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What Is HVAC Certification and What Does It Mean for the Customer?
If you’re in the market for a new HVAC system, there are a number of factors to consider. One of the most important is HVAC certification. That’s why the people you work with at Entek are all certified technicians and engineers. Uncertain of what that is or what it means for you? We’ll tell you all about it and why you need it for your HVAC service or installation.
So, what exactly is HVAC certification? It’s essentially a procedure by which an accredited agency verifies a technician has undergone the requisite training for the position and has met industry standards and requirements. Any HVAC technician you hire should be properly trained and certified. Installing HVAC systems can be dangerous work, so you want to hire only top-notch professionals to perform the job. There are three types of industry certification for HVAC technicians.
EPA 608 Certification
It is a national requirement under the Clean Air Act that technicians who service, maintain, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release refrigerants into the air must receive the EPA 608 certification. In order to receive the certification, technicians must pass an EPA-approved test specific to the type of equipment they want to work on. Any technician that adds or removes refrigerant from an appliance, such as an HVAC technician, must receive the EPA 608 certification.
If a technician you are considering hiring doesn’t have this certification, that should serve as a red flag. In fact, an HVAC technician cannot legally buy refrigerant unless he or she is EPA-certified. It’s one of the first things you’ll want to inquire about when looking to hire an HVAC contractor. At Entek, our technicians are EPA-certified in CFC (chlorinated fluorocarbons) containment and refrigerant management.
Another certification to inquire about is the North American Technician Excellence certification. NATE is the largest nonprofit certification organization for HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) technicians, and the NATE certification is one of the most highly regarded and recognizable certifications in the industry. Many technicians become NATE-certified because it gives them a competitive edge over others in the industry.
But what does it mean for you as a customer? You should always look for a NATE-certified technician because it represents advanced training and expertise in the field. Technicians with the NATE certification have proven to remain in the industry longer and are more productive than their non-certified counterparts. At Entek, you can rest assured that our technicians are NATE-certified. This means your technician will be skilled, knowledgeable, and highly experienced when he or she services or installs your HVAC system.
Since NATE certification is not a requirement, those who possess this credential set themselves apart from other technicians who have opted not to undergo the rigorous training and testing required to obtain the certification. It’s yet another factor for you to consider when deciding which HVAC company to hire.
Survey results show that consumers who use NATE-certified technicians are generally more satisfied with the service they receive than those who do not. Always ask to see a technician’s credentials and be sure to validate their NATE ID number here.
HVAC Excellence Certification
Another industry certification is the HVAC Excellence certification. The unique thing about HVAC Excellence certification is that it offers progressive levels of certification for each stage of a technician’s career. This allows you to differentiate between technicians based on experience levels.
For instance, a technician must have two years of experience to pursue a professional level certification. A master specialist certification requires three years of field experience, as well as a passing score on the professional-level HVAC excellence technician certification. The master specialist certification is the highest credential for a field technician. It can help give you peace of mind to know you’re working with some of the most knowledgeable and well-trained professionals in the field.
How It Benefits You, the Customer
Certifications not only allow you to help gauge the professional training and expertise of the technician you hire, but they can also save you from a lot of hassle in the long run. Better installation, for instance, means that your HVAC system will have a longer lifespan and increased energy efficiency. This can save you quite a bit of money over time. Improper installation, on the other hand, can wreak havoc on your HVAC system and cause it to operate inefficiently.
There are many other benefits to using certified technicians to perform your HVAC installation and repair work. Using technicians who are properly trained and certified increases the chances of getting the job done right the first time. In fact, according to NATE, technicians with the NATE certification have almost a third fewer product returns than those who aren’t certified. Who doesn’t want lower utility bills and increased customer satisfaction? Using certified technicians means you will save both time and money since your HVAC system will be properly installed and operate with increased energy efficiency.
At Entek, we go beyond certifications to make sure our technicians receive continuous training and education. This helps us stay equipped to best serve your needs. We provide weekly in-house training focused on the latest technological advances, for instance. We also offer weekly safety training to make sure our technicians stay up-to-date and knowledgeable about what’s going on in the field. When hiring an HVAC contractor, you’ll want to make sure they demonstrate this same commitment to excellence.
We also provide a 100% service guarantee. With Entek, you’re getting not only a knowledgeable and certified technician, but also someone who is reliable and who you can trust. We want to make sure we get it right the first time. That dedication is one of the reasons we’ve been providing top service to our customers since 1946.