If you are an HVAC technician, are a way to improve your job advancement opportunities and have an interest in eco-friendly technology as well as protecting the environment, you should consider obtaining green certification. As businesses scramble to comply with Environmental Protection Agency regulations for HVAC systems and provide a healthier work environment, they will need to hire contractors with the expertise to install HVAC systems that do not harm the environment and provide energy savings.
The following overview outlines the benefits of earning green certification and how to obtain industry qualifications.
Advantages of Earning Green Certification
When you earn credentials that enable you to design and install HVAC systems that are energy-efficient, improve indoor air quality and are eco-friendly, you increase your marketability. The wide range of services you can provide include:
- Providing businesses with estimates and consultations to explain long-term costs savings of green systems
- Helping businesses reduce usage of cooling systems that use Freon, a refrigerant that depletes the ozone layer
- Performing maintenance and repairs of green equipment
- Conducting energy audits of commercial facilities
- Educating businesses about tax incentives for installing green HVAC equipment
- Working with construction companies to build green facilities from the ground up
While the initial cost of installing a green HVAC system may be higher than installing traditional heating and cooling equipment, companies will begin to reap the financial benefits immediately and recoup costs because their energy costs will decrease. In addition, green systems have a lower lifecycle cost so the business will spend less money on maintenance.
Training Program Options
You have several options for obtaining additional certification. In addition, if you work for an employer that offers incentives for furthering your education, you may be able to get your job to help cover the costs of certification classes.
Technical schools, community colleges and commercial technical training centers offer HVAC specialty classes. If you work full-time, you can take classes at night or on the weekend. Furthermore, some training centers also offer online classes so you can complete your coursework at your convenience.
Green HVAC certification provides coursework on a myriad of topics including:
- Energy-saving heat exchangers
- Solar collectors and solar heaters
- Vapor compression systems
- Ductwork and ventilation design
- Air filtration
You also learn about the effects of ozone depletion from traditional HVAC systems and how to handle refrigerants when replacing an old system.
In addition to earning a general green HVAC certification, you can ramp up your green expert skills with the courses that teach you how to help businesses earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Buildings that earn LEED certification meet environmental standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Some state and city governments also require that new government facilities meet LEED requirements.
The USGBC offers LEED credentials for professionals. The LEED credentials for individuals involved in commercial building projects include:
- LEED AP Building Design + Construction (LEED AP BD+C)
- LEED AP Operations + Maintenance (LEED AP O+M)
If you want to specialize in building green HVAC systems for new construction you should earn the LEED AP BD+C credential. If you are interested in improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings, you should earn the LEED AP O+M.
Educational institutions and training centers that offer HVAC training may also offer LEED exam prep courses. With your credential, you will be able to select HVAC products and design systems that help buildings comply with LEED requirements.
Depending on where you live, your state may require you to renew your general HVAC license every few years and take continuing education classes. Specialty certificates and LEED credentials must also be renewed.
For a LEED credential, you can satisfy the continuing education requirement by volunteering on non-profit projects, authoring articles on green topics or gaining experience of LEED projects. For more information, check out class provider websites like http://hvac-tech.com.