Important Information Regarding Unlicensed HVAC Contractors
Unlicensed contractors are likely approaching homeowners in your neighborhood right now. While these under-the-table workers may offer what seems like a great bargain, their discounted prices may end up costing much more in the end.
Unlicensed contractors are able to offer reduced rates because they have not paid licensing fees, have not obtained a bond that protects their work, and likely are not carrying liability or worker’s compensation insurance. It’s unlikely the contractor has pulled the necessary building permits, which may suggest the work is being done outside of code requirements.
A homeowner that hires an unlicensed contractor in a state or municipality that requires licensing could be considered in violation of the law. In addition to partaking in criminal activity, one slip or fall from the unlicensed handyman may land the homeowner in court, as the worker may file a negligence lawsuit against the homeowner, which likely will not be covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy.
Regardless if a state requires an HVAC license, Section 608 of the Clean Air Act states that all persons involved in the handling, transfer, maintenance, or installation of equipment that contains refrigerants regulated by federal law must be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is a violation to work under somebody else’s certification.
Robbie Bailey, home comfort designer, Aire Serv, Knoxville, Tennessee, said quality work will always trump cheap labor. “The key to success is to sell yourself and your company – not a price,” he said. “If we can provide proof to our customers that they are getting a quality company with the licensing and technical knowledge behind their work, price should never be an objection that we cannot overcome.”
Make sure you know what type of HVAC Company you are using. Ask for proof of licensing and insurance information before you choose a company that cannot back the work they do.
By Herb Woerpel of The NEWS Staff