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Technician's Guide to the Best HVAC Tools

Posted by TruTech Team
Technician's Guide to the Best HVAC Tools

Any HVACR technician can attest to the fact that having the right tools for the job makes a huge difference. Regardless of where you live or work, in the U.S. or Canada, people need HVACR services to feel comfortable in their homes and workplaces throughout the changing seasons. Additionally, refrigeration services are critical when it comes to food preservation and storage.

There is a lot of choice when it comes to AC tools and Refrigeration tools come in a variety of different brands with many different features. However, it's always best to choose the right tool for the job based on the application or intended use for your tool.

So, how can you choose the right HVAC tools? How can you get the most value for your buck, without having to buy less-than-optimal alternatives first?

At TruTech Tools, we know HVAC, and we know that the best technicians in the field deserve the best quality tools to get the job done.

Read on for our HVAC tools list and set yourself up for success in this must-have industry!


How Do You Choose the Right HVAC Tools

When it comes time to starting or upgrading your tool kit, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which tools to pick. You need tools to do your job, but buying tools can be an intimidating experience with all the choices out there, especially when you're just getting started.

Where should you buy your tools?

What features did the manufacturer incorporate into the product design and why?

We get it!

To help you decide, here are three great ways you can determine which tools will work best for you:

Features

The way you do your work, or your process should drive the features you are looking for in your next tool purchase. Understand your process first. Use website resources, reviews, videos, learning guides or listen to webinars or podcasts from trusted sources. Many fellow contractors are testing, reviewing, learning and sharing what they know.

If you aren't sure what would work best for you, try to contact the manufacturer or distributor to see if they can help you decide.

Size & Weight

Not all tools are created equally, and this is a good thing!

Try to get an idea for the types of equipment you'll be working on, accessibility to the location where you will work, and then decide what tools and accessories (like tool bags) you want to purchase.

In the HVAC industry, you may find yourself up in attics, down in crawlspaces or outdoors on roofs that will require you to tote your tools up ladders. Every added ounce will make a big difference over time.

If possible, try to get the tool into your hand and see how it feels. If this isn't possible, see if other HVAC technicians that you've worked with have similar tools that you can test or look for online video reviews, the next best thing to being there.


Cover Your Bases

HVAC tools cover more than just gauges and meters. Make sure you have adequate safety gear, multi-use tools, ladders, and other essentials. Every tool in your tool bag isn't necessary for every job, but it will help you round out your successful approach to business as you progress through different jobs and customers as you work.


Safety First

Before you get into the depths of tool selection, it's essential to keep your safety in mind first. Getting hurt on the job can set you back big time financially and with your career development.

Here are some things to make sure you pick up before you start working:

  1. Sturdy Work Gloves
  2. Shatter-proof Eye Protection
  3. Durable Footwear
  4. Ear Protection
  5. Hard Hat

While you won't need these tools for every job, it's a good idea to have them on hand when needed.


HVAC Hand Tools List

Hand tools are the chameleons of the HVAC world. These tools are really up to the personal choice of the user as they are some of the most common tools available.

  1. Flashlight
  2. Pliers
  3. Wrenches
  4. Screwdrivers
  5. Tape Measure

There are also a few specialized hand tools that you should have in your tool bag to work HVAC jobs:

  1. Basic electrical tester
  2. Crimper
  3. Stripper

Miscellaneous Tools List

There are always a few stragglers that don't fit into any list. However, these are important to have at your disposal while you're on the job.

  1. Caulking Gun
  2. Extension Cords (various lengths)
  3. Staple Gun
  4. Reciprocating Saw
  5. PVC Cutters
  6. A Variety of Tubing Tools
  7. Scratch Awl
  8. Tin Snips or Shears
  9. Ladder (talk with your employer about the ideal size, or ask if they will provide)

Depending on the job, these will be helpful to have in your vehicle or stored until they're needed.

Specialized HVAC Tools List

As with any trade, there are a select number of tools that every HVAC technician should have on hand to do their job.

  1. Manifold Gauge

manifold gauge has several different ports and valves that provide control over the flow of refrigerant as you are charging a system with refrigerant or evacuating refrigerant from a system. Although, best practices in evacuation no longer recommend that a manifold be used.

You will find manifold gauges have from 2 to 4 ports:

  1. For sensing the system Low-pressure side
  2. For sensing the system High-pressure side
  3. For charging
  4. For evacuation

The port on the manifold is attached using a high quality hose to the corresponding lines on the AC unit.

  • The low-side attaches to the low-pressure side of the unit
  • The high-side connects to the high-pressure side of the unit
  • The charging port attaches to the low or high side of the system depending on configuration
  • The evacuation port could be attached with a properly rated and sized hose to a vacuum pump, or recovery units. Yet, it is not best practice to do so.

1A. Smart Probes

In the last few years, BlueTooth smart probes have become a leading alternative to manifold gauges.

  1. Nitrogen Regulator

nitrogen regulator is a pressure control valve that serves to reduce the pressure from your nitrogen tank to be useful when purging or brazing an HVAC system. The regulator allows you to control the flow of nitrogen during different tasks on the unit to for a perfectly executed job .

  1. Psychrometer or Humidity Probe

It doesn't matter where you live in the country; the psychrometer will be a vital tool in installing and maintaining HVAC units. The design of this tool allows you to measure humidity in the air by using a solid-state sensor. The sensor replaces the old style method of a sling psychrometer, which determines humidity in air via the temperature change due to water evaporating from a wetted bulb of a thermometer.

It is critical to know the humidity in the space you want to condition to properly design and size the equipment. Additionally, you can use a psychrometer to determine if the system is working at rated capacity, both in BTU/hr or cooling tons. Such a simple tool, is so critical in serving your clients.

  1. Leak Detectors

There are two purposes for leak detectors:

Both forms of leakage are not desirable and can actually be harmful to health and safety as well as having financial, legal and environmental impacts. So being aware of any leaks in an HVAC system is vital. Additionally, there are several technologies used for leak detection such as heated diode, semi-conductor, non-dispersive infrared and ultrasonic.

  1. Core Removal Tools

A core removal tool is handy device to remove one of the key obstructions to fast worl when you are evacuating a system.

  1. Multimeter

multimeter is a critical tool for proper HVAC electrical diagnostics. This tool measures voltage, amperage, and resistance (ohms). More advanced version allow you to measure power consumption, in-rush current and more.

You should always have this tool on hand when you're working, and you need to have a clear understanding of the data it provides as well as using it to check for live circuits before starting work to avoid life-threatening injuries.

HVAC Tools Starter Kits

If you aren't sure where to start or what you need, an HVAC starter Tool Kit is a great way to make sure that you get everything you need. These kits have a variety of different essential tools, a top of the line tool bag, and the peace of mind that comes with always being prepared.

Additional HVAC Resources & Training

In addition to great tools, it's also important to stay up-to-date with the changes within your industry.

A/C Troubleshooting Guide

This resource can help you get to know what areas should be checked regularly when checking the A/C-heat pump system.

Air-conditioning Applications Guide

If you're a more advanced technician, this useful guide is a great reference for advanced measurement systems.

HVACR Training Classes

Get NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certifications, download the handbook, and learn more about your field in these categories:

  • HVAC Fundamentals
  • Electrical Systems
  • General Systems
  • Heating Systems
  • Refrigeration Systems
  • Controls
  • Boilers
  • Economizers
  • Hydronics
  • Service Systems
  • Home Performance (Green Buildings)

These certifications can help you advance in your industry, and get a leg up during reviews and promotions.

How to Get the Best HVAC Tools

If you're looking for the best tools, you've come to the right place!

The Tru Tech Tools team is passionate about providing the best quality and value to HVAC technicians across the country. We believe that the sign of a true technician is having access to good quality tools and being able to use them correctly.

We have a low-price promise, which means that if you find a more competitive price in the market, we want to know about it! We will always try to give you the lowest price possible. Contact us if you're interested in special discounts, bulk orders, or setting up an account.

We look forward to helping you get ahead in the HVAC industry with the best products and advice available.

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