5 Must-Have HVAC Tools to get you Started after Trade SchoolSeptember 25, 2018
Look in the van or garage of any tradesperson and you’re likely to find a vast array of equipment, bolts, wiring, and other raw materials. While this doesn’t build up overnight, some tools are much more important than others, and there are certain essential pieces you will need to carry out a routine diagnosis of problems and simple repairs once you finish HVAC training.
All the items mentioned below will serve you well throughout your career, so try to avoid penny-pinching when you’re in the trade shop. With proper maintenance, these tools will last for years, and quickly end up paying for themselves. Here are five pieces of equipment you shouldn’t be without during routine HVAC tasks.
A Reliable Power Drill is an Asset in Most Routine Repairs
Proper diagnosis of HVAC problems will require the removal of unit covers, so make sure you have a power drill to remove any screws. It will also be needed to secure new HVAC systems in position, so this is a tool that will have many daily uses.
Get a drill that has at least one rechargeable battery, so that it will keep going for as long as possible in a working day. Professionals with an HVAC diploma recommend finding a light, cordless drill with a minimum of 18 volts, so that you can efficiently carry out routine repair tasks.
Using Refrigeration Gauges After HVAC Training
This is one of the more unique trade tools possessed by HVAC technicians. Refrigeration gauges measure the pressure of liquids and gases in a cooling system, and are a very important piece of equipment in this field.
Refrigeration gauges are essential pieces of HVAC equipment
The gauges are connected to a brass manifold to which hoses can then be attached. It’s essential to have R-143a and R12 manifolds to diagnose and repair modern systems. The gauges are normally read using an old-fashioned needle, but digital readouts are becoming increasingly popular.
Test Electrical Power with a Multi-meter
Most heating, ventilation or air conditioning systems require electrical components to function, and this is often what necessitates the visit of an HVAC technician. A multi-meter is crucial for diagnosing electrical problems because it can measure voltage, current and resistance levels. It’s therefore a simple tool for assessing whether there’s a weakness in the system. An electrical sensor isn’t as useful as a multi-meter, but is also a handy tool for spotting whether electricity is present.
Make Easy Work of Metal Cutting with these Tools
HVAC training exposes students to different forms of metalworking, and there are some important tools needed for these jobs. Tin snips cut metal, and technicians need ‘left’, ‘right’ and ‘straight’ versions to cut in different directions. Shears are less precise, but excellent tools for long, straight cuts on sheet metal.
Tubing and piping also needs to be cut to exact measurements during HVAC installation or repair, so find yourself a tubing cutter. This unique device can be adjusted to the diameter of the tube, and slowly splits it while spinning around.
A tubing cutter being used on copper piping
Problems are Easier to Diagnose with a Powerful Flashlight
Nobody wants an unnecessarily large HVAC system installed in their house, so manufacturers make sure that the inner components fit snugly in place. However, this can make repairs a bit trickier, especially if it’s difficult to see into some smaller crevasses. Make sure you have a reliable, sturdy and portable flashlight for repair jobs to make it easier to diagnose these problems. It may not be a dedicated HVAC tool, but it certainly makes life much easier.
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