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Helpful Reference Guides For Field Service Technicians

Service technician repairing heating system

Even though mobile apps are more popular than ever, there is always going to be a place for printed reference guides for field service technicians. For this article, we picked 5 we think can benefit any service technician.

HVAC Tables, Equations & Rules of Thumb Quick-Card

hvac card

Personally, I love these quick reference guides – they are laminated and contain a ton of information. Even though there are probably apps that can do some of the calculations, having access to an old-fashioned reference is often the easiest solution.

In addition to the HVAC Tables, Equations & Rules of Thumb version, the creator of these Quick-Cards (Builders Book) offers a lineup of 100’s of other references, from fire alarm installation guidelines to the latest NEC electrical installation rules. Starting under just $9, these are ideal, especially for someone who is just getting started in the industry.

HVAC Tables, Equations & Rules of Thumb Quick-Card on ($8.46 at time of post).

HVAC Customer Service Handbook

hvac customer service

There are 100’s of books on the technical side of the industry, but only a handful of these books teach how to be efficient at providing the best customer service. Especially for smaller service companies, providing world-class service has the power to increase sales, ensure repeat business and help spread the word that your company is the best one out there. Despite its title, this book is also perfect for plumbers and general contractors as most of the information applies to any service organization.

At just $29, this book could be considered required reading for new-hires (or someone who just wants to become better at providing customer service).

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HVAC Customer Service Handbook on Spiral bound version ($29) or Kindle version ($9).

DeWALT HVAC/R Professional Reference Master Edition

dewalt book

When I originally ordered this book, I had no idea just how extensive it really is. At over 500 pages, and about an inch thick, this book justifies its “master edition” name. If you can think of a chart, table, equation, or another piece of information, chances are it is in this reference. Then again, chances are you’ll never use 95% of it, but that is the nature of a reference guide like this.

The book covers the following topics:

– formulas
– design data
– heating ventilation
– air conditioning
– refrigeration
– systems piping
– service
– troubleshooting
– electrical
– wiring
– motors
– duct work
– compressors
– fans and pumps
– materials
– conversion factors
– tools
– safety

Best of all, it costs just $24.95, which is a real steal for this much information. Unfortunately, it isn’t available in electronic form, so this will most likely be the kind of book that stays in your van or bookshelf until you really need it.

DeWALT HVAC/R Professional Reference Master Edition on ($24.95).

AnswerMan Reference & Troubleshooting guides


The AnswerMan reference guides from ESCO press are another excellent reference for any technician. In addition to the extensive list of terminology, the books also contain a huge amount of basic reference materials, like how to correctly take measurements with a multimeter, how to change motor rotation and much more.

The lineup includes a book for troubleshooting electrical problems, an HVAC/R reference guide and a guide on the principles of Air Conditioning:

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AnswerMan Principles of Air Conditioning

This pocket size manual provides the technician with a solid foundation in the principles of air conditioning and refrigeration. The condensed format and simple language make this manual easy to read and understand. Subjects covered include: temperature and pressure, basic thermodynamic principles, physical matter, sensible and latent heat, gas laws, refrigerant cycle, refrigerants, environmental impact of CFCs, system service and troubleshooting.

AnswerMan Electricity for HVAC&R

This book provides the technician with the information necessary to successfully diagnose electrical problems. Electricity for HVAC&R – A Guide to Troubleshooting, is a practical view of what electricity is and how it works. It is more than just a textbook. Each subject is addressed by answering the most frequently asked questions about electricity. Every effort has been made to keep it simple.

AnswerMan HVAC&R Reference Guide

This book is a compilation of: charts, graphs, formulas, and troubleshooting guidelines. The Reference Guide contains: Temp/Pressure/Enthalpy/Entropy charts, troubleshooting charts, english/metric, conversions, gas laws/formulas, material insulation values, Electrical/wire capacity/motor spec/electronics Fastener/torque specs, pipe and tubing/copper/aluminum/steel taps/dies/drill sizes and much more.

Answer Man HVAC/R Reference Guide ($10.95)

Answer Man Electricity for HVAC/R troubleshooting Guide ($10.95)

AnswerMan Principles of Air Conditioning ($10.95)

Alternatively, you can purchase all three in a single pack directly from the publisher for $35.74.

Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

The Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning book was recommended to us by a community member. Currently in its 21st edition, this extensive (1632 page) resource describes itself like this:

Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning is focused on closing the gap from students to technicians with our commitment to top-quality coverage of fundamentals and the latest technology. This classic is an excellent blend of theory, skill development, and service techniques to help you learn how to install and service refrigeration and HVAC systems. Technical content has never been more up-to-date. A logical and progressive organization, rich learning pedagogy and features, a superior art program, and readability contribute to Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning’s highly accessible nature. This edition has been revised with improved instructional design to help teach and retain students. Included are improved assessments and enhanced content on fundamentals such as electrical theory and troubleshooting. Relevant career and workplace readiness content prepares students for a successful career in the HVACR industry.

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In addition to the book itself, the publishers also sell a workbook to assist students.

Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (textbook, $135.79)

Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (workbook, $37.28)