What Tools Does an HVAC Technician Need?

An HVAC tech guy needs a variety of tools to perform his job correctly. Here is a checklist of must-have tools for an HVAC tech guy.

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, more commonly known as HVAC, provide indoor thermal comfort and breathable and safe air quality. These three functions are interrelated. So, the following list is undoubtedly the must-haves an HVAC technician may need for doing his job.

HVAC is an integral part of the domestic and commercial environments. Different structures fall into this category, like- homes, offices, schools, hospitals, hotels, industrial buildings, and vehicles such as cars, trains, airplanes, ships, submarines, and even marine environments. The system maintains the balance between internal and external temperature through heating and air conditioning. So, to keep the machines running, the HVAC technician needs the right tools at the reach of his hands.

what tools does an hvac technician need

Tools Every HVAC Technician Needs

HVAC tech guys have the training of three versatile professions: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This tool list includes the must-have kits in every HVAC technician’s toolbox.

HVAC Tool: Essentials

Pliers

Pliers

Pliers are a handy tool for bending and compressing materials. They are also useful for holding pipes, bolts, and wires.

The different shapes and sizes of pliers include- large, medium, small wire-pliers, needle-nose pliers, linesman, open-face, channel-lock pliers, etc. For example- Wire-pliers are used in cutting heavy wire, and needle-nose pliers for the gripping wire. 

A set of insulated pliers is good to go for longevity and durability.

Screwdrivers

Screwdrivers are one of the fundamental tools of HVAC tools. HVAC technicians perform various jobs requiring a range of screwdrivers to screw and unscrew different sizes of bolts and screws. We suggest keeping a full range of Phillips-head and flathead screwdrivers for any length of screws. You may buy a multi-purpose screwdriver as an alternative. Try to pick the best quality that resists slipping and with insulated handles to prevent electrical shock. 

Hammer

It is a must-have kit in your toolbox as an HVAC technician. The best hammers are standard in size, lightweight, and easy-to-grip.

As wood handles break and have a slippery grip, selecting a steel or fiberglass hammer is preferable. Fiberglass is lightweight, where steel is more durable but heavy. Choose according to your need and preference.

Flashlight/Headlamp

Flashlight/Headlamp

HVAC technician’s always in need of a good quality headlamp. A reliable flashlight will provide the best service in complex situations. Moreover, a headlamp will let you work freely, keeping your tech-hands free.

Wrenches

A wrench is also known as a spanner. It’s a must-have tool in an HVAC toolbox. This tool is used for turning objects like- nuts, bolts, and rotary fasteners. It provides grip and advantage in applying circulatory force to the mentioned objects or keeps them from twisting.

You’ll need a wide range of wrenches. A pipe wrench is one of a kind. You can use it for removing or attaching the pipes attached to furnaces while repairing or installing them. 

Cutters

tool used for cutting wires

A cutter is a tool used for cutting wires or removing objects. Metal and tubing cutters are useful in the case of HVAC operations. There are variations like- single-point or multipoint tools. Having both the variety is a plus. Start with a smaller set, then progress into a broader range. 

Retractable Tape Measure

As an HVAC technician, you should have a retractable tape measure that is at least 25 feet. It's long enough to cover most jobs. And you must know how to read it accurately.

Cordless Battery-Powered Drill

These types of drills are quite useful in the field. On an HVAC field, you may not find a power socket. A battery-powered cordless drill would be handy in that situation.

You should choose one that is durable and reliable. Equip the toolbox with at least two batteries to give you back up.

HVAC Tool: Advanced

Reciprocating Saw Blades

The machine-powered tool saws through almost everything, may it be pipes, rods, bolts, rebar, or nails. The characteristic alone makes it a valuable tool in an HVAC toolbox.  It’s also useful to cut through sheet metal, drywall, wood, or old condensers. The metal cutting blade works by the push and pulls motion. The saw is commonly known by the brand name Sawzall. While buying, you’ll want to ensure the high build quality.

Vacuum Pump

vacuum pump

The vacuum pump sucks out moisture and air to create a partial vacuum. The device is essential to make the refrigerant working.  If you put the refrigerant into a leaky line, it leads to a system failure, especially in air conditioners. Then you may have to bear an unnecessary and avoidable expense.

The pump will let the tech guys understand the AC’s condition by vacuuming air from the lines.

Mobile HVAC Business Software and App

The mobile HVAC software is another must-have element. This application and software help communicate effectively, estimate quickly and accurately, and provide logistical support to the technicians. Not only that, the system makes schedules, equipment records, service histories, and contact information to provide the best service to your clients. Moreover, it becomes available with the tap of your finger.

The system saves energy, and technicians can focus on their work without doing many administrative tasks. It increases your business efficacy. The best apps manage every aspect of your HVAC business. They have features like- lead management, CRM or Customer relationship management, drag and drop scheduling, invoicing, dispatching, and billing.

Refrigerant Scale

Refrigerant Scale

Refrigerant is a chemical compound used in the refrigeration cycle as a heat carrier. This compound is used in refrigerators, air-conditioning, fire suppression systems, and freezers.

The scale measures the amount of refrigerant in refrigeration units. The measurement has to be precise. Otherwise, too much refrigerant creates life-shortening high-pressure on the compressor, and too little of it would reduce the system's effectiveness.

A digital scale accurately weighs the compound and gives you the information to keep it balanced. So, a refrigerant scale is a must-have kit for HVAC techs.

Tin Snips and Shears

Tin Snips and Shears

As an HVAC guy, you may need to cut sheet metal of different shapes and sizes. The kit you’ll need is tin snips. The handheld tin snips are like a pair of scissors and also inexpensive.

Tin snips are ideal for cutting copper and aluminum. Now, there are variations for different cuts. The straight aviators can cut through the metal sheets, metal roofing, gutters, and studs. You can use the curved snips for cutting curves and circles.

Metal shears give long, straight-line cuts in flat sheet metal. Metal or steel shears may have integral stands. They can be powered manually, hydraulically, electrically, or pneumatically. Look for a strong pair of steel shears with an insulated handle.

FAQs

What Are the HVAC Components?

An HVAC system includes a thermostat, heat exchanger, furnace, compressor, blower motor, and an evaporator coil. Other parts that play a significant role in an HVAC system’s efficiency include air ducts, vents, and refrigerant lines.

What Are the HVAC Safety Tools?

Safety First! You can’t work on the field without taking proper safety measurements because mishaps can endanger your life and your customers’. So, you should always use and carry the following tools in your toolbox:

Multimeter and Voltage Tester

Multimeter and Voltage Tester

It is one of the most crucial HVAC safety tools. A test light or voltage tester identifies electricity on wires, switches, outlets, or an appliance under test. For measuring voltage, a test light or voltmeter is sufficient.

If you need something advanced, then go for a multimeter. A multimeter, also known as a VOM(volt-ohm-milliammeter), measures voltage, current, and resistance. The multimeter detects electrical current and notifies you. Two versions are available on the market- digital and analog.

Gloves

A pair of protective gloves is a must-have safety item. Look for the ones with flexibility and comfort for hands-on jobs, and you can hold small objects.

Safety Earmuffs

A reliable pair of Earmuffs will help to reduce the harsh noise of the power tools.

Safety Goggles

Safety Goggles

Protect your eyes from flying wood pieces, metal, and sawdust with a pair of safety goggles.

Footwear

hvac work boots

A pair of work safety shoes with steel toe is mandatory for safety issues on the field. We recommend heavy work boots to minimize the potentiality of initial damage.

Other HVAC Tools

These are the tools that make your job a little easier to do:

Thermometer

A thermometer is an essential tool. Being an HVAC guy, you must control and regulate the temperature of any given object. A portable and sturdy thermometer should serve you well.

Manifold Gauge

The manifold gauge mainly controls the flow of pressure and gases of an air-conditioner. The device gives a visual display of the amounts of the element that is being measured. It’s a set of three refrigerant hoses, two pressure gauges, two hand valves, and a manifold block.

Extension Cord

Extension cords are another tool you will have to carry to do the job correctly. You’ll need them to charge your devices if they’re out of power. A fifty feet cord should be enough for onsite assignments.

Caulking Gun

The tool holds a tube filled with elements to seal the cracks and gaps. We recommended purchasing a dripless gun to seal ducts and fill holes. The caulking material can bond well with glass, wood, metal, and ceramic.

Conclusion

As an HVAC technician, you should be prepared for your job. For a successful career, you must carry the essential tools in your toolbox listed above.

If you don’t even have the essential tools to start the job, you may not be considered a ‘good’ HVAC technician. It is a crucial factor for your career. So, be well-prepared with the list above!

Last Updated on February 11, 2021 by John Dylan

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