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Government Cracks Down on Unlicensed HVAC Contractors

Posted on: April 25, 2014

The Costs & Risks of Hiring Unlicensed HVAC ContractorsShopping around for the right HVAC contractor for air conditioner repair or new HVAC system installation is a smart move. Getting quotes and connecting with a licensed Florida heating and cooling company before you schedule work is the best way to nail down a good price with an honest company. As you do this, also be sure to take note of one particularly important word qualification: licensing.

If you find an unlicensed contractor offering services for a budget price, you might at first think you’re getting a great deal. Unfortunately, upfront savings could end up costing you big time quickly.

The good news is that Jacob Heating & Air Conditioning is a local contractor in West Volusia County who you can trust for honest answers! That’s why we’re here to explain the downsides, costs, and headaches that can come with hiring an unlicensed contractor.

The Legal Issues With Hiring an Unlicensed HVAC Contractor in Florida

If you are a contractor looking to subcontract for commercial HVAC services, it is strictly illegal to hire an unlicensed contractor to work for you. If you do hire an unlicensed HVAC contractor, you can face penalties like:

  • Having your license revoked
  • Being hit with hefty fines
  • Being sued, should something go wrong when an unlicensed technician is working for you

For a homeowner, hiring an unlicensed contractor is only strictly illegal if you are hiring a contractor to perform work that requires a permit from your local government. Even if you aren’t, though, hiring an unlicensed contractor in Florida can still come with a slew of legal stressors, the most serious of which is this fact: you can be liable if the unlicensed worker is injured on your property.

As far as the law is concerned, when you hire an unlicensed contractor, you have hired an employee. That can mean that:

  • You’ve stepped into the role of an employer, rather than just being the customer getting service
  • You can be fully responsible for injuries the contractor suffers while working for you.
  • You may be on the hook to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and potentially even workers’ compensation if the unlicensed HVAC contractor is (or claims to be) injured while on duty for you.

The Skill Gap Issues With an Unlicensed Contractor

Becoming a licensed HVAC contractor in Florida takes time, training, skills, and knowledge. Licensed contractors have been to trade school, have apprenticed for years, and have earned a license from the state of Florida.

With unlicensed contractors, there’s no way to be sure what they do or don’t know. They can lack the knowledge to work with modern HVAC systems, as well as any electrical knowledge. And that can result in problems like:

  • Shoddy work. Poorly installed systems can run for half of their projected lifespan or less if they even run at all. Additionally, an unlicensed contractor may fail to install proper ventilation or fail to match your home with the right size unit.
  • Safety issues. Poorly wired HVAC systems, bad connections for gas furnaces, improperly installed heat pumps, and shoddy sheet metal work—all of these things will make your system ineffective. More importantly, they pose very serious safety hazards, putting you and your family at risk of injury, house fires, and more.
  • Potentially skyrocketing costs. It always feels good to find a good deal. But HVAC system installs and repairs need to be completed with precision. If any mistakes are made or problems are missed, you could be left paying for the entire service again. You may even have to pay to replace your system or fix damage to your home.

Florida State Government Cracks Down on Unlicensed HVAC Contractors

Local authorities in Florida recognize the dangers and costs that come with unlicensed HVAC contractors. That’s why they take licensing seriously and why they’re proactive about cracking down and penalizing unlicensed technicians.

When contractors are found to be operating without licensing and certification, they can incur heavy fines, legal fights, and potentially worse. If you’re ever unsure whether a contractor is licensed, ask to see proof! Any licensed professional would be more than happy to honor that request.

All in all, it’s simpler, safer, and more cost-effective to hire a certified professional HVAC contractor from a reputable local company when you need service!

And if you’re in West Volusia County and you need a trustworthy, fully licensed, and highly experienced HVAC contractor for any type of heating or cooling system service, know that the team at Jacob Heating & Air Conditioning is here for you! We’re proud of our 96-year history of providing top-quality HVAC services throughout West Volusia County. And we’re ready to do the same for you.

Simply contact Jacob online or call (386) 337-3502 for service!