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The state of Hawaii is located in the Central Pacific and is made up of hundreds of Islands; however, the eight largest islands make up Hawaii's main islands and have a total population of over 1.2 million people. Typical of tropical areas, Hawaii's climate ranges from upper 80s in the summer and low to mid 80s during the winters with mild humidity. However, climates can vary drastically by each island, depending on the trade winds. And, believe it or not, Hawaii's lowest recorded temperature was a chilling 12 degrees on May 17, 1979 on the island of Mauna Kea! However, short of such outliers, central air plays a much more important role in keeping Hawaiians comfortable than furnaces.
Hawaii has relatively strict licensing requirements for heating contractors. The state of requires heating and cooling contractors to have:
- proof of workers' compensation insurance;
- have bodily injury insurance ($100,000 per person, $300,000 per occurrence);
- insurance for property damage of $50,000 per occurrence;
- a place of business in Hawaii;
- must pass an exam on business, law and trade;
In 2006, the Better Business Bureau of Hawaii received 843 heating contractor complaints and 55 air conditioning contractor and systems complaints. Hawaii's Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is the state government organization tasked with helping consumers when there is a conflict between a consumer and a contractor. The DCCA accepts online submission of complaints.
For Hawaiian homeowners and renters who need help paying utility bills, assistance may be found at one of the resources listed on HUD's Web site.