Get Quotes from Top HVAC Contractors in San Antonio, TX
Questions to Ask Before Hiring an HVAC Contractor in the City of San Antonio
The typical American family spends at least $2,000 on home utility bills yearly. Though residents in San Antonio on average spend 20 percent less than this estimate, the amount can increase significantly with HVAC-related issues like leakages, poor installation, and non-regular maintenance. To save cost, it is recommended that you engage the services of an expert HVAC contractor to maintain or repair your heating and cooling system promptly. Ensure you hire the best HVAC contractor near you by asking the following questions:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as an HVAC Contractor in the City of San Antonio?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other HVAC Contractors in the City of San Antonio?
- Do You Comply with the City of San Antonio Building Code for HVAC Work?
- Will You Get the HVAC Permits as Required by the City of San Antonio Code?
- What Kind of HVAC Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency HVAC Services in the City of San Antonio?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for HVAC Contractors in the City of San Antonio?
- How to File a Complaint Against a Bad HVAC Contractor in the City of San Antonio
Are You Licensed to Practice as an HVAC Contractor in the City of San Antonio?
Per Section 10-114 of the City Code of San Antonio, it is mandatory for any person performing any form of mechanical work in the city to be duly licensed. While this is the case, specific works do not require a license, such as the installation, repairing, or removal of vent hoods commonly used in kitchens without tampering with parts of the exhaust system. Accordingly, performing mechanical work without a license where required is unlawful and can attract a fine of about $5,000 per day for each violation.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is responsible for regulating HVAC technicians licensing and registration in San Antonio city, and it does this by issuing either a Class A or Class B air conditioning and refrigeration (ACR) contractor license or overseeing an ACR technician registration. Interested persons must be at least 18 years old to qualify for a contractor license or to register as a technician. In addition to this age requirement, applicants may also need to satisfy experience requirements, which depend on the license type. For example, to be eligible for either a Class A or Class B contractor license, interested persons must have obtained at least 48 months of practical experience in air-conditioning and refrigeration-related work under the supervision of a licensed air conditioning and refrigeration contractor in the past 72 months. However, this practical experience is not required for interested applicants who have held a technician certification for the past 12 months, and have at least 36 months of practical experience in air-conditioning and refrigeration-related work under the supervision of a licensed air conditioning and refrigeration contractor in the past 48 months. On the other hand, no experience is required to become a registered technician.
Applicants who have satisfied these requirements must submit a completed contractor license application form or technician registration application form to TDLR. After submitting the application and having paid the necessary fees, the next step is to take and pass the necessary licensing exams. Interested individuals who have any inquiries or need more information regarding licensing can contact the TDLR at (512) 463-6599.
To verify if your HVAC contractor is licensed, you can utilize the TDLR License Data Search or contact TDLR Customer Service at (800) 803-9202.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other HVAC Contractors in the City of San Antonio?
HVAC contractors in San Antonio City typically charge about $25.38 hourly, but this price can vary depending on the professional's skill level, years of experience, and location. However, getting estimates from multiple HVAC contractors is highly recommendable. This will help you to settle for a skilled contractor whose price seems reasonable and within your budget.
An HVAC Contractor in the City of San Antonio earns an annual average wage of $52,780. The table below provides a cost comparison of the mean hourly wages for HVAC contractors in San Antonio against those of HVAC Contractors in the rest of Texas as well as other major cities in the United States:
Do You Comply with the City of San Antonio Building Code for HVAC Work?
It is expedient to hire only HVAC contractors who are conversant with the Mechanical Code applicable in the city of San Antonio. This is to ensure you and your properties are protected from the potential dangers associated with the poor installation and operation of mechanical systems. Currently, the San Antonio Mechanical Code, which is tailored after the 2018 International Mechanical Code, regulates the design and installation of mechanical systems, duct and ventilation systems, combustion air provisions, appliance venting, and hydronic systems in San Antonio. The purpose of the Code is to establish safety in the city and protect residents from potential mechanical-related dangers. Violating this Code attracts a severe penalty, which includes a maximum fine of about $500.
Inquiries regarding the Mechanical Code can be directed to the City of San Antonio Development Services Department (DSD) online or at (210) 207-1111.
Will You Get the HVAC Permits as Required by the City of San Antonio Code?
Per section 10-6 of the San Antonio Code of Ordinances, homeowners or HVAC contractors are required to obtain the necessary permits before erecting, installing, enlarging, altering, repairing, removing, converting, or replacing any mechanical system in San Antonio. However, permits are not required for mechanical works that include the installation, repair, or removal of portable heating appliances, portable ventilation appliances, and equipment, portable cooling units and steam, hot water, or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment or appliances. Per section 10-15 of the San Antonio Code of Ordinances, any HVAC contractor who performs HVAC works without a permit is deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and may be required to pay a fine of up to $500.
Permits are typically issued by the San Antonio Development Services Department. The process of obtaining a permit starts from submitting a completed Heating & Air Conditioning Permit Application Form to the Department. Afterward, the application will be examined, and the Code Official will carry out a preliminary inspection. A permit will be issued if the Code Official is satisfied with the application and necessary fees have been paid. Every permit issued becomes invalid if mechanical work does not commence within 180 days from the date the permit was issued or if the work is suspended or abandoned at any time after the work is initiated for 180 days. After permits have been issued, the permittee is required to schedule inspections with the Code Official to ensure that the work is done per the city's Mechanical Code. After final inspections, the Code Official can either approve the work or notify the permittee of any Code violation, and a timeframe to make the necessary corrections.
Inquiries regarding permitting and inspection can be directed to the City of San Antonio Development Services Department online or at (210) 207-1111.
What Kind of HVAC Services Do You Offer?
HVAC contractors in San Antonio offer various services depending on the class of license they carry. For instance, a contractor with a Class A license is free to work on any size unit. However, a contractor with a Class B license can only work on cooling systems of 25 tons and under and heating systems of 1.5 million BTUs/hour and under. Hence, before hiring any HVAC contractor near you, ensure the professional specializes in performing the specific type of HVAC work that you need done. You can also research how much these contractors charge for their services so you can budget appropriately.
Provided below are the average cost estimates for common HVAC services in San Antonio:
Do You Offer Emergency HVAC Services in the City of San Antonio?
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average energy price for the West South Central Division of the United States, including Texas, is $ 0.134 per kilowatt (kWh). With HVAC-related problems constituting a major cause of increased energy usage, homeowners may experience a rise in utility bills if such problems are left unattended. However, not only do HVAC problems like unusual furnace noises, dirty condenser or evaporator coils, broken thermostats, dirty filters, leaking refrigerant, and tripped circuit breakers lead to increased electricity tariffs, they also threaten the health and wellbeing of homeowners. Whenever you notice any mechanical problem in your home, ensure you get a licensed HVAC contractor to fix it as soon as possible. You can find skilled HVAC contractors on consumer-oriented websites like Yelp and Better Business Bureau (BBB) that can attend to your HVAC issues. To confirm the licensure of your intended HVAC contractor, you can check the TDLR License Data Search or contact the TDLR Customer Service at (800) 803-9202.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for HVAC Contractors in the City of San Antonio?
HVAC contractors face a lot of hazards while working, which are typically caused by lifting heavy materials, dangerous chemicals, working in confined spaces, and working at heights. Unfortunately, many of these hazards can lead to serious injuries or death. In 2020 alone, over 11,000 nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported across construction-related workers, including HVAC technicians, across Texas. This is one of the reasons HVAC contractors in San Antonio are mandated to have general liability insurance of at least $300,000 per occurrence. Hence, employing the services of an insured HVAC contractor could be beneficial in case of any work-related hazards or property damage during your HVAC work.
One of the most common scams that consumers in Texas complain about is a home repair scam. These scammers use different methods to carry out their fraudulent acts, including price gouging, asking for huge down payments, and either doing shoddy work or absconding with your money. A typical example was a case that happened in February 2020, where contractors collected up to $600,000 upfront for home repairs from homeowners and absconded without completing the work. Considering this, it is important for homeowners to know what to look out for before hiring an HVAC contractor. Generally, the following tips can help avoid home repair scams:
- Ensure your intended contractor is duly licensed.
- Get estimates from at least three HVAC contractors for any work you are planning.
- Ask your intended contractor for a written contract that clearly states what will be done, the time frame of the work, and the kind of materials needed.
- Do not sign any contract until you have carefully read and understood all the terms contained in the contract.
- Request references from your intended contractor, and you may either ask to speak to satisfied customers on the phone or ask the customers if you can visit their homes to inspect the work done by the HVAC contractor you are considering.
You can file a consumer complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) if you realize you have been a victim of an HVAC scam. These complaints are usually filed online. Alternatively, you can report the scam to the Texas Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division by submitting an online complaint or obtaining a printable complaint form available in both English and Spanish and mailing the completed form to:Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548
After submitting your complaints, it will be reviewed by the Consumer Protection Division to mediate between you and the business involved. However, if the reliefs proffered by the relevant agency or office are not satisfactory, aggrieved persons can file a small claims lawsuit at the Bexar County Justices of the Peace and request monetary compensation. Note that claims in small claims cases are limited to a maximum of $20,000, and you may need to engage an attorney for advice before filing the suit.