May 15, 2024
What Qualifications Should My HVAC Contractor Have?

Searching for a qualified HVAC contractor can pose a challenge, especially if your goal is to balance cost with finding quality equipment and installation. Here are some considerations when assessing an HVAC technician’s qualifications.

NATE Certification

NATE certification, short for North American Technician Excellence, is awarded by a nonprofit organization. This certification entails rigorous experience- and knowledge-based testing and periodic follow-up training and testing. When you contract a NATE-certified technician, you can trust that you’re working with a skilled and knowledgeable professional. They have successfully passed a series of tests with scores of 70% or higher, demonstrating their expertise and reliability.

Properly Licensed

To install or maintain HVAC systems in Texas, you must be a licensed contractor or a registered or certified technician working under the supervision of a licensed contractor. Texas has two types of HVAC contractor licenses. There is a class A license that lets you work on any size unit and a class B license that allows you to work on cooling systems up to 25 tons and heating systems with a maximum of 1.5 million BTUs per hour.

After working on a job site for 24 months under the supervision of a licensed contractor, technicians can become certified ACR techs by completing a 2,000-hour HVAC certification program. Certified ACR technicians will need to complete 48 months of job site experience working under the supervision of a licensed contractor before they can have their own contractor’s license. Working with a licensed technician ensures the job is done right by someone with experience or the proper supervision.

Longevity in the Community

There are benefits to finding contractors who have been around for some time and have a fixed physical location. Seasoned HVAC contractors have relationships with subcontractors and suppliers. The relationships and reputations that they have built over the years give them access to tools, equipment, and personnel that allow them to do the work on your HVAC system in an affordable and expedient way. Experienced contractors often get preferential treatment from vendors, which allows the contractor to provide better rates, extending cost savings to you.

An experienced contractor who has been in the same area for some time and has roots in the area is unlikely to up and disappear if a problem arises with your HVAC installation. It is in their best interest to ensure that the initial installation is done properly and that any subsequent issues are promptly addressed.

Contractors with longevity in the community take pride in delivering high-quality workmanship. Their attention to detail and dedication to excellence ensure that your project meets the highest possible standards.


A punctual HVAC technician shows they care about your time and their reputation. Most technicians offer a two-hour arrival window. You can gauge a company’s reputation and commitment to customers by their punctuality and communication when circumstances prevent on-time arrival.


An HVAC technician doesn’t have to be your best friend but should maintain a friendly demeanor. They must answer questions, maintain eye contact, and provide necessary information for informed decision-making regarding your HVAC system.

The Ability to Perform

HVAC technicians should be able to promptly identify issues, propose reasonable solutions, and efficiently resolve problems. They must also take pride in their work. These are intangible qualities that cannot be taught in a classroom but are garnered through experience in the field.

Safe Work Habits

HVAC technicians work with dangerous gases, electricity, and water. They must be experts in safety regulations and diligent in adhering to them to prevent accidents, injury, or property damage.

Attention to Detail

When professional HVAC technicians work on commercial and residential systems, the small details go a long way in ensuring the project is done right. Paying attention to the small details can be the difference between a job being completed properly the first time or requiring several revisions and maintenance goals.

Working With an Experienced Austin, Texas, HVAC Company

At Totally Cool Heating & Air, we have over thirty years of HVAC experience, making us the veteran heating and air conditioning leader in Austin, Texas. We offer a satisfaction guarantee every time. Our certified technicians focus on service and craftsmanship. We are registered contractors of Austin Energy and Texas Gas and are proud of our A+ Better Business Bureau rating.

Our services include HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair. We offer indoor air quality services, including environmental assessments and installing heat pumps, attic insulation, and solar window screens. Contact Totally Cool Heating & Air today and see for yourself why, for more than three decades, Austin residents have been turning to us for their HVAC needs.

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