Your air conditioner is on its last legs and you’re beginning to think about replacing it. You’ve looked into some companies and received quotes but they seem pricey. Then let’s say you ‘know a guy’ who can do it at a great price but he’s not licensed. Maybe it’s Kevin, the dude who installed your furnace! Should you spend the extra money to have it done by a licensed technician who is qualified, or save the money and see how it works out? The answer may seem obvious, but refrigeration is a complicated field and taking the cheapest option will lead to major complications down the road, likely when you need your air conditioner to be working properly the most. Here are some reasons why you will want to make sure that the technician installing your new is a qualified license holder.
Refrigeration is a delicate balance
It takes a lot of measurements to make sure that an air conditioning system is working optimally. From refrigerant levels to fan speeds to coil sizes, qualified license holders learn through the course of their 5-year apprenticeships how to read and interpret the information learned from their start up tests to make sure that it runs all season long without service calls or breakdowns. An unlicensed installer is more likely to leave your new system in a state where it won’t work or operate as efficiently as it should, and if you can even get him to pick up the phone to fix it, will likely only be able to do so through trial and error, if he can fix it at all. A licensed technician will understand the system in such a way to diagnose problems without making you pay for unnecessary parts or labour.
Quality installation up front leads to fewer problems in the long run
The quality of your installation can also be be compromised by not choosing a license holder over some guy working out of one of those unmarked white vans. This may not be a secret but those cheap guys can only afford to offer you those low prices by cutting corners. They may undersize your refrigerant lines or coils to save themselves some money or use putty instead of silicone to seal holes in your plenum or wall. A licensed technician will urge you to spend the extra money, not to pad their pockets, but because they will want to leave with a feeling pride in the quality of the finished product, and confident that they won’t have to deal with a service call in the future. They will also understand how to install your new air conditioner in such a way so that in the event of part failure or breakdown that your warranty will be honored.
A licensed technician also has an important duty to the environment. Their job requires them to handle refrigerants on a daily basis that if mishandled can damage the environment in two different ways: ozone depletion and global warming potential. Because of the nature of refrigerants chemical makeup and their impact on the atmosphere, there is another important license that plays a role in refrigeration that you may not be aware of: The Ozone Depletion Prevention Card.
This card is given only to people who complete a training course on how to safely handle these substances. Without this card it is illegal to purchase or handle refrigerants in any way. It is very important to both you and the environment that your installer also has this qualification.