January 10, 2021

When comparing various HVAC companies, you may notice that the websites of these companies often have a logo that says “NATE” on it. You may wonder what this stands for and why companies choose to feature this logo on their website. Ultimately, the bottom line is that if you’re going to have any work done on your HVAC system in your Sacramento home, you need to use a company that uses this logo and can verify that they’ve earned it. To further explain what NATE means, check out this guide from Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning.

What Does NATE Stand For?

Although NATE is an acronym, you sometimes don’t see the full name alongside this acronym when it’s used on HVAC websites. The letters in NATE stand for North American Technical Excellence. This non-profit organization maintains standards to which technicians working in the HVAC fields voluntarily abide. NATE provides both training and testing to ensure that any technicians who are certified can meet certain standards that are maintained and updated by NATE.

How Does a Technician Become NATE-Certified?

To gain a NATE certification, a technician must take various courses provided by NATE. Once they feel that they have sufficiently mastered the information provided during their training, they can take exams that test their mastery of the information. It’s important to note that there are multiple levels within the NATE certification program that technicians can work to achieve during their careers at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning.

The first certification that a technician achieves is the “ready-to-work” certification. This means that a technician has the basic skills to be able to safely and correctly work on HVAC systems. After accruing at least six months of work time, a technician can then work to obtain their HVAC support technician certificate. After two years on the job, a technician can attempt to earn various core and specialty certifications that ultimately will allow them to achieve the senior-level efficiency analyst certification.

Each NATE certification has stringent requirements to help provide confidence to anyone who needs to hire an HVAC technician.

Why Is This Certification Important?

When choosing an HVAC technician, it is vital that you choose a technician who is NATE certified. That’s because NATE-certified technicians provide a predictable experience so that you know you’re getting a good value for your money. Given the breadth of training and testing that is required to become NATE certified, your technician from Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning will be able to take on just about any HVAC issue quickly and efficiently.

Opting to use a technician who is not NATE certified can have negative consequences. Without certification, you have no way of knowing how much experience a particular technician has. Technically, they could have decided to launch their business yesterday and have no experience working with HVAC systems. However, you’d have no way of knowing this, meaning that you could get subpar results that could cost a lot of money to repair.

Are There Other Certifying Bodies?

Thanks to its size and status as a non-profit organization, NATE is the most trusted and respected certifying body for HVAC professionals. There are other certifying bodies, though, that you may run across as you look for an HVAC technician.

If you’re looking for a technician who has been in the field for a while, the HVAC Excellence certification may be helpful. Typically, technicians need to have at least two years of experience before achieving the base-level certification. You can also look for a technician with an EPA 608 certification. This certification considers a technician’s ability to work with different types of devices that use refrigerants.

Aside from these national certifying bodies, you’ll also want to make sure that your technician is licensed with your state. In many cases, a license with your city government may also be required for a technician to be in compliance.

Feel Free to Ask

Given the amount of work that it takes to obtain a NATE certification, most technicians are proud to let you know that they are NATE certified. If you don’t see any indication of this certification, though, it’s always a good idea to ask. A technician should be able to provide proof of their licenses and certifications. If they can’t provide this, we at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning recommend that you look for another technician from another company, since you’ll have no guarantees of the quality of work that you’ll receive.

To save yourself some time, you can start by calling specific HVAC companies and asking if they utilize NATE-certified technicians. If they say they do, you can then go to the NATE website and search for that company to verify that their certifications are up-to-date.

How to Find a Good Technician

Beyond certifications, there are some important criteria that you should look for when choosing an HVAC company. First and foremost, any company that you choose should be fully insured. After all, working with HVAC equipment can be dangerous. Therefore, if a technician is injured while they’re on your property, you want to make sure that their insurance will cover any associated costs so that you don’t end up with an unexpected claim on your homeowner’s insurance.

You also want to look for a company that provides free estimates. If a company charges to come to your home to do an estimate, it is almost certainly a scam, and you should not give them any of your personal information. In today’s world, you’ll also want to find a company that adheres strictly to COVID restrictions to ensure that you and your family stay safe and healthy.

In addition, you can read online customer reviews on various sites and ask various companies for references until you nail down a company that is worthy of your business.

When Should You Use a NATE-Certified Technician?

Ideally, you should use a NATE-certified technician for all of your HVAC needs. Whether you’re having your HVAC system maintained or repaired, or you’re having a new system installed, the complexities of HVAC systems require someone who is experienced to ensure the work is done correctly.

Some NATE-certified technicians can also handle other types of refrigeration devices, such as chillers, refrigerators, and walk-in coolers. Thus, whether you have residential or commercial needs, a NATE-certified technician from a reputable company should be the first person that you turn to.

Working Hard to Provide the Best Experience

The skilled technicians at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning are all proudly NATE certified. Therefore, whether you need furnace repair, maintenance, or installation or you need someone to take care of your air conditioner, we can do it all at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. We can also take care of non-HVAC needs, such as water heater installation and water purification improvement. For over 30 years, our entire company has been committed to helping the people of this community experience enhanced home comfort. Our commitment to excellence is one reason that we’re able to maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. When you also consider our numerous five-star reviews, it’s easy to see that we’re a company that you can trust. To learn more about our training process, contact us at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning today.

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