How to Check A Contractors License, Requirements, and Credentials
As if finding a qualified and reliable heating contractor wasn’t hard enough, you also need to know how to check a contractors license and credentials to see if it’s required to work in your state! Along with South Carolina, Florida, California and Texas, almost all other states require some kind of mechanical license to install gas furnaces or air conditioning equipment, and one of the most important steps in hiring an hvac contractor, is making sure they are licensed to work in your state! This important first step will help you protect yourself from being the unfortunate victim of an unlicensed, dishonest, uninsured, and unqualified heating contractor!
In this Gas Furnace Guide article, we take a look at how you can check to see if a contractor must be licensed to work on your home heating system.
Why Are Contractor Licenses Required
Just like driving a car, there is a certain bit of training and skill required to work on home hvac systems. By requiring a contractor license, your city or state is taking the added layer of security by making sure the contractor is not only qualified to do the work they perform in your home, they also carry all needed insurance and liability in case something goes afoul.
Licenses are required to protect consumers from fraud, and assure a safe, and code-standard installation of the equipment.
How to Check Contractor License Requirements
Most of us don’t even know who needs to be licensed to work on our homes! Does a plumber or electrician require a license? How about a roofer or a landscaper? These are questions that can be very hard to find answers to, especially when your heat or ac has gone down and all you want is comfort!
Online Screening Companies
One of the true benefits of the Internet is in taking advantage of what others are doing! In the case of hiring a heating contractor, you can use free services who have thousands of licensed, insured, and qualified contractors in their programs, pre-screened and ready to provide free estimates for you. Companies like Networx, QualitySmith and ServiceMagic, are perfect for busy homeowners who prefer to skip leave the screening process to a professional. Or, you can use a paid service like Angies List, who let readers like yourself rate and review the contractors in your area.
Contractors License Reference Site
The Contractor License site provides a map of the 50 states. After you visit the contractor license reference homepage, you click on your state and you will find a reference of the licensing requirements in your state. In South Carolina for instance, we can see that HVAC Contractor licenses are required in order to work on gas piping, or any kind of air conditioning systems.
Call Your Local Utility Company
One of the most often overlooked and easiest ways to find out whats required of contractor licenses, is to simply pick up the phone and call the utility company who provides the fuel for you! If its a gas furnace you’re replacing, call the local gas company. If you are replacing the air conditioner or a major electric heating system, call the power company!
Ask The Equipment Manufacturer!
If you have already read the furnace reviews or checked out the gas furnace prices page and decided on a specific gas furnace brand you are going to buy, you can just as easily contact the manufacturer, and use one of their preferred contractors!
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