In the aftermath of tragedy, opportunists often follow. That can include unscrupulous operators who descend on unsuspecting homeowners to 'rescue' them from their plight.

North American Technician Excellence (NATE), the Arlington, VA-based HVACR certification organization, has issued a warning to victims of the flooding in Tennessee about who they hire to repair or replace flood-damaged HVAC systems.

"In the coming weeks homeowners around the region will be depending on HVAC contractors to evaluate and replace HVAC units to ensure a comfortable summer for so many of us. With so much potential work out there comes the potential for fly-by-night operations to try and make a quick buck," says Mike Reed of The Bradford Group, spokespersons for NATE in Tennessee, in a letter to local media and homeowners.

The warning also includes guidelines from Clay Blevins, CEO, Comfort Supply, a Ruud HVAC distributor based in Nashville.

"Hiring a contractor with NATE certification means that the person installing your new HVAC system has passed a series of tests and demonstrated a considerable amount of knowledge about his field, says Blevins. "That way you know you're dealing with a professional who not only takes pride in his work, but has the experience to do a proper installation, complete with all the necessary permits and inspections. When homeowners see a NATE certification patch on their installer's uniform they should understand what that means for their comfort and safety," he adds.

Comfort Supply offers NATE certification testing for HVAC contractors in their Nashville location at 305 Arlington Ave.

NATE testing requires contractors to demonstrate real working knowledge of HVAC systems. NATE offers certification in the areas of:

  • Air Conditioning
  • Air Distribution
  • Air-to-Air Heat Pumps
  • Gas Furnaces
  • Oil Furnaces
  • Hydronics Gas
  • Hydronics
  • Oil
  • Light Commercial Refrigeration
  • Commercial Refrigeration
  • HVAC Efficiency Analyst (Senior Level)