HVAC contractors are technicians who install and repair heating and air conditioning systems, geothermal heat pump systems and indoor air quality products. HVAC is an acronym which stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is sometimes called HVACR; the "R" in this case stands for refrigeration.
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All HVAC contractors must successfully pass state examinations in order to obtain a license. Additional licensing requirements vary from state to state. For example, some states make continuing education courses a mandatory requirement for license renewal.
Contracting with an unlicensed individual can prove harmful to the client as well as the environment. HVAC contractors are trained to maintain heating and cooling systems. HVAC system maintenance requires that technicians be able to properly diagnose and repair problems by performing the right tests and making the correct adjustments. Improper installation or repair can result in personal injuries or costly damages and compensation may be difficult to obtain if the contractor is unlicensed and uninsured.
HVAC contractors must also be certified in the proper handling of the chemical refrigerants often used in A/C and refrigeration systems. Improperly handled or disposed refrigerants can harm the environment and cause personal injuries. HVACR systems installation, maintenance and repair should not be considered DIY projects. Even licensed HVAC contractors must face job hazards such as electric shocks, burns, and other related injuries when working with these systems.
HVAC contractors often specialize in specific types of heating and cooling systems. These technicians receive the specialized training that makes them industry experts; much of this training is obtained on the job in conjunction with formal academic training. For example, there are contractors who specialize in the use of solar panels or geothermal heat pump systems.
Geothermal heat pump systems are used to heat and cool buildings and also provide water heating energy to homes and businesses. They are energy efficient and benefit the environment because more than 60 percent of the energy used in a geothermal heat pump system is in the form of renewable energy obtained from the ground. This naturally-occurring heat can be used to efficiently heat and cool a home or business.
Whether one uses a traditional heating and cooling system or a geothermal heat pump system, it is best to hire a licensed HVAC contractor to perform installation and maintenance work. Contracting with an unlicensed and uninsured individual can be less expensive initially but may prove costly in the long run.