When you’re an HVAC professional, technology is part of your job. So, keeping up with the latest computer skills is essential. Software technology that enhances your ability to work effectively will make you a valuable asset to your clients and your employer. It will also impress prospective employers when you’re seeking a new job. The following are four major skill areas and software applications related to them:
1) Understanding and updating job service details
Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) is a classic field service business. HVAC technicians go out to service locations to perform jobs specified in their work order description. Miscommunication is a common problem when it comes to field service activities. Today, there’s a wide range of powerful tools to minimize such mistakes. Mobile devices display detailed and current order information. Technicians have a current order available at all times. They also know what equipment they need to bring on site so that they won’t waste valuable time. Mobile electronic order management helps resolve disputes, too. These records can be retrieved and shared with customers immediately when questions or conflicts arise. Field service schedules are also updated immediately and provide a single shared source of information. With everyone on the same page, communication is at its most efficient and jobs can be performed smoothly. You need to feel at home when entering and updating job service details in your work management software system.
2) HVAC system monitoring and control
Monitoring and control systems can range in complexity from completely straightforward to extremely complex. Effective monitoring leads to reduced energy consumption. In large facilities this can add up to millions of dollars a year. In a facility located in an area with a harsh climate, an HVAC failure can result in dire consequences. Automated notification of failure leads to speedy needed repair that will save valuable systems and equipment from serious damage.
Here are some essential types of monitoring as they relate to HVAC:
- HVAC Monitoring
- Environmental Monitoring – Software supporting environmental monitoring consolidates logs and graphs with environmental data accessible by mobile devices.
- HVAC Energy Monitoring – Energy monitoring software can record and track the power usage at a variety of levels.
- HVAC Control – More complex HVAC systems can interface with a Building Automation System (BAS) to offer building managers more control over their heating or cooling units. The building owner can monitor one or more systems and respond to alarms generated at both local and remote locations. BAS controls system configuration and can directly control HVAC components.
Understanding HVAC system monitoring and control software will enable you to make effective use of your service visit.
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3) Keeping track of time worked
Field service management software supports accurate record keeping for time and attendance. It gives accounting a strong idea of how much each type of job costs. As an HVAC tech, you can track your earnings on an individual-jobs basis and over time. With pre-coded data entry information available, you’ll be able to enter data rapidly and accurately. Managers can schedule teams quickly and effectively. Client work management histories are available, offering you access to the intelligence you need to perform a superior job.
4) Diagnosing HVAC problems
Diagnostic software will help you correct problems quickly. Software can produce automated diagnostics based on sensor information and can recommend corrective action. Under certain conditions, it can also perform temporary fixes while leaving a log entry for operator review. Finally, diagnostic software generates automated work orders as action items based on diagnosed information.
Popular software that HVAC techs should be familiar with
Avtech software offers HVAC environmental monitoring software. PageR Enterprise offers a central event console displaying event information from a wide range of devices sourced by local and global networks. Notification functionality allows appropriate staff to be contacted immediately. Device ManageR automatically discovers, manages, logs, and graphs remote AVTECH devices.
FieldAware software caters to HVAC users seeking work order management, scheduling and dispatch, mobile apps for field workers, and time sheet functionality.
Performance diagnostics software helps identify previously unidentified performance problems and standardize technician performance. Systems performance reports are retained and can be examined over a period of years to analyze performance changes.
Summing it up
There are many different HVAC software applications that can help you do a more effective job. Reading about them will open your eyes to how you can automate management, record keeping, diagnosis and monitoring functions. Mastering these computer skills will help you become a successful HVAC technician.