15 HVAC Tools Students Should Know
An important part of HVAC training is learning the tools of the trade. When considering what to buy, spending a little more on higher-caliber tools will give you maximum returns on your investment. Here are some of the items you will use in your HVAC courses and on the job:
- Digital thermometer. The pocket variety is especially handy.
- Pliers. Linesman, needle-nose, wire-stripping, and channel-lock can all be put to good use.
- Wrenches. Use these to apply torque to nuts and bolts.
- Screwdrivers. Purchase a set (Phillips and flathead) with insulated handles, along with an especially heavy-duty flathead for sheet metal work.
- Extension cord. Suggested length is 50 feet.
- Cordless drill. Industry professionals recommend at least an 18-volt, and a good set of drill bits.
- Multimeter. This type of tester is necessary for troubleshooting.
- Caulking gun. Have one on hand for repairing holes in hoses and sealing ductwork.
- Pipe cutter. It’s inexpensive and essential for the job.
- Scratch awls. These are used to mark sheet metal and install dampers.
- Tin snips. Designed for cutting sheet metal, they come in three types: lefts/reds, rights/greens, and straights/bulldogs.
- Tape Measure. Purchase one that’s at least 25 feet long.
- Cordless saw. HVAC professionals recommend a Sawzall or similar tool.
- Level. The magnetic kind is especially helpful because it allows for hands-free leveling.
- Refrigeration gauges. These allow you to read pressure levels of cooling system liquids and gases. The quick-release hose fittings must be “de minimis” as required by law.
In addition to your tools, be sure to purchase high-quality safety equipment (gloves and goggles) and a durable tool bag to keep your items in one place. By the time you complete your HVAC degree, knowing how to use these tools– and many others in the field– will be second-nature.