HVAC repairs are expensive, and important to get right the first time. That said, you should hire a contractor that is both experienced and properly licensed. Here are 5 red flags of an unlicensed HVAC contractor to watch out for when hiring a contractor for maintenance and repairs. You will want to make sure that you have quality work done by a licensed contractor to ensure that your system is safe and follows the legal standards set by your local government.
5 Red Flags of an Unlicensed HVAC Contractor
1. Can’t Find a Licensing Number
When it comes to advertisements, you want to know and follow the ads that are as open and honest as possible. When a contractor is legit, they will know that they are required to attach their license number on all printed and digital advertising. So, if you don’t see this number included, it’s a sure tell sign that they don’t follow all of the legal requirements they need to be an HVAC contractor.
2. Fail to Get Work Permit
Getting a permit for the HVAC work that needs to be done can only be accomplished by a licensed contractor. Your local building inspection department won’t give a permit to just anyone, so if you are asked to get the permit you should know that your potential hired contractor isn’t licensed. This are some exceptions to needing a permit for service work done on HVAC systems. You will want to check with your local government to see if the work you need done will fall under that category, or if a permit will be required. This will ensure that your system is up to code and safe to use.
3. No Proof of Insurance
One of the most important things you want to make sure your contractor has is liability and workers’ compensation insurance. When working with this type of equipment there are many obvious dangers and you don’t want to be held liable, as a homeowner, if anything happens to go wrong. You don’t want to be the one to foot the bill if the company was negligent in obtaining insurance for its employees.
4. Lack of References
Just as any employer checks references of a potential employee, you should also check references before hiring an HVAC contractor. Ask for references or check with your local business bureau to see if any complaints have been made about the company. If the company can’t give you any references, then you might want to do some more research to find out if they are actually legitimately licensed.
5. Advanced Payment or Cash
If you are being asked to pay in a large down payment prior to any work being done, you will want to tread carefully. For most projects you shouldn’t have to pay more than 30% of the total bill in advance. This is an exception when it comes to large construction projects that take a longer period of time. Also, if you are asked to pay in cash or to write a check to an individual’s name and not the company’s name, you should know something’s up. Be sure that you are working with a proper business and pay them directly.
If you notice any of these 5 red flags of an unlicensed HVAC contractor, DO NOT hire them. Contractors operating without a license means they are not backed by a larger, or professional company or authority. And licensing, references, cash payments, insurance, and work permits are only 5 red flags of an unlicensed HVAC contractor. Don’t get scammed and risk spending more on your project than needs be. Call the professionals at Altemp instead. Our courteous, knowledgeable, and fully licensed staff is ready to help you with your HVAC problems. Call us today!