ARLINGTON, Va. — Consumer awareness of North American Technician Excellence (NATE) continues to grow, and a recent “Today” show segment contributed to the increasing numbers of homeowners who understand the importance of working with NATE-certified technicians, said the organization.

The feature, which aired on Tuesday, July 10, focused on the competency and honesty of air conditioning technicians. Using a hidden camera to monitor the servicing of an air conditioning unit at a New Jersey residence, Jeff Rossen of NBC’s “Rossen Reports” assessed several area contracting companies. Although the air conditioning system was fully functional with the exception of a simple broken wire, all six companies that inspected the unit attempted to charge the homeowner for unnecessary repairs.

While the findings of the hidden camera test are disturbing for the HVACR industry, the TV segment and corresponding website article encouraged homeowners to hire one of the country’s numerous trustworthy air conditioning companies. One of the key suggestions for finding a trained and competent professional was to utilize the contractor locator on NATE’s consumer website (

“Although the subject matter of this segment is alarming, this issue is the background for why NATE exists — to verify the competency and conduct of NATE-certified technicians and consequently the air conditioning contractors who employ them,” said Don Frendberg, chairman of the NATE board of trustees. “As we continue our consumer awareness efforts, which are designed to help elevate the industry, we hope to educate as many homeowners as we can about the importance of working with qualified contractors who employ NATE-certified technicians.”

For more information about NATE, visit

Publication date: 7/30/2012