The set of skills necessary for a successful HVAC technician is learned in school and honed in the field. The desire to become knowledgeable with the following skills will emit an air of expertise that is invaluable when dealing with clients. HVAC schools will teach you these skills that will transform competency into mastery.
Blueprint reading and extrapolation are the cement in the foundation in quality technicians. The ability to quickly decipher a set of schematics allows you to move quickly into the troubleshooting analysis. The extrapolation part is necessary in a variety of field service scenarios. The most common is that the blueprint is missing from the unit. Age or exposure to the elements often wears away part or all of the labels located on or near the unit itself. Familiarity with the basic operations, equipment, wiring, and setups will allow you to make progress that other lesser-trained technicians could not hope for.
The other situation in which extrapolation skills is necessary is when other repair personnel have serviced the unit. Documentation of the changes from the original installation is a rare occurrence in the field. Experience combined with good blueprint skills can navigate you through the water of non-cited changes. This will allow you to succeed where many of your cohorts will fall short.
The familiarity of key numbers and equations promotes a confident aura when dealing with customers. Few things scream inexperience as much as the technician who has to consistently reference information and tabulate numbers in front of a customer. Quality HVAC schools will help instill into their students the fundamental mathematics to enable any technician to do key calculations in their head. HVAC technicians must show that they are dedicated and knowledgeable about their craft. Nothing exudes confidence to the customer more than the repair person who is already armed with the numbers that are vital to their trade.
The Theory in Use: Troubleshooting
Superior troubleshooting skills are born in the classroom and grow with experience. Word problems are to mathematics as troubleshooting is to HVAC. The application of the skills you learn in the classroom are initially applied in troubleshooting exercises in school. Getting to the heart of the matter down the quickest trails is the best way for a billing estimate to remain in range. Nothing disheartens your employer (as well as your customer) like going above the initial estimate bill. Exceptional troubleshooting allows for the quick elimination of some causes so that extensive examination can be done on the ones that form the root of the problem.
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Any person can purchase the physical tools for the job. HVAC schools will teach the mental disciplines of the job. From the key component of the schematic to the myriad of numbers and theory that must be learned, schools provide the best chance for a solid foundation. The experience gained in school will aid in putting that theory into use in the field through the process of troubleshooting. An efficient employee who consistently uses this array of skills is a boon to the employer and a great value to the army of customers that await.