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Whether you’re looking to have your Miami central AC system repaired or replaced, it’s imperative that you understand the role of certifications and licenses in the AC company you choose. You might save money with company A, but if that company lacks the proper license, you could end up with a major headache. 

If you choose an AC installer who isn’t certified or licensed and something happens to your AC and damages your home, your homeowner’s insurance company is likely to ask for paperwork from the installation. If you’ve chosen a company or contractor who is not licensed or certified, your insurance company may decline to cover the problem. If the wiring wasn’t correct and started a fire or the system was undersized and didn’t prevent mold, you may be on your own to pay for any damages. Is it worth it?

When you choose a licensed and certified Miami AC professional, you know you’re getting a system that is properly sized, works correctly, and is protected by warranty coverage. If something goes wrong, the company that installed it may be able to make the repairs free of charge. Plus, there are additional warranties available that will offer additional coverage of problems for the next decade.

HVAC Licensing Requirements in Florida

Florida requires air conditioning contractors and HVAC professionals to be licensed and have a GED or high school diploma. Before licensing, the technician has to be 18 or older, complete the proper training in an apprenticeship or similar training program, and complete the State of Florida’s HVAC licensing exam. 

There are two licenses available for Florida HVAC professionals. Class A permits the license holder to work on any size system. Class B allows the licensee to work with a system of no more than 25 tons of cooling or 500,000 BTU for heating. After licensing, the contractor must keep the license current by filing for renewal every two years. There are different requirements.

  • State Certified Class A – Workers must pass the exam and pay the exam fee and a certification fee and then can work anywhere in Florida.
  • State Certified Class B – Must have a four-year degree and one year of work experience or at least four years of work experience. Again, the license holder can work anywhere in Florida.
  • State Registered Class A and Class B – Not as all-encompassing as a State Certified license. It only allows the licensee to work in one specific town or area in Florida instead of the entire state. Class B restricts the technician to AC systems under 20 tons and heating systems under 500,000 BTU.

To renew an HVAC license in Florida, the contractor must complete 14 hours of continuing education courses. Without completing these courses, the license will not be renewed. All of this is designed to ensure the contractor is up-to-date with the current laws and regulations and any changing technology.

What Certifications Are Available for Florida AC Technicians?

What certifications should customers ask about when choosing an AC specialist for a cleaning, replacement, or new installation? Here are some of the most important.

NATE Certification

The most important is NATE (North American Technician Excellence) Certification. To qualify for NATE certification, a technician has to pass several exams and showcase real-life skills in a variety of situations. It’s one of the most important to look for.

BPI Certification

For any HVAC technician working on energy-efficient cooling and heating systems, performing home energy audits, or weatherizing homes, the Building Performance Institute (BPI) certification is important. Certifications cover a range of areas.

  • AC/Heat Pump Professional: Prove an understanding of the role of an AC and heating system in a home and how to diagnose and fix issues.
  • Air Leakage Control Installer: Proves skills needed to assess and stop energy loss from air leaks while improving air quality.
  • Building Science Principles: How HVAC systems, appliances, and insulation affect a resident’s safety, comfort, and health and protect the home.
  • Healthy Housing Principles: Proves a complete understanding of how the HVAC system affects a resident’s health.
  • Infiltration and Duct Leakage: Certification for performing blower door and duct leakage tests in compliance with IECC standards.
  • Site Supervisor: Proves the contractor has the skills, knowledge, and ability to lead a team, avoid callbacks, and provide customer service.

ENERGY STAR Credentials

ENERGY STAR is a federal program to help homeowners and businesses improve their home’s energy consumption. When a company holds ENERGY STAR credentials, they focus on energy-efficient HVAC designs and installations.

EPA 608 Certification

Anyone who works with coolants and refrigerants requires certification from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). There are four accreditations to consider.

  • Type I: Important to hold for appliances that hold no more than 5 pounds of refrigerant.
  • Type II: Best for installers and technicians working with high-pressure systems like heat pumps and packaged terminal ACs.
  • Type III: Necessary for technicians who repair and service low-pressure systems.
  • Type IV: All-encompassing and covers all of the above situations.

HVAC Excellence Certification

The HVAC Excellence certification is awarded to people with at least two years of work experience.

  • Professional Level: Pass exams regarding residential heat pumps and ventilation systems and have two or more years of experience in HVAC work in Florida.
  • Master Specialist Level: Same as above, but the technician needs to have worked in HVAC in Florida for at least three years.

Rebates Are Available to FPL Customers Who Use PICs

If you’re an FPL customer, a new central air conditioner comes with an instant $150 rebate. Plus, there’s an instant rebate of $220 on attic insulation. However, you cannot get that new AC unit from any installer. It has to be a Participating Independent Contractor (PIC).

What is a PIC? A PIC is a business that agrees to comply with the rigid standards set by FPL. These standards include the SEER rating of any heat pump or AC installed by the AC company or contractor. FPL requires SEER ratings of 16 or higher. It has to be brand new and cannot be refurbished. It must be certified by AHRI and UL listed.

That’s just part of the PIC’s requirements. The company also has to be licensed with the State of Florida and sign the agreement with FPL before participating. The installer offers an automatic rebate to the customer and receives reimbursement from FPL by filling out a rebate reimbursement request.  

All Year Cooling is licensed in Florida (CAC058160, CAC058159, and EC13008936) and is an FPL PIC. We’re also certified with ENERGY STAR. For 50 years, we’ve been helping southern Floridians stay cool in the heat and humidity. Ask us about rebates on attic insulation and central AC installations or replacements. 

All Year Cooling