If you like the idea of a job where you get to perform new tasks, visit new locations and face new challenges every day, becoming a heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) technician might be the right career move for you.
What is a typical day like in the life of an HVACR tech? That’s hard to say because every day is a little different. In really cold or really hot weather, you can expect to see lots of opportunity for overtime as gas or oil furnaces and boilers and air conditioning units are taxed by constant use and often need repair. In less severe weather, you might work at a slower pace, as you perform installations and routine maintenance. While your to-do list on some days could be scheduled weeks in advance, on other days you might find yourself on one emergency call after another. And whether you choose industrial or residential HVACR, one thing you can be assured of is that there’s never a dull day! Here’s what you might encounter if you work as a residential HVACR technician:
What you might need
HVACR technicians often use a company vehicle to get to appointments. Their tools-of-the-trade include hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers and drills, but also equipment like pipe cutters and benders, pressure gauges, thermometers, voltmeters and acetylene torches.
Where you’ll go
As a residential HVACR technician, you’ll be working in and out of people’s houses, and even on new home construction! Wherever you do your job, one of your most important responsibilities as an HVACR technician is to provide excellent customer service. You’ll begin every day working with clients to provide them the fixes they need and the service they deserve.
What you might do –installation, maintenance and repair
As an HVACR technician, you might spend your day installing duct work in a home’s attic for a central air conditioning system or working wiring through its walls. Or you might be working on the installation of a heating system.
If you’re on a maintenance call, you could perform routine work on air conditioning units by vacuuming loose dust and debris before cleaning the ac coils with a chemical agent that removes dirt, mold, mildew and odors. As part of your service, you would also clean or replace all covers and filters and test the unit to make certain it’s functioning properly.
One of an HVACR technician’s most important jobs is to troubleshoot systems and equipment that are not working properly. If a customer calls complaining that her fridge isn’t keeping food cold, you would use a temperature gauge to see if the refrigerator is down-to-temp. If the unit is plugged in and the condenser fan and compressor are both working, your HVACR training will tell you that the problem must be a refrigerant leak! You’ll find the leak, repair it and then run the unit and test the temperature.
HVACR technicians are the go-to people when heating and air conditioning units aren’t working properly. If a career as an HVACR technician sounds like the kind of hands-on, change-up work you’d like, check out the HVACR program at Porter and Chester Institute today.