Assembling Your Toolkit On A Budget: A Guide For HVAC Technician Grads

January 05, 2024

HVAC technician working on an air conditioning system

A technician is only as good as his tools, so the old saying goes. While an HVAC technician career is notable for its low entry barrier, quality tools are an indispensable expense for budding technicians. As a recent graduate entering the workforce and industry, you may need to manage your budget efficiently, particularly at the earliest stages of your career. One of the first steps in establishing yourself as a capable HVAC professional is assembling a toolkit that equips you for success without breaking the bank. This blog will explore how HVAC technician grads can build a comprehensive toolkit on a budget.

Prioritize Essential Tools While Exploring Budget-Friendly Brands

Start by identifying the essential tools required for your day-to-day tasks. A reliable set of basics includes a quality multimeter, screwdrivers, pliers, wire strippers, and a utility knife. These tools are the backbone of any HVAC technician’s arsenal and should be your first investment. Seek out affordable yet durable options to strike the right balance between quality and cost.

Several reputable brands offer high-quality tools at reasonable prices. Research and compare different brands to find the best value for your money. While investing in durable tools is essential, budget-friendly alternatives often perform just as well as their pricier counterparts.

HVAC technician repairing a commercial cooling system
A multimeter is one of the most essential tools for an HVAC technician.

Take Advantage of Starter Kits and Consider Second-Hand Options

Some manufacturers offer starter kits specifically designed for entry-level technicians. These kits often include various essential tools at a discounted price compared to purchasing each item individually. While you may eventually need to supplement your toolkit, these starter kits can be an excellent way to start without breaking the bank.

After your HVAC technician training, consider second-hand or refurbished tools in your toolkit quest. Seasoned technicians frequently upgrade their toolkits, allowing you to secure dependable tools at a significantly lower cost. Explore online marketplaces and local tool swaps, or tap into your professional network to unearth potential deals. In addition to stretching your budget, this approach will allow you to access quality tools with a proven track record, serving you well at the beginning of your HVAC career.

HVAC technician using his toolkit to repair a system
Starter kits will assist you in your HVAC technician training.

Build Gradually During Your HVAC Technician Training While Investing in Versatile Tools

When assembling a budget-friendly toolkit, focus on versatile tools that perform multiple functions. Opting for quality items like an adjustable wrench or a multi-bit screwdriver saves money and conserves valuable space in your toolkit. Choosing tools that can handle various tasks enhances efficiency and ensures you’re well-prepared for the diverse challenges you may encounter in your HVAC technician career.

Ultimately, assembling a toolkit is an ongoing process. Begin with fundamental tools and incrementally expand your collection as your budget permits. The advantage of this strategy is that it alleviates financial strain and allows you to determine which tools are essential for your specific job responsibilities. With this approach, you can tailor your toolkit to meet your evolving HVAC technician needs, ensuring a cost-effective and well-curated set of tools in the long run.

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How To Prepare For Your Gas Technician Exams After HVAC Technician Training

August 15, 2023

Two HVAC professionals on the job after HVAC technician training

The journey to becoming a full-fledged HVAC Technician will require you to pass your Gas Technician exams. These exams provide a route to proving your professional competence and qualification in diploma and meeting key licensing requirements that prepare you for a lifetime of practice. 

It is mostly by making the mark in these exams that you can give your career a big push, even after all the years of HVAC technician training and work experience. This is why it is important to prepare adequately for your Gas Technician exams. Here, we have provided a few crucial tips to help you prepare for and ace these exams. They are discussed below:

Create a Study Plan and Schedule and Stick to it Throughout HVAC Technician Training

To prepare adequately for your gas technician exams, you need to create a plan that’ll account for your study, practice, and other relevant exam conditions. You must try to settle on a study schedule and a comfortable study location and method that’ll give you enough room to cover sufficient grounds as well as a consistent process to fall back on. You may plan for a physical group study of your peers if you are comfortable with it or check into virtual forums.

HVAC professional preparing for gas technician exams after HVAC technician training
Be consistent with your study schedule after your HVAC technician training.

Gather relevant study materials, practice resources, gas codes, and other resources that’ll help your course. Set out times for reviewing your learning materials from your HVAC technician training and taking on previous exam questions. And after setting up the schedule, make a conscious effort to follow through on it. 

Extensively Review Your Training Materials

The notes, textbooks, and other learning resources from your HVAC Technician courses should provide a handy study guide for exam purposes. So you must go over these materials and get the entire gist of what they contain to prepare you for your upcoming exams. Get a solid grasp of the key concepts behind important topics and research supporting data to break them down into their base form. 

You should find notes on such topics as piping systems, safe practices, local codes and regulations, gas heating basics, and other critical subjects. And when you do, ensure to review them in detail, making sure to note down important points and problem areas that you can seek further clarity on. 

Practice Previous Exam Questions and Use Exam Prep Guides

Gas technician exams from previous years can provide a critical study/exam practice guide for most people. And by solving the problems from these exams repeatedly, you can set yourself up nicely for a successful exam. You’d be coming to terms with the likely exam questions and the topics they touch on while also familiarizing yourself with the exam format and other conditions.

HVAC professional reviewing previous exam questions after HVAC technician training
Practicing past exam questions is another important preparation method for your gas technician exams after HVAC technician training.

By getting the right answers to these questions, you can get an even better understanding of your study materials. This is the same for exam prep books that focus on key areas. They can help you provide targeted learning and give you improved exam leverage. 

Get Relevant Practical Experience 

Some of your gas technician exams will test your appreciation of certain technical skills and knowledge relevant to your discipline. To give you a good chance of success in these exams, ensure to get as much hands-on practice as possible. Your HVAC diploma program should equip you with this practical experience, and further practice beyond the classroom can help you gain extra ground.

Try your hands on critical practical applications/skills like inspection of leaks, venting, and other HVAC installations. Practice with relevant work tools like fasteners, analyzers, cutters, and benders. Work on real-life scenarios that require your use of these skills and you’d be giving yourself a solid headstart in your upcoming exams and future work/career pursuits. 

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Considering HVAC Technician Training? Tools You’ll Use On The Job

April 11, 2023

If you’re thinking of starting an HVAC career, there are many tools you’ll need to get acquainted with, as you’ll use them both during your training and throughout your career. In addition to basic hand tools that most tradespeople need to complete basic tasks, such as screwdrivers, power drills, hammers, and pliers, there are several industry-specific tools you’ll use. With the knowledge and skill to use these tools, your work will be done more efficiently. Read on for a brief introduction to some standard HVAC tools you’ll use after training.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors Are Essential for Safety

As an HVAC technician, you’ll come into contact with many different sources of carbon monoxide gas. These include leaking chimneys, back drafting from gas water heaters, wood burners, furnaces, generators, and any poorly maintained combustion device. Inhaling this deadly molecule deprives the body of oxygen, and in the case of carbon monoxide poisoning, you may only notice some mild symptoms like headache, dizziness, or fatigue. Since carbon monoxide gas is undetectable, you’ll need to use detectors. These devices sound an alarm when an unsafe amount of carbon monoxide is detected in the air. They can be life-saving.

Refrigeration Gauges Allow You to Manifold Gas and Liquid Pressure

After HVAC Technician training, you’ll use manifold gauges frequently. In fact, many consider them essential HVAC tools. They measure the pressure of liquids and gasses in a cooling system and are used primarily as a diagnostic tool, alerting you to any problems with the operation of a system. They can also be used as a service tool, releasing moisture, debris, or contaminated refrigerant from a system. Using a manifold gauge, you can add refrigerant to a cooling system. Digital gauges offer more efficiency and accuracy.

Refrigeration gauges are essential tools you’ll use after HVAC courses

You’ll Use a Multimeter Regularly After HVAC Technician Training 

Multimeters are essential tools that you’ll regularly use after completing HVAC courses. They are used for safety reasons to detect electrical current and notify you of the presence of voltage in order to protect you from electrocution. Multimeters also aid in the troubleshooting of electrical components within a cooling system, like switches, wires, and outlets. It’s important that you use a multimeter specifically designed for HVAC technicians with a thermocouple (air temperature sensor) with a 1000-degree range. HVAC multimeters should also have attachments that are compatible with the electrical components of ventilation systems.

Use multimeters for safety and troubleshooting after HVAC technician training

HVAC Software Will Help You Streamline Your Workflow

As an HVAC technician, your success depends greatly on your ability to manage your time, keep track of your invoicing, and maintain good customer relationships. Industry-specific business software can help you greatly improve your efficiency. Software tools that feature drag-and-drop scheduling streamline the invoicing process, and customer relationship management technology are great options you might work within your career.

Our HVAC Technician diploma program is designed to prepare students for the G3 and G2 Gas Technician exam with hands-on training from expert instructors. North American Trade Schools is accredited by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). The TSSA promotes and enforces public safety in Ontario. Our HVAC Technician Diploma Program and all of the career training programs we offer meet the standards set by the TSSA, meaning that you can trust us to provide all the skills needed to become a certified HVAC technician.

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Considering an HVAC Technician Career? Safety Practices to Remember

February 09, 2023

An HVAC Technician is a skilled professional that installs, repairs, and maintains, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration units. If you are considering becoming an HVAC Technician, there are certain safety principles you will need to know and remember. Once you start your career, you will find that you’ll be working with noxious gasses and electrical systems, and as such, you’ll need to remember safety protocols to avoid any harm. Read on for some safety practices you’ll want to remember throughout your training and career.

Wear PPE After HVAC Technician Training

As an HVAC Technician, you are likely to be exposed to noxious fumes, as well as other particles such as dust, debris, and chemicals which may cause harm. It is essential always to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while you work. For instance, a respirator will help protect you against fumes, and safety goggles can help protect your eyes against any debris or harmful liquids. Other important PPE you may need as an HVAC Technician includes:

  • Safety gloves
  • A hard hat
  • Non-slip shoes
  • Earplugs

During your HVAC Technician Diploma program, you will learn the importance of protective gear, including how it should be worn and why it is needed in different scenarios. For example, wearing earplugs when working in a loud environment can help avoid damaging your hearing. Always wearing your safety gear on the job will help prevent you from suffering serious harm.

During HVAC Technician training, you’ll learn the importance of PPE.

Be Cautious When Handling Chemicals 

An important safety practice to always consider while working as an HVAC Technician is to be cautious with chemicals. You will be working with chemicals daily, and some, such as solvents and refrigerants, can be very harmful if not handled correctly. They may cause burns or in some severe cases, poisoning. During HVAC Technician training, you will be taught how to handle these chemicals safely. 

Practical examples will be given and overseen by instructors, where you will need to dispose of, replace, and transport chemicals safely. This will be done using the knowledge of rules and regulations you learn during your training. For example, you’ll learn how to remove and store refrigerant chemicals safely.

During your HVAC Technician diploma, you will learn to work safely with chemicals.

Turn Off the Electricity While you Work 

When working with units that have a water system or have general electrical issues, it is safer to turn off the main circuit breaker before starting work. Water is a conductor of electricity and can cause electrocution. Water leaking onto the unit you are working on may also be damaging to the unit, as it may cause a short circuit. This can be not only damaging for the unit but is a safety and fire hazard, as well. Additionally, it will be essential to analyze a unit before you begin working on it to see if there are any fluid leaks. This will help you better understand if you need to turn off the main circuit breaker. 

The HVAC training you receive at NATS will help you identify leaks, teach you how to fix them, and help you understand the safety practices to follow throughout your career.

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3 Key Installation Tips to Remember After Your HVAC Technician Training

November 01, 2022

In recent years, we’ve seen record-high temperatures across the globe. Many homeowners are recognizing the importance of good ventilation and cooling units–and that’s where you come in as an aspiring HVAC technician. 

HVAC technicians are responsible for the installation, maintenance, and repair of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Here are a few installation tips to remember when installing HVAC units, and how our HVAC technician program can help you launch a successful career in this industry! 

1. Start by Determining Your Heating and Cooling Loads 

The heating and cooling load refers to the rate at which heat should be supplied to or removed from a space in order to maintain a particular temperature range. Several factors go into determining this like the location, size, and age of a home. In addition, you’ll need to take into account the materials that were used to make up a home, the number of doors and windows, the amount of direct sunlight, the amount of shade, and whether or not the homeowners have special needs due to allergies and other health conditions. 

After HVAC school, be sure to determine the heating and cooling load before installing a unit.

Once you’ve come up with this important information, you can go on to take a look at the ductwork that’s been done and make any needed repairs or replacements. As you’ll learn in HVAC technician training, poor ductwork can cause imbalances and, as a result, block airflow and decrease air quality. To boost your ductwork, you may consider adding insulation that can improve the performance of HVAC systems.

2. Be Sure That You’ve Chosen the Correct Sized Unit

A large unit is not always better. If a system is too large for a homeowner’s space, it actually becomes inefficient. In fact, systems that are too large for a particular space can experience degradation faster, which will affect the longevity and performance of the unit. That being said, a small unit wouldn’t be appropriate for a large space as it will not effectively heat or cool the space. 

How can you ensure that you’ve sized the unit correctly? First, determine the square footage of the space. Then, multiply the square footage by 25 BTU (British thermal units), the rough amount of energy it takes to heat or cool one square foot. This will give you your base BTU amount. Finally, take the height of the ceilings into account. If the ceilings are above 8 feet, multiply the base BTU amount by 1.25. This is a very basic calculation that does not take into account the climate, amount of people living in the home, or the number and placement of doors and windows. You’ll learn more about this process in HVAC school.

Be sure to calculate the base BTU amount to choose the right-sized unit for a particular space.

3. Make it a Habit to Check Your Lines After HVAC Technician Training 

Refrigerant lines connect an outdoor air conditioner or heat pump to the indoor evaporator coil. It’s essential to check these lines for leaks. If you find refrigerant lines that are in poor condition, be sure to run high-quality replacement lines in a location that provides easy access. In the HVAC Technician Diploma program at NATS, you’ll learn how to install and maintain HVAC systems and work with tools like metal snips, electric drills, testing devices, and more. Students can write their G3 gas technician exam after the first module and the G2 gas technician exam after graduation. 

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Interview Tips for Those Wanting to Become an HVAC Technician

October 06, 2020

hvac trainingFor future HVAC technicians just completing their training, there are many exciting career opportunities available. Graduates can look for jobs as HVAC Installers, Technicians, Maintenance Assistants, or Maintenance Technicians. In Ontario, job opportunities in HVAC are good. Part of the reason for this is that population growth is driving the need for more buildings, especially in certain urban areas. 

When interviewing for your first job in HVAC, it’s important to know what employers are looking for and how to present yourself in order to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward. Read on for a few tips on how to ace your interview and land the job.  

Know How to Highlight Your HVAC Training in the Interview

When interviewing for an HVAC career, it’s important to research the company you’re applying to, so that you know a bit more about what they could be expecting from you. Try to determine the types of services they provide (whether they’re primarily residential or commercial), what kinds of locations they cater to, and what kinds of equipment they typically utilize. This kind of information will help you to highlight the skills you have that will be most impressive to the employer. 

Graduates of hands-on training programs like the North American Trade Schools’ HVAC technician training program can reference the marketable skills they know will impress their potential employer simply by doing a bit of research on the company they’re applying for. 

hvac technician training
Finding out about what kind of services the company offers can be helpful for an interview

Become Familiar with Possible Questions You Might Be Asked

While you might not be able to anticipate every question, it’s good to come prepared with a few possible interview questions. You’ll probably be asked simple but important questions like what motivates you, what about their company interests you, and other questions which allow them to get to know you as a person. They also might ask you some questions more relevant to the HVAC industry, such as inquiring why you’re interested in HVAC, what your driving record is like, and more. Prepare answers that show you’re ready for an HVAC career and have excelled in your HVAC training.

Prepare Questions to Ask Your Potential Employer

It’s also good to have in mind a list of questions that you would like to ask during the interview. These questions should be about the company specifically, demonstrating that you’ve taken the time to get to know them and showing them that you’re interested. Your questions could be about the company’s expectations for you as an employee, what a typical day on the job might look like, what about the company is especially unique, or any other company-related questions you might have.

A “Thank You” Never Hurts

Lastly, remember to thank the interviewer after you’ve finished, in addition to sending a follow-up thank you email. Make sure they know you’re interested in the job!

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What Those with HVAC Technician Training Should Know About the Benefits of Preventative Maintenance

September 15, 2020

hvac technician trainingThere’s nothing worse than the AC breaking down on a blazing hot day—apart from maybe the heating system fizzling out when it’s a frigid -30 degrees! HVAC technicians become very popular individuals at the height of summer and winter, serving to rescue home and business owners from uncomfortable temperatures by performing emergency repairs as they come up.

Keeping HVAC units in good working order through routine checkups is another important role of the technician. Here’s why routine maintenance practices are important for keeping these systems in their best shape all year round!

Routine Maintenance Helps Owners Breathe Easier

Respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis can often be traced back to the living conditions of the home, with the dirty HVAC unit a prime culprit in many cases. The problem comes from condensation forming in the coils and ducts of the AC unit, which can lead to all kinds of harmful mold and bacteria growth.

Customers who keep to a routine maintenance schedule for their HVAC units are ensuring that all of the harmful contaminants that may have built up inside the system are eliminated. A service technician is responsible for cleaning filters, coils, and other components of the unit on a routine visit, which leads to a cleaner unit, thereby improving air quality.

A Well-Maintained System Can Save the Owner Money

What would a home or business owner care more about than breathing clean air? How about more money in the old pocketbook! If you’re interested in HVAC technician training, you should know that keeping an HVAC system in good working order can help the owner save money by optimizing efficiency to keep energy costs down. A well-maintained HVAC system uses a lot less energy and puts less wear and tear on the machinery of the HVAC unit, running a good 20% more efficiently than a neglected unit. 

hvac school
A well-maintained HVAC unit is much more effective at heating and cooling the home!

Regular checkups in the fall and spring can keep efficiency strong, and help an owner get a good ten years out of their HVAC investment. Routine checkups also allow the service tech to catch a small problem needing a quick, inexpensive fix before it turns into a much more complicated problem requiring lots of work—and lots of coin to repair. 

Fewer Emergency Breakdowns and More Warranty Opportunities

People run their HVAC systems pretty hard in the summer and winter months, which can lead to breakdowns. These machines are designed to handle the energy levels the owner demands, but only if the unit is being looked after properly. If you’re seeking your HVAC diploma, you should know that breakdown prevention during the hottest and coldest times of the year is reliant on keeping routine maintenance and inspection checks. 

By keeping up regular twice-a-year visits, the owner may even be lucky enough to discover that a part that needs work or full replacement is still under warranty. Longer waiting times between visits reduce the opportunity to spot a problem before a warranty period has reached its expiration date. 

What Are Some Maintenance Tasks Those Attending HVAC School Should Know About?

There are a few things to watch out for during routine maintenance checks. On heating systems, the tech will need to check: fuel lines and power sources, inspect combustion chambers, inspect the heat exchanger for cracks or other evidence of damage, as well as check for carbon monoxide leaks.

hvac diploma
A service tech will check for signs of damage or wear and tear during routine visits

On cooling systems, the tech needs to take a look at the fans and blowers, thermostat, system controls, ductwork systems, evaporator and condenser coils, and condensate drains to ensure everything is clean, undamaged, and functioning properly. Additionally, fans and motors must be lubricated, and refrigerant levels must be filled.

All of these tasks need to be performed at regular intervals to ensure that systems keep running properly.

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HVAC Installation Mistakes to Avoid After HVAC Training

August 03, 2020

It’s not just the quality of an HVAC unit that counts, but how it’s installed. As an HVAC technician, your responsibility is to install these systems and detect any issues that can arise within their many different components and figure out how to correct them. However, there are several mistakes you can find yourself making if you aren’t careful with the installation process.

Since learning how to maintain and install HVAC systems are a significant component of your job, it’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to learn best installation practices. Here are some of the more common mistakes you may find yourself making after your HVAC training.

Ductwork is One of the Most Important Factors to Watch After HVAC School

It’s important to be sure you choose the correctly-sized duct for the HVAC unit you’re installing, and use high-quality materials in the process (e.g. using a heavy-duty sealant instead of tape, and adding R-6 insulation wrap).

If you don’t, it can create issues with both air flow and leaking, and potentially result in gaps, dust, loud noises, or an overheating furnace. As a result, the unit itself won’t function properly, and those living in the home will likely see their energy bills rise. Not only that, but up to 30% of the HVAC unit’s overall output can be compromised when not properly insulated.

Make sure ductwork is the correct size and not made with cheap materials

When it Comes to the Furnace, Size is Everything

By “size is also everything”, we don’t mean they need to be as big as you can possibly get them. Rather, the important thing to consider after finishing your HVAC training is to find a furnace that is sized proportionately to the one previously in place, and is also a newer model.

This not only helps with the flow of air in the home, but with the system’s efficiency as a whole. Should you not pick a correctly sized furnace, problems could occur. This includes the unit overworking itself to provide better cooling or heat if too small, or uneven temperatures if too big. However, be sure to double-check that the size calculations are correct, even if it’s technically the same size as the previous furnace.

The furnace must not be either too small or too big

Make Sure Air is Properly Distributed at All Times

This is one of the most crucial parts of a successful HVAC installation, as it can otherwise lead to uneven cooling or heating. HVAC school students should be aware that proper air distribution design is a must, and that the ductwork is symmetrical in size to the unit’s output capacity.

To achieve this, apply new ductwork rather than the preexisting one, and be sure it’s distributing air evenly. Another of the more important aspects to keep in mind is proper ventilation. You’ll need to ensure the HVAC unit you’ve installed has a strong balance of both hot and cold air, and that the air is balanced and flows cleanly throughout the home.

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What Students in HVAC Technician Training Should Know About Heat Pumps

February 18, 2020

HVAC technician course
Heat pump systems are often used in air conditioners, heaters, and refrigerators to transfer hot or cold air using electricity. They are energy-efficient and can be used as air conditioners on hot summer days, or heaters during the winter months.

Since heat pumps are such a common tool in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, aspiring technicians should expect to become very familiar with them throughout their education and future career. Read on for an introduction to heat pumps to get you warmed up!

Learn How Heat Pumps Work With an HVAC Diploma

Heat pumps are not a new technology. In fact, the first heat pump was invented in 1948 by Robert C. Webber. Since then, the technology has been developed to resemble the air conditioning and heating units we have in our homes and offices today. HVAC technician courses will give you the opportunity to learn hands-on how this technology works.

Heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling services. In heating mode, heat is absorbed from outside by the condenser coil and transferred to the interior space via air vents. Even on cold winter days, heat pumps are able to collect warm air from outside. However, if there’s not enough warm air outside, heat pumps can use electric energy or an additional gas furnace to provide extra heat.


HVAC technician training
Heat pumps can keep your home toasty and warm in winter, and refreshingly cool in summer

In air conditioning mode, the cycle is reversed. Warm air inside the house is pulled into the system with a motorized fan and transferred outside, usually behind or underneath the condenser coil. Cool and dehumidified air then enters the home through the air vents.

Heat Pumps are Energy Efficient

Eco-conscious homeowners will be relieved to discover that heat pumps are incredibly energy efficient. As you will learn in HVAC technician training, heat pumps generate 4 units of thermal energy per 1 unit of electricity used – that’s an efficiency rating of 400%!

In contrast, electrical heaters are 100% efficient, meaning that they generate 1 unit of thermal energy for every 1 unit of electricity. As well as this, heat pumps generate zero emissions, so are a great option for people that want to warm or cool their homes without damaging the planet.

Air Source vs. Ground Source Heat Pumps

As an HVAC technician, you will need to know about two main types of heat pumps: air source and ground source. Air source heat pumps are the most common type and absorb or reject heat from the outdoor air.

As the name suggests, ground source heat pumps get heat from the ground or from water. These are sometimes referred to as geothermal heat pumps and are actually slightly more efficient than air source systems. However, they are more expensive and complicated to install as the systems will need to be built into the soil around a home.

What are the Main Heat Pump Parts?

Air source and ground source heat pumps are made up of a number of components. These include:

  • Compressor– to move the refrigerant through the system
  • Control board – to control whether the system is in cooling or heating mode
  • Condenser coil – to transfer heat outside in cooling mode
  • Evaporator coil–to transfer heat inside in heating mode
  • Refrigerant – a chemical substance that moves heat through the system
  • Thermostat – to choose the desired temperature

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A Guide to Acetylene Torches to Get You Ready for HVAC School

January 23, 2020

HVAC school

Acetylene torches are to HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technicians what calculators are to mathematicians: an essential tool with many uses. Providing one of the most powerful methods of welding and cutting metals, this tool is widely used in the industry to fix leaks and solder line sets.

But like any gas-powered tool, if you want to use it properly, there are a few key things you’ll need to know and some safety regulations you’ll need to follow. Read on to learn all about acetylene torches and the role they will play in your HVAC career.

What is Acetylene & How Can You Use it?

As one would expect, the basis of an acetylene torch is the hydrocarbon compound called Acetylene. What you may not know is that this element can get really, really hot. In fact, acetylene produces the third hottest chemical flame, and can reach an astounding 3,300 degrees Celsius when mixed with oxygen. 

Acetylene is a highly unstable compound. However, once you combine it with another chemical, you can use acetylene safely and easily while still benefiting from its thermal capabilities. Oxygen is the substance most commonly combined with acetylene – but it’s important to note that the term “acetylene torch” can also be used to describe any type of oxy-fuel torch where other gases such as propane and propylene are used. 

Regardless of which chemicals are involved, the two gases are present in two separate gas tanks, which are connected to the torch by two metal hoses. The flame is produced when these two gases are passed through the hoses and combined. When this flame contacts metal, it produces a chemical reaction that initiates a process known as oxyfuel cutting.

Acetylene Torch Safety Regulations

As with any power tool, it’s important to know how to safely handle an acetylene torch before you put it to use. One advantage of HVAC school is learning the safest ways to handle the equipment you’ll encounter in your career. Graduates of North American Trade Schools will learn the safety regulations and precautions they need to take to operate an acetylene torch.


Safety is crucial when you use an acetylene torch 
Safety is crucial when you use an acetylene torch


One procedure you will need to learn is how to check your acetylene torch before using it to make sure it’s functioning properly. Firstly, you should check that the torch is closed, and ensure that the pressure adjustment screws are blacked out. Then you can separately open the gas cylinder valves and adjust the regulator p/a screws to change the pressure settings. Next, you can open and close valves separately and make any other changes to the pressure settings on the regulators.

HVAC Technician Training 101: Using an Acetylene Torch

HVAC technician training will allow you to learn how to use these power tools through a hands-on approach, but it’s good practice to know a bit about the steps in using them before you begin your studies.

To use an acetylene torch, you’ll first have to light it by purging the oxygen and fuel gas lines – separately – and opening the fuel gas valve slightly. Next, using a striker, ignite the flame. You can then adjust the gas flow to make the flame form a sharp tip. Now your acetylene torch is ready to use.


Acetylene torches can generate a fine, hot flame in order to mold materials with precision
Acetylene torches can generate a fine, hot flame in order to mold materials with precision


Once you’re finished with the torch, you can shut it down by closing the oxygen and fuel gas torch valves. If you don’t plan on using the torch for a while, make sure that all the regulator gauges read zero. 

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