NATE certified

The Importance of Using NATE Certified Technicians

December 16, 2013

When you need an air conditioning repair, you want to be sure the person who comes to do the work is qualified. If you’ve been lucky enough to not have had a lot of air conditioning problems, you may be unfamiliar with local contractors and how to choose one. One of the best ways to make sure the job will be done right is to ask for a NATE certified technician.

What Is NATE?

NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. It is a non-profit group that was formed in 1997 as the certification organization for the entire HVAC industry. NATE tests on a variety of subjects and offers special certifications including:

  • Air conditioning
  • Air distribution
  • Heat pumps
  • Gas heating
  • Oil heating

What Does It Take to Become a NATE Certified Technician?

NATE is a testing organization. After candidates have been trained, either in school, by an employer, or through some other means, they can elect to take NATE exams in their desired subject exams.

NATE exams are practical tests requiring candidates to apply the knowledge they would need to complete tasks on the job. Most certifications are valid for five years, but a few require testing every three years.

A contractor can also become certified as a NATE C3 Contractor. To be a NATE HVAC/R contractor, 50 percent of the contractor’s technicians must be NATE certified. To be a NATE Quality Circle Contractor, at least 80 percent of technicians must be NATE certified.

What Are the Benefits of Choosing a NATE Certified Technician?

NATE is more than a marketing group. NATE believes the best way to promote the HVAC industry is to place the homeowners first. In customer satisfaction surveys, NATE certified technicians consistently rank above non-certified technicians:

  • 84 percent of customers says they would use a NATE certified technician again versus 71 percent of those who used a non-certified technician
  • For customers that reported they were extremely satisfied with their technician, NATE certified technicians won 68 to 44 percent.
  • 67 percent of customers reported they were extremely satisfied with a system installed by a NATE certified technician. This dropped to 35 percent for other technicians.
  • NATE certified technicians also scored 16 percent higher when customers were asked if their system was quiet running.
  • NATE certified technicians were also more likely to not need to return multiple times to complete a job.
  • When asked whether all rooms heated and cooled as expected, 66 percent of customers who used a NATE certified technician responded yes and more than half of those who did not responded no.

New Installations

Not all air conditioning installations are performed equally. Although NATE is not a training organization, it requires technicians to achieve a higher level of knowledge in order to pass its rigorous exams. Installations performed by a NATE certified technician are more frequently rated as quietly and efficiently operating.

NATE certified technicians are also more likely to do the installation right the first time and not need a return visit. Warranty returns are also lower when installations are performed by a NATE certified technician.

Service, Maintenance, and Repairs

NATE certification doesn’t just help technicians learn the best way to install new parts or make fixes. It also instills a higher level of professionalism and caring about their job. NATE certified technicians show up on time with the tools needed to fix the job on the first trip. This is especially important when your system’s gone out in the middle of summer or winter and you might be taking time off from work to get it fixed.

Choosing a Contractor

When choosing a contractor to fix or replace your air conditioner, asking whether they will send a NATE certified technician is only the first step. Contractors can have a wide range of experience and you should ask about that as well. In addition, be sure to check references or online reviews to make sure the contractor doesn’t cut corners, overcharge for jobs, or even no show. Also ask whether there is a warranty on any new systems or parts as well as whether the contractor provides their own guarantee. If you do these things, you should be able to confidently assume the job will be done right.

For a NATE certified technician near you, contact Indoor Solutions, Inc. We proudly serve Georgia residents in Columbus, Opelika, Auburn, Eufaula, Russell County, Lee County, Harris Count, Fort Renning, Pine Mountain and West Point.

Image via Shutterstock

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