What Is An HVAC Technician?

"I want to work on heating and ventilation systems because it seems like an interesting field. Please tell me more about this occupation. What does a HVAC technician do?"

asked by Rick A. from Fort Collins, Colorado

HVAC technicians install, maintain and repair heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems of homes and businesses. Some of them may also work on refrigeration systems. The work of HVAC technicians is important because they make residences and offices habitable. In the summer months, living spaces are kept comfortable from the intense heat because of air conditioning systems that keep it cool. During winter, people are protected from frostbite inside their homes because of efficient heating systems. Even medicines and food still retain their viability and freshness when transported to other places because delivery vans and trucks are equipped with refrigeration systems that maintain optimum temperature all throughout the transport.

The HVAC technician who specializes in installing new systems knows how to read blueprints and plans that have to do with the installation of these components. They also know where to connect these with the building’s wirings. As part of their work, they will prepare the space where the equipment will be installed. This may entail preparing the wirings and assembling the components of the equipment to be set up.

They also have to see to it that the system is going to give the appropriate heating or air conditioning levels required by the area. They will then install the unit in accordance with local rules and regulations. After installation, they will check to ensure that it is working efficiently and smoothly.

HVAC technicians who specialize on maintaining and repairing existing units must see to it that every part is thoroughly checked. They will have to test that all parts are still working efficiently. If one part is found to be worn out or already close to wearing out, they will replace it. If repairing it will suffice, they will do so. In some cases, all they need to do is make adjustments to the system so that it will run optimally again. Before undertaking any repairs, HVAC technicians perform the necessary tests so that they will know whether a few tweaks will suffice or if a total part replacement is needed.

HVAC technicians also know the energy requirement of each system as well as the ways to maximize their use while minimizing its energy requirements. They make these calculations as well and make the necessary recommendations. This aspect of their job is very important in light of the thrust towards conserving the world’s finite energy resources today.

This is a physically demanding job. HVAC technicians spend time in cramped spaces where the heating and air conditioning systems are placed. If the proper heating or cooling systems have not been installed yet, they could be working in very hot or very cold areas of residences or offices. They also have to carry heavy equipment to the site and may even be burned or experience electric shock if they don’t undertake the necessary safety procedures.

Career Spotlight: Hvac Technician

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