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How do Air Conditioners work?

According to ASHRAE.COM , The job of your home air conditioner is move heat from inside your home to the outside, thereby cooling you and your home. Air conditioners blow cool air into your home by pulling the heat out of that air. The air is cooled by blowing it over a set of cold pipes called an evaporator coil. This works just like the cooling that happens when water evaporates from your skin. The evaporator coil is filled with a special liquid called a refrigerant, which changes from a liquid to a gas as it absorbs heat from the air. The refrigerant is pumped outside the house to another coil where it gives up its heat and changes back into a liquid. This outside coil is called the condenser because the refrigerant is condensing from a gas back to a fluid just like moisture on a cold window. A pump, called a compressor, is used to move the refrigerant between the two coils and to change the pressure of the refrigerant so that all the refrigerant evaporates or condenses in the appropriate coils.

Our accreditations:

 What Are The Top HVAC Certifications & How Long Do They Last?

The following is a bit of information behind the importance of both NATE & E.P.A. Certifications.

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NATE CERTIFICATION

UNIVERSAL CERTIFICATION

NATE Certification

According to www.auto.edu, The North American Technician Excellence certification shows that you have been properly trained and have learned how to specialize in a particular area. While there’s no specific training for NATE certification itself — it’s based on what you know overall, including your experience working in the field

Being able to obtain NATE certification -

 

NATE recommends having specific numbers of years in the field before attempting different levels of certification.

NORTH AMERICAN TECHNICIAN EXCELLENCE

The NORTH AMERICAN TECHNICIAN EXCELLENCE is the nation’s largest nonprofit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) technicians. NATE tests represent real-world working knowledge of HVACR systems and validate the professional competency of service and installation technicians.

What do they do?

 

They are an independent organization that certifies installation or service technicians with a knowledge-based test. .

HOW DO YOU BECOME NATE CERTIFIED?

Visit www.trane.com and find out that in order to become NATE certified in installations, you must pass both core and specialty parts of either an installation or service test with a score of 70 or better. Specialties include heat pump, air conditioning, air distribution, oil heat and gas heat. The NATE test is not easy, and not all technicians pass it the first time. The NATE certification verifies that the technicians who pass are the best in the trade when it comes to knowledge and experience installing or servicing your home heating or cooling system.

NATE CERTIFIED HVAC technicians

 

If you want things done right the first time, make sure you hire a NATE-certified technician to take care of your air conditioning & refrigeration needs.

Section 608 Technician Certification

If you visit www.epa.gov, you can read about the E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency), what it is and how it began. You can read about environmental topics, laws and regulations like (40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F) under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act which require that technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release ozone depleting refrigerants into the atmosphere must be certified. Starting on January 1, 2018, this requirement will also apply to appliances containing most substitute refrigerants, including HFCs.

According to www.epa.gov,

 

EPA regulations (40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F) under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act define a "technician" as an individual who performs any of the following activities:

Different types of Certifications

Type I Certification – Can only work on Small Appliance (5lbs or less of refrigerant)

Type II Certification – Can only work on Medium, High and Very-High Pressure Appliances.

Type III Certification – Can only work on Low-Pressure Appliances.

Universal Certification – Someone who possesses Type I, Type II and Type III Certifications

How to Get EPA Certification -

 

 Take an EPA certification course, after which you take the appropriate EPA exam to earn your actual certification. Below are descriptions of each certification to help you select the right program for your needs.

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The Importance of an HVAC Certification

Contractors and consumers prefer hiring certified technicians because most HVAC consumers want to work with technicians that they know have the skills to get the job done right. In order to get a certification, you need to have an understanding of heating and air conditioning systems. This can not only help you avoid making costly mistakes, but helps give your future clients confidence when they order your services.

Safe AC Repair Techniques -

 

Being safe on the job is more important than being efficient. Many of the AC repair techniques you learn are dangerous without proper training. Electrical components, for example, can shock or burn you if they are handled incorrectly.

 

Troubleshooting HVAC equipment isn’t the only risk you face on the job. Imagine going into a cold building for hours to repair a heating system! AC repair classes emphasize safe repair techniques and teach you how to handle yourself in a straining environment. You will be able to foresee potential obstacles on the job site and find ways to overcome them safely and easily.

 

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EPA Type I Certification - For Servicing Small Appliances

EPA Type II Certification - For Servicing High Pressure Systems

EPA Type III Certification - For Servicing Low Pressure Systems

Universal EPA Certificate

North American Technician Excellence (NATE)

We mentioned above that there are different types of HVAC certification available, and now you get to know what they are. They are all important because different states have different licensing requirements for HVAC technicians. However, one of these is recognized across all the states of the country, and that’s the one we will begin with.

 

Section 608 Technician Certification

It is common to refer to this certification as the EPA HVAC certification and we will use that name in this article. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires everyone with access to a system or container storing refrigerant gas (think R22 or R410A).

 

As an HVAC Technician, you handle these gases regularly during servicing, system regassing or repairs. It is mandatory that you hold this certificate. There are four types of certifications available under Section 608, each requiring a course of study and an exam to achieve certification. Each of these four types of technician certifications are detailed below.

 

EPA Type I Certification - For Servicing Small Appliances

If your job restricts you to servicing and repairing small refrigerant containing systems, all you need is to study for the Type I certification. The course and exams covers topics which include:

 

The definition of a small appliance, examples include a small window AC unit, typically containing less than 5 kg of gas.

System evacuation using the appropriate equipment.

Gas recovery techniques for systems with or without a working compressor.

Safety considerations when handling refrigerants.

You must pass an approved test to achieve this certification.

 

EPA Type II Certification - For Servicing High Pressure Systems

For any work involving high pressure systems, you will need to possess the EPA Type II certificate. The process is generally the same, you study the course material, check out our EPA Type II practice test, and then you sit an exam. The topics covered here will include some of the following:

 

Detecting leaks in high pressure systems.

Why you need to leak test before repair or system recharging.

Leak repair requirements for systems containing more than 50 pounds of refrigerant.

Recovery techniques and good practice.

Recovery requirements for repairs, disposal, carrying out “major” repairs etc.

Understanding high pressure refrigeration systems and gases.

Safety and safe use of equipment.

A course of self-study is followed by taking an exam to get certified. Depending on how quickly you want certification, and the time you have available for study, attending a class may be a better option than self-study or distance learning.

 

EPA Type III Certification - For Servicing Low Pressure Systems

This type of certification covers more or less the same topics as the Type II, but for low pressure systems. If you have the experience of working on low pressure systems, the certification process may just be an opportunity to refresh your theoretical knowledge. Passing the exam is required to achieve the Type III certificate. Check out our EPA Type III practice exam here.

 

Universal EPA Certificate

To achieve this certificate, you will learn the information covered in the three other types of certifications. The universal certificate allows you to work on all types of system, and is the recommended route to take because it opens up your options when it comes to finding work.

 

This certification may take slightly longer to study for due to the amount of material you will need to cover. Achieving this certification will allow you to work in any state in the US, considering you meet the other relevant state and local licensing requirements for HVAC technicians.

 

North American Technician Excellence (NATE)

NATE is non-profit organization offering nationally recognized certification programs for HVACR technicians. Becoming an HVAC technician does not require a certification, however it does have its benefits. The practical nature of the NATE certification process makes it the ideal qualification for technicians looking to validate your knowledge.

 

NATE certification and practice tests

The exams are split between experienced and newly-qualified technicians to reflect how thorough NATE are with the process. Each level has a knowledge-based exam that takes into account your experience. The other element that sets apart the NATE certification from other certification types is the division of the exams into different specialties such as air conditioning, air distribution and gas furnaces.

 

NATE Entry Level & Early Career Certifications

If you are still new to the HVACR industry and working hard to gain field experience, you can still achieve certification from NATE. Two types of certification tests are available for those new to the industry. They are:

 

Ready-to-Work Certification Exam: Suitable for those new to the industry with no formal training or education background. The exam tests the candidate on the basics of HVAC systems including tools  & equipment, heat transfer theory, electrical basics and general safety. The exam is composed of 50 questions and you will be awarded a certificate on achieving a PASS mark.

HVAC Support Technician Certification Exam: If you have 6-12 months working experience, you can study and sit for this exam, which covers more detail than the ready-to-work certificate. Topics you will cover include installations, planned maintenance, system components and design considerations.

Achieving a PASS mark out of 100 questions will earn you the widely recognized HVAC Support Technician certificate.

 

NATE Professional Level Certifications

If you have more than a year’s experience as an HVAC technician, this is the ideal certification exam to achieve. The certification is split into different specialties and you can gain recognition for installation or servicing in any one of the following areas:

 

Air Conditioning (AC)

Air Distribution (AD)

Heat Pumps (Air-to-Air) (HP)

Gas Heating (GS)

Oil Heating (OL)

Hydronics Gas (HG) (service only)

Hydronics Oil (HO) (service only)

Light Commercial Refrigeration (LC) (service only)

Commercial Refrigeration (RC) (service only)

HVAC Efficiency Analyst (Senior Level) (EA)

 

Installations - Maintenance - Repairs

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