Next Level HVAC Service Tools for Today’s Technician
Updated 2021-10-15 18:58:09

Next Level HVAC Service Tools for Today’s Technician

by Brent Lammert

 

As an HVAC technician, you have a job that is highly dependent on the ability to diagnose issues efficiently. With the right HVAC service tools on hand, you can identify problems or system weaknesses before performing maintenance or repairs and provide higher quality services. Along with knowing about standard HVAC toolbox must-haves, today’s technician also knows that HVAC tools are becoming more advanced and offer features that can save your business time and money.

 

Tools for the Tech-Savvy HVAC Technician

The HVAC industry outlook indicates that demand for HVAC technicians is going to rise 15% by 2026. This is good news for technicians and business owners. It also is good for the HVAC tool industry. This demand will fuel not only tool production but also more innovation. HVAC service tools are geared toward mechanical functionality, but technology is becoming an increasingly valuable component.

 

The Internet of Things (IoT) brings the opportunity for us to work more efficiently, save time and money, and minimize waste and other by-products of inefficiency. The HVAC industry has seen a rise in technology with building automation systems, system monitoring and analytics, performance data storage and reporting. A technology like measureQuick helps HVAC technicians aggregate data and analyze data in the field. Even everyday homeowners can take control of their HVAC settings with programmable and connected devices. The industry has gotten smarter, and with the right tools, HVAC technicians can stay at the front of the service provider pack.

 

Building performance measures, such as energy blower tests, are becoming more commonplace making blower door systems a valuable investment. And both homeowners and commercial building owners are becoming more focused on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Today’s humidity, CO2, temperature and other condition sensors offer accurate, easily deployed devices that can help gather, store and report data to help identify any areas that fall out of range. For HVAC technicians, these tools can help streamline diagnosis and create higher customer satisfaction.

 

The latest refrigerant gauges are a big step up from manifold models that only measure pressures and temperature of refrigerants. With an upgrade to today’s analyzers you’ll get evaporation temperatures, system pressures and options for vacuum measurements and other reads. A modern version can streamline your toolbox, making older thermometers and gauges redundant, while creating more certainty in the efficiency and safety of the HVAC system.

 

Thermal Imaging Trends in HVAC

A big shift in HVAC service tools is toward thermal imaging. Just as smartphones have proliferated in  our everyday lives, thermal cameras are becoming a regular fixture in the HVAC industry. The drive to utilize thermal imaging has given rise to a wide range of models and options that can grow with your business. Thermal imaging has quickly become a valued time-saving technology that can help identify and diagnose HVAC, electrical and other system defaults.

 

Thermal Camera Options

Today’s thermal cameras come in a variety of setups that fit most any requirements. Portable versions offer an integrated way to connect thermal imaging technology with your smartphone. Models such as the HIKMICRO B1L use built-in WiFi to connect to smartphones and tablets. The mobile app allows you to turn your smartphone into a thermal imaging device with high resolution, fast image frequency and accurate temperature readings. HIKMICRO E1L or B1L are perfect options for many technicians. Both options won’t break the bank, fit in their tool bag and save time and money while providing greater customer satisfaction.

 

Handheld thermal cameras are designed to provide professionals with all the data they need to get the job done. Models like the Hikmicro M Series provide high resolution, high image quality, an 8mp visible camera, easily interchangeable battery and a touchscreen analysis in the field — all features a seasoned HVAC technician can appreciate. While a bigger investment than portable models, handheld thermal cameras bring a return to the bottom line by creating efficiency and allowing technicians to diagnose system issues with accuracy.

 

Keeping Up with the Growing HVAC Industry

The focus on HVAC system adaptability throughout 2020 was in many ways unprecedented. HVAC expertise has been in high demand and it is only on an upward trend. Now, the HVAC industry is heading into an exciting era that is driven by demand and coupled with technological advancements. For HVAC technicians, the ability to be well equipped with the latest tech tools will keep them at the forefront of innovations and enable them to utilize the expanding knowledge base to advance their careers or grow their businesses.

 

Sources

Buyer’s Guide - Best HVAC Technician Toolkits

US Bureau of Labor - HVAC Occupational Outlook

HVAC Informed - 2021 Technology Trends in the HVAC Industry