Air-Conditioning Technicians are trained in both installation, and maintenance and repair air-conditioning equipment. However, they can choose to specialize in only one.
They can also be found doing heating or refrigeration work, as they are trained to work on both heating and cooling units, which includes motors, switches, pumps, wiring, thermostats and fans. They use test instruments to determine gas, water or other element levels to make sure that air-conditioning or heating units are functioning properly.
Nature of Work
Air-Conditioning Technicians are responsible for installing, inspecting, maintaining, and repairing air-conditioning and ventilating equipment and controls to make sure that they operate efficiently and continuously. They do regular maintenance work on cooling units. Using tools and testing instruments, they diagnose electrical and mechanical defects and malfunctions. They install, replace or repair equipment that has been damaged due to abuse or regular use such as low and high pressure refrigerant lines. They make adjustment and do calibrations of thermostatic controls. When needed, they install new air-conditioning systems and equipment. They inspect and maintain refrigerators and ice machines, and chilled water supply systems. Air-conditioning technicians also clean blowers and coils, check tensions of belts and motors. They are involved in making plans and designs of new air-conditioning systems including their installation and maintenance. They work in places where they are exposed to dust, fumes, noise, toxic materials and high voltage equipment. They may have to work in confined and hot spaces like roofs, crawl ways and attics. They may also have to work in adverse weather and may be required to lift heavy objects, bend, stoop, kneel or stand for long stretches of time.
Most employers require candidates for air-conditioning technicians to have high school diploma or GED. Those who want to do this job can get training from vocational or technical schools. Some states require air-conditioning technicians to obtain license or certification before practicing this occupation. They can get the needed certification through programs approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Air-conditioning technicians should know the principles of air-conditioning unit repair and maintenance, including controls, MSDS sheets, safety practices and procedures and tools used. They should also know how to do plumbing, electrical, sheet metal and carpentry work. They should be able to read and interpret building regulations and codes implemented by city, state and federal government agencies pertaining to installing air-conditioning units.