Crystal Air P.O. Box 1501 Weaverville, CA 96093                                   1-530-623-1000                                                  California State License Board #762833

Heating, Cooling, GeoThermal, Hot Water &
Air Filtration Experts


Contractors, Codes and Requirements

Knowing what to ask and deciding on a contractor for the lay person with no mechanical background can be a difficult task but, by following a few simple consumer steps, you can make an informed decision

Contractor Checklist:

State License- In California, contractors must retain a license with the Contractors State License Board. Types of contractor licenses vary and the consumer should verify that the appropriate license for the work to be performed is held.

Insurance and Bonding- ask your contractor if they are licensed and bonded.  This is important to protect you, your home and liability

Bids/Quotes for services- ask questions and if you compare bids, make sure you understand EXACTLY what you are or are not to recieve for your money and ask to have that in writing.  A bid that is vague and does not spell out what will be provided may mean the work will be vague or that there is something being withheld from you.

References- ask contractors for references. However, good references do not guarantee consistent good craftsmanship. Most any contractor can drum up a few good references and will not share any bad ones with you. A contractor that can show they have up to date credenntials in terms of training and industry quality certifications is a better sign of dedication to quality.

Certifications, Training and Experience- Business owners with a long term goal invest in their future by updating their training and expanding their expertise. Ask potential contractors what accredidations they hold for their area of expertise and how long they have been doing the work you are buying.

Job Sizing- There are a lot of new codes and requirements for ensuring that your new Heating, air conditioning or ventilation install conforms to current energy efficiences and air quality standards. Contractors have calculations that they need to perform and submit to the local building department. Ask to see them as a means to ensure the calcualtions have been done.

California Codes for Heating Air Conditioning and Ventilation Installation

Title 24 part 6 of the California Code of Regulations has been around for a long time but, is continually updated. The codes and requirements therein differ for new home construction versus replacement of heating, air conditioning and ventilation.

Reputable installers will perform work within the letter of the law. This includes obtaining a permit when required and in many insallations, this means that the contractor for heating and cooling must perform calculations, submit the calculations in order to obtain the permit and in some cases, pay for an independent field inspection of their work.

What the consumer should know and ask for when selecting a contractor is:

1. Contact the local building department and ask if the type of work requires a permit
2. If you are installing a new heating or air conditioning system or ductwork, ask for a copy of the title 24 forms that the  contractor must submit in order to acquire the permit
3. Ask the contractor for the name of their HERS rater (Home Efficiency Rating Service)
4. Ask the contractor if their bid include charges as needed for the above

Installations that require permits and submissions that are performed "boot leg" have serious negative ramifications for the home owner.

If you would like to edcucate yourself more on the full scope of Title 24 code, follow the link to the State of California website