Get Quotes from Top HVAC Contractors in Fort Worth, TX
Questions to Ask Before Hiring an HVAC Contractor in the City of Fort Worth
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that you can save between 11% and 36% of energy costs with properly installed and well-maintained HVAC systems. With Fort Worth residents paying around 153 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity this can translate to huge cost savings for you. When in search of a competent HVAC contractor in the city to install or maintain your heating and cooling systems, asking the following questions will help determine the best professional to hire:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as an HVAC Contractor in the City of Fort Worth?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other HVAC Contractors in the City of Fort Worth?
- Do You Comply with the City of Fort Worth Building Code for HVAC Work?
- Will You Get the HVAC Permits as Required by the City of Fort Worth Code?
- What Kind of HVAC Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency HVAC Services in the City of Fort Worth?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for HVAC Contractors in the City of Fort Worth?
- How to File a Complaint Against a Bad HVAC Contractor in the City of Fort Worth
Are You Licensed to Practice as an HVAC Contractor in the City of Fort Worth?
Section 118.1.2 of the Fort Worth Administrative Building Code requires professionals who install, repair, or maintain air conditioning, refrigeration, or heating systems in Fort Worth to hold a state-issued license. Doing HVAC work without a license is punishable with fines ranging from $500 to $2,000 per day of violation. However, licensing requirements do not apply to homeowners that perform air conditioning and refrigeration works on their own homes.
Air conditioning and refrigeration licenses are issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). These licenses include contractor license, technician registration, and technician certification. Each classification has their separate requirements, which usually includes a period of practical experience and taking a license examination. For example, obtaining a contractor license requires at least 48 months of practical experience under the supervision of a licensed contractor. The requirement is reduced to 36 months if the applicant holds a technician certification for the past 12 months. Technician registration and certification are for persons that assist licensed contractors. As such, they cannot work on a project without the supervision of a licensed HVAC contractor. Likewise, a contractor license is subdivided into class A and class B licenses. Holders of Class A licenses have no limit to the projects they can work on. Meanwhile, a class B contractor license only allows the holder to work on cooling systems, not more than 25 tons, and heating systems of not more than 1.5 million BTUs/hour.
Also, like other contractors in Fort Worth, HVAC contractors are required to register their licenses annually with the city's Development Services Department. For inquiries concerning the licensing process and requirements for HVAC contractors in Fort Worth, contact the TDLR via phone at (512) 463-6599. Similarly, inquiries about local contractor registration in Fort Worth can be made to the city's Development Service Department by calling (817) 392-2222. Interested parties can verify the license of an HVAC contractor in the city using the TDLR License Data Search or by calling (800) 803-9202. In the same vein, residents can verify local contractor registration via the city's Citizen Access Portal.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other HVAC Contractors in the City of Fort Worth?
Obtaining quotes from at least three HVAC contractors is a good approach to ensuring that you pay a reasonable price for your job. By comparing the bids, you will have a good idea of the reasonable cost range of your project and also be able to find one that suits your budget better. But generally, the cost of hiring an HVAC contractor in Fort Worth is heavily influenced by a number of factors, including the type and scale of the HVAC project, the cost of supplies required, the HVAC contractor's degree of competence, and local reputation, as well as the cost of obtaining the requisite permits for the work.
An HVAC Contractor in the City of Fort Worth earns an annual average wage of $47,870. The table below provides a cost comparison of the mean hourly wages for HVAC contractors in Fort Worth against those of HVAC Contractors in the rest of the State of Texas as well as other major cities in the United States:
Do You Comply with the City of Fort Worth Building Code for HVAC Work?
When selecting an HVAC contractor to work with, ensure that you consider the contractor's familiarity with the requirements of the Fort Worth Mechanical Code. The Fort Worth Mechanical Code consists of the 2015 International Mechanical Code, including local amendments promulgated by the city council. The Code provides minimum requirements for installing, altering, and repairing mechanical systems in Fort Worth. The code provides several aspects, including equipment and appliance location, installation, access and space, condensate disposal, mechanical ventilation, and exhaust systems.
The Mechanical Code is in place to ensure that HVAC systems adhere to certain safety standards to ensure that residents and their structures are not put in danger. As such, the provisions of the code are strictly enforced, and failure to meet the code's requirements can lead to penalties, including fines and stoppage of the work. Therefore, always confirm that your prospective HVAC contractor is knowledgeable of the requirements of the city's mechanical code. To get more information or clarification on the provisions and potential violations of the mechanical code, interested persons can contact the Building Standard Division of the Fort Worth Code Compliance Department either by calling (817) 392-1234, by sending an email, or by visitingCode Compliance Department
Hazel Harvey Peace
818 Missouri Avenue
Fort Worth TX, 76104
Will You Get the HVAC Permits as Required by the City of Fort Worth Code?
Per Section 105.1 of the Fort Worth Administrative Building Code, changing, moving, or repairing mechanical equipment such as a central heating and air conditioning system, ductwork, and exhaust fans requires a mechanical permit. Failure to obtain the required permits can attract punishments, including fines, stop-work orders, or non-approval of the building for use. Nonetheless, some HVAC works are exempted from the city's permit requirements. These include works involving:
- Portable heating appliances
- Portable ventilation appliances and equipment
- Portable cooling units
- Steam, hot water, or chilled water piping
- The replacement of minor parts not involving the alteration of approval of equipment or appliance or make such equipment or appliance unsafe
- Portable evaporative coolers
- Self-contained refrigeration systems containing ten pounds (4.5 kg) or less of refrigerant, or that are actuated by motors of one horsepower (0. 75 kW) or less
The Fort Worth Development Service Department is responsible for issuing mechanical permits in the city. Permits can be obtained either by a contractor registered in the city or a homeowner doing work on their own building. Interested parties can apply for mechanical permits either online or via email. Online applications can be made by logging into the city's citizen access portal and making the relevant permit payment afterward. Likewise, email applications can be made by completing the Application Form for Mechanical Permit and submitting it via email. Some permit applications may also require the applicant to submit building plans. Plan submission and approval are usually done electronically.
In addition to issuing permits, the Development Service Department also conducts periodic inspections on permitted HVAC works in the city. Such inspection can be done at different stages of the project in order to ensure that the project is progressing in line with the city's building codes. Concerned persons can schedule inspections online using the citizen access portal or via phone by calling (817) 392-6370. Information required for inspection scheduling includes the permit number, address, and inspection code. Residents can make inquiries about the city's permitting and inspection procedures for HVAC work by calling the Development Services Department at (817) 392-2222. Such inquiries can also be made physically at the Department's office atCity Hall, Lower Level
200 Texas Street
Fort Worth TX, 76102
What Kind of HVAC Services Do You Offer?
It is essential any HVAC contractor you hire has the proficiency to work on your kind of project. While many HVAC contractors perform a wide range of services that cut across installation services, maintenance services, repair services, and emergency services, some choose to specialize in a specific aspect. As such, it is always a good idea to confirm that your prospective HVAC contractor is skilled in the type of service you require before proceeding to make any further arrangements.
Here are some common HVAC works and their average cost range in Fort Worth:
Do You Offer Emergency HVAC Services in the City of Fort Worth?
On average, residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area pay around 153 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity. As such, when experiencing HVAC system issues such as furnace problems, leaking refrigerant, broken thermostats, and frozen coils, it is critical to contact a competent HVAC contractor to address the emergency as soon as possible. Besides mitigating the damages to your HVAC system, addressing such issues in time will also help avoid wastage of energy and in turn save you some extra electric charges. Nonetheless, the fact that you're experiencing a pending HVAC issue does not mean just any contractor should work on your home. You should ensure that any contractor you contact for your emergency work is licensed and qualified to do the job. You can verify state-issued HVAC contractor licenses via the TDLR License Data Search, while local contractor registration in Fort Worth can be verified using the city's Citizen Access Portal. Additionally, you can also utilize third-party review sites like Better Business Bureau and directories provided by trade associations such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association to find good HVAC contractors near you.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for HVAC Contractors in the City of Fort Worth?
Ensuring that your prospective HVAC contractor is properly insured is essential. According to statistics provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas recorded a total of 193 fatal occupational injuries in its construction industry in 2019. As such, hiring an insured HVAC contractor prevents liability for unexpected injuries during your project. Additionally, HVAC contractors are generally required to have certain insurance covers based on their license type. Notably, class A license holders require commercial general liability insurance with minimum limits for property damage and bodily injury as $300,000 per occurrence and $600,000 aggregate. The cover must also include a minimum limit of $300,000 aggregate for products and completed operations. Likewise, class B license holders need commercial general liability insurance with minimum limits of $100,000 per occurrence and $200,000 aggregate for property damage and bodily injury. The minimum limit for products and completed operations is $100,000 aggregate.
Therefore, always ensure that you request your prospective plumber's certificate of insurance and verify the information contained in it with the requisite insurance provider.
When selecting an HVAC contractor in Fort Worth, it is essential to be able to see through fraudsters posing as contractors. According to statistics provided by the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies, homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area spend an average of $4,090 yearly on home improvement. Considering the amount involved in such projects, it is not uncommon for unscrupulous contractors to lurk around unsuspecting homeowners. For example, a contractor was sentenced to 15 years in prison for bilking homeowners in Tarrant County, including Fort Worth, out of $1.4 million. In a scam involving elderly couples in the city, the contractor received payment for some home repair works but did a shoddy job that required further repairs. Similarly, a Traant County contractor was also sentenced to 47 years in prison for receiving payment without completing agreed remodeling works. Considering the following tips can help you avoid falling for fraudulent HVAC contractors in Fort Worth:
- Ensure that you only hire licensed and registered contractors. You can verify the licensing status of an HVAC contractor in Fort Worth using the TDLR License Data Search or by calling (800) 803-9202. Likewise, local contractor registration can be verified through the city's Citizen Access Portal.
- Always request references and verify these references. Contacting the contractor's past clients can give you a clear idea of the contractor's business practices. As such, reluctance to provide references might indicate that the contractor did not provide satisfactory references to past clients.
- Only hire contractors that have satisfied the necessary insurance requirements. You can verify this by requesting a certificate of insurance and confirming its information with the insurance provider.
- Be wary of contractors that show up at your doorstep unsolicited. They are usually not legit.
- Ensure that the contractor obtains the required permits for your project. A reluctance to do so or telling you to do so instead might indicate that the contractor is not licensed or registered.
- Obtain and compare cost estimates for your project from at least three contractors.
- Always request a written contract and ensure that it sets out all aspects of the project. Also, make sure you sufficiently understand the contents of the contract. You can engage the services of a qualified attorney to help review your contracts before you sign them. Make sure that you read and understand any contract you intend to sign before doing so.
- Avoid making cash payments and always request receipts for every payment you make and document such receipts.
- Do not make large upfront payments, and ensure that you have inspected the project to your satisfaction before making the final payment.
You can file a complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation online if you happen to fall for an HVAC contractor scam in Fort Worth. The Texas Attorney General's Office also receives similar complaints. To file complaints with the office, complete the Consumer Complaint Form (also available in Spanish) and mail it in at the office atOffice of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548
Similarly, you can file a complaint online, also over the phone by calling (800) 621-0508.