If you own a home, the maintenance of your HVAC system is important. Throughout your experience, frequent repairs and maintenance are a necessity, and they will have surely caught your attention at some point in your life. Many of these maintenance requirements may include the replacement of your home air filters, checking coolant levels, repair of an air conditioning system, or maybe just a general maintenance or inspection of your home’s cooling and heating systems.
Although doing air conditioning or heating equipment repairs may be a good idea, they might actually cost you more in the long term. They may even put you and your loved ones at risk. HVAC maintenance is an important thing, and you shouldn’t leave your home in the hands of just anyone, or an unlicensed contractor.
With this in mind, many homeowners resort to hiring HVAC companies to make sure that their HVAC system is working at its best, and to ensure that is being taken care of. However, things can still go wrong, and there are still potential dangers. With this, it is necessary to hire only certified Heating Ventilation an Air Conditioning companies, especially if it involves your home.
In terms of the repair, maintenance and inspection of your overall heating and cooling equipment, you need to make sure that a licensed professional or contractor will do the job. Keep in mind that your home is not merely an investment. It is also the place where you find comfort and safety as well.
Having a license or certification means that the HVAC company or its technicians have been trained professionally. The licensing or certification of every state differs from each other, and it is important to check the certification of a certain company. The HVAC system is complex, and it is necessary that your chosen HVAC Contractor are experts. The system has intrinsic safety issues because it involves electric consumption, gas, oil. Cooling units, on the other hand, may use toxic refrigerants like Freon.
Your chosen HVAC contractor is vital when it comes to both your home’s safety, air quality and comfort. HVAC contractor needs to have a wide and excellent understanding of electrical wiring, combustion systems, refrigerants, and airflow. Comfort and safety are extremely important. If you are someone who lives in Texas and you want to know the requirements for air conditioning and refrigeration contractors, here are the things you should consider:
Texas Requirements for Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors
Generally, Texas has an Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program. This program regulates contractors that performs HVAC installations, repairs and maintenance. According to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), seeking the services of unlicensed individuals or contractors for HVAC repairs are dangerous.
Although the HVAC license requirements in Texas are almost parallel to other states, there is a difference between “environmental air conditioning” and “commercial cooling and the method of cooling or heating”. This means that there are two different types of licensing.
In order to become a licensed contractor, you need to pass state-administered exam, and you need to submit forms for a Texas ACR Contractor License Application.
Texas HVAC Licenses
In Texas, there are two types of licenses. Both Class A and B licenses are in the area of heating, air conditioning and refrigeration. The difference is that a Class A license permits contractors to work on any sized unit. Class B on the other hand, lets contractors work on cooling systems that are either 25 tons or lower. For heating systems, they can work on systems of 1.5 million BTUs/hour and under.
EPA Requirements for HVAC Repair
HVAC contractors or specialists know that having a certification is a great way to showcase their competencies, especially to their potential clients. Such certifications can show their wide range of skills. This can be in the terms of installation, repair, maintenance, improving air quality, balancing humidity levels, and controlling temperature. Although certification is not always necessary, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a licensing or certification requirement for those who are dealing with refrigerant recovery and recycling. The Clean Air Act in 1990 entails all technicians who are providing services, maintenance or disposal to pass a certain test. They also need to be certified by an EPA-approved organization. The said process teaches HVAC professionals about the rules that need to be complied with in order to protect our environment. They are informed about various environmental issues such as the depletion of the ozone layer. Such certifications do not expire.
What Do Certain EPA Certifications Mean?
There are various kinds of certifications. The EPA requires every individual that has access to a system or container that stores refrigerant to have the EPA 608certification. HVAC technicians or contractors cannot buy refrigerants if they do not possess this license. The EPA Section 608 is also the only section that has various levels to choose from. There are three types of certification available, which contractors need to pass in order to gain a certain credential.
The first level lets the HVAC technical worn on small equipment that has less than five pounds of refrigerant. These can be window-type home air conditioning units. The second level of certification lets technicians to work on equipment that have high pressure refrigerants. The third type of certification lets the technician handle products or equipment that have low levels of refrigerants. A much more detailed description can be found below:
Type I– Those who need to service or maintain small equipment. They are certified as Type I technicians.
Type II– Those individuals who repair, maintain, service, or get rid of high pressure equipment. They should be certified as Type II technicians. This excludes those who service small equipment and motor vehicle air conditioning systems.
Type III– These technicians are the ones who service, repair, maintain, or get rid of low-pressure appliances. They are classified as Type II certification.
A universal certification means that an individual or contractor is allowed to work on or maintain, service or repair high-pressure and low-pressure equipment. They can also work on small appliances or equipment. These individuals or contractors have all types of certification.
For motor vehicle air conditioners, the EPA 609is the needed certification. This also allows the purchases of refrigerants.
Indoor Air Quality Certification– allows contractors or technicians to service, clean, and inspect an HVAC system.
PM Technician Certification– is for those who are already Section 608 certified. This type of certification allows all areas of acid and moisture recognition, removal of water, coil maintenance, and many others.
Additional Ways to Find the Best Contractors
The HVAC system an expensive and important equipment in your home. You need to put in your best effort to keep it at its best, and make sure that it is running efficiently and effectively. Aside from checking the certification of your chosen contractor, below are some additional points you can consider when you are looking for the best HVAC company in Texas:
Are they affiliated with The Texas Air Conditioning Contractors Association (TACCA)? The TACCA is a nonprofit association for HVAC/R contractors in Texas. They design, maintain, install and service various HVAC/R systems. They let the principles of honesty and integrity guide them. They are dedicated to improving the HVAC industry. They do this by helping each other succeed.
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Are they reliable? When you have created a list of potential contractors, you can all the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to check on its reputation. Harris Air Services is an HVAC company that is dedicated to giving the best service to their clients. They are excellent communicators, professional and honest. They have a good reputation and excellent record with the BBB.
- Check Their Professionalism
Are they professional? Contractors that are reliable are considered professional. If their staff are swift and courteous, then it reflects how they will also potentially treat you. It is also a good sign if they have an office, website or shop that you can check or visit. This indicates that they are reliable and that they give importance to communicating with their clients.
- Will They Recommend Improvements?
Reliable HVAC contractors can also examine your ductwork, replace air filters and clean your condenser unit. Most of the time, simple maintenance of your system can lead to savings. Make sure that you get an HVAC contractor that lets you understand the importance of maintenance and shows genuine interest in helping you improve your overall HVAC system.
- Are They Willing to Assess Your Home?
Make sure that you choose an HVAC company that will take the time to check your home and assess it. Be wary of a contractor that will give you a quote without doing a home inspection first. In order for your HVAC contractor to provide an estimate, they need to look at your system first and decide on an approach that will work.
Certified HVAC Contractors are Dependable and Accountable
At the end of the day, hiring a certified HVAC company is the best choice. Certified HVAC companies go through various exams, and they have already proven themselves through their educations, skills and compliance to various laws and requirements. They are also well informed on the required permits that may be needed project. Certified companies also have the appropriate training and experience so you are sure that they will do the job properly.