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February 14, 2013
For immediate release

Heating and cooling system buyers warned against unlicensed installation

Environment, Labour and Justice

Homeowners or builders considering installation of heat pumps or central air conditioning systems should be careful to use only registered and trained handlers, Environment, Labour and Justice Minister Janice Sherry says.

“In recent years, a lot of new heating and cooling products have entered the market and many Islanders are using these devices for reasons of energy efficiency and cost savings. They are regulated systems, however, and anybody having one installed should be sure this work is done by someone who is properly qualified,” Minister Sherry said.

“The refrigerants in these devices can be harmful to the ozone layer if they are released to the atmosphere, so caution is needed whenever they are being installed.”

In order to install (or service) devices that use refrigerants, other than plug-in window air conditioners, and home refrigerators and freezers, an installer has to be registered as a handler of ozone depleting substances.

A Registered Handler should, as a minimum, have taken the two-year HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) course at Holland College or a similar program at a recognized post-secondary educational institution. Typically, graduates work as refrigeration/air conditioning technicians or automotive technicians.

Because of the electrical work that is typically involved in the installation of heat pumps and central air conditioning systems, homeowners are also advised to make sure their installers are qualified and licensed to carry out electrical work. Unlicensed electrical work can increase the likelihood of fire, and may violate provincial regulations.

“With the rising popularity of home heat pumps and central air conditioning systems, my staff have been hearing reports of people hiring unlicensed installers. Consumers using unlicensed installers are not just violating provincial regulations, but they could be opening themselves up for problems, including voiding of the warranty, should one of these systems be installed improperly,” said the minister.

Media Contact: Ron Ryder
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