HVAC Certifications to Look for When Hiring Contractors

The question some homeowners have been asking themselves is whether HVAC certifications matter. The truth is, certification of HVAC technicians can help you have the confidence that you are hiring the right person for the job. If you haven’t already contacted a technician to help you out on your heating, ventilation, and cooling system, you will at some point.

Handling HVAC equipment is relatively dangerous and sensitive because there is so much that can go wrong. It is therefore important to hire only licensed technicians such as www.GRMetroHeatingAndCooling.com to service your equipment.

Licensing Information

A license is a proof that the HVAC technician you are considering to hire has been trained professionally and qualified. Depending on the state you are living, HVAC professionals are required to have certain licensing requirements. This is why you should first confirm with the licensing department in your state before checking the status of your contractor’s license.

NATE Certification

NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. It is a certification program that is recognized not just in Michigan, but respected nationally. Even though NATE certification is not a legal requirement for one to be a technician, it helps in validating the knowledge and skill level of a technician. To receive this certification, the technicians have to pass a knowledge-based exam. The beauty with NATE certification is that it is given in different specialty areas such as air distribution, gas furnaces, and air conditioning.

HVAC Excellence Certification

This is an important certification in the HVAC industry. It is offered at the professional level as well as the master specialist level. For a contractor to earn the professional level certification, he must have at least two years of field experience and pass an exam in specialty areas such as heat pump service and residential air conditioning.

If a contractor passes the professional level exam, they receive a Chevron in their respective area of specialization, a wall certificate, and HVAC excellence patch. To get the master specialist certification, the contractor must have on the minimum three years of verifiable field experience and must have passed the professional level technician exam.

EPA 608 Certification

The Environmental Protection Agency has made it mandatory that any person assessing a container or a system that stores refrigerant such as R410A or R-22 to have the EPA 608 Certification. Without this credential, HVAC technicians cannot handle coolants. This certification comes in 3 levels and contractors must pass an exam so as to get this credential.

The first level of certification gives the contractor the legal permission to handle much smaller appliances such as window air conditioning units that have less than 5 pounds of refrigerant. The second certification allows technicians to handle high pressure refrigerants. The last certification level permits technicians to handle low pressure refrigerant products.

Apart from the certifications, you should look at the experience the technicians have gained in the industry. It is advisable to look for technicians that have several years of sufficient experience. Versatility is also a critical element to look at. This means the HVAC technician you hire should be able to work with all the main HVAC systems. Don’t forget to scrutinize the references given and ask them of the price changed and how they do the billing.