An HVAC specialist is a skilled technician skilled in the field of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (often abbreviated HVAC) equipment. If you needed some help with duct cleaning, or if your air conditioner needed some routine repairs, you may begin looking for HVAC professionals in Sonoma County. Here are some tips to get you started on your search.
There are several types of HVAC technicians. There are licensed professionals, or licensed practical (LPN) HVAC technicians, and then there are general HVAC technicians, or licensed HVAC service technicians. Licensed LPN HVAC technicians perform routine maintenance on HVAC equipment. They may install new HVAC systems as well as maintain the ones that are already in place. While these professionals can do a reasonable job of maintaining your HVAC system, they are not qualified to perform repairs beyond the scope of their education.
A licensed HVAC technician is one who holds an apprenticeship program and takes an exam to become a licensed HVAC technician. The National Industrial Security Foundation (NSAF) provides a list of approved training programs. Becoming licensed in this way requires that you successfully complete an HVAC installation class, take an exam, pass a state test, and get hands-on experience working with a working HVAC system. Even then, some states may require a technician to be licensed before he or she can work at a business. It is wise to become licensed in every state where you plan to work, but if your state does not specify this requirement, it is unlikely that you will need a technician’s license to work.
The states that specify the licensing requirement vary. Some states require HVAC technicians to be certified by the National Mechanical and Automotive Association (NMAA). Others only require contractors to hold a state engineer certification. Still others, such as New York, require HVAC technicians to have the equivalent of a national HVAC engineer certification and to pass a national exam. This exam can be challenging, so it is best to be sure that you have chosen your contractor carefully.
When choosing a contractor for HVAC maintenance, it is important to consider both experience and knowledge. HVAC technicians should be able to explain in detail how and why they perform certain tasks. If a contractor has never installed or repaired an HVAC system before, ask him or her to explain its “basics.” Find out how many years of HVAC installation and repair experience each contractor has, and talk to the former clients for insight into his or her customer service skills. Do not hire a contractor with too many years of experience, if he cannot effectively provide you with help when needed.
All HVAC contractors must hold a valid HVAC license issued by the NMAA. All states require that HVAC technicians have at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Contractors who want to be considered for licensing may take courses in air conditioning or heating technology, as well as take a written exam. To be HVAC certified, HVAC technicians must pass the licensure exam.