Extensively training your HVAC technicians is the cornerstone of any successful HVAC contracting business, as every company solely rests on the shoulders of its employees. The training of the HVAC personnel you’ve recruited is what gives you the edge over your competitors. It helps your technicians do a comprehensive job, and provides a solid foundation for upgrading their knowledge with modern advancements in the HVAC industry.
That is why it is important to modify your training methods to suit the needs of your HVAC company, but also to provide your technicians with some of the vital basic skills they will need to operate well in the field. Take a look at which basic aspects of the HVAC business you should focus your efforts on, as well as what other skills your employees should possess.
What are the basics of HVAC training?
Every training procedure, no matter if it’s connected to the HVAC or another industry, rests on the basics, and you should always base your training procedure on those basics as well. Here are the crucial aspects of HVAC training to pay attention to:
Whenever individuals need to learn a new trade or a new skill, it’s advisable to begin by creating a strong foundation of knowledge that can be simple to take in by a potentially untrained individual.
In the world of heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, that foundation usually boils down to air conditioning and refrigeration units. When training your employees in these two systems, try to focus on the following areas:
Focusing on the four essential components of any refrigeration system for complete understanding.
Comparing different types of air conditioning systems to reach common features and to underline the differences.
Introducing verbiage specific to the HVAC/R industry that relates to important aspects of it, such as temperature, pressure, etc.
Apply the basic understanding of basic refrigeration and air conditioning systems to real-life situations your staff might encounter.
Building a career in the heating, cooling, and refrigeration industry implies building knowledge and skills concerning various specialized tools and equipment of the trade. If you want your team to become a skilled HVAC force, pay attention to the following three areas of learning about tools:
Introduction to essential hand tools and other basic specialized tools such as tools for cutting and bending of pipes, as well as sheet metal tools.
Explanation on the principles and uses of various measurement tools and meters, such as anemometers, manometers, IR and digital thermometers, and multimeters.
Focus on different safety tools and protective personnel equipment necessary and required for safe jobsite operations.
Leak detection and evacuation
Speaking of safety, leak detection is paramount for ensuring the safety of both your customers and your personnel in situations with suspected leaks. When training your employees to detect and evacuate leaks, focus on the following:
Testing for leaks with nitrogen by pumping it into the system and listening for pressure leaks.
Using R22 as a trace gas to implement a refrigerant leak detection method and see if any R22 has escaped the system.
Employing vacuum to test for leaks by vacuum moisture from the HVAC system and checking if it can maintain adequate pressure in the vacuum.
Learning the fundamental aspects of performing evacuation of an HVAC system when performing leak detection and repair.
Performing proper HVAC maintenance will help your customers keep their systems operating at peak efficiency. There are several actions required of your technicians when performing routine maintenance of heating and cooling systems.
Maintenance procedure for A/C systems includes cleaning the coils, performing electrical checks, verifying refrigerant charge, detecting potential leaks, inspecting the airflow, removing condensate, and other actions.
Heating system maintenance requires measuring adequate fuel input, inspecting the burner, testing airflow and CO, visually inspecting the vents, and fixing various hydronic heating solutions.
What skills should your HVAC technicians develop?
Besides possessing ample knowledge of the ins and outs of HVAC systems, tools, and maintenance procedures, there are other skills that will help your employees improve their HVAC game quickly and more efficiently. Take a look at the following skills you should motivate your staff to develop as much as possible:
Extensive knowledge of HVAC methods and systems
While some knowledge on various heating and cooling systems and the methods and principles associated with those systems is a basic prerequisite for any aspiring HVAC technician and contractor.
However, you should also pay attention to providing in-depth knowledge on the specifics of HVAC system operation, installation, and control, as well as piping threading, duct organization, and ventilation methods.
Knowledge about HVAC safety protocols and standards
Skills concerning preventive safety are vital for both the technician themselves and the communities they serve. You need to provide your employees with sufficient knowledge on different safety procedures for working with scaffolding and at heights, as well as working in confined spaces.
Also, familiarize your employees with requirements stated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, as it is a prerequisite of ensuring adequate jobsite safety. Finally, use every opportunity to encourage your staff to use all the required safety protocols and equipment.
A proficient HVAC technician should be trained and encouraged to develop and implement problem-solving skills when performing various tasks. Possessing a skillset that allows efficient diagnostics, and having the ability to perform extensive troubleshooting is of great importance for providing prompt and efficient HVAC service to your customers.
Customer service skills
Sometimes, what your customers respond to most is personality, and it is important that your field staff works together with your in-house personnel toward building excellent rapport with the clients within your target communities. The underlying principle is that you want to train your staff to leave your customers feeling better after conversing with them.
Desire to continue learning about new technologies
Try to create a training program that encourages your staff to continually expand their knowledge and envision an atmosphere of rewarded and consistent self-improvement and mutual growth through knowledge gaining and sharing.
Who can give me some suggestions on improving my HVAC training routine?
If you’re looking for some advice on how to improve the training of your HVAC technicians and other employees of your contracting company, contact Gustave A. Larson. Not only do we provide you an opportunity to become our certified partner for the leading brands of the HVAC industry, we also grant training opportunities that will help you take your training methods to the next level. We are here to offer assistance every step of the way. Reach out to us today!