- Allyson Brown Staff Writer
The city of Springfield urges residents to use reliable, licensed contractors after receiving complaints about unlicensed businesses advertising on social media.
Within the past week, a number of posts on Facebook Marketplace were posted about furnaces and air conditioning sales and installation services in Springfield, said Shannon Meadows, the city’s community development director.
“It appears the individuals that are making these posts are not licensed contractors in the city of Springfield,” she said.
HVAC contractors must be licensed by the city in order to perform work in Springfield.
“At anytime you are hiring someone to do anything on you home, whether it be the installation of a furnace or an air-conditioner, building a deck, putting on a front door — they should always be licensed,” Meadows said.
That license means the business demonstrated and provided to the city proof of insurance, a certificate of workmen’s compensation insurance and bonding.
“So if something were to happen on a job site, that bond will cover the expenses,” she said.
An unlicensed contractor can be deadly said Jeremy Segrest, the owner of Segrest HVAC, based in Springfield.
“We’ve found several people who have put together shoddy work that was putting customers in danger,” he said. “So in that situation, we have to red tag it, shut them down regardless of the time of year.”
His business is often called to fix the errors an unlicensed contractor has made. He’s been in business for almost six years, starting out cleaning air ducts and later moving to heating and air conditioning.
He believes unlicensed contractors advertising on social media want to make a quick buck and it could put people’s lives at risk.
“Gas furnaces produce carbon monoxide,” he said. “If it’s not properly vented or installed, it becomes a dangerous situation.”
A lot of unlicensed businesses don’t know how to size equipment properly, Segrest added. So they install oversized equipment, which in turn cracks the heat exchanger and could allow carbon monoxide to escape into the home.
Unlicensed contractors won’t be issued a license in the future if a complaint is made against them, Meadows said. Licensed contractors also can lose their licenses, she said, if work is done incorrectly or for criminal activity.
She wants to residents to hire contractors and to invest in their homes but she wants people to make sure they are licensed.
To find out if a business is licensed in the city, please call 927-324-7388.