What Does An HVAC Technician Do?

An HVAC technician is responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. 

They work in residential and commercial settings to ensure these systems function properly and efficiently.

In some cases, they may also be responsible for providing regular maintenance or servicing to prevent system breakdowns. HVAC technicians use various tools and equipment to complete tasks, including hand tools, power tools, testing equipment and computerized diagnostic tools. 

They may also work with refrigerants, which can be dangerous if not handled properly. 

If you want to become an HVAC Technician, visit Next Level Jobs’ Workforce Ready Grant page to learn if you are eligible for free certification. 

An HVAC technician examines multiple air conditioning units
What does an HVAC technician do?

What skills do you need to be an HVAC technician? 

HVAC technicians must have a good understanding of the four main types of systems. They also have to troubleshoot and repair them effectively. Those systems are: 

  • Split Systems
  • Hybrid Systems
  • Duct Free Systems
  • Packaged Heating and Air Systems

They must also be able to read and interpret technical manuals and blueprints.

HVAC Technicians also need specific soft skills such as patience, customer service and a good attitude because they will often be face-to-face with clients or customers.

HVAC can also be physically demanding, so the ability to handle physical wear and tear is essential. 

What does a day in the life of an HVAC technician look like?

A day in the life of an HVAC technician can vary depending on the job they are working on. However, there are some common tasks that most technicians will perform: 

  • Inspecting and testing HVAC systems to ensure they are operating correctly
  • Installing new HVAC systems or repairing existing ones
  • Performing routine maintenance on HVAC systems, such as cleaning and replacing air filters
  • Troubleshooting HVAC problems and resolving them promptly
  • Providing customers with information about how to properly use and care for their HVAC system

No day is the same. 

Some projects can take a few hours, while others can take up to two days, depending on the problem’s difficulty level.

Typical HVAC Schedule

Depending on your company, you could have a typical 9-5 work schedule starting in the office and then traveling to local places to make service calls for the day. 

HVAC work schedules can be inconsistent. It is common to be randomly called out for a night appointment or an emergency call. An eight-hour day can easily turn into a 12-hour day. There are also downtime periods, where you may only have a few service calls that day, and the rest of the day is open.

In the beginning, you will have someone else helping you along the way; this is the first few years of being an HVAC apprentice; after gaining more experience, you will complete projects independently. 

HVAC Work Sites

Depending on where you are needed, your work site could be residential, hospitals, factories, or commercial buildings.  Most service calls are indoors; however, there will be times when you have to do a job outside, no matter what the weather is that day or night.

What are the duties of an HVAC technician?

HVAC technicians have many responsibilities, from installation and maintenance to repair and replacement. They may work on residential and commercial properties, ensuring that the HVAC system runs smoothly and efficiently. In some cases, the technician may also be responsible for providing customer service and support.

The HVAC technician’s duties vary depending on the specific job. Some of the most common tasks include:

  • Installation of new HVAC systems
  • Inspecting and maintaining existing HVAC systems
  • Repairing HVAC systems when they break down
  • Replacing worn or damaged parts 

How many hours do HVAC Techs work a day?

The working hours of an HVAC Technician vary. 

It can be a typical eight-hour day with a few on-calls or a 10-15 hour day if the project is more complex and urgent. Often because of the immediate need to fix HVAC problems, it’s very common to get emergency calls, especially during winter.

Emergencies can happen day or night. 

Safety issues and concerns for HVAC Technicians

HVAC Technicians are responsible for ensuring the safety of both themselves and those around them while they work. 

They face a variety of safety hazards, including electrical shock, exposure to harmful chemicals, and working in confined spaces.

HVAC Technicians may be exposed to toxic chemicals while working with refrigerants and other substances. 

These chemicals can cause health problems if inhaled, ingested, or come into contact with the skin or eyes. To protect themselves, HVAC Technicians should always work in well-ventilated areas and wear PPE such as gloves, goggles, and respirators.

HVAC Technicians must be aware of these dangers and take proper precautions to protect themselves and others.

HVAC Career Pros and Cons

HVAC careers have a lot to offer those looking for a challenging and rewarding job. However, it’s important to know about potential drawbacks that you should be aware of before deciding to pursue an HVAC career.

Pros of an HVAC Career

1. HVAC careers can be financially rewarding. HVAC Technicians can earn a good salary, and there is potential for career advancement. According to Mint Intuit, the average salary is $51,000 annually in Indiana.

2. HVAC careers offer a lot of job satisfaction. HVAC Technicians help people keep their homes and businesses comfortable, and they can take pride in their work. HVAC will always be an in-demand career for residential and commercial purposes. 

3. HVAC careers offer the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology. HVAC Technicians work with some of the most advanced equipment available and stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in the field. This is perfect for the curious problem-solving brain. 

Cons of an HVAC Career

1. HVAC careers can be physically demanding. HVAC Technicians often have to lift heavy equipment, climb ladders, and work in cramped spaces.

2. HVAC careers can be stressful. HVAC Technicians usually work under tight deadlines and deal with demanding customers. There is a need for flexibility in a technician’s schedule. 

3. There are numerous safety hazards. The tech is exposed to certain chemicals, tight spaces to crawl in, and varying temperatures.

Is an HVAC career worth it?

There are a lot of different factors to consider when determining if an HVAC career is worth it. 

First and foremost, you’ll need to consider your goals and what you hope to achieve by working in this field. An HVAC career may be right for you if you’re looking for stability in an in-demand field and a good income.

This career is well suited for those who enjoy working with their hands, solving problems and who don’t like staying in one place for a long time. This career can have you in multiple environments and various settings.