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The Dangers of Hiring Unlicensed HVAC Technicians

Indira Gandhi, the first and only female Prime Minister of India, said “There are two kinds of people in this world, those who do the work and those who take the credit.” In other words, there are those in that will pass themselves off as hard workers, while really their only skill is their ability to lie.

That’s somewhat like the situation in the HVAC world right now. There are two kinds of HVAC technicians, unlicensed and licensed. And while, it’s true that unlicensed HVAC contractors can at times do a fine job, they’re to be avoided at all costs. Why? Because where heating and cooling is concerned, you really want someone qualified working on your home. It’s not something you want to trifle with.

When Unlicensed HVAC Work Goes Wrong

Having an unlicensed tech service your HVAC system is a big risk. At the very least, you’re leaving your wallet exposed: you may end up paying twice for the same repair!

However, in many cases, unlicensed technicians have actually caused severe injury or death by their negligence. There was recently a major court case about this in the Toronto area. In 2013, Guildwood Furnace Services pled guilty to involvement in an accidental death. The death occurred as a result of irresponsible behaviour, behaviour which contravened the TSSA’s standards (TSSA:  Technical Standards & Safety Authority, the body that regulates HVAC licensing in Ontario).

The incident happened in Scarborough in 2011. Guildwood Furnace Services responded to a call about a furnace repair by sending an unlicensed technician. The technician took a look at the repair, realized he’d need a part for the job, and left, telling the homeowner he would return.

Meanwhile, the house was filling with deadly carbon monoxide gas.

When the tech returned the next day, he found the owner sprawled on the floor, unconscious. 911 was immediate called but the furnace was not shut off. The homeowner was taken to hospital, and was stabilized.

However, later that day, the homeowner’s son came home. Unaware of the danger, he spent the night. He was found dead in the home 3 days later.

Had the technician followed TSSA guidelines, the tech would have shut off the furnace immediately, understanding the danger. Instead, a young man died.

Is It Time For An Upgrade? How To Tell Your HVAC Units Are Petering Out

No one can say for sure that your heating , cooling, and ventilation system is in need of an overhaul; no one except yourself. The fact remains, however, that a majority of homeowners have no idea that their systems are on the brink of collapse, and they’re wasting thousands of dollars every year running lemons for their home comfort. HVAC units, like everything in this world, become obsolete after a time.


How do you know the furnace is going?

  • The average life span of a furnace is 16 to 20 years. If you’re approaching or pass this time frame on a replacement, be on the lookout.
  • Compare your heating bill to previous years. Barring significant overuse, a jump in gas use can indicate severe inefficiencies in your unit.
  • Are repairs taking longer? Your furnace usually needs repairs once every 2 years. If you notice your repair wait times are being put on hold to backorder old parts, it’s a good sign your furnace is hardly up with the times.
  • Uneven heat. If some rooms are cold while others are too hot, your furnace is redistributing heat improperly. This could indicate fan or ventilation issues.
  • Is your furnace making weird noises? The stranger or louder, the higher chance the furnace is about to undergo a catastrophic breakdown.
  • Dry air or stuffiness. If your home feels like an old log cabin burning firewood, it means the furnace is unable to moisturize air, and that can be a serious mechanical issue.
  • Is your burner flame yellow or flickering? A blue flame is normal. Anything less and you might be putting your family at risk of a carbon monoxide leak. Ontario Energy Group must stress, for your own safety, if you detect a carbon monoxide leak, you need to leave your home immediately and call a professional.

New HVAC system lowers energy costs, improves comfort

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A comfortable home starts with a working HVAC system. Without the cool air during summer or the warm air during winter, life is much less comfortable. But when your system suddenly stops working, the situation can become frustrating very quickly. It is important that you learn how to properly maintain your HVAC system, and this article will show you how that can be done.

If you are having issues with your HVAC, do a tour of your house before you call in help. Determine which rooms feel cold and which feel hot. This can help contractors quickly figure out the issue and how to fix it easily and quickly.

To make sure your condenser fan works properly, keep the fan blades and the coils clean. If you are doing more than a light surface cleaning, make sure that the power is shut off to the HVAC unit. Remove leaves and debris from the outdoor unit.

The coils and blades on the fans should be cleaned once a year. Be sure to turn the power off first; you don’t want anything to move. After you have turned the power off, you simply remove the grill and the blades to perform a gentle cleansing.

When you mow your lawn, take care that you don’t get grass clippings all over your outdoor unit. Make sure the grass does not get in your unit. This also applies to leaf blowing and any other yard work that results in debris.

If trees are losing leaves around your home, this can impact your HVAC unit. Frequently clean the fan grill when trees are shedding leaves. A blocked unit can quickly become a broken unit.

If you have oil ports as part of the fan condenser, annual lubrication is key. You’ll see that the ports here are closed with a rubber or metal cap. Chose SAE 20 oil, which has been proven to be the most effective.

Make sure your HVAC unit is in the shade. If the air your machine draws in is already cooler, it will require less energy to regulate before it’s filtered into your home.

If you can, install double-paned windows throughout your home. Having double pane windows allows your air conditioning unit to be run much less during the summer, because the cool air is kept inside the home. Conversely, they keep warm air in during the winter.

Now that you have the information from the above article, it is easy to see the importance of keeping your HVAC system well maintained. Failing to make regular inspections will result in disaster. Thankfully, you have the information shared here, so use it.

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