Recently, we have published some useful HVAC resources for technicians in heating, ventilation air conditioning, and refrigeration, including must-have tools for new technicians and some of the top apps for service professionals in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) field.
This week, we offer up a wide range of HVAC resources — many of them free — that both new and experienced service technicians can take advantage of to:
- Understand the requirements of the job
- Access training and educational opportunities
- Stay up to date on the latest industry news and trends
- Network with and get helpful insights from other HVAC professionals
Industry associations offering HVAC resources
The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) serves the needs of contractors and businesses in HVACR, as well as plumbing, piping, and mechanical services. In addition to advocating for the industry, the MCAA provides access to resources designed to help its members build their technical and managerial skills, including conferences, forums, and seminars.
The Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA), which is part of MCAA, is a leading organization that provides education, marketing, and labor/management services to HVACR technicians and contractors. You can check out a list of MSCA member benefits here.
Women in HVACR is an organization that was created to empower women HVACR professionals by helping them connect with other women in the industry and grow their careers through networking, mentoring, and education. You can learn more about the benefits of memberships at this link.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is an organization representing professionals in HVACR around the world. The society and its members are focused on the industry’s approach to building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and sustainability.
Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is a nonprofit association of professionals and businesses in the indoor environment and energy services industry. The organization’s focus is on promoting professional contracting, energy efficiency, and healthy, comfortable indoor environments.
In addition, you can learn about what is going on in the industry and about new technologies through trade associations that represent HVAC system manufacturers, such as the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Air Movement and Control Association International.
HVAC resources from the union
The United Association (UA) is the labor organization that represents thousands of HVACR service technicians and related tradespeople across North America. The UA’s website offers United Association Online Learning Resources (UAOLR) — a system that provides union branches with resources and tools designed to help enhance training at the local level.
For service technicians in the New York City area, Steamfitters Local 638 is the local branch of UA, representing HVACR workers in an area including the five boroughs and Long Island.
Local 638 offers several training programs for new service technicians entering the trade, as well as ongoing classes for members. To learn more about the local union, you can read Get to Know Your NYC Refrigeration & HVAC Union: UA Local 638.
North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is a nonprofit organization that helps HVACR technicians earn certifications. A NATE-certified technician is one who has demonstrated knowledge and competency in skills that both employers and customers want in an HVAC professional.
For a list of educational organizations that have met those requirements — and other HVAC resources — check out the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). It’s an independent organization that awards accreditation to schools and training programs that meet or exceed HVACR industry standards for instruction and certification.
HVAC education and training courses
For distance learning from any location, eVoc Learning offers online vocational instruction in the skills that are needed for a career as an HVAC technician. The courses include textbooks, study guides, instructional videos, exams, and a certificate when a course has been successfully completed. Before you commit to enrolling, you can even try a free online HVAC lesson to see if the program is right for you.
The ESCO Group provides HVAC and refrigeration resources for new technicians who want to earn certifications and hone their skills. The online store offers a range of training manuals, presentations, reference guides, and more. ESCO’s HVAC Excellence sets standards and provides certification of technician training from the high school level to master levels.
The Eastern Heating & Cooling Council (EHCC) is a nonprofit educational organization that has been providing technical training to the HVAC community for 30 years. Made up of HVAC contractors, distributors, manufacturers, and other trade allies, the organization offers courses and seminars designed to ensure the proper installation and service of high-efficiency heating and cooling systems.
For information on HVAC vocational and trade education, use HVAC Ed and its locator function to type in your zip code and find schools and programs near you. The site also provides tips on how to find a job in the industry and is a great source of information on changes to laws and regulations that have an impact on the HVAC profession.
AC & Heating Connect provides HVAC resources including training information as well as helpful articles, podcasts, fact sheets, and infographics. In addition, the website offers articles and impartial advice for consumers and facilities managers regarding HVAC equipment and service — providing insights that can also be helpful to you as a service technician.
HVAC Service Mentor offers online training videos you can rent for a week and watch at your own pace. It covers topics including all the diverse tasks an HVAC technician typically faces, as well as a master class on air conditioning and boot camps on gas heating and boilers.
Created by the U.S. Department of Labor, SkillsCommons is an online library offering free learning and support materials for workforce development. You can search the site for HVAC resources including free course materials such:
- Introduction to Heating and AC from John A. Logan College
- Schematic Reading and Air Conditioning Servicing from Truckee Meadows Community College
- Auto Heating and AC Lab and Theory from Minnesota State College
HVAC Industry News and Forums
ACHR News is an online trade publication that offers a wide array of HVAC resources including:
- Breaking news
- Access to a weekly magazine, enewsletters, and news archives
- Videos, podcasts, webinars, and ebooks
For ease of use, the ACHR website organizes HVAC resources into popular categories such as refrigeration, service tools, business basics, and residential and commercial topics.
Another way to stay up to date is to attend events such as the Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) — the world’s largest international HVACR conference. The expo, which started back in 1930, showcases manufacturers, new technologies, and industry trends. Check here for the dates and locations of future AHR Expos.
The HVAC-Talk.com forum provides a place where both new technicians and seasoned HVACR professionals can connect, share resources, and participate in discussions related to the industry. Once you register on the site, you can start a new conversation or contribute to an existing thread — or go to the FAQ section and search for posts related to your questions or topics of interest to you.
The HVAC Tech Group forum is another place where you can share information and discuss HVACR and other trade-related topics. The forum includes discussions on topics including HVAC Help, Technical Information, and Tools & Equipment.
Reddit is a news, web content rating, and discussion website where registered group members post and share content, links, text posts, and images — and the site includes plenty of threads related to HVAC resources. Even if you don’t register or join a group, you can read the posts and use the site’s search capabilities to find group discussion topics such as:
Quora is a question and answer website where you can network with other HVAC professionals and ask or answer questions related to your areas of interest. You can use it to easily search for and follow useful Q&A threads such as:
HVAC Videos and Podcasts
At HVAC School online, you can participate in a free online community of technicians that compiles and shares HVACR training material and other HVAC resources, including podcasts, tech tips, and quizzes. In addition, the site recommends free YouTube videos on HVAC topics such as how to troubleshoot a grounded compressor, detect mold in ductwork, or test capacitors under load.
The weekly ConTechCrew podcast is a place where you can view presentations and discussions on research, trends, and news related to construction technology. You can peruse the site for different topics or subscribe to get email notifications whenever new content is available.
Don’t forget to bookmark!
The organization, training, news, and networking sites above not only can help you explore how to become a technician, but also should be helpful HVAC resources as you continue to pursue a career in HVACR.
In addition, the website you are visiting right now — created by MSCA of New York — provides a variety of tools and information to help you get started in HVACR. So, be sure to bookmark our resources page and all your favorite HVAC resources for future reference!