When it comes to hiring HVAC technicians to see to your home’s heating and cooling needs, there are a few signs of quality for which to look. You should never turn to amateurs for a job this important, but what actually sets an amateur apart from a professional?
One thing to look for is certification. A quality HVAC technician will have NATE certification (North American Technical Excellence), which is an industry-recognized certification of knowledge of the field. However, you should also look for technicians who have gone a further step and received EPA certification.
What EPA Certification Means
The EPA is the acronym for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This agency has the stated mission “to protect human health and the environment.” In the world of HVAC, the EPA runs technicians through a series of progressive testing levels to demonstrate their greater knowledge about such important topics as handling refrigerant, performing new system installations, and affecting repairs that remain within industry safety standards.
For technicians to handle any refrigeration device that contains more than 5 pounds of refrigerant, they must pass an EPA 608 Type II exam (smaller devices require a Type I exam.) The Type III exam is for working with commercial and industrial HVAC equipment. The EPA 609 Universal certification is awarded to technicians who pass the exams for Type I, Type II and Type III.
The short of this—and the important part for you—is that EPA certification indicates an HVAC technician who has demonstrated to the government a high level of knowledge, experience and competency. This is the sort of technician who will not only get a job done right, but will make sure it meets with all federal standards and results in safety for your family, energy-savings for your budget, and protection for the environment.