Not having the right tools to get the job done can be frustrating at best and can ruin a job at worst. When you're entering the HVAC workforce, having the tools you need to do your job well quickly becomes a requirement. Some tools HVAC technicians are expected to have in hand when coming into a job, but others are larger ticket items that employers need to provide to their team. We've compiled a master list of the HVAC tools you need to enter any job with confidence to get the job done right, quickly and effectively. Your customers will be pleased by your preparedness and professional range of equipment.
The Absolute Essentials
You should have a range of screwdrivers to be prepared for any size screw. It is a basic and necessary tool to have in your toolbelt. We suggest having a multi- purpose screwdriver, specifically a Phillip's bit and a flathead bit with sizes #1 and #2, however, a range of sizes would be beneficial to have as well.
Having a full set of pliers will best prepare you to deal with most sizes of wires, bolts and pipes. Get small, medium, large and needle nose sized pliers. We suggest getting an insulated set for durability and longevity of use.
Every technician should have a standard sized hammer. It will always come in handy and not having a hammer would be unacceptable. We suggest a carpenter- style hammer for a standard and dependable hammer.
A flashlight will be necessary to see clearly the job and the tools needed to deal with whatever is in front of you. Headlamps are even more useful and allow your hands to be completely free. We suggest headlamps because you never know how dark the room will be where you need to work.
Crescent You should have a wide range of wrenches, like screwdrivers in your toolbox. Having a small, medium and large wrench will come in handy. Having pipe wrenches on hand will also help with gas lines and plumbing pipe connections which might occur .
Metal and tubing cutters will be useful to cut through whatever you need to on the job. We suggest starting with a smaller set in the beginning of your time as a tech (1/4"-1/2"), but as you start to deal with a wider scope of projects it will be beneficial to have a wider set of cutters so as not to relay on anyone else.
Having a cordless, battery-powered drill is ideal and will enable you to work on more remote projects. Your drill will be a key tool needed to work well. If your drill is battery powered then you will need a charger in case you run low on the job site and the different heads you decide you will need. We suggest a hex bit with 1/4 inch phillips bit. The voltage will need to be around 24 voltage.
Refrigeration gauges will need to identify pressures for different types of refrigerants and determine if there is a leak in the system. Your set of gauges will increasingly become more important as your career progresses and you might need to purchase multiple sets.
9. Extension Cords
Extension cords will become useful to hook up any of your not-battery-powered tools when working onsite. Having a thick cord so it will last and the right length is important. Too short and it will be useless, too long and it will be bulky to transport. We suggest 50 feet as the best option.
10. Staple Gun
You will need your staple gun to secure joists and foil lines to increase air flow.
While safety might not seem like a top priority when you have a long list of tools to purchase, staying safe on the job is extremely important. You need to be safe and healthy to continue working and there are tools that will help you do that.
You will need a pair of durable but nimble gloves. They need to be thick enough to protect your hands, but allow you the dexterity to hold screws and smaller tools. Get a pair of gloves you like because you will be using them often.
Safety goggles will protect your eyes from metal and dust debris. Protecting your eyes is not only important for your health, but also for your job. Being able to see the smaller parts of your project for a long time will benefit your efficiency when working and will improve the longevity of being able to do your job.
13. Ear muffs/plugs:
Using power tools in close proximity and closed quarters can put a huge strain on your ears and your hearing. Protect your ears with industrial strength ear muffs so you can continue to hear.
Working on ladders all day and in other people's homes, you don't know the type of terrain you'll be entering or dealing with. It is better to be safe than sorry. Get yourself a pair of heavy steel toe work boots that won't slip you up and will protect your feet in case you drop a hammer or something heavier.
These essential tools will prepare you to handle everything from basic to more advanced HVAC jobs. They are essential because they're widely used on nearly every HVAC job.
Good to Have
These tools could fall into the category of more advanced and expensive, but nonetheless important. Some tools will still be the responsibility of the technician, but other tools the HVAC employers should assist their technicians in attaining. Being prepared to get the job done well with maintained equipment will keep your customers happy and provide excellent service.
15. Core Removal
Core removal tools come to the rescue in many cases. When dealing with broken cores this tool will assist you in removal and replacement.
16. Coil Fin Straightener
Your coil fin straightener will help you when AC condenser coils get dirty, clogged and twisted. You'll be able to straighten and clean to improve heat exchange and air flow. These tools are inexpensive and extremely useful when needed.
The importance in temperature control in the HVAC industry is of utmost importance. Finding a digital thermometer that is portable, effective and long lasting will be necessary to measure the temperature of the systems you are working with to follow regulations and deliver customer satisfaction.
This tool also acts as a safety tool. When working around the possibility of electrical hazards and live energy it is important to be able to test that a tool or an area is safe. Having a multi-meter in your toolbox will tell you when electricity is present and the voltage.
A reciprocating saw blade like the Sawzall is widely thought to be the best saw to cut through most materials in HVAC jobs. Durability when it comes to your saw is crucial because it will be put to the test. the Sawzall stands the test of time and the test of material. The blades should be replaced by your employer to avoid dull blade use.
20. Caulking Gun
Your dripless caulking gun will allow you to seal your work in ducts and fill holes where needed. Avoid messes by maintaining your gun.
Your vacuum pump will need to suck any moisture out of the lines.
22. Nitrogen Regulator
Your nitrogen regulator will act as a pressure control valve
23. Leak Detector
Leak detectors are great tools because they sense and confirm if there is moisture present leading to a leak.
Psychrometers measure and rate the air flow and air mixtures. The Psychrometer will read relative humidity.
24. Hand Seamers
This tool is used to bend smaller parts of metal. Once again, insulated grips will make the job easier.
A crimper will allow you to wrinkle metal you are working with so it will fit in the next section of piping.
An awl is used to strike holes in piping.
27. HVAC Software
HVAC software is useful on the job for a lot of reasons, not least of which are its abilities to increase communication between you and other technicians, assist in scheduling, and allow the customer to see you are coming. No more surprised customers who forgot you were coming! If your employer has an HVAC software then you will be able to see the booked meeting scheduled to you much easier and plan the time it will take for you to get there. Often overlooked, an HVAC software is a tool that has the power to make the painful scheduling and administrative piece of your job much easier.
28. Bonus! HVAC Load Calculator
So, you have your absolute essentials, safety gear, field service software, and all of the HVAC specialty tools that will help you get the job done. But one must-have digital tool that we couldn’t leave off this list is the free, online ServiceTitan HVAC Load Calculator. It quickly determines the amount of heating and cooling a residential building needs based on its specs and design.
The calculation factors in the square footage of the room to determine the BTUs per hour needed to reach the desired indoor temperature. It’s easy to use and delivers an instant BTU range. See why we couldn’t leave it off the list?