As the world’s population continues to grow, it becomes necessary for housing, industry and infrastructure to keep up with this growth. In order to meet these growing needs starting in the late 1800s and continuing today, humans began looking at more efficient ways of using energy. One of the most important sources of energy is heating and cooling. Keeping homes, factories and offices comfortable throughout the seasons is vital for creating healthy, happy and productive workers.
This blog post will explain what an HVAC technician does, their responsibilities and salary range in order to help you decide if the job is right for you.
What does an HVAC technician do?
HVAC stands for Heating, ventilation and air conditioning. These 3 terms describe the process an HVAC technician performs to keep a home or office comfortable at all times. HVAC technicians design, install and maintain these systems for corporations and individuals. HVAC technicians work in a wide range of occupations but are most predominantly an in-home service technician. An HVAC tech has the capacity to test, repair, adjust and maintain HVAC systems.
Job Description: HVAC technicians are responsible for repairing, installing and maintaining all types of HVAC systems. These systems include but are not limited to heating and cooling systems, humidifiers, dehumidifiers and central air conditioning units. HVAC technicians must have a working knowledge of these systems as well as an understanding of how they work in order to maintain them properly. If the temperature in a home fluctuates during the day it can be a sign an HVAC technician needs to adjust or replace any parts that may be malfunctioning along with addressing those specific areas.
In addition to making sure a home’s temperature stays comfortable, an HVAC technician needs to make sure it is constantly circulating the air. When a HVAC system is no longer working properly it shuts off the circulation of air in a building, this is dangerous for those inside. The air circulates through the HVAC system and makes sure every part of the home or office receives fresh air.
HVAC technicians also fix and repair other related appliances that might be connected to a heating and cooling system such as humidifiers or dehumidifiers. These appliances work in conjunction with an HVAC system but may need repairs on their own when they are not working correctly. HVAC technicians must also be able to diagnose and fix other problems such as a furnace running too often or a heating unit not lighting at all.
The primary responsibility of an HVAC technician is to bring a home or office up to a comfortable temperature. If a home is too warm, the HVAC system would be lowering the temperature. A technician must also make sure no rooms are too hot and that the heat distributes evenly. This can be tricky to do if many walls are made out of different materials or if there are obstructions in the way like furniture, animals or children’s toys.
An HVAC technician must make sure their employer’s clients stay comfortable year-round as well. This means understanding the seasons and how a heating and cooling system should be adjusted based on the season. The freezing temperatures of winter and sweltering heat of summer must be taken into consideration when performing repair work. It can be as simple adjusting a thermostat or as complicated as rewiring the entire HVAC system in order to adjust for temperature fluctuations.
An HVAC technician is also responsible for keeping the air that circulates throughout a building clean. This is done through cleaning and maintaining filters, vacuuming coils used to circulate the air and replacing dirty filter cartridges. As well as making sure there are no unpleasant odors being emitted by an HVAC system, this includes mold, mildew or natural gas.
Work Environment/Physical Requirements
Depending on the type of HVAC system, an HVAC technician may need to climb ladders or enter crawlspaces or attics. An HVAC technician needs to be able to lift heavy equipment and occasionally move it around without straining themselves physically. An HVAC technician also needs the ability to bend and kneel when working in tight spaces.
If an HVAC tech works in a laboratory setting, they need to have a strong understanding of electronics and electro-mechanical equipment. This is because many of the pieces of equipment used by technicians are highly complex, computerized and technologically advanced. An HVAC technician may also need to be able to read blueprints and schematics when determining what part of an HVAC unit needs to be fixed.
An HVAC technician must have a keen sense of hearing and the ability to listen closely. This is because an HVAC system will emit unnerving sounds when it is malfunctioning. An HVAC tech must be able to hear the difference between a regular noise and an irregular sound that means something is wrong with the system. An HVAC technician also needs good eyesight because many parts of an HVAC unit are small and in tight spaces.
An HVAC technician typically receives an associates degree or a two year program at a technical school to become an HVAC technician. A two year program is more in-depth and includes classes such as math, physics, chemistry and biology. These courses teach a technician how to use calculations/calculators, charts, graphs and tables.
A 2-year degree is the minimum level of education needed to work as an HVAC technician but many employers look favorably on technicians who have an education beyond that. HVAC technicians who have an associates degree in heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems have a better chance of getting the highest paying positions.
At the end of a two-year program, a technician may receive certification through the National HVAC Technician Organization. This certification will give an HVAC tech more job opportunities because more employers will be looking for technicians with this certification. Many people who hold this certification earn good incomes and work as in-home HVAC technicians.
Maintaining heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems is essential to the overall health and comfort of a building. If a home is too hot or too cold it can make people feel uncomfortable and even sick. HVAC technicians are also responsible for making sure all parts of the system are working properly at all times to make sure everyone in a building gets the best environment possible.
At Spectrum Heating and Air Conditioning, we have been providing HVAC services since 2021. We’re a family owned and operated team of experts that knows the best way to protect your home or office. Our team is always up-to-date on the latest technological advances for this growing industry, so we can offer you the top quality workmanship every time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our team!