Today, virtually every home, apartment building, factory, hospital and office building is equipped with an HVAC system. Because these systems are so widespread, the demand for HVAC technicians continues to rise. While effectively repairing and monitoring an HVAC unit requires a wide range of proficiencies, today’s HVAC technicians need to understand the modern software and applications necessary to perform well on the job. Following, then, are five essential technical programs every HVAC worker should excel in.
1. Smart Diagnostic Systems
Regardless of whether an HVAC technician is contacted to service a unit in an office or at a residence, the first order of business is to determine the underlying cause for the system’s failure. Traditionally, HVAC technicians relied on information gathered both indoors and outdoors to guide the technician in troubleshooting the problem.
In recent years, though, top manufacturers of HVAC units have begun using advanced diagnostics, at least in their top lines. These advanced, built-in diagnostics are making a huge difference in the way HVAC technicians approach their tasks by helping them correctly identify the problem right away. They also improve the contractor’s efficiency by reducing callbacks, which saves them time and money on non-billable labor.
2. Field Service Management Software
Because the nature of any HVAC business hinges upon a mobile workforce and a steady flow of work orders, operating efficiently each day is crucial to the company’s success. Field service management software is designed specifically to assist contractors and small businesses manage their workflow and respond to fluctuations quickly and efficiently.
Field service management software, such as FieldAware, assists companies in effective scheduling and timekeeping, writes The Refrigeration School Blog. Furthermore, field service management software helps automate preventative maintenance schedules—a very lucrative portion of any service business. Most field service management software will also include client work management history that helps the technician understand the unit they will be working with and which repairs have already been performed on the unit. This assists the technician in maximizing time and in delivering exceptional results.
3. Environmental Monitoring Software
As HVAC units evolve into increasingly intelligent systems, some units are now being introduced to the market that can read temperatures both inside and out of the building, and determine HVAC usage levels accordingly. HVAC technicians will have to understand and use these systems effectively in order to be competitive in the future.
4. Building Automation System Technology
In a February 2015 article, which appeared in The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration NEWS, Greg Bair writes, “The increasing focus on climate change and its resulting local legislation in cities from New York to Fort Collins, Colorado, have created specific targets and dates for carbon footprint reduction goals. Because of this, as a building’s single largest energy draw, HVAC system efficiency is now receiving more attention than ever.”
Building automation system (BAS) technology has assisted in creating more efficient heating and cooling system delivery, and government incentives have assisted with system updates for many. Looking ahead, continued focus on climate change and effective energy solutions will almost certainly create unparalleled demand for HVAC contractors proficient in BAS technology and energy efficiency bundling options.
5. Energy Management Systems
Just as HVAC systems account for the largest energy expenditure in a non-residential facility, they account for about half the energy usage in the average home, according to Energy.gov. Energy management is the process of monitoring, controlling and conserving energy in a building or organization. Energy management software assists with energy conservation in both residences and commercial buildings. This type of software effectively tracks monthly energy usage and explores effective energy conservation solutions. While energy management technology has been embraced in commercial buildings for years, increased environmental consciousness among consumers has sparked interest among homeowners.