Residential System Maintenance: A Guide For Students in HVAC College


One of the major duties of a HVAC technician is to help homeowners and landlords maintain HVAC systems in order to keep residents warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Nobody wants to be stuck with a broken unit in the middle of the freezing cold or sweltering heat, that’s why HVAC technicians are called in to perform regular maintenance checks—to prevent systems from falling apart.

If you’re planning to enroll in an HVAC mechanics program, read on to learn what a day on the system maintenance job might entail. And, examine some of the tasks you’ll be expected to perform at different times during the year once you become a certified HVAC technician.

HVAC College Grads Perform Preventative Maintenance In Spring

Mid-spring is usually when graduates of air conditioning mechanics courses begin to visit residences in order to make sure their clients’ air conditioning units are functioning up-to-par. Because residents won’t be relying on their units to stay cool yet, spring is the best time for preventative maintenance work on air conditioners.

Typical maintenance tasks around this time of year include:

  • Checking the motor to ensure that it is well-oiled—motors that run too long without lubrication can eventually wear down and break.
  • Cleaning or replacing filters—when filters get full of debris, they can make the unit work much harder, causing it to overheat and eventually break down.

HVAC College Grads Are Constantly Repairing Air Conditioners in Summer

Summertime can be the most hectic time of the year for HVAC technicians, since most people are running their air conditioning units around the clock. Your refrigeration mechanics courses will be especially handy during this time of year, since air conditioning units tend to run out of refrigerant in summer. Refrigerant is what helps prevent the units from overheating and is also what cools the air that comes out of them.

Once a unit’s refrigerant is refilled, other maintenance tasks include calibrating the thermostat to make sure the unit is consistently pushing air out at the same temperature on the dial. A Quick clean-up of the unit itself and the area around it will also ensure that no dust or debris gets into the motor to gum it up.

HVAC College Grads Begin to Inspect Heating Systems in Fall

As temperatures start to drop, more of your work as an HVAC technician will revolve around inspecting furnaces and heating systems. In the fall, your main task will be to do some light cleaning in and around your clients’ furnaces to make sure the blower, fan belts, and other working parts aren’t clogged with dust or soot deposits.

In addition, fall is also a good time to run the furnace while on site, so that you can listen for any irregular noises and ensure that the burners are functioning properly.

HVAC College Grads Ensure Furnaces are Functioning Properly in Winter

Winter can be another hectic time for HVAC technicians, since it’s crucial that homes have properly working furnaces through the cold weather. General maintenance tasks during winter usually include ensuring that residences do not experience any heat loss. This means checking all vents for any build-ups or blockages, making sure that furnaces and their blower fans are in full working order and replacing damaged filters if need be.

Would you like to learn more by enrolling in HVAC College?

Visit PAT to learn more about our training programs or to speak with an advisor.

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