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Who Fixes Air Conditioners?

When you’re ready to hire a technician to work on your residential, commercial, or industrial project, you want to know you’re hiring someone with the skills and competence to provide the highest quality of service. Not just anyone who fixes air conditioners will do.

Proudly, Entek has 75 years of top-rated experience meeting residential, commercial, and industrial needs throughout the Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA, area. We’ve built our business on a history of providing work that lasts, with the highest standards and most professional customer service.

Whether you get a word-of-mouth recommendation from friends and family, read online reviews, or receive a flyer in the mail, you may still wonder what to look for when hiring an expert.

Professional certification from industry organizations is one way to know that you’re hiring a technician who has met recognized training standards, demonstrated professional skills, and in some cases has a minimum number of years in the field. Asking about in-house company training and continuing education is another way to learn about their knowledge of current trends and tradecraft.

Technical Knowledge

There are different routes to become an HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) technician, but whether someone goes through an apprenticeship or a formal vocational training program, they should have certain common basic skills and technical knowledge. A well-rounded technician will have broad training in the fundamentals of electricity and refrigeration, reading and understanding blueprints, and evaluating safety hazards. They’ll also have the practical hands-on experience of working with a wide variety of systems, government regulations, and the wide variety of tools specific to the trade.

This extends to a thorough understanding of safety requirements for themselves, you, and your property. A skilled specialist will be able to provide a safe worksite for everyone and their equipment, minimizing risks and hazards in each step of the process.

Anyone who fixes air conditioners should be able to bring these skills and more to bear in the heat of the moment to show they’re more than ready for anything that you’re facing. All of which can help a qualified technician be prepared for the unexpected scenarios that can sometimes pop up on a worksite.

Professional Communicators

HVAC systems can feel overwhelming for many people. You might be seeking out help for regular routine maintenance or have an emergency situation where the heat stops working in the dead of winter and you’re worried about keeping your family warm. In both situations, you want to be able to work with someone who has the technical knowledge to quickly and accurately assess the situation but who can also talk with you on a human level.

A specialist’s knowledge of all aspects of systems and equipment should come through when talking with you about your situation. You want to feel confident in someone’s ability but not have their industry jargon be a barrier to you understanding what needs to happen next. How a technician communicates is just as important as what they are communicating.

Professional Certifications

Certifications aren’t required for licensing but are a good indicator of how seriously a technician takes their tradecraft. Certifications have well-defined requirements that often demand hours of study, rigorous exams, practical demonstration of knowledge, or participation in specialty training programs.

Technicians who take the time to complete rigorous certification processes are serious about their craft and the quality of work they provide to customers. The certifications themselves are reviewed by industry experts and updated to reflect changing technology, safety, and government regulations.

Many certifications require additional training to maintain the certification over time. The constant evaluation of skills quality means certified technicians are being challenged regularly to prove the depth of their knowledge as well as their ability to learn and understand current technological advancements. HVACR engineers and technicians work in extremely varied environments, and successfully maintaining certification over time is a strong indicator of their commitment to being prepared for everything.

Here are a few of the more common and recognized certifications:

  • NATE—North American Technician Excellence is one of the largest and most recognizable testing and certification organizations. It offers certifications in 17 distribution and service specialties. To gain certification, technicians must demonstrate technical knowledge, subject-specific knowledge, and practical ability.
  • HVAC Excellence—HVAC Excellence offers progressive certifications that require minimum years of field experience at each level and can build as someone progresses through their career from student to technician to educator.
  • EPA 608 Certification—This certification is required for any technician who might “maintain, service, repair, or disposes of equipment that could release refrigerant into the air.” There are four types of certification. Apprentices aren’t required to have certification if supervised by a certified technician.

Continuing Education

Another indicator of how seriously a technician and their company takes their tradecraft, industry standards, and rapidly changing technological requirements is whether they have met continuing education requirements. A high expectation for continuing education means that technicians’ knowledge and skills will continue to grow and change as the industry changes.

Technology continues to lead to more efficient systems that both heat and cool your home more cost-effectively and also have a lower impact on the environment. Technicians and engineers mastering these new technologies mean you can have the most options when it’s time for an upgrade or repair.

To better serve our customers, Entek University has a high standard of weekly in-house training focused on advances in technology. It also has weekly in-house safety training. Beyond this, Entek technicians and engineers receive extensive training through Carrier Corporation’s industry-leading factory training programs and Carrier University Training Program. We’re on top of new technologies but also ready to handle each unique situation that we encounter.

State or Local Licensing

State or local regulations may vary, but knowledge of the state and local regulations is critical. This isn’t a certification, but it does show compliance with regulations that govern the requirements for practicing in your state or local area. A fully qualified and licensed technician or engineer should be ready and willing to show their credentials. This is the minimum that anyone who fixes air conditioners should have.

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