When it comes to skilled labor occupations, like HVAC technician, the right equipment can be almost as important as the professional’s training, knowledge, and certification.
While many of the tools you need as a student are provided by your instructor and some equipment will come from your future employer, you should invest in certain items yourself. Whether you just signed up for a HVAC training course or you have already started classes, you’ll need certain tools to succeed.
In this blog, we list 11 common pieces of handheld and protective equipment you will want to invest in.
Much of the equipment you’ll use as a technician can be carried with you and is operated by hand. Common handheld tools needed in the HVAC training classroom and on HVAC job sites include the following.
The first tool you’ll need is a high-quality multimeter. These devices measure voltage, current, and resistance, allowing HVAC technicians to do their jobs safely and efficiently.
2. Drill and Bits
One of the most important tools on your work belt as an HVAC technician is a battery-powered drill. Because you’ll rely on this drill during virtually every project, it’s in your best interest to invest in a strong drill with a long-lasting battery.
In addition to the included Phillips head drill bit, you’ll also need a hex bit.
3. Electrical Tester
On many HVAC job sites, you’ll be working with and in proximity to electrical components. Your electrical tester helps identify which components are live so you can stay safe as you work.
While you’ll use your drill to apply many fasteners, the drill may be too powerful for certain applications. You will also want to carry multiple screwdrivers. Your set should include Phillips head, flat head, and hex drivers.
Invest in screwdrivers that have insulated handles as an extra preventative measure against electric shock.
5. Tape Measure
Aside from your drill, your tape measure is one of the most frequently used tools in your arsenal. Your tape measure should be at least 25 feet long to accommodate the large scale of industrial and commercial jobs.
6. Writing Utensils
Once you’ve identified live wires or measured a HVAC component, you’ll need to take note of your findings. Carry pencils and permanent markers so you can mark relevant components right away.
If you’re starting a training program, your instructor will most likely provide a list of required tools that you should purchase before your first class. Start with the items on that list before investing in tools that you may not use as often.
Best safety practices on HVAC job sites are some of the first concepts you’ll learn during training. However, regardless of how careful you are when working, it’s important to protect yourself with adequate safety gear. Your work wardrobe should include the following.
The right work boots protect you from lacerations and reduce your risk of electric shock. Additionally, your boots should provide adequate arch and ankle support to ensure you stay comfortable throughout the work day.
2. Ear Protection
Blowers, ducts, cutting equipment, and drills can get loud on a job site. Depending on the work you’re doing, you may be required to wear ear protection.
Disposable ear plugs work for most situations, but you should also invest in over-ear protective gear if your supervisor hasn’t already provided this type of ear protection.
Like your work boots, your gloves reduce the risk of both acute and cumulative injury. Padded gloves protect your hands when you work with sharp components and live electricity.
Wearing appropriately supportive gloves also decreases repetitive motion strain which can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and other hand health issues.
4. Safety Glasses
While you will not need to wear safety glasses every moment you’re on the job, this protective measure is important when cutting, grinding, or working with loose objects. Choose safety glasses with side shields that are intended for industrial applications to ensure you have adequate protection.
5. Work Pants
When it comes to your work pants, function is far more important than style. Look for heavy duty denim or canvas pants that you can comfortably bend and kneel in.
You may want to choose a roomier waist measurement than you usually would to ensure that your work pants are comfortable for a full demanding day.
In addition to this list, pay attention to the requirements of your training course and the professional you have an apprenticeship with. Depending on the exact nature of your work, you may need other specialized pieces of safety gear.
If you are having trouble finding or choosing a specific handheld tool or protective item that you need, talk to your instructor. He or she can give you ideas of where to find high-quality equipment and which types of tools will best align with your needs.
Prioritize outfitting yourself appropriately so that you’re ready for all the tasks you’ll need to complete during your HVAC technician education and career.