Mobile’s largest home service repair company and its owner were stripped of their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) credentials in September after state inspectors uncovered a bevy of regulatory violations in work done at residential homes.
Known for its wrapped trucks and signature cartoon repairman, C&P Hansen Heating and Air was founded in 2006 by owner Chadrick Setchell and has grown to service residential and commercial accounts in Mobile and Baldwin counties and the Mississippi coast. The company has also expanded over the years to provide electrical and plumbing work.
According to interviews with various business blogs, Setchell has 30 years in the HVAC industry and began Hansen with one white truck and $100 in his pocket. As recently as February, he interviewed with a video blog and indicated Hansen was generating “$50 million a year.”
But on Sept. 15, the 12-member Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors voted unanimously to revoke both Hansen and Setchell of their HVAC licenses, citing numerous service standard violations and severe infractions, which were discovered during a string of investigations into complaints from customers during 2020.
However, despite the action, Hansen’s services have been able to continue without a hiccup over the last two months as ownership and structural changes were made to the company. A day prior to being slapped with the penalty (Sept. 14), Air Pros USA, based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, announced it had bought-out Hansen’s air conditioning service branch and the company’s HVAC license is now registered under another employee’s name.
According to a press release by Air Pros, the terms of the acquisition allow Hansen to continue to operate under its brand name and retain Setchell in leadership as the head of Air Pros’ Gulf Coast operations.
Air Pros said the acquisition expands the company to a seven-state enterprise and doubles its footprint, providing the company with an additional 350 vehicles, 500 technicians and staff, and a customer base of more than 100,000.
“Hansen’s strong market presence and positive reputation along the Gulf Coast made them a perfect fit to join the Air Pros family as we continue to expand and acquire additional HVAC companies across the U.S.,” Anthony Perera, founder of Air Pros USA said. “They are well run and we see even greater growth opportunities for Hansen as we apply our technology to increase their efficiency and value to both customers and employees.”
Perera added, “We are excited that Chad will stay on to run our Gulf Coast operations, and that we will be adding Hansen’s many talented technicians and staff to our platform. We love how Hansen Air refers to them as ‘Super Techs’ as that’s how we see them as well.”
Setchell said he was thrilled to have Hansen join the Air Pros family and is looking forward to continuing to grow the business in the region.
“Air Pros has quickly earned a fantastic reputation for innovation, hard work and providing each customer with quality services and lasting results,” Setchell said. “We knew Air Pros would be a great fit as they share the same goals and culture regarding how they care for their customers, and in how they demonstrate their respect toward employees in helping them grow professionally and personally.”
State business license records show the company was reformed as “Hansen Air Pros” in Delaware in November 2020 and qualified for operation on Aug. 26, 2021. Its principal address is listed as Hollywood, Florida.
Hansen and Setchell are the only HVAC licensees to be revoked this year, according to Jeffrey Becraft, executive director of the Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors agency.
Becraft told Lagniappe license revocations are not common.
“In general, we rarely revoke more than two, if any, annually,” Becraft said. “The size of the company is not a factor in the board’s decision.”
Becraft was asked about the acquisition of Hansen and its implications for licensing. He said he could not speak for Air Pros or Setchell as to what the intentions were upon the sale of the company.
“The board does not hold jurisdiction over the hiring process and administrative roles within Air Pros’ corporate umbrella,” Becraft said.
While Setchell is maintaining leadership in the company, its HVAC credentials will no longer be in his name. According to licensing records, Hansen Air Pros LLC’s HVAC contractor certification was registered to Hansen General Manager Greg Roberts on Aug. 30, 2021, ahead of Air Pros’ acquisition and the state’s sanctions in September.
In a statement to Lagniappe, Air Pros dismissed concerns Hansen’s prior discipline by the state would reflect on its future services to the region.
“Air Pros USA has its own license to operate, and we have no need for Mr. Setchell’s prior license,” a company spokesperson said.
The spokesperson noted Hansen has 2,500 reviews with an average 4.8-star rating.
“Regardless, as with all Air Pros USA acquisitions, we take and introduce best practices from all of our operations. This is to ensure our policies and practices are consistent nationally and that we uphold our company ethos that ‘our customers are our business,’” the spokesperson stated. “[We] look for markets where we see a lot of value. We see a lot of value in Alabama, which led to the Hansen acquisition, and we’re thrilled to now be part of the community.”
Setchell told Lagniappe the acquisition was a year in the making when it was finally announced in September. He said Air Pros brought “massive” changes in a short period of time to internal operations, customer service and quality control. He said the purchasing company is essentially a franchise and allows Hansen to maintain all of its team members while providing an even better work environment.
According to Setchell, Hansen hit a two- to three-year window where there were so many A/C units being sold and installed he lost control of the company’s ability to provide quality control.
“It came down to the point where I had over-extended my skill set and business got way bigger than I was able to manage. It grew so fast I lost control of it. It was completely and utterly overwhelming,” Setchell said. “We installed a lot of units and made a lot of mistakes.”
Setchell said even though he did not personally work on houses where violations were found, as the owner he was the one on the hook.
“The state board had to do what they had to do,” Hansen said.
Air Pros will honor viable warranties on labor done by Hansen, Setchell said. He said if consumers are concerned about standard violations on heating and air conditioning work done by Hansen they should let the company know.SETCHELL-revocation-PS-order-and-amended-recommendation_0001
State investigations uncover standard violations
Disciplinary records detailing the state HVAC Board’s case against Hansen and Setchell detail four cascading consumer complaint investigations into heating and air conditioning installation work performed by Hansen. These investigations by a state inspector found 61 minimum standard violations and six life safety violations.
Setchell admitted to the violations during a June 24 hearing with the HVAC agency and “acknowledged his mistakes and subjected himself to discipline from the board.” Records signed and handed down by an administrative law judge state Setchell “believes he has improved since the last time he was disciplined by the board, noting fewer life safety violations.”
On Aug. 28, 2019, he entered into a settlement from three previous complaints. As a result, Setchell was on probation at the time of the June hearing.
According to state disciplinary documents, in July 2020, Angel and Paul Ewing of Mobile filed a complaint against Hansen after they paid $5,200 for a new A/C system. A state inspection was conducted at the Ewings’ house after Hansen failed to resolve the complaint in a 20-day window. This inspection found 15 minimum standard violations, including improper documentation of testing and drawings; undersized tubing; improperly installed attic drain lines, plenum and ductwork; and an outdoor unit that was not secured from movement and was placed where rainwater runoff from the roof would drain onto it.
That same month, Mobile resident Linda Kaivanshekouh filed a complaint against Hansen, citing similar issues after paying Hansen more than $10,000 for a 3-ton unit to be installed along with additional ductwork. After not resolving the complaint, state inspectors found two life safety violations and 10 minimum standard violations observed during the inspection. According to the inspection report, life safety concerns included an attic air handler did not have a level space for servicing and maintenance, and an exposed lamp was not protected from damage.
At least 11 supply ducts were not insulated, return ducts were not installed according to manufacturer instructions, supply and return were not sealed and not mechanically fastened, and filter back grills were undersized for the 3-ton unit installed.
In August 2020, Rayburn Trotter of Saraland filed a complaint after Hansen installed a 4-ton unit and a 1.5-ton unit at a price of $15,400. Setchell did not resolve the complaint within the appropriate time frame and an investigation on Sept. 23, 2020, at the Trotter house found two life safety violations and 28 minimum standard violations cited in the investigation.
In October 2020, a board complaint was filed against Setchell by Mobile resident Katina Mose after Hansen installed a 5-ton until for $6,500. Setchell did not resolve the complaint within the deadline and a Nov. 13, 2020, investigation by the HVAC Board discovered two life safety and eight minimum standard violations.
On June 24, 2021, an administrative hearing was held for the HVAC Board to discuss the violations. They allowed Setchell to present evidence and any response he had concerning the complaint. Setchell appeared pro se.
The HVAC inspector testified during the proceeding, detailed the findings to the state HVAC Board and provided photo evidence of each violation. Overall, three standard violations were dropped during the hearing.
According to Alabama State Code, the HVAC Board has the authority to revoke a license and may levy and collect administrative fines of up to $2,000 each for serious violations. No financial penalties against Hansen were disclosed in the agency’s disciplinary records.
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