Although unlicensed HVAC contractors appear to work cheaper than a bonded, insured and licensed air conditioning companies, the long-term risks may not match the promise. The problems are simple yet complex. When homeowners hire HVAC service work from questionable contractors, the typically final experience may end up like this:
- Inferior workmanship resulting in shoddy equipment performance
- Incomplete or downright deceitful troubleshooting reports
- Unreliable A/C services, including substandard A/C installation
- Unexpected cost increases or poor long-term HVAC equipment reliability
- AND more.
TIP! Before hiring for A/C install or A/C services in your home, ask the contractor for proof of insurance. Even licensed HVAC pros can make a mistake. But consider the damage an uninsured electrical error can do to your home.
Dealing with untrained back-door cooling and heating service techs may seem like a slick way to save on upfront money, but in a heartbeat such preconceived out-of-pocket savings can explode into a massive financial nightmare. Air conditioning technicians, so-called, who work outside the law also tend to ignore HVAC industry-accepted service and installation regulations. According to ACCA senior vice president of government relations, Charlie McCrudden, such individuals “… take advantage of lax enforcement of permitting rules, licensing requirements, and the Clean Air Act.” Furthermore, Mr. McCrudden says that the government is currently unable to track or control the problem. Too many individuals, McCrudden says, “… are posing as professional HVAC technicians.”
TIP! Get multiple bids before deciding on which HVAC company will install or repair your heating and cooling equipment. Most homeowners know better than jumping on the highest bid, but you should also be wary of any super-low bits.
Choose Reputation Over Low-price Unlicensed HVAC Contractors
In the air conditioning industry, a good reputation is paramount to the word-of-mouth advertising, and word-of-mouth advertising is the core of established customer trust. Modern A/C associations, along with reputable A/C installers, have had about enough of the damage unlicensed HVAC contractors are doing to the reputation of the industry. Proper licensing is a must-have component of quality HVAC services.
According to “Hiring Licensed Vs Unlicensed Contractors” from the Arizona Yavapai County Contractors Association (YCCA) out of Prescott, homeowners are free to choose who they will hire: licensed or unlicensed. However, the foreword from YCCA is simple: “Beware!” In fact, YCCA Executive Director, Sandy Griffis, says that contractor licensing does not assure technical skill, proficiency or even a measure of competence. “However,” Griffis continues, “… hiring an unlicensed contractor is certainly a hazard.” Here are three primary points to remember:
- Unlicensed can mean low bids, but the financial and legal consequences may be more than you originally bargained to face
- Hiring a licensed air conditioning contractor provides better protection than any after-event legal remedies
- Most licensed A/C contractors are competent, dedicated, financially responsible, and well trained
- By practicing licensing and a well-crafted regulatory system, the law of the land promotes individual safety and reliable construction practices.
For the legitimate Arizona air conditioning installation and service center that plays by the rules, the battle against unlicensed low-bidders means missed business opportunities and higher cost margins. For you, the caught-in-the-aftermath homeowner, choosing an unlicensed A/C company may mean a risky venture for the sake of possible money savings. Yet in recent years, the number of complaints filed with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors has been on a constant upswing. The cost of scamming affects legitimate contractors, society as a whole, and you.
Arizona residents can report unlicensed HVAC contractors via forms on the website of the Arizona Registrar of HVAC Contractors.
Unlicensed HVAC Contractors Miss The Mark
YCCA says that most homeowners could prevent construction problems just by knowing their existing home improvement rights and then by taking personal responsibility for the project. Informed consumers make better buying decisions. Working with reputable air conditioning contractors helps ensure that you do not become the victim of unscrupulous or unlicensed HVAC contractors.
TIP! If you are having a new HVAC unit installed in your home, do not forget to check the condition of your existing ductwork. Even the best of the best energy-efficient air conditioning equipment will fritter away energy in a home where the duct work needs serious repair.
Protect yourself. Avoid working with unlicensed craftsmen, so-called. Don’t get scammed, get cool. Licensed HVAC contractors follow sound business practices, including:
- Paying taxes
- Buying and maintaining yearly insurance
- Running background checks on prospective new employees
- Setting up a bonded practice
- AND More.
To gain a state HVAC license, the contractor must show experience and capability. The test is designed to eliminate shade tree cooling and heating service techs. Construction licensing may not be the ultimate scam solution, but it can help you find a principled and reliable A/C contractor. Furthermore, the heating and cooling industry is evolving, reaching beyond heating and cooling and stretching into the arena of indoor air quality (IAQ). Expect the demand for knowledgeable HVAC techs to be on the rise..