HVAC Technician

The term HVAC is familiar to most people around the world, many even know that it stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. The field of an HVAC technician is one that is definitely in demand, especially as the changes in global temperature continue to persuade people to use their heating and air conditioning units more than ever before.

An HVAC technician is responsible for installing, maintaining, servicing and repairing HVAC units, including refrigeration systems. An HVAC technician can choose to have a specialty, such as installation or repair, or may opt to be familiar with all of the aspects of the field. The job will require a familiarity with the layout, design, and installation process for low voltage wiring, the ability to provide quality customer service, and the ability to collaborate with the sales and engineering departments.

The majority of the 270,000 technicians working in the field are employed by contractors, while a smaller percentage is self employed. During the busy time of the year, overtime is often required for these individuals. Almost all of the positions are full time, though the nature of the business may require weekends and/or holidays to be worked.

Physically, the job can be demanding. Though there is not an over abundance of heavy lifting as is found in construction jobs, the HVAC technician must frequently squeeze into tight spaces, attics, basements, crawl spaces, etc… in order to reach the equipment they are working on. Since no one ever makes a service call until their equipment stops working, building are more often than not, very cold or very hot. The possibility of shocks, burns, exposure to coolant, cuts and scrapes is always present. This job can be dangerous, but as with all jobs, the danger decreases if you pay attention.

Many states require those who work in the HVAC field to be specially licensed. This licensing process may require a written test or a certain number of apprenticeship hours. Even in states where this is not a requirement, employers prefer their employees to have the license, or at least, to have completed an apprenticeship and training program. These apprentice programs usually last three to five years and are sponsored by local union chapters.

Some of the skills required for an HVAC technician can not be taught. Good listening skills, time management skills, critical thinking skills, and communication skills are unavoidable to be successful in the occupation. Those who possess these skills are more likely to move into management positions, sales or marketing positions, cost estimators, or other related positions.

HVAC technicians are expected to remain in demand for at least the next couple decades, so for those wanting job security, the field of an HVAC technician provides a better than average chance of stability. This career field in especially important in the winter months when temperatures drop to the most unhospitable levels. The job has its clearly rewarding moments, as when a home with young children, gets to appreciate the ever so important heat.

HVAC Jobs in the United States

No Cost Energy Saving Tips

Heating your home in the winter can be expensive. Here are ten tips to help you save on your energy. Some tips require no cost while others require a small investment.

No Cost Energy Saving Tips

  1. Turn Down Thermostat

Do not go over 70 degrees. If you set your thermostat at 68 degrees, your heating system will click on less. Thus, you will use less energy. If you lower your thermostat by 5 degrees at night or when you leave home, you can save $79 on energy bills. At a small cost, you can by a programmable thermostat that will automatically make the adjustments for you.

  1. Turn Down Water Heater

Adjust your water heater’s temperature. Turning it down to 120 degrees can save you money, and it takes less energy to get your water hot because of the lowered temperature. Just a 10 degree decrease in your hot water heater temperature can save you 3-5%. If you are concerned about your water not being hot enough, you can invest in a water heater blanket. This insulates the water heater and keeps your water warm without using as much energy.

  1. Use Natural Heat

Pull back the heavy drapes and let sunlight from south facing windows come into your home. Sunlight is a great way to help heat your home. If your room does not get direct sunlight, keep them covered to prevent drafts. At night, make sure your windows are covered to help keep out the chill. Thermo curtains are a good investment to help keep the warmth in your home at night.

  1. Set Washing Machine To Cold Water

Only using cold water to wash your clothes can save you $40 a year.

Small Inexpensive Ways To Save Energy

  1. Replace Filters

Replace the filter on your furnace or central heat/air system. When your filter is dirty, your furnace or heater have to work harder. Thus, they are using more energy. Clean filter means less energy used to get the heat to blow.

  1. Water Efficient Faucets and Showerheads

Invest in water efficient plumbing. If you by a showerhead that is 1.8 gallon per minute, you will consume 10% less hot water. That equals to about $20 a year. An energy efficient faucet can save you $6 per faucet.

  1. Light Up with CFL bulbs

Change out all your light bulbs so that you are only using compact fluorescent light bulbs. For every bulb you replace, you are saving yourself $40 in the future.

  1. Weatherize Your Home

Find all the holes in your home and seal them up. Making sure your home is ready for the winter can save 10% in your annual cooling and heating costs. You can weatherize your home by making sure your window seals are in tack and that there are no gaps between your doors and the floor.

Go Big And Heat Your Home

  1. Insulate Your Home

If you do not have insulation in your walls, your floor or your ceiling, you need to get some. If you have an attic, you can add insulation there. It is the fastest and easiest way to do it. Some will come and blow insulation into your attic to reduce the heating cost of your home. Insulating your home can save up to 20% on annual heating and cooling costs.

  1. Only Use Energy Star Appliances

This does not apply to major appliance. A toaster can be a power drain. Make sure your toaster oven is energy efficient. Of course, having energy efficient TVs, ovens, refrigerators, washers, dishwashers, dryers, etc, can save you up to $2,000 a year.

Heating your home in winter does not have to drain your wallet. Follow these tips and you can stay warm at a fraction of the price.

Written by the HVAC experts at Greater Comfort Heating & Air.

HVAC Maintenance

HVAC systems need regular maintenance every year to maintain balanced air conditioning and heating for your home or office. These yearly checks are a part of making sure they will and are running properly. HVAC maintenance is very important to the health of your system. Energy Star recommends several tips to keep your system running optimally so that you can maintain efficient heating and cooling.

Change your filters

This may seem as if it is not that important but your filter maintains cleaner air and less allergens in your home. This is important for health and optimum air flow. Dust is the number one cause of allergens and illness in winter and even in summer. Make sure your filters are clean and ready for the seasons.

A Yearly Tune up

Make sure you have your system checked either by a professional or you can learn the processes you need to take care of your system yourself. It is however easier to hire a professional to do this maintenance and it can cost you less on your heating and cooling bills through-out the year.

Duct Maintenance

Your system was a great installation however, did you make sure your ducts were the size for your system? Most homes in construction are built with ducts that are not the proper sizing for the home and in this process they become easily unattached. If you suspect your ductwork is not properly installed you can do a walk through and if you see cracks or places where air flow is coming through unsealed places in your ductwork you can easily seal these places and buy ducts inexpensively to fix this problem. Ductwork is a major reason that systems do not work as they should and waste energy and money. Be sure to do this investigation thoroughly to make sure your duct work is installed as it should be.

Thermostat cost efficiency

Your thermostat should work for you not against you. Older thermostats can hinder your cost savings from HVAC system installation be sure when you have your system installed to have your HVAC professional check your thermostat and talk to them about having a digital thermostat installed for exact temperature control. Digital thermostats save money through-out the year with cost saving efficiency on your utility bills.

Have an HVAC professional do a walk-through of your system to make sure you are receiving the maximized heating and cooling for your home. If you are considering a new system remember that signs of humidity and rooms that are not cool or hot when the system is running could mean that it is time for a new HVAC system from a professional.

Written by the HVAC experts at ADA Heating & Air.

Tips to Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

breathe-healthy-indoor-airYou spend a lot of time in your home, especially during the scorching summer months when the heat is stiff and unbearable. To cool down you use cooling mist fans, ceiling fans and portable air conditioners to move the air around, providing a bit of relief from the sweltering sauna outside. While you bask in the air conditioned space, you think nothing about the quality of air around you. But do you actually know what’s in your air?

Contaminants Inside Your Home


Photo Source : Ameri-Tec

When you hear the words “air quality” you generally think of the environment outside. There is an ever-present layer of smog from autos and factories, chemicals injected into the air that threaten our breathing every day. With so much pollution all around us, it’s impossible to not track some of it inside with you. Even if your home is spotlessly clean and well humidified, there are still unseen materials that can attack your indoor air quality without you even knowing it. These irritants can come in the form of mold, lead, asbestos, radon or even the fumes found is aerosol cleaners or perfumes. They can be in the paint, under the carpet, behind the walls or under the house without you knowing, leaving you to breath in air that’s just as bad as the outside world. Pet dander and pollen also contribute to your overall health, even if you’re not severely allergic to either one.

Helping You Breathe a Little Easier


Photo Source : 3M solutions

It’s not all bad news when it comes to indoor air quality, however; there are little things you can do to help improve your existing environment.

Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which has been proven to capture more allergens and irritants that vacuums without this special filter. When you’re done running the vacuum, mop the existing floors or use a static duster to help remove dust particles from your home’s surface that vacuuming alone can’t catch. These methods ensure you aren’t just moving the dust around from place to place and are actually capturing the molecules for proper disposal.

Try placing a welcome mat outside the doors into your home so people can stamp off dirt before it even makes it indoors. This can eliminate the majority of dust and chemical pollutants from shoes that see a lot of outdoor use, and drastically reduce the amount of irritants being tracked into the home. If you can, make your house a shoe-free zone – encourage people to leave their shoes outside for maximum benefit.

Mold and other bacterial contaminants thrive on moisture, so it’s important your home have about 30-50% humidity at all times. You can buy a dehumidifier specifically for this purpose, although portable air conditions work just as well and can cool not only the environment but you, too, as it reduces the indoor pollen count and circulates a breath of fresh air through the home. A small, portable air conditioner is also easy on the wallet compared to the rising cost of health care, so it pays to take good care of yourself and your home.

no-smoking Lastly, impose a no-smoking rule in your home. Cigarette smoke contains harmful contaminants that often linger on the air in an indoor environment, but smoking outside allows the smoke to somewhat dissipate and stay clear of your interior space. It’s the little things that make a difference, and being aware of your environment and how you impact it is key to breathing a little easier not just during the hot South African summer months, but all year long.

GMC Aircon has been an industry leader in the South African heating and cooling market for almost two decades, and their reputation as one of the best suppliers of portable air conditioners is unparalleled in quality. Use these tips to get started and consider purchasing a portable air conditioner of your own to get started; it’s a small investment that has a large effect in the long run. The GMC Aircon team would love to hear from you so please feel free to get in touch with them here and see how they can make your environment cooler today!

GMC Also have a great range of Heat Pump systems which can save you up to 70% on your energy bills. Please see the below video for more information.

Thermal Comfort in the workplace: is clever air conditioning the answer?

The Health and Safety Executive in the UK refers to the term ‘thermal comfort’ as “a person’s state of mind in terms of whether they feel too hot or too cold”

Recent research of office workers has revealed that only 24% thought that their office was the optimal temperature for them to work in all year round. The result of this being a lack of productivity, as almost a third of workers (29%) said that they probably spent up to half an hour every day struggling to work efficiently because of an uncomfortable temperature.

There is a lot to be lost in ignoring office temperatures and equally there is also a lot to be gained from ensuring that workplace comfort is optimal.

If your workplace already has an Air Conditioning and ventilation system installed, it’s worth checking when it was last serviced, as systems can lose much of their output efficiency without regular maintenance. Old systems are also liable to cause leaks and ignoring essential maintenance can lead to a lack of refrigerant and a struggling, power zapping system.

If you don’t already have a system in place, it’s worth considering installing one now, instead of waiting for a heat wave in the middle of summer, when your employees are already complaining about the overbearing heat in the work environment.

Further information about air conditioning repairs can be found here.

What Kind of Freon Do I Need?

By: Alec Johnson

There are many types of Freon available and it can be rather confusing as to what type of Freon your home HVAC or your vehicle takes. There are four major kinds of freon today. You have your R-410A and your R-22 for your home/commercial units. You also have your R-134A and your R-12 refrigerants for your vehicles.

Below is a quick guide on how to identify what type of refrigerant you need:


There are a few types of refrigerants used in vehicles. The most common type today is the R-134A. In the past R-12 was the go to refrigerant for vehicles. R-12 was phased out from production in compliance with the Montreal Protocol in 1995. (Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the O-Zone layer by phasing out production of chemicals that are harmful to the O-Zone.)

Vehicle manufacturers begin switching to R-134A between 1992 and 1994. If your vehicle was made after this date (Which was twenty years ago, so I would hope so!) then your vehicle is using R-134A refrigerant. Since R-134A is an HFC you can purchase and use it without having to be licensed with the Environmental Protection Agency. R-134A can be bought in 12 ounce cans or in thirty pound jugs.

If you are in need of R-12 Freon you are going to end up paying an arm and a leg to get a hold of some. Since R-12 was phased out almost twenty years ago the price have gone up exponentially. I’ve seen some thirty pound jugs sell for over a thousand dollars. Also, in order to purchase and handle R-12 Freon you need to be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. You will not be able to buy this without providing your certification number to a seller.

Home Units

There are two possible types of refrigerants that are used in your home air conditioning unit. The most common refrigerant is R-22 Freon and other is R-410A. Most units made prior to 2010 will be taking R-22 Freon and ALL units made in 2010 or newer are required to take R-410A refrigerant. So, it is just a matter finding out when your machine was manufactured.

R-22 has been the standard HVAC freon for many years but in recent years has begun to be phased out due to the ‘Montreal Protocol.’ (Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the O-Zone layer by phasing out production of chemicals that are harmful to the O-Zone.) The short version is that R-22 falls into the chemical group of Hydrocholoroflurocarbons, or HCFCs. HCFCs contain the chemical Chlorine which negatively affects the O-Zone layer.

In compliance with the Montreal Protocol the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency mandated that no new R-22 machines can be manufactured after 2009. Any new HVAC unit built in 2010 or greater will now take the R-410A refrigerant. If you have a unit that takes R-22 Freon you are still able to buy some on the market today, but you will need to be certified with the EPA before your can purchase or handle R-22. If you are not certified you will need to have an HVAC company service your unit. Lastly, in 2020 the production R-22 will be banned in the United States. You will still be able to purchase it but you will see the price sky rocket over the next few years. If you do find that you need R-22 in the future it may make more sense to just purchase a new R-410A unit instead.

R-410A is a Hydroflurocarbon, or HFCs, and has no negative affects on the O-Zone layer. It is the future of Freon for home and commercial air conditioning units. Although HFCs are an improvement from the damaging R-22 they are not perfect. They may not damage the O-Zone but they are greenhouse gases and have a higher Global Warming contribution then it’s predecessor R-22.

R-410A is not widely spread today as most units prior to 2010 were using R-22 Freon. However, as the years go on R-410A is going to be the dominant Freon in the marketplace. Since R-410A is an HFC refrigerant you do NOT need to be certified to purchase or handle it. This gives all you do-it-yourselfers the ability to purchase Freon online and not have to worry about breaking any regulations.

If you are interested in purchasing Freon please visit our Product Page by clicking here!

Air Conditioning Is Out Of Order? Come To Get an AC Repair Specialist in Sydney

If you live in Sydney, you could be one of those who want to put up an air conditioning system in their houses because of the constant weather changes. Good thing finding air conditioning systems in Sydney is not quite difficult. This is because of the existence of several air conditioning sellers that offers highly reliable products. Unfortunately, no matter how reliable the product and the brand of a certain air conditioner, the possibility of damage to arise are not eliminated. And the most appropriate people to call in terms of air conditioner damage are the air conditioning repairs in Sydney companies.

Air Conditioning Repairs Companies

Air conditioning system is quite a complicated system; this is why most companies who do the repairs were solely organized to cater AC damages. Expert staff members are all hired to make sure that the problem with the system could be fixed and its functionality could be maintained. The services offered by an air conditioning repairs company in Sydney are not limited as to repairing the damages when it actually arises already. Here are some of the available services.

  • Installation

The expert technician in an air conditioning repair company knows how to install several kinds of air conditioning system of different brands. They are also trained on how to mount the system, regardless of whether it is split or ducted.

  • Servicing

The technicians are also skilled in delivering to the customer the results that he or she wants to be done on the system. It also encompasses service maintenance so possible severe damages will be avoided. Some companies might only offer repair services, but most air conditioning repairs in Sydney offer overall maintenance service. This includes regular visitations.

  • Residential and Commercial Repairs

The technicians understand that commercial and residential air conditioning system requirements and damages could be a little different. Therefore, they can truly address any type of problem regarding the system for both types. Different products and service offerings will be given to the customer and this includes duct air con or split types.

Why Call an AC Specialist

Calling an AC specialist in times of damage is good. However, calling an air conditioning repairs specialist in Sydney early on is much better. This is because waiting for the system to be damaged might only cause severe problems, which may be considered as irreparable. In this case, you will be forced to buy a new system again. This will cost you a lot and it takes time, especially if it happens just when you badly need it.

The AC specialist will help you maintain your system as functional as it is, by taking preventive measures. This includes cleaning the system. The air conditioning repairs, Sydney specialist must check your system periodically. He might also give you some hints on how to clean your system yourself and do other maintenance measures. In this case, repairs for damages will only come mild and future changing of the whole system is not quite possible. It will surely make your system functional until it consumed all of its useful and serviceable life or even surpassed it.

HVAC Software: Smart Service

If you operate an HVAC business, you need Smart Service HVAC scheduling software because it not only makes job scheduling easier but it also offers numerous benefits that take excess stress off of you as the owner of the company.

Management of Jobs

One benefit of HVAC software is that you will be able to manage jobs and projects efficiently. It also has service maintenance contract forms that you can customize so that it will be easier to create them for customers to read and sign. With this software you can also e-mail your customers the invoices for work that was completed along with any discounts you offer for certain services. If you want to dispatch employees to work sites quickly, Smart Service enables you to text these locations to your workers.

Other Features of Smart Service HVAC Software

Smart Service HVAC software also has a customer resource management feature that lets you manage all things that relate to your customers. You can access your customers’ information within minutes of logging into the system and you will be able to put a section on your company’s website that lets your customers request an appointment with you. You can also export all of the invoices to QuickBooks.

QuickBooks Integration

Another good thing about Smart Service HVAC service software is that it contains QuickBooks integration, which is great for accounting and billing services. You can enter your company’s and customers’ data into the system in real time and this prevents you from having outdated information. The QuickBooks feature also allows you to enter billing information in real time so that you can give the customers their invoices quickly. You can also enter everything into one database instead of different databases, saving you time.

Billing Tools

Accounting tasks are made easier with the billing feature of Smart Service HVAC software. You can create sheets that list the profitability of the services you offer and it lets you edit or delete services that are not profitable for the business. This software also includes the ability to create item lists that include the prices of the services.

Matching Projects With The Right Workers

Smart Service HVAC software also helps you match the right workers with the projects that customers requested. You can enter in the skills and expertise levels of all of your workers into the system and then when customers request projects, you can look at the software database and look up the names of your workers to see which ones are the best fit for the job.


HVAC scheduling software is a great way to manage your business and employees without spending hours and money on paperwork and mailing out invoices to customers. When you use this software you can streamline operations and this helps keep track of recent projects and current financial information. Finally, you can make updates to the software without cost and there is around the clock technical support.

Why Replace Your Air Conditioner Now Instead of Waiting until Next Summer?

Is your air conditioner more than 12 years old?  Is your air conditioner in need of repairs or on its last leg?  Are the recent increases in your utility bills eating you alive?  If you answered YES to any of these questions, this may be the most important money savings news you’ll get in 2013.

Amazing new advances in air conditioning and heating equipment efficiencies can lower your cooling costs by nearly 30%.  Most times the savings can offset the monthly payments on a new system.  Why suffer thru another hot summer, when you can have a new air conditioner NOW!

The folks over at Rafkia Air Conditioning have the expertise to build a system that meets both your cooling needs and your budget.   Rafkia Air Conditioning will recommend the right product for the area you need to cool or heat.  With so many decisions to make about what type of system, what size, and which brand is best for your needs, you can be assured they will help you find the right product to do the job.

You’ll find their prices are very competitive; they also represent excellent value for money. Whether they are installing a fan or installing a solar system, they will provide you with a quote in advance of doing any work so there are no surprises.

Why Choose to Call Rafkia?


Call Rafkia Air Conditioning today for an in home estimate.

Dust Containment Solutions for Contractors

Are you a contractor that just landed a project in a local hospital?  Need a ceiling dust containment solution to protect productivity and the patients?  Then look no further than HEPACART™, a revolutionary new dust containment system.  No longer is plastic hanging from the doors and ceilings the norm – HEPACART™has filled the need.

HEPACART™is a completely self-contained ceiling access system that creates a mobile workspace.  This cart fits easily thru any door and or elevator.  It can be readily moved and set up by a single person.  The unit is completely mobile with 4 swivel casters to roll it around with.  The fabric poles can be raised or lowered in about fifteen seconds.  This is a huge advantage over other carts.


The cart has a negative air machine built right in and a pre-filter.  The negative air machine is certified at air-cleanliness level V (Class 100). Every HEPACART™ receives a HEPA filter integrity tests (IEST-RP-CC0034.2) as well as particulate tests for ISO14644 Class V air. Certification paperwork is included with the cart and is good for one year from date of purchase.

Either 6 ft or 8 ft ladders can be used in a HEPACART™.  The carts contain a brace for resting the ladder and ladder cleat brackets. HEPACART provides an optional PTC or PTFRC for “pass through slips” that enable you to pass conduit, wire, tools, and equipment from one person outside the cart to a person inside without shutting down the opening the door. Ease of use is well thought out.

HEPACART’S™are great for:

Hospital patient protection
Electricians needing ceiling access
Server Rooms
Room Isolation
and More!

HEPACART™ is the specialty equipment of choice for contractors to protect people during high risk construction, renovation and maintenance projects.  Please contact HEPACART™ for more information.