When you need new or replacement HVAC/R equipment for your home or commercial facility, the quality of the equipment itself is just part of the equation. The technical knowledge, professional standards and overall trustworthiness of your contractor also plays a significant role in the transaction.[/three_fourth_last]
Industry-recognized certifications can be one of the more reliable indicators of contractor quality. Among those credentials, NATE certification is perhaps the most widely recognized and accepted. When you hire a NATE certified professional to work on your home’s furnace, air conditioner or heat pump, you’ll know that you have selected an expert with proven technical abilities and dedication to the HVAC industry’s best practices.
The Basics of NATE
North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is a nationally recognized HVAC/R training and certification organization. NATE was founded in 1997, and since then, it’s main mission has been to provide a testing and certification procedure that’s recognized and approved by the HVAC/R industry. NATE certification is accepted by some of the industry’s most prominent trade associations, business groups, and professional membership organizations, such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).
NATE offers testing and certification in all areas of HVAC/R work, including heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. NATE certification is granted when a candidate passes two exclusive examinations given by the organization. Both exams are detailed, in-depth tests of technician knowledge, practical skills, and understanding of the industry.
The first test that prospects must pass is a comprehensive test of general knowledge of the HVAC/R industry. The examination calls on technicians to demonstrate a thorough command of industry concepts and principles.
The second NATE certification exam is a specialized technical test of a technician’s specific HVAC/R knowledge. This test allows candidates to prove that they are well trained and highly skilled in specialized areas of heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration work. Technicians choose which technical exam they take, based on their own individual training, interests, and specializations. Areas covered by the specialized skills test include:
- Air conditioning
- Oil heating
- Gas heating
- Air-source heat pumps
- Geothermal (ground-source) heat pumps
- Air distribution
- HVAC efficiency
- Commercial refrigeration and cooling
- Hydronic heating systems (gas and oil)
Why NATE Certification?
The installation, maintenance and repair of heating, cooling, ventilation and refrigeration equipment requires increasing amounts of technical knowledge and mechanical ability. Complex high-efficiency HVAC systems place higher demands on a technician’s skills and knowledge, requiring greater level of expertise and a wider range of knowledge for proper installation, maintenance and repair. The efficiency of a furnace, air conditioner or heat pump can be significantly reduced if the equipment isn’t installed properly, or even if the smallest adjustments aren’t correctly made to ensure correct function.
Some types of HVAC equipment, such as natural gas furnaces, combine a volatile fuel with an open flame, which means that accidents such as fires or explosions could occur if the equipment isn’t installed properly. Further, all fuel-burning heating equipment produces exhaust fumes and potentially dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide. Your HVAC professional must understand concepts of ventilation and air circulation to ensure that these gases are safely removed from your living environment.
With all of the factors that depend on an HVAC technician’s abilities, it pays to choose a contractor with demonstrated and certified skills. An HVAC professional with NATE certification has proven abilities, expert depth of knowledge, and the training and resources to make sure your heating and cooling equipment will operate safely, effectively, and at the level of efficiency you expect.
Benefits of Hiring a Contractor With NATE Certification
When you trust a HVAC/R job to a NATE-certified technician, you can expect to receive the highest possible customer service combined with extensive technical knowledge and professional courtesy. NATE technicians pride themselves on doing the job right the first time and avoiding the need for callbacks or additional work on systems they’ve installed. They’re thoroughly familiar with the equipment they work on, ensuring that they will fix any problems correctly or will be able to give you credible reasons why the repair can’t be made. They can also advise you on new or replacement systems for residential or commercial applications.
JD’s A/C serves residential and commercial HVAC customers in the Longview area, including the communities of Kilgore, Gladwater, White Oak, Hallsville, Gilmer, Overton and Liberty City. Contact us today for more information on the importance of NATE certification in choosing and hiring an air conditioning or heating contractor.