NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence, the largest certification organization in North America for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians. NATE was created in 1997 by the HVACR industry and has served as a standard-bearer for the entire industry for the last 20 years. Let's look a little deeper at what this certification entails and how it gives you confidence that the technicians working on your equipment have the knowledge and expertise to do the job right.
The NATE certification consists of a core examination covering fundamentals and then to complete certification, the technician must pass an additional examination for either Installation or Service in one of eleven specialty areas (note: four of the specialty areas are service only). The exams are created by a committee of industry experts from across North America and focus on real-world working knowledge of HVACR systems. This approach helps ensure the tests and certification are relevant to the skills technicians need to perform top-quality work in the field.
NATE doesn't provide training, only testing and certification. NATE approaches certification this way to avoid situations where technicians are "trained for the test" rather than being trained for the full range of skills they'll need for day-to-day work with HVACR systems. NATE certified technicians have to renew or recertify every two years for most specialties (the Ground Source Heat Pump Loop Installation certification is good for three years). Renewal or recertification requires technicians to complete a minimum of 16 hours of documented continued education or training in their specialty area and/or retaking the certification exams. The reason for this recertification process is to ensure NATE certified technicians are up-to-date on the latest systems and technology, especially as new technology continues to change and shape the HVACR industry.
What NATE certification means for you as a client is peace of mind. You can feel confident that your NATE certified technician has the proven expertise and knowledge required to service or install your HVAC system properly. And you can rest assured that your NATE certified technician is up-to-date on the latest technology and industry standards. At Carolina Comfort Systems, we are committed to providing the very best service for our clients, which is why NATE certification is so important to us.
Extreme temperature fluctuations can take a toll on your heat pump. Cold temperatures that dip down below 40 degrees Fahrenheit make maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home a challenge for many heat pumps as they lose efficiency at lower temperatures. As the temperature drops, your heat pump runs more frequently and for longer periods, eventually triggering your emergency back up electric coils to turn on or if you have a split system, switching to furnace-generated heat. Likewise, very hot temperatures can be rough on your heat pump. While heat pumps reduce humidity better than traditional air conditioning systems, the more hot and humid it is, the harder your heat pump works to keep your home cool and comfortable. Jumping back and forth between heating and cooling means your heat pump gets a hefty workout. You can't control nature but you can make sure to keep your heat pump tuned-up to help it weather major temperature shifts.
Heat Pump Tune-Up 101
You might be wondering what a heat pump tune-up entails. Like a tune-up for your car, your heat pump tune-up checks for potential problems and maintains various components to minimize wear and tear. Here are just a few of the services included in your heat pump tune-up:
* Change air filters (you should do this also in between tune-ups).
* Inspect and clean all electrical components and connections.
* Test and recalibrate your thermostat, if necessary.
* Check refrigerant levels. Low refrigerant indicates a leak and puts you at greater risk for a system breakdown. Refrigerant leaks require urgent repair.
* Check ducts for signs of leaks that can reduce the efficiency of your system.
* Clean and inspect coils and fans, including evaporation coil and condensing coil.
* Lubricate motors, check belts for wear and adjust belt tension.
When temperatures fluctuate quickly between hot and cold extremes, many heating and cooling systems will run longer and harder to keep your home comfortable. Keeping your heat pump tuned up minimizes the effects of this temperature roller coaster on the various components of your system and helps it run as efficiently as possible. Give Carolina Comfort Systems a call today to get your heat pump tuned up and running for all types of weather!
Sure, it’s Hot NOW... but What About Later?
The summer is rapidly passing by, and with it will be the sweltering temperatures we’ve experienced. We hope you’re maintaining your “cool” during this heat wave!
Despite the record heat-wave, it’s not too soon to turn your attention to ensuring you’ll have a properly functioning HVAC unit when it comes time to switch from “AC” to “HEAT.” And that time will be here before you know it!
A perfect time to have your heat pump checked out is the “down-time” during the early to mid-fall where many of us run neither air conditioning or heating due to the comfortable temperatures, and thanks to the popularity of ceiling fans.
We encourage our customers to call us and get the jump on making sure your heating unit will be ready when you are! Advance planning and preventive maintenance will give you peace of mind during that first significant drop in our seasonal temperatures.
As always, if any of our qualified service technicians can be of service, please call us. We want to make your home... and your life... a little more comfortable!