ARLINGTON, VA. — North American Technician Excellence (NATE), the nation’s largest non-profit certification organization for HVACR technicians, continues its efforts to educate homeowners about the importance of selecting contractors who hire NATE-certified technicians with a spring consumer awareness campaign.

Beginning in April, ads highlighting NATE certification and the NATE contractor website, www.hvacradvice.com, will appear on Yelp.com, the consumer website used to find and review local businesses. In January 2013, Yelp.com reached an all-time high of 100 million unique visitors and the “Home Services” category (including HVACR providers) is one of the site’s top search categories.

Consumers who search for HVACR services on the site will see ads informing them that “NATE-certified technicians can help their A/C system run smooth all season long,” and encouraging them to click through to www.hvacradvice.com to find nearby certified technicians.

The contractors listed on NATE’s HVACR Advice website are part of the NATE Consumer Contractor Connection (C3) Program, signifying that they have at least 50% of technicians employed with current NATE certifications. Contractors with at least 80% of their technicians NATE-certified are designated as Quality Circle Contractors. As part of the C3 program, these contractors can post a free listing on NATE’s HVACR Advice website, helping to attract new customers. Contractors interested in joining the (C3) Program can visit the NATE website for more information or contact Valerie Briggs, director of marketing and business development.

Launched in 2011, NATE’s consumer awareness campaign focuses on educating consumers about NATE via targeted advertising and a strategic public relations campaign to generate media coverage about NATE. Through ongoing media outreach, the NATE message is appearing in an increasing number of newspapers, magazines and radio and television news outlets to inform homeowners that hiring NATE-certified technicians offers quality assurance they can trust. NATE has also previously placed national network radio advertisements on a mix of news, sports and entertainment programs, and partnered with industry manufacturers to include NATE in their own ads to help spread the word about the quality assurance offered by NATE certification.

“As an increasing number of homeowners learn about NATE and visit HVACRAdvice.com to find a qualified local contractor, it’s more important than ever for contractors to insist on NATE-certified technicians and to include their company information on the site’s online locator,” stated Don Frendberg, chairman of the NATE Board of Trustees. “Campaigns like these extend the reach of our message to a greater number of homeowners, educating them about NATE certification and helping to connect them with contractors who are dedicated to superior installation and service.”

To further assist contractors in capitalizing on these upcoming efforts and connecting to consumers seeking NATE-certified technicians, logos, print and online resources are available for use on contractors’ advertising. Qualified contractors can access the logos and print information on NATE’s website at its MyNATE portal at the top of the page.

About North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Headquartered in Arlington, Va., NATE was founded in 1997 as the nation’s largest industry-endorsed, non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians. NATE tests technicians while others train. Testing validates the technician’s knowledge and a training program’s instruction. NATE-approved testing organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada offer NATE tests. Candidates can earn installation and/or service certification in nine specialty areas: air-conditioning, air distribution, heat pumps, gas heating, oil heating, hydronic gas, hydronic oil, and commercial, light commercial refrigeration and senior efficiency analyst. NATE also offers the International Ground Source Heat Pump test. For more information about NATE, visit www.natex.org.