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HVAC: A Day in the Life

Published: June 15, 2016 | Updated: January 25, 2019

From their title, you might guess that HVAC/R Technicians work on heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, but have you ever wondered what the job is really like? Check out the Charter College Day-in-the-Life summary to explore this growing career1 and see if it might be right for you.

The first thing you need to realize is your job will be very much dependent upon the weather and the season. No heat in the dead of winter can truly be a crisis situation. And no one wants to be without AC when the temps hit the triple digits.

Summer Days:

Even before the summer starts, you’d have work to do. Air conditioning maintenance and repair helps make sure the AC works when people need it most. If you worked for a company that serviced residential homes, you’d travel to different neighborhoods to meet with homeowners. Typical maintenance you might perform would include:

·         Remove debris in and around the AC unit with your hands and a wet/dry vacuum

·         Prune branches and vegetation surrounding the unit and rake back leaves and brush

·         Clean the compressor fins with a garden hose to loosen and remove dirt

·         Gently straighten the fins to ensure proper air flow

·         Check to make sure that the unit sits level on its pad; correct it if it is not

·         Clean the evaporator coil and drain

·         Replace the blower filter

·         Turn the unit on and test it to make sure it runs properly

Even well-maintained air conditioners sometimes break down. As an HVAC/R technician, you’d also need to troubleshoot systems and make repairs.

Winter Nights:

Heating systems also need maintenance to run efficiently. You’d need to know all about the different kinds of systems you might encounter, whether they run on electricity, gas, oil, or propane. And you’d need to know just what to do to make certain everything is in tip-top shape:

·         Inspect the furnace, thermostat, ducts, flue, and wiring

·         Clean and adjust burner jets as necessary

·         Check the heat pump belts and replace as needed

·         Replace filters

·         Oil circulating fans and other moving parts



As an HVAC/R technician, you wouldn’t just perform service on home refrigerators. You might also work on walk-in coolers and freezers and refrigerated trucks and warehouses. If it needs to stay cold, you’d be the person to make sure it does!

Maintenance would just be one part of your job. You’d also work on installation and repair. You might find yourself on construction sites, installing systems into new houses. Or replacing old systems when something needs an upgrade. And if you worked in commercial HVAC, you could find yourself as a key player in helping huge venues like warehouses, arenas, and stadiums keep their systems—and the people who benefit from them—happy.

If you’ve ever considered a career in HVAC/R, check out the Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration Training at Charter College. With our blended learning program, you could be ready to enter your new career in as a little as 10 months. Give us a call today at 888.200.9942 to learn more now!