An Average Day for an HVAC Technician

| Last Updated: June 10, 2021

The life of a heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC) technician is a varied one. In fact, there are so many facets in the HVAC field that many technicians choose to specialize. Some technicians specialize in installation and some in maintenance. Others choose to specialize in particular appliances and systems.

For instance, one may specialize in heating, cooling, or refrigeration. Many, however, appreciate the variety an HVAC career has to offer and do all three. With so much going on, it is difficult to say what a typical day in the life of a certified HVAC technician would be like, but we will delve into a few obstacles an HVAC technician might encounter on their workday to give you an idea.

Let’s follow an HVAC mechanic who does not specialize in any particular area from the time he wakes up in the morning until the end of his work day.

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This HVAC mechanic’s day will begin with installation. The HVAC technician will wake up, go to the job site, and study blueprints to determine where the best place to install a heating or  a cooling system would be.

From there, the technician would move their materials into place and start working on connecting things like pumps, fuel supply lines, and water supply lines to the heating/cooling system. When that is done he may find himself having to connect electrical wiring to it as well. The technician would then have to run the system and make sure everything goes off smoothly.

When the HVAC technician has completed his first appointment of the day, it will be time to move on to another location. Perhaps the HVAC’s next stop is to a new restaurant in town in need of a commercial refrigeration system. Here the HVAC technician will study blueprints and manufacturer’s instructions in order to set the refrigeration system up.

This is complicated work as the HVAC mechanic must be familiar with motors, condensing units, evaporators, ductwork, and other complicated and technical things. When the HVAC technician is finished installing the equipment, it is likely that he will sell the restaurant owner a service contract, meaning that the restaurant would pay the HVAC mechanic to come in periodically to check on and fix the refrigeration system.

In the middle of the day, the HVAC mechanic may incorporate a maintenance appointment into his work schedule. The HVAC technician’s next visit may be to a house where the air-conditioning has broken. The technician would visit the home and fix or replace whatever needs to be adjusted in order for the cooling system to work again. Then, the technician might recommend particular settings to keep the system running properly.

From there the HVAC technician will make their last call of the day to a business location. Here, the technician will run an efficiency check on that business’s heating system. The efficiency check will identify any impurities the system might have accumulated while in use last season. This will prevent breakdowns when winter comes again as well as save the business money because when the system is running properly, energy costs are lowered.

At the end of the day the trained HVAC technician will pack up all his tools: hammers, pipe cutters, torches, voltmeters, pressure gauges, and the like, and head home after a long day of visiting many places and meeting with many people.

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My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.