Chances are pretty good that you will need to repair or even replace your heating or cooling system in the next few years. Your furnace is more than just something to keep you warm in the winter. It needs to be dependable, energy efficient, and, safe. Just because it works does not mean it has the just mentioned attributes. When you need repair or replacement you definitely want someone who knows what they are doing and has experience with your sometimes complicated heating/cooling system. So how do you know the company you hire has the experience needed to fix or replace your system? Look for a NATE certified technician.
NATE (North American Technician Excellence) technicians are somewhat like an ASE Certified technician for your car. Developed in 1997, the NATE Certification program tests, qualifies and certifies HVAC technicians in different specialties. These individual specialties include heating, cooling, heat pumps, air flow, boilers, sheet metal and energy efficiency to name a few. Technicians can either be certified for installation only or for service-and-installation under each of the above mentioned specialties.
To become NATE certified is not an easy thing. NATE recommends technicians have at least 2-3 yrs. experience in the field before even attempting the test. Field experience plus an aggressive training program is the only way a technician will pass the test. Technicians must also attend a set amount of hours per year in training to maintain their certifications. NATE certified technicians are reported to have 12.9% less callbacks meaning chances are your system will be fixed right the first time. Also the DOE has reported that improper installations can cost you 30% in energy efficiency so using NATE techs will save you time and money.
There are two types of NATE dealers out there. One employs at least one NATE technician. The other is a Gold Circle NATE dealer. Gold Circle status requires that at least 80% of all employees have become certified, not just the owner. So when you need HVAC service or repair, be sure to ask that the technician being sent to your home or business is NATE Certified. For more information visit: www.hvacradvice.com.