People performing duct cleaning assessment and restoration of Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems must complete training to provide qualified professional contracting services to customers, as described by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) (see References 1). NADCA-certified air duct cleaning specialists complete training and then must pass a certification exam proving their mastery of the knowledge and skills needed to successfully and safely clean air duct systems. NADCA also offers courses for beginners covering the basics of cleaning commercial and residential HVAC systems along with advanced courses in speciality concerns, such as mould in HVAC systems (see References 1).
- Skill level:
Get a job with an air duct cleaning service company. This provides you with on-the-job training and proves valuable even if you plan on opening your own service in the future. Inquire during the job interview about training opportunities and the possibility of the company paying for such training so that you are not taken by surprise if you must pay for your own training seminars or examinations.
Peruse the NADCA website for information on training and examination times and locations as well as further information regarding available courses (see Resources). Sign up to take one of the beginner courses from NADCA, such as commercial or residential HVAC system cleaning. Choose the on line webinar option if you are unable to attend on-site training seminars (see References 1).
Take the Air Systems Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) exam training course to ensure that you understand all the procedures, techniques, equipment and safety requirements relating to HVAC cleaning (see References 2). This provides enough training for an individual to advance further in his career or consider becoming self-employed in the HVAC cleaning services industry.
Ask your employer about the benefits of further training. Larger companies may encourage you to seek further education to advance to higher positions within the firm while smaller companies may focus more on your on-the-job work quality and professionalism. Discuss your options openly with your current employer to decide if further training in more specialised areas would benefit you, but remember that you may not always work for the same company. The more thorough your training, the better your chances will be to land a job with future employers.
Train to do duct cleaning by continuing to pursue opportunities to advance your knowledge and keep updated on current issues in the field. Attend trade shows, seminars, courses and meetings to obtain continuing education credits needed to renew ASCS certification. This goes a long way in showing your commitment to the profession (see References 3).
Tips and warnings
- If you choose not to pursue NADCA certification, look for courses covering similar material at local technical or community colleges.
- Consider self-directed learning and mentoring opportunities with an air duct cleaning services owner. This type of experience proves especially useful to people who later start their own HVAC cleaning service, as they see the daily challenges of operating the business. Look for such opportunities from business owners living just outside the area in which you live. This provide the benefits of a nearby mentor while keeping you from infringing on the mentor's customer base.
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