Feb 26, 2019

HVAC systems are overworked and under-appreciated. Your HVAC works night and day to keep you and your family comfortable. From dampers to valves, they have dozens of parts. Some can only be accessed using specialized tools. So when your Raleigh air conditioner breaks down, you need an expert. What should you look for in an HVAC company in Raleigh?

What Is NATE Certification?

NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. Their certifications are the industry standard for HVAC technicians. NATE certification involves a series of tests. Technicians can specialize to achieve NATE certification in areas like air conditioning, HVAC efficiency, and commercial refrigeration. There are four levels of certification.


If your technician has a ready-to-work certificate from NATE, this does not mean that he or she has earned NATE certification. It simply certifies that the tech knows the basics. A ready-to-work certificate is fine if you need a simple HVAC cleaning, but if you have bigger problems, you’ll want someone who has more experience.


The HVAC Support Certificate is also not NATE certification. A technician who has worked in the HVAC industry for six to twelve months is eligible to test for this certificate. He or she has a deeper understanding of HVAC systems and components, but may not be experienced enough for complex jobs.


The standards for NATE certification are rigorous. A technician must have at least two years of hands-on experience in the industry. In addition to passing a core test, technicians must pass a specialty exam. Specialties include:

  • Air conditioning installation or service
  • Gas heating installation or service
  • Air distribution installation or service
  • Air to air heat pump installation or service
  • Commercial refrigeration service
  • Light commercial refrigeration service
  • Hydronics gas or oil service
  • Oil heating service

If you have a complicated job, don’t settle for a technician with the basic ready-to-work certification. Ask your HVAC company if they have any technicians with more advanced certificates. If you have a particular type of job, find a technician who is certified in that specialty, so you know he or she is an expert.


The highest level of NATE certification is the Senior Level Efficiency Analyst. The Senior Level Efficiency Analyst is well versed in every aspect of HVAC. A technician must have at least five years of experience in HVAC in order to take the tough test for certification. Also, the tech must be certified in at least two sector specialties. When you hire this kind of technician, you know you’re working with the best.

When you have service performed right the first time, you ensure that you save money on repairs and energy bills and that your system is in safe, optimal working condition. If you live in or around Raleigh or Wilmington and want to receive the very best in HVAC service, contact us today!

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