If you’re searching for a contractor to do work on your home, there’s no use in hiring a company that offers you a great price but can’t prove its expertise. In some cases, contractors have gained their knowledge from experience and not training, and can do the job just fine. But there are also numerous horror stories about workers who lacked training and whose mistakes made a bad situation worse. To be on the safe side, most HVAC industry experts recommend that you only hire NATE certified technicians to do work on your home or business heating and cooling systems.

In Arlington, Virginia, in 1997, a group of HVAC experts who were committed to implementing standards of excellence in the HVAC industry created North American Technician Excellence, Inc. (NATE). Since that time, HVAC workers who have participated in the program have had the opportunity to become certified in the installation and/or service of air conditioning, heat pumps, air distribution, oil heating, gas heating, hydronic gas, commercial refrigeration, and efficiency analysis. What this offers businesses and homeowners is a feeling of confidence about the level of service that a NATE certification implies.

In early 2009, NATE launched a website that serves as an informational tool for contractors and property owners alike. In addition to offering sections that address frequently asked HVAC questions, the website also provides information on installation and maintenance and offers the Consumer Contractor Connection (C3) service that provides a directory for locating nearby contractors that employ a high number of NATE certified technicians.

SO, if you’re nervous about hiring the right contractor for the job, visiting the C3 can help put your mind at ease. Instead of relying on the contractor’s own appraisal of its workers, you can now judge their expertise for yourself, which will make getting a great deal all the sweeter.

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