Proper Licensing is Important

Proper licensing is important, it is one of the quality checks that is available consumers and business owners to make sure they have a quality and trained contractor performing work on their properties. However, calling a licensed contractor does not mean that you are going to get a licensed technician as technicians do not need to be licensed in Florida. The licensing laws in Florida are not that complex and are available online. There are three levels of licensing for HVAC/R and Mechanical and there descriptions are in the Florida Status.

The following is a cut and paste from the statutes:

(f) “Class A air-conditioning contractor” means a contractor whose services are unlimited in the execution of contracts requiring the experience, knowledge, and skill to install, maintain, repair, fabricate, alter, extend, or design, when not prohibited by law, central air-conditioning, refrigeration, heating, and ventilating systems, including duct work in connection with a complete system only to the extent such duct work is performed by the contractor as is necessary to make complete an air-distribution system, boiler and unfired pressure vessel systems, and all appurtenances, apparatus, or equipment used in connection therewith, and any duct cleaning and equipment sanitizing which requires at least a partial disassembling of the system; to install, maintain, repair, fabricate, alter, extend, or design, when not prohibited by law, piping, insulation of pipes, vessels and ducts, pressure and process piping, and pneumatic control piping; to replace, disconnect, or reconnect power wiring on the load side of the dedicated existing electrical disconnect switch; to install, disconnect, and reconnect low voltage heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning control wiring; and to install a condensate drain from an air-conditioning unit to an existing safe waste or other approved disposal other than a direct connection to a sanitary system. The scope of work for such contractor shall also include any excavation work incidental thereto, but shall not include any work such as liquefied petroleum or natural gas fuel lines within buildings, except for disconnecting or reconnecting changeouts of liquefied petroleum or natural gas appliances within buildings; potable water lines or connections thereto; sanitary sewer lines; swimming pool piping and filters; or electrical power wiring.

(g) “Class B air-conditioning contractor” means a contractor whose services are limited to 25 tons of cooling and 500,000 Btu of heating in any one system in the execution of contracts requiring the experience, knowledge, and skill to install, maintain, repair, fabricate, alter, extend, or design, when not prohibited by law, central air-conditioning, refrigeration, heating, and ventilating systems, including duct work in connection with a complete system only to the extent such duct work is performed by the contractor as is necessary to make complete an air-distribution system being installed under this classification, and any duct cleaning and equipment sanitizing which requires at least a partial disassembling of the system; to install, maintain, repair, fabricate, alter, extend, or design, when not prohibited by law, piping and insulation of pipes, vessels, and ducts; to replace, disconnect, or reconnect power wiring on the load side of the dedicated existing electrical disconnect switch; to install, disconnect, and reconnect low voltage heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning control wiring; and to install a condensate drain from an air-conditioning unit to an existing safe waste or other approved disposal other than a direct connection to a sanitary system. The scope of work for such contractor shall also include any excavation work incidental thereto, but shall not include any work such as liquefied petroleum or natural gas fuel lines within buildings, except for disconnecting or reconnecting changeouts of liquefied petroleum or natural gas appliances within buildings; potable water lines or connections thereto; sanitary sewer lines; swimming pool piping and filters; or electrical power wiring.

 

(h) “Class C air-conditioning contractor” means a contractor whose business is limited to the servicing of air-conditioning, heating, or refrigeration systems, including any duct cleaning and equipment sanitizing which requires at least a partial disassembling of the system, and whose certification or registration, issued pursuant to this part, was valid on October 1, 1988. No person not previously registered or certified as a Class C air-conditioning contractor as of October 1, 1988, shall be so registered or certified after October 1, 1988. However, the board shall continue to license and regulate those Class C air-conditioning contractors who held Class C licenses prior to October 1, 1988.

 

(i) “Mechanical contractor” means a contractor whose services are unlimited in the execution of contracts requiring the experience, knowledge, and skill to install, maintain, repair, fabricate, alter, extend, or design, when not prohibited by law, central air-conditioning, refrigeration, heating, and ventilating systems, including duct work in connection with a complete system only to the extent such duct work is performed by the contractor as is necessary to make complete an air-distribution system, boiler and unfired pressure vessel systems, lift station equipment and piping, and all appurtenances, apparatus, or equipment used in connection therewith, and any duct cleaning and equipment sanitizing which requires at least a partial disassembling of the system; to install, maintain, repair, fabricate, alter, extend, or design, when not prohibited by law, piping, insulation of pipes, vessels and ducts, pressure and process piping, pneumatic control piping, gasoline tanks and pump installations and piping for same, standpipes, air piping, vacuum line piping, oxygen lines, nitrous oxide piping, ink and chemical lines, fuel transmission lines, liquefied petroleum gas lines within buildings, and natural gas fuel lines within buildings; to replace, disconnect, or reconnect power wiring on the load side of the dedicated existing electrical disconnect switch; to install, disconnect, and reconnect low voltage heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning control wiring; and to install a condensate drain from an air-conditioning unit to an existing safe waste or other approved disposal other than a direct connection to a sanitary system. The scope of work for such contractor shall also include any excavation work incidental thereto, but shall not include any work such as potable water lines or connections thereto, sanitary sewer lines, swimming pool piping and filters, or electrical power wiring.

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0400-0499/0489/Sections/0489.105.html

The license number of the contractor begins with a letter sequence that tells you the type of license. The license is based on the level of training the contractor has and what they are permitted to do. For example:

CAC is a Class A contractor that may operate state wide.
RAC is a Class A contractor that may only operate in certain counties
CBC is a Class B contractor that may operate state wide
RBC is a Class B contractor that may only operate in certain counties
CMC is a Mechanical Contractor that may operate state wide
RMC is a Mechanical Contractor that may only operate in certain counties

When you look closely at the license descriptions you will find that the Mechanical Contractor has the greatest amount of allowed work and level of training. Then comes the Class A contractor, and finally the Class B contractor. Why am I not mentioning class C contractors? Because that license is going away.

What about the technicians? It is up to the contractor to train them and supervise them. If a company with 100’s (or even 25 ) technicians and another company has 2-3 technicians including the license holder, which one do you believe will be better supervised.

Support your smaller contractor and always make sure your contractor has the proper training and licensing to do the work. Don’t just rely on my word, go look it up online.