TAVARES – With the first day of summer approaching on Saturday, June 21, Lake County Building Services is reminding residents to only hire licensed heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors to inspect homes and offices to ensure air conditioning units are in good working order.
“Unfortunately, there are individuals out there who represent themselves as professionals but are working without a state license,” said Joann Sala, licensing investigator with Lake County’s Building Services Division. “We don’t want our residents to fall victim to scam artists and shoddy work this summer, and are reminding them that whether they live in a home or condo, or need services for their business, it’s critical to hire only licensed professionals for work on their A/C unit.”
HVAC contractors must have a state of Florida professional license to install a central heat or air conditioning unit and clean central air ducts that require partial disassembly of the system, such as removal of air grills.
Unlicensed individuals target vulnerable homeowners -- especially the elderly -- for unnecessary air conditioning repairs that are covered under warranty. Before hiring a contractor, residents should check their warranty, as most are valid for up to 20 years.
“It is also a good idea to get a second opinion and always ask for references,” said Sala. “Another tip is to avoid paying cash upfront for any services, and never do business without a written contract.”
Lake County Building Services recommends asking to see a contractor’s state of Florida professional license to ensure they are hiring a professional. To verify a license is valid and up-to-date, contact Building Services at 352-343-9653 or visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/departments/growth_management/building_services/contractor_certification/contractor_tracking.aspx.