Many people have only the vaguest notion of what certification means. When asked if having a certified technician work on their home comfort system is important, their first reaction is often that certification really isn’t that important. But the truth is, certification makes a difference in the quality of service and really means peace of mind and assurance. When consumers realize that, their reaction and answer change. Consider the benefits of certification. To know how important the benefits of certification are to a homeowner, ask yourself if it’s important that the technician working on your heater or air conditioner: • Knows heating and cooling • Has proof of his knowledge • Is proficient • Actually repairs the problem • Does the job efficiently • Does it right the first time. Getting a certified technician means you know you’re getting the best for your money. No one has a money bin-and the boss is only going to let you have so many days off, so any waste of time or money because you’re using a non-certified technician could actually cost a homeowner twice.

NATE-certified technicians know heating and cooling. Certification does not necessarily mean that the certified technician is better than one who isn’t certified-but anyone can say they’re good. The consumer knows that a certified technician is knowledgeable because an impartial third party has had him checked out. The moral: It’s your money-don’t take people’s word for how much they know-ask them for proof. And NATE certification is proof of knowledge of HVACR. These tips are brought to you by North American Technician Excellence, or NATE, the nation’s largest nonprofit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration technicians. The U.S. Department of Energy endorses NATE for raising quality standards and energy efficiency. For a contractor with NATE-certified technicians, go to the Consumer Contractor Connection at Remember, when purchasing a new unit, please select an Energy Star-qualified model. It’s your money. Don’t take people’s word for how much they know. Ask them for proof.