Distinguishing one chimney sweep from another — and deciding whom to trust with your hearth and your home — can prove difficult. As you do your due diligence in searching for a hearth professional to install, service or clean your fireplace or heating stove, there’s one thing that can help you find qualified hearth professionals: National Fireplace Institute certification. Here’s why NFI certification can be a valuable tool in helping you to locate a qualified and trustworthy hearth professional.
What is the National Fireplace Institute?
The National Fireplace Institute (NFI) is the certification arm of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association’s Education Foundation. The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association is the leading industry group for professionals who sell and service fireplace, fireplace inserts, heating stoves, grills and more. The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Education Foundation is dedicated to educating both the public and professionals on hearth and fireplace safety.
What does NFI certification mean?
Based on input from seasoned hearth appliance installers and servicemen, technical experts and hearth business owners, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Education Foundation formed the NFI to train hearth professionals on everything they need to know to safely sell, install and service hearth appliances. Through the NFI, industry professionals can become certified as NFI Gas Specialists, NFI Woodburning Specialists, NFI Pellet Specialists and NFI Hearth Design Specialists. Professionals who become certified as specialists in all of the fuel-burning categories offered by the NFI are declared Master Hearth Professionals by the NFI.
How do hearth professionals become NFI certified?
To become NFI certified, hearth professionals first undergo education in the area they hope to become certified in. They then must take rigorous exams that prove they know everything they need to know to install fireplaces and inserts, including safety guidelines, proper appliance clearances, national building codes, appliance requirements, common fuel delivery issues, proper ventilation for different hearth appliances, criteria for combustion, and how to perform post-installation inspections and services.
How do hearth professionals maintain their NFI certification?
Appliances in the hearth industry — as well as building codes — are constantly evolving and updating. Because of that, hearth professionals must renew their NFI certification. NFI certification is good for three years. Hearth professionals can maintain their NFI certification either by retaking their certification exams or by taking continuing education courses through the NFI.
When you’re looking for someone to care for your hearth, indoors or out, it can be difficult to determine who you can trust. Fortunately, when you find an NFI-certified professional, you know you’ve found a professional who has thoroughly studied and been testing on the most important elements of installing, repairing, maintaining and inspecting hearth appliances. NFI certification is so valued that the Chimney Safety Institute of American requires that recipients of their elite Master Chimney Sweep certification also must hold NFI certification.
If you’re searching for an NFI-certified technician in the greater Detroit area, look no further than FireSide Hearth & Home. Our hearth experts can help you choose the right fireplace, fireplace insert or heating stoves and then have it installed by a knowledgeable NFI-certified technician.