The HVAC industry is growing rapidly and looks promising for many people as it can produce big job opportunities. The US Bureau of Labor stated that the HVAC industry will offer more than 13% of jobs by 2028. This percentage is higher compared to most industries.
So are you planning to get started as an HVAC technician? Then you must know the best HVAC tools to help you deliver quick, safe, error-free, and higher-quality HVAC service.
But if you are a beginner, you don’t have to get hold of all the tools that an HVAC technician possesses. This is why we have divided this article consists of an HVAC tools list based on four categories: basic, advanced, major, and safety tools for a better understanding of the importance of each tool.
Now let’s jump into the HVAC tool list, which HVAC service techs must know before getting into the HVAC field.
A Complete List of HVAC Tools That Technicians Should Include in 2023
You probably don’t want to experience an electric shock, right? So, a multimeter is a must-have safety tool for HVAC technicians. This instrument checks electrical current and shows if any voltage is present and thus preventing you from being electrocuted. Whenever you are on-site to inspect any HVAC equipment, this tool must accompany you. It can detect currents on wires, outlets, or switches.
2. Safety goggles
Safety goggles are an essential HVAC tool for your HVAC job. Having accurate vision while working is crucial. There will be metal and dust debris on your HVAC job site. So, to protect your eyes, you must have a pair of safety goggles.
Here is a cool tip, invest in goggles with magnification that helps you see smaller parts of the HVAC units.
No, that random gloves you see in stores won’t help. You must invest in a pair of durable, high grip gloves as they are your personal protective equipment for your hands. The gloves must be thick enough to safeguard your hands and flexible enough to hold screws and smaller tools comfortably.
4. Work boots
HVAC jobs demand a lot of standing. So, to protect your foot and make you feel comfy, work boots are another HVAC safety tool necessary for HVAC technicians.
This tool is often overlooked. If you don’t want your hearing sense to be affected while using power tools, ear plugs are essential. So make sure to protect your ears using industrial-strength ear plugs or muffs.
6. Core removal tool
Another must-have tool for an HVAC technician is the core removal tool which assists with the removal and replacement of broken cores.
7. Coil fin straightener
Air conditioner condenser coils are often prone to clogging, getting dirty, or twisted. So to clean it up, you need a coil fin straightener. This is one of the best tools that helps HVAC service technicians straighten and clean the coils to improve airflow and heat exchange.
The HVAC industry is all the temperature, isn’t it? So, temperature control is another crucial aspect, and investing in a digital thermometer is recommended. Just ensure it is portable and effective enough to last long.
A saw is another important tool in the HVAC technician tool list. But you need a reciprocating saw blade such as the Sawzall to do the job correctly. An HVAC technician uses a saw blade to cut through different materials like metal, steel, and plastic. When choosing the saw, ensure it is durable and if it stands the test of time.
10. Nitrogen regulator
The gas tanks with CO2 and nitrogen combo tend to be in extremely high pressure. So, a regulator is used to lower that pressure to a stable level before the gas reaches the keg. Without such a regulator, the high pressure can cause the gas or liquid to be released all at once. It is another essential tool in your HVAC toolkit.
11. Leak detector
Just like any other technology, HVAC systems too age, and they develop wear and tear after certain years of use. So, the systems start to leak. While dealing with refrigerants, HVAC technicians use refrigerant leak detectors to check different areas with moisture to identify the source of a refrigerant leak.
A psychrometer is a tool that helps in measuring humidity by calculating both a wet-bulb and a dry-bulb temperature reading. With these two values, this tool can accurately calculate the other properties of the air, including its moisture content, the rate of airflow, and air mixtures in the HVAC system.
13. Caulking gun
The dripless caulking gun helps an HVAC technician seal air ducts and fill holes in the HVAC unit. So, this HVAC tool must be taken care of and keep it in good working order to avoid future messes.
14. HVAC software
This is not a physical tool, but to level up your HVAC business as a business owner or contractor, or technician, you need an HVAC software tool. There are multiple software tools to help in field management, accounting, invoicing, estimating HVAC load calculators, and another such tasks in HVAC businesses.
15. Recovery unit
The refrigerant recovery machine helps the HVAC technician extract refrigerant per EPA standards. This machine helps to conduct work on air conditioning refrigerant pipes, such as checking for leaks, which is quite helpful. So, this is another must-have major HVAC tool in your HVAC toolkit.
16. Vacuum pump
Vacuum pumps are HVAC specialty tools to service any air conditioning unit. Once you extra the refrigerant using the recovery machine, this HVAC tool helps prevent water vapor and air from entering the refrigerant line.
Though it is an expensive HVAC tool, it is important to have one to get the job done correctly. This type of HVAC tool is given to HVAC technicians by their employers.
17. Digital weight scale
To perform maintenance or installs in a new HVAC unit, HVAC techs need a digital refrigerant scale.
When the refrigerant is pulled from the line set, a weight scale is used to check the amount of refrigerant. The pipe may have potential leaks if there is a low reading.
18. Oxy/Acetylene torch kit
Brazing and soldering are two important tasks while installing the HVAC unit. So, an HVAC tool list is incomplete without Oxy/Acetylene torch kit. This tool helps connect and solder the line set to the compressor and other parts of the HVAC unit.
This tool helps the service technicians get the job done fast, but you must use the torch carefully as it can easily damage the pipes if used wrongly.
19. HVAC technician tool list
HVAC service technicians must maintain a proper balance of airflow in the air ducts to ensure the system’s efficiency. So, to measure the static pressure within the HVAC unit’s ductwork, one needs a manometer.
20. Screwdrivers and nut drivers
There is no HVAC tools list without screwdrivers and nut drivers. In fact, these are the basic HVAC hand tools that help HVAC technicians prepare for the job properly. That said, a full range of screwdriver bits and nut drivers is recommended.
If not a full-range screwdriver, get hold of a multi-purpose screwdriver with a Philips-head but and a flathead bit in sizes 1 and 2, provided with a small magnetic nut driver set.
21. Tape measure
Another simple yet important HVAC tool that helps measure the refrigerant pipe or sheet metal ductwork tape measure. Check if it comes with a self-locking mechanism so that it can help you during a work call, and impact resistance goes a long way.
You need a full set of pliers to handle wires, bolts, and pipes of different sizes. Getting small, medium, large, and needle-nose pliers are recommended. Investing in an insulated set of pliers can give you durability and longevity.
A standard-size hammer is a potential HVAC tool for an HVAC service technician that must accompany them for every HVAC job. Ensure it’s lightweight, easy to hold, and has a fiberglass construction to enjoy convenience and durability.
24. Extension cords
Yes, your tool bag must also include an extension cord. Because these extension cords are necessary to plug in the electric tools while working onsite. So, what to look for while investing in one?
Check if the extension cord is thick, long, and portable. In terms of length, we suggest 50 feet.
GGauges are an essential HVAC tool that is used to measure different types of refrigerants and find out if an HVAC unit has leaks or not. So, when repairing air conditioning units, you need refrigeration or manifold gauges.
To accurately assess the heating and air conditioning of an HVAC system, HVAC technicians must carry a flashlight or headlamp. In particular, a headlamp is handy as you can walk free, working in a dark space conveniently.
27. Drills and cutters
You need a cordless, battery-powered drill to drill holes to fix the HVAC units, and we did mention it is a cordless drill because it will help you be more efficient. However, have a charging battery in your toolbox, so charge the drill that runs out of power.
To cut through anything, you need metal and tubing cutters. If you are a beginner, start with a quarter-inch or half-inch cutter, and with time, start handling wide-sized cutters.
The HVAC tools list is incomplete without wrenches. They are available in different sizes and shapes for fastening, turning, tightening, gripping, and loosening things such as pipe, nuts and bolts, and pipe fittings.
You need a wide range of wrenches, from fixed and adjustable to crescent and pipe wrenches, for your HVAC job. Ensure to have small, medium, and large wrenches to handle any job and pipe wrenches to loosen the pipe connections.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are thermal imaging cameras?
Thermal imaging cameras are one of the highly recommended thermal imaging tools for HVAC technicians. They help them diagnose problematic issues by identifying where problems originate within the climate system.
Do HVAC techs buy their own tools?
The answer is it depends. HVAC technicians are expected to invest in a set of basic hand tools. Other than this, your employer will provide you with the other essential tools. Also, if your tools get broken or damaged, you can claim replacements or reimbursements from the employers.
What tools do I need as an HVAC apprentice?
An HVAC apprentice must carry basic tools such as:
- Battery-powered drill
- Electrical testers
- The sawzall
- Extension cord
- Pipe wrench
- Screw drivers
How much do HVAC tools cost?
According to some sources, investing in basic HVAC tools as a new HVAC technician can cost around $200 to $500. However, you can’t get all the essential HVAC tools for your HVAC job initially. It is not recommended as well when starting. Some HVAC technicians may spend more. Meanwhile, some add new tools to their kit over time.
How many tools are required for an HVAC job?
As an HVAC technician, you will mostly install, repair, or carry out maintenance on HVAC systems. So, you are obliged to carry a toolbox whenever you go onsite. There are atleast 45 different tools needed for an HVAC job. These include basic, safety, and advanced tools.
What are the important tools for an HVAC technician to troubleshoot commercial refrigeration systems?
Some HVAC tools that assist the technicians in troubleshooting the commercial refrigeration system are pipes, wrenches, pliers, tin snips, shear, voltage testers, and multimeters.
Having the right HVAC tech tools is more important for an HVAC tech to get the work done properly. There are 25+ tools given in this article, and it’s up to you to decide what tools you need to add to your HVAC toolkit. Though you won’t require many tools as a beginner, with time and experience, you will start using almost all the tools given in this article.
Here’s one quick piece of advice: Before investing in any physical tool, ensure it is durable, reliable, longevity, and worth investing in. If you buy it online, you can check the reviews left by other users and decide.