What Does an HVAC Tech Do?
By Betty Stephens
HVAC technicians are professionals in the field of heating, ventilation, air conditioning service and support. They can be an independent contractor or employed by a company that specializes in climate control solutions.
They work in residential homes, schools, hospitals, office buildings, or factories. Their worksites may be very hot or cold because the heating and cooling system they must repair is broken. They are mostly full time workers. Technicians generally work indoors, but may have to work on outdoor heat pumps, in bad weather. They often work in awkward or cramped spaces, and some work in buildings that are uncomfortable because the air conditioning or heating system is broken.
The HVAC technician may install new systems and therefore must be proficient in reading blueprints connected to the installation, and participates in preparing the space for the installation of new equipment including the ductwork construction and installation as well as the main components for the system. The HVAV technician is responsible for making sure the installation is conducted in compliance with local regulations, so that the unit provides efficient heating and air conditioning.
Maintenance of Existing Systems
The HVAC technicians may also maintain existing systems, inspecting each component in the system. This includes making sure that each portion of the overall system is functioning at an acceptable level of efficiency. If a part is wearing out or in danger of breaking down, the technician repairs the unit. An HVAC technician checks for ventilation efficiency of a system and makes adjustments.
HVAC Tech Tools
HVAC technicians must use several types of tools on their job. They often use screwdrivers, wrenches, pipe cutters and other basic hand tools when installing systems. To test or install complex system components, technicians may use more sophisticated tools, such as carbon monoxide testers, voltmeters, combustion analyzers, and acetylene torches. When working on air conditioning and refrigeration systems, technicians must follow government regulations regarding the conservation, recovery, and recycling of refrigerants. This often entails proper handling and disposal of fluids.
HVAC technicians may also sell service contracts to their clients, providing regular maintenance of heating and cooling systems. HVAC techs often used other craft workers at times to help install or repair cooling and heating systems. On a large air conditioning installation job, other contractors may work on the project, such as a ductwork; a sheet metal workers, installers, or electricians.