It’s a common situation that plays out every day in homes and businesses across the country: someone goes to adjust the thermostat and discovers nothing happens. The furnace or the air conditioner isn’t working, and the temperatures soon trends in an uncomfortable direction. Finding an HVAC contractor to fix the problem quickly is important, but so too is making sure you select a contractor with all the appropriate licenses.
Why not just bring in a friend or handyman who says they’ve conducted such repairs before and can save you a bundle of money? Do you have to use a licensed contractor? There are many good reasons to do so, and they all come back to the same fact: you’re more protected with a licensed team. Here’s why.
Licensed Contractors Carry Insurance
The most important aspect of choosing a licensed contractor is the simple fact that they will meet the requirement to carry insurance, which should provide peace of mind for clients. At a minimum, you should expect to see a hefty general liability insurance policy. Should something happen to your property because of the contractor’s work, their insurance policy — rather than your own homeowner’s policy — will cover the damages. As a result, it is imperative to protect yourself from the potential perils of using a contractor who does not have insurance and subsequently causes a substantial problem due to poor workmanship.
Your HVAC Contractor Must Uphold Certain Standards
Once a business earns a license to be an HVAC contractor, it can’t just ignore the licensing body in the future. Instead, they commit to uphold the professional standards espoused by the organization that granted their license. From the way they conduct themselves on the job to the level of service they provide, they should make it clear they follow the rules by the book. When you choose a licensed HVAC contractor, you can place more trust in their abilities. However, you may still want to double-check that their license is current by asking who issues it and how you may contact them.
They’ve Demonstrated Competency to Earn the License
No one gets a driver license just for showing up on test day. The same is true in any other professional licensing organization, but especially those who oversee HVAC companies. Due to the nature of the equipment, extensive technical education is necessary to provide effective repair service. By opting to invest in a team with the appropriate license, you can trust in the knowledge that your technician knows how to deliver exceptional service on the job. You can’t always know that a third-party individual, operating without a license, knows how to do the repairs they say they do.
You’ll Receive More Cost-Effective Service
How could it be more cost-effective if the fly-by-night operator is the one offering you a cut-rate on the repair? Consider what happens afterward. How long will a slapdash fix last before your air conditioner or furnace stops working again, and you need to pay even more money to have it fixed? With a licensed professional, you can trust in a greater likelihood of outcomes that are “right the first time.” Instead of worrying about the quality of the parts used in a repair, know that you’re investing in the best maintenance possible for your HVAC equipment.
The Pitfalls of Unlicensed Contracting
Let’s consider some of the major drawbacks to choosing an unlicensed service provider aside from the likelihood of a failed repair. Some of the other concern you should have include:
- Licensed contractors vet employees and may use background checks to verify their safety. Unlicensed service providers could have a checkered past that makes them unsuitable for visiting homes.
- Unlicensed contractors could cause damage to your home that your homeowner’s policy will not cover due to the illegal nature of the work.
- There’s no guarantee that you will receive the work you’ve requested in exchange for the money you’ve paid.
Finding Trusted and Licensed Local Help
With the right professional team, you can count on better service, accountability, and a wider range of knowledge to support more types of equipment. So how do you find one in your area that you can trust? Ask for referrals, investigate reviews, and don’t forget to do the homework yourself — calling and asking about a contractor’s licenses, insurance, and professional standards. Verify that they have an active license from the regulatory body from which they claim their license.
Once you’ve established that you can trust them, you can proceed with asking for an estimate and ordering service. Although it is tempting to call upon fly-by-night and unlicensed contractors, the corners cut aren’t worth the resulting risks. Explore your options today and find a licensed HVAC contractor ready to take on your job today.