actually doing the job. Sometimes companies will send out an unlicensed technician at the time of the job and the contractor who has the proper certification is nowhere to be found.

It may be a good idea to check with the requirements for your specific state or province as well. Laws and certifications may not be the same in all places of residency. In some places you may need extra certification for various jobs that may include plumbing, or electrical work.

3. Ask your friends and family

This means you do the calling and talking to those you trust. If you do not know who to choose, chances are someone you know will have had to hire someone in the past or knows of someone they trust who has. Even when you decide to check into an HVAC contractor that someone recommends, you still need to make sure that you take multiple bids for your project so you can see who offers the best price for the service.

These three tips will help you ensure that you avoid hiring unlicensed HVAC contractors and get the best company for your job. Always remember to double check all the credentials and information that each contractor shows you and then decide on the best prices and recommendations from those you trust. Finally, always be sure that when you do decide on a licensed HVAC contractor that you ensure everything is on paper in regards to what is needed for the job, what will be done, warranty information, maintenance extensions if included, and when the job should be completed.

HVAC 101 Everything you need to know

FAQ: How to Spot Unlicensed HVAC Contractors

1. What Should I Do if a Contractor Knocks on My Door Offering Services?

  • Avoid falling for door-to-door sales pitches from HVAC contractors claiming to have done work for your neighbors. Legitimate contractors don’t typically solicit business this way. Instead, seek referrals from trusted sources or research reputable companies in your area.

2. How Can I Verify if a Contractor is Licensed and Insured?

  • Always ask for proof of licensing, bonding, and insurance before hiring an HVAC contractor. Legitimate companies will readily provide this information, along with references and workman’s compensation papers. You can also verify credentials with local inspectors for added assurance.

3. Why is it Important for Contractors to Have Experience with Different HVAC Brands?

  • Contractors should be knowledgeable about various HVAC brands to ensure they can effectively service and repair different systems. Specialized expertise can lead to better diagnosis and more cost-effective solutions for your specific equipment.

4. What Should I Do if an Unlicensed Technician Shows Up?

  • Ensure that the licensed contractor you hired is the one performing the job. Sometimes companies may send unlicensed technicians without your knowledge. It’s crucial to confirm that the licensed professional is overseeing the work.

5. Are HVAC Certification Requirements the Same Everywhere?

  • Certification and licensing requirements vary by state or province. Be sure to familiarize yourself with local regulations and standards to ensure compliance. Some jurisdictions may require additional certifications for specific tasks like plumbing or electrical work.

6. How Can I Find Reliable HVAC Contractors?

  • Seek recommendations from friends and family who have had positive experiences with HVAC contractors. While referrals are helpful, always obtain multiple bids and compare prices and services to make an informed decision.

7. What Steps Can I Take to Avoid Hiring Unlicensed Contractors?

  • Double-check all credentials provided by contractors, gather multiple bids, and seek recommendations from trusted sources. Ensure that all agreements, warranties, and project details are documented in writing before proceeding.

8. Why is it Essential to Verify Credentials and Recommendations?

  • Verifying credentials and recommendations helps ensure that you hire a reputable and qualified HVAC contractor. It minimizes the risk of encountering unlicensed individuals or fraudulent companies, protecting your investment and ensuring quality workmanship.

9. Can Hiring Unlicensed Contractors Lead to Problems?

  • Yes, hiring unlicensed contractors can lead to subpar workmanship, safety hazards, and potential legal issues. It’s crucial to prioritize hiring licensed professionals to safeguard your property and avoid costly repairs or liabilities.

10. What Should I Do After Selecting a Licensed HVAC Contractor?

  • Once you’ve chosen a licensed HVAC contractor, ensure that all project details, warranties, and timelines are documented in writing. Clear communication and thorough documentation help ensure a successful and hassle-free experience.