32 Essential HVAC Tools for Service Techs in 2021
Servicing HVAC or installing new air conditioning or heating systems for residential and commercial clients requires a skilled workforce with access to the right HVAC tools and equipment to get the job done.
Some companies require HVAC techs to bring a few of their own tools to the job, while others provide the equipment needed to complete larger-ticket items.
Here’s an HVAC tools list with 32 pieces of gear your service techs need in 2020 to provide the most professional customer experience.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:
Essential HVAC tools
HVAC tools for safety
Advanced HVAC and air conditioning tools
Advantages of HVAC software
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Essential HVAC Tools
Keep a range of screwdrivers, a basic and necessary HVAC tool, in your toolbox to be prepared for any size screw. We suggest a multi-purpose screwdriver with at least a Phillips-head bit and a flathead bit in sizes No. 1 and No. 2. However, a full range of screwdriver bit sizes often comes in handy.
Be ready to handle most sizes of wires, bolts and pipes with a full set of pliers. Get small, medium, large, and needle-nose pliers. We also suggest investing in an insulated set of pliers for durability and longevity.
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Every HVAC technician needs a standard-size hammer for various uses on the job. We suggest a lightweight hammer with an easy grip and fiberglass construction for convenience and durability.
HVAC service techs always need a reliable flashlight to accurately assess the heating or air conditioning situation. Headlamps also come in handy to keep your techs’ hands free when working in dark spaces.
Any complete HVAC tools list includes a wide range of wrenches, from fixed and adjusted to crescent and pipe wrenches. Keep small, medium and large wrenches in your HVAC toolbox to handle any job, as well as pipe wrenches to loosen plumbing pipe connections.
Metal and tubing cutters are useful HVAC tools to cut through anything on the job. We suggest starting with a smaller set in the beginning of your HVAC career, such as quarter-inch or half-inch cutters, but add a wider set of cutters as you progress to handling a wider scope of projects.
A cordless, battery-powered drill gives your service techs more versatility for better efficiency. Keep a charging battery in your toolbox so your techs never run out of drill power while on the job site. We recommend a drill with at least 24 volts and various bits.
When it comes to air conditioning tools, refrigeration gauges are a must-have for your service techs. They use gauges to identify pressures for different types of refrigerants and to determine whether there’s a leak in the system. Multiple sets of gauges may be needed, as your career progresses.
10. Extension Cords
HVAC techs need extension cords to plug in electric tools when working onsite. Look for a long, thick cord that’s not too bulky to transport. We suggest 50 feet as an optimal length.
11. Staple Gun
Keep a staple gun on your HVAC tools list to secure joists and foil lines for increased air flow, and to properly assemble ductwork.
HVAC Tools for Safety
Protecting your service techs’ health and safety on the job, as well as your HVAC customers, is a top priority. Here are some specific safety items to include on your complete HVAC tools list.
Buy a pair of durable, nimble gloves that are thick enough to protect your hands, but allow enough dexterity to hold screws and smaller tools. HVAC service techs wear gloves every single day, especially as Personal Protective Equipment during challenging times.
Wearing masks while performing HVAC work also provides personal protection for your techs and customers. Now considered essential PPE, make sure your techs keep a stash of masks in their trucks to use for every job.
Safety goggles protect your eyes from metal and dust debris. Some goggles or safety glasses with magnification also allow techs to see smaller parts of the job for better accuracy and efficiency.
15. Ear muffs/plugs
Using power tools in close proximity and closed quarters puts a huge strain on your ears and impacts your hearing. Protect your ears with industrial strength ear muffs or plugs.
Working on ladders all day and in other people's homes requires your service techs to be prepared to traverse various types of terrain. Make sure they’re equipped with a pair of heavy steel-toe work boots that won't slip and protect their feet in case something heavy drops on them.
Advanced HVAC and Air Conditioning Tools
These HVAC tools fall into the category of more advanced and expensive, but important nonetheless. HVAC companies typically provide these advanced tools to help keep their customers’ HVAC equipment in good working order.
17. Core Removal
HVAC tools, such as a core removal tool, come to the rescue in many cases. When dealing with broken cores, this tool assists your techs with removal and replacement.
18. Coil Fin Straightener
A coil fin straightener helps to clear debris when air conditioner condenser coils get dirty, clogged or twisted. Service techs use this air conditioning tool to straighten and clean the coils to improve heat exchange and air flow. These air conditioning tools are inexpensive and extremely useful.
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Temperature control matters the most in the HVAC industry. Invest in a digital thermometer that’s portable, effective and long lasting to follow your state’s regulations and deliver awesome customer service.
This tool also acts as a safety device. When working near electrical hazards and live wires, it’s important to test for safety. Keep a multimeter in your toolbox to test for the presence of electricity and the voltage.
HVAC contractors consider a reciprocating saw blade, such as the Sawzall, to be the best saw to cut through materials in most HVAC jobs. Durability is crucial, and the Sawzall stands the test of time. The blades need to be replaced regularly to avoid dull blade use.
22. Caulking Gun
A dripless caulking gun allows you to seal air ducts and fill holes where needed. Keep your caulking gun in good working order to avoid future messes.
Your HVAC vacuum pump needs to be powerful enough to remove any moisture from the lines.
24. Nitrogen Regulator
A nitrogen regulator acts as a pressure control valve. It basically reduces highly pressurized gas or liquid into a more usable form. Without a nitrogen regulator, the high pressure allows the gas or liquid to be released all at once.
25. Leak Detector
HVAC service techs use leak detectors to confirm areas with moisture to better identify the leaking source.
Psychrometers measure and rate the air flow and air mixtures. The psychrometer also measures relative humidity.
27. Hand Seamers
Hand seamers give your techs the power to bend or flatten sheet metal by hand. Once again, insulated grips make the job easier.
A crimper allows techs to wrinkle certain types of metal so it conforms to the next section of piping.
HVAC techs use the awl to score sheet metal so they can cut it straight. Awls are also used to punch holes in sheet metal, wood, or sheetrock when necessary.
30. Thermal Imaging Tools
HVAC technicians need to diagnose complex problems for clients based on very general information. Thermal imaging cameras, an essential HVAC tool, enable techs to accurately identify and fix the root causes in short order.
31. Flushing Solvent
As refrigeration lines age, obstructions within the line become more likely. Keeping a flushing solvent on hand helps to quickly clear contaminants from the line and keeps your customers’ appliances working as efficiently as possible.
32. HVAC Load Calculator
Another must-have digital tool we couldn’t leave off this HVAC tools list is the free, online ServiceTitan HVAC Load Calculator, which quickly determines the amount of heating and cooling a residential building needs, based on its specifications and design. The calculation factors in the square footage of the room to determine the BTUs needed per hour to reach the desired indoor temperature. It’s easy to use and delivers an instant BTU range.
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