You may have heard the terms licensed and insured, many times before. But are you aware of the true meaning behind it? Television commercials, newspaper ads, and advertising on company work vans all quote those famous words. Knowing the difference between each of them will help you understand the importance of hiring a professional air conditioning company to provide you with services. Making educated decisions are better than making educated guesses.

What Does Licensed Mean?
In the state of Florida, both residential, commercial contractor and building contractors are required to be licensed. You can verify their credentials by visiting the Florida license website. (sunbiz.org) When researching a company you are interested in hiring for services, this should be your first inquiry. There are also separate licensing for basic residential contractors, general contractors, mechanical contractors such as electrical, plumbing and HVAC. Each certification must be properly maintained and up to date. The technician is required to complete credits throughout the year for continuing requirements.

Another important factor of having a licensed HVAC contractor in your home is reliability. When you hire a licensed HVAC contractor, you should be receiving excellent quality services. That is because his license is on the line. When you hire an unlicensed HVAC contractor, you are taking on full responsibility for fault in whatever may happen. In fact, you could even be penalized by your state for not hiring a licensed HVAC contractor. You could be subject to fines, proper permit regulations, loss of mortgage lender, and property damage. Do your research and investigate the company. If the air conditioning company is truly certified, they would have no problem disclosing this information to you as well as having the proper information posted in their office.

What Does Insured Mean?
A Company carrying liabilty insurance is basically the same as you having health insurance. If you are insured, your insurance pays for coverage. If not, you are responsible for all charges. Worker’s Compensation is a type of coverage that protects the homeowner from total liability for injuries that have taken place on the property. If the air conditioning company is not insured, you or your homeowners insurance will be responsible for coverage of medical costs and lost wages. This is extremely important and a little nerve wrecking. You would not want to be held responsible for critical issues like that. General liability is what protects the homeowner from any type of damage to the property or if a bystander is injured on said property. Workers Compensation will cover any technician/worker if injured on your property, even if the HVAC contractor broke a bone, had permanent injuries or even death, the companies’ insurance liability would cover all expenses. There are also exclusions within certain homeowner policies that exclude coverage for damages caused by negligence of a contractor.

Asking for license information for your HVAC contractor is the only way you will know if they are truly certified. Reputable companies will have no problem disclosing this information with you. When there is nothing to hide with a company, their professionalism will always shine through.

What does it mean to be NATE certified?
NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. This is the highest certification a technician can have working for this type of trade. A NATE certification shows consumers that you as the technician, hold the highest ranking license. It is not an easy task to become NATE certified. A Florida technician must pass a core exam, which references topics such as installation and services, tools and safety, basic electrical principles, basic construction and senior technicians specialty paths. All topics are randomly chosen by the board members of NATE. This is to ensure that every technician who takes the exam is questioned about every aspect of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC/R). Along with passing the exam, the technician must also specify a specialty to work in. This includes: gas heating installations and services, air conditioning installations and services, oil heating installations and services as well as air distribution services and installations. While not every air conditioning technician is required to be NATE certified, it is an extremely important factor when hiring an air conditioning company for professional services.

When it comes to the quality in services, every customer is looking for the best person for the job. Being NATE certified is defining the technician as “the best”. According to the NATE industry survey, about 90% of consumers request to have a NATE certified technician to provide services in their home. This survey continues to encourage local air conditioning companies to have their employees properly certified.

Why Hire An HVAC Contractor?
There are many explanations we could provide you, however, we will go over the basic reasons as to why you should hire a certified HVAC contractor. Even though there may be minor jobs here and there that could be done by the homeowner, it’s still a good idea to let a professional handle the job. Many people only look at the cost of maintenance checks and duct cleaning instead of the quality of services. What you’re paying for is the high quality services performed by a licensed HVAC contractor. You can be guaranteed the services will be done properly the first time. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider hiring an HVAC contractor.

Certifications: The company you hire should have certified technicians employed.

Licensing and Insurance: The HVAC contractor should be licensed, according to the state requirements as well as carry the proper insurance.

Knowledge and Experience: You want to trust your HVAC contractor. Having the proper knowledge of installations, services, tools and equipment and many other areas.

Professionalism: When you hire a professional company, you would expect professional services. Respecting the property of a homeowner is important. Prevent damages by taking all precautionary measures.

From installations to standard maintenance checks, hiring an HVAC contractor is an important decision. Do your research about the company so you can make an educated decision instead of an educated guess.