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Questions to Ask Before Hiring an HVAC Contractor in the City of Nashville
HVAC systems in the Nashville-Davidson area account for more than 40% of the total household energy use of residents. However, retaining the services of a qualified HVAC contractor to maintain and repair your HVAC systems can reduce about 15 to 40% of your total household energy use - saving you hundreds of dollars in electricity bills. Note, when in search of a qualified professional to handle your HVAC issues, consider asking the following salient questions to determine a suitable HVAC contractor near you:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as an HVAC Contractor in the City of Nashville?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other HVAC Contractors in the City of Nashville?
- Do You Comply with the City of Nashville Building Code for HVAC Work?
- Will You Get the HVAC Permits as Required by the City of Nashville Code?
- What Kind of HVAC Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency HVAC Services in the City of Nashville?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for HVAC Contractors in the City of Nashville?
- How to File a Complaint Against a Bad HVAC Contractor in the City of Nashville
Are You Licensed to Practice as an HVAC Contractor in the City of Nashville?
HVAC contractors in Nashville are required to be licensed by either the Tennessee Board of Licensing or the Nashville City Mechanical, Plumbing, and Electrical Examiners and Appeals Board before carrying out work within the city. There is no penalty if you hire an unlicensed contractor but licensed contractors that engage in work without obtaining the proper license might be punished. Section 62-6-120 of the Tennessee Contractor and Contracting Laws, HVAC provides that contractors that engage in work without obtaining the proper license may face a Class A misdemeanor charge, which can result in a fine of up to $5,000.
In compliance with Section 62-6-103 of the Tennessee Contractors and Contracting Laws, all HVAC contractors that intend to carry out a contract worth more than $25,000 must be licensed by the Tennessee Board of Licensing. Qualified HVAC contractors must be at least 18 years old and must pay an application fee of $250. Applications for an HVAC contractor License can be made through the Licensing Board's CORE platform. Note that while there is no state-level licensing provision for contracts that are worth less than $25,000. However, HVAC contractors that wish to operate in the City of Nashville and perform jobs within this value range must register with the Nashville Department of Codes and Building Safety by completing a Metropolitan Mechanical Application for Registration. To confirm that a contractor is properly licensed with the State Board, you can conduct a quick verification by visiting the License Search and Verification portal provided for this purpose. Likewise, if you want to verify the local registration of an HVAC contractor within the City of Nashville, you can call the Department of Codes and Building Safety at (615) 862-6500.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other HVAC Contractors in the City of Nashville?
HVAC contractors in Nashville charge different prices based on a couple of factors, such as the type of project you want to handle, the cost of materials and permits required as well as the expertise of the contractor. One way to ensure that you are given a fair price is to get multiple estimates before deciding on the particular contractor to hire.
An HVAC Contractor in the City of Nashville earns an annual average wage of $45,050. The table below provides a cost comparison of the mean hourly wages for HVAC contractors in Nashville-Davidson against those of HVAC Contractors in the rest of Tennessee as well as other major cities in the United States:
Do You Comply with the City of Nashville Building Code for HVAC Work?
The Nashville Code of Ordinances regulates the installation, maintenance, replacements, and other related work on heating and cooling systems in the City of Nashville. The code helps to ensure that the health, safety, and public welfare of the residents of the city are protected by providing minimum standards that all heating and cooling work must adhere to. The code identifies installation, repair, and replacement procedures while also itemizing other requirements like inspections and permits. The Nashville Department of Codes and Building Safety is the body charged with the enforcement of the Nashville Building Code. This department ensures strict adherence to the codes, and where any violations are observed, it ensures that appropriate penalties are meted out to the contractor. For more information on the HVAC code for the City of Nashville, you can contact the department at (615) 852-6500.
Will You Get the HVAC Permits as Required by the City of Nashville Code?
Per the Nashville Code of Ordinance, any homeowner or contractor that intends to do any HVAC work must obtain a permit from the Nashville Department of Codes and Building Safety. These permits are required for any installation, remodeling, or any addition to any air conditioning systems that make use of water gotten from the metropolitan government water supply. The only exception to this rule is work done on systems with a total rated capacity of fewer than two tons per 24 hours. Note that in Nashville, only a duly licensed contractor or a homeowner may obtain a permit. To obtain this permit, eligible applicants may utilize the Nashville e-permit system or visit the Codes and Building safety office located at:Metro Office Building
800 2nd Avenue Street
Nashville, TN 37210
After the requested permit is obtained, the applicant is typically provided a list of required inspections to be carried out at different stages of the project. Approvals must be gotten after the inspections are conducted at each stage and final approval is given at the conclusion of the project. You can contact the Nashville Department of Codes and Building Safety for any permit inquiries by calling (615) 852-6500.
What Kind of HVAC Services Do You Offer?
Due to the multifaceted nature of the issues surrounding HVAC equipment, it is important you ensure that the HVAC contractor you want to hire can handle the particular type of issue you have. There are four general areas that require work as it regards HVAC issues, and these are installation services, maintenance services, repair services, and emergency services. You should note that although some HVAC contractors might be able to handle a wide variety of projects, other contractors might be more limited, only specializing in specific types of HVAC work. As such, before you hire any HVAC contractor, you should always verify that the area of specialization of the contractor covers the scope of your project.
Listed below are average cost estimates for common HVAC services in Nashville:
Do You Offer Emergency HVAC Services in the City of Nashville?
At certain times, there may be some HVAC-related issues that are unforeseen and in such cases, you may need to contact an HVAC contractor immediately. Some of these problems include:
- Furnace not producing heat
- Leaking refrigerant
- Broken thermostats
- Frozen evaporator coils
Where these issues are not given the required urgent attention, it can make life in your home slightly or majorly uncomfortable and also result in increased energy bills in your home. Studies have shown that a failure to carry out the proper installation and maintenance of heating or cooling equipment can result in a 30% increase in household energy use, and ultimately lead to a spike in utility bills. It is therefore important that you get a competent HVAC contractor to handle any defect that you notice in your HVAC as soon as it is detected. When deciding on an HVAC contractor to hire you should also pay attention to other factors like how close the contractor is to your home and whether the contractor has the requisite skills required to fix the emergency issue. To find a suitable contractor, you may choose to visit the Tennessee Department of Commerce's License Search and Verification portal or utilize the services of third-party sites like Better Business Bureau.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for HVAC Contractors in the City of Nashville?
In compliance with both state and local regulations, all contractors licensed by the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractor must possess valid general liability insurance, post a bond, and also have worker's compensation insurance where applicable. The bond must be the Metropolitan Government/Davidson County Permit Bond and must be to a value not less than $40,000. For general liability insurance, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville/Davidson County, Tennessee is to be made the certificate holder and it should not have a value less than $300,000.
It is essential that you only hire HVAC contractors that are licensed so that you do not end up with liability for any workplace accidents that might occur. Before hiring your preferred HVAC contractor, you should ask for a copy of the contractor's insurance and verify it by calling the insurance provider. Note that having valid insurance is a requirement for licensing or registration within Tennessee and Nashville so hiring a duly licensed or registered HVAC contractor is a good way to be sure that your contractor is insured. Nonetheless, you should always confirm both the licensing and insurance status of your preferred HVAC contractors.
Before you hire any HVAC contractor in Nashville, it is important to make sure that you have done your due diligence so as to not engage the services of a scammer. This is necessary because HVAC scams are commonplace in the Nashville area, and these scams can take on a variety of forms. In early December 2021, an elderly Tennessee resident was scammed of over $19,000 after an airconditioning company that was called to change the gas convinced the customer to get extra changes and additions that were not needed, including a change of the entire air conditioning unit. Most con artists that engage in HVAC scams do so by adopting a variety of techniques, which include:
- Offering unsolicited repair and maintenance services.
- Charging for more parts and carrying out more repairs than is required.
- Pressuring you into making decisions immediately without carrying out any proper checks on the contractor or the proposed company while demanding instant payments, often in cash.
Bearing in mind that there are a lot of nefarious individuals that seek to swindle you of your money, you should take extreme care and try to do the following before hiring an HVAC contractor in Nashville:
- Only hire properly licensed and registered contractors. You can verify the license of any contractor you intend to hire through the Tennessee License Search and Verification portal or by calling (615)-862-6500.
- Always ask for recommendations from trusted sources like neighbors, family, and friends. You can also utilize reputable online sites like the Better Business Bureau, and make sure you pay attention to the reviews on these sites.
- Ask for references from the HVAC contractor and call up these references to verify the quality of service offered by the contractor.
- Obtain multiple estimates for a job from different HVAC contractors before you decide on one.
- Closely supervise your work to ensure you are not charged for work that is not done.
- Never pay for work upfront. If you need to make a downpayment, do not make a payment that exceeds 10% of the value of the contract.
- Put down all the agreements you make with the contractor in writing and do not sign a contract you do not understand.
Note that if you fall victim to these scammers even after taking these steps, you can file a report with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance through its CORE platform. Alternatively, you can file an online consumer complaint with the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs. You may also choose to report the scam to the Nashville Police Department by contacting it at:Nashville Police Department Headquarters
600 Murfreesboro Park
Nashville, TN 37210
Phone: (615) 862-86000