How can you tell if a heating and cooling contractor is qualified to fix your faulty air conditioning unit?
Your air conditioning unit is a complex system that can be critical to the health and comfort of your family. If it needs repairing, you need to know that the heating and cooling contractor you are investigating for the repairs is licenced.
You need to know that any maintenance they provide is competent and safe. Most states require heating and cooling contractors be licenced to do their work.
To gain their licence they will have had completed a course of training, passed their course exams, and had experience of working in the heating and cooling industry.
How can I check if a Heating and Cooling Contractor is licenced?
In many states, there are online sites where you can check if your contractor is licenced.
In Texas, that site is located at the Texas Department of Licencing and Registration. This site also lets you know if their licence is current or not.
You can also contact Customer Service at (800) 803-9202 (Texas only) or (512) 463-6599 to receive this information by phone.
How can I check if a Heating and Cooling Contractor is both insured and bonded?
It is important to verify that your contractor is insured for both workers compensation and for liability. Workers compensation covers the worker for injuries that could be blamed on the homeowner or the workers employer. Ask the contractor to show you copies of their insurance documentation, and check that their insurance has not expired.
Liability insurance will cover you for any damage the contractor may do to your property.
If their standard of work is sub-standard or their work fails in any way, the bond will cover you. Ask the contractor to show their bond number and their certification, which you can check against the surety company which provides their bond.
Is important for you to keep a copy of the information they show you in case you need to contact their providers in the future.
There are other useful actions you can take before you commit to any contractor
- If someone approaches you offering you a service that you have not asked for, you should never sign up to them. This is a classic ruse that many con-artists use. Any business that resorts to this tactic should be avoided.
- Ask your friends and contacts if they know of any contractors that they can recommend to you. Ask them what their experience of the contractor was.
- Ask the contractor for references from previous clients of theirs. It is even better if you are able to contact these referees personally. If they cannot give this to you then you should be wary.
- A physical address. Any reputable business will have this.
- It is advisable to get at least 3 quotes for any work where you need to hire a contractor. You will also find that with each additional contractor you contact, you will get a better understanding of what could be necessary to repair your air conditioner.
- Find out how long their service has been operating. Any business that has been operating for years is more likely to be providing a reliable service.
Are you able to claim any tax credits or rebates?
In many states, you can check online to see if you are able to claim back any tax credits and rebates, especially if you end up installing a new air conditioner. You may also be able to claim for adding insulation, furnace or water heater, windows or solar panels.
In Texas you can check on the ‘TEXAS IS HOT’ site for more information.