Whether you're seasoned or new, being an HVAC technician required the right tools. When you're deciding what's in the tool box, you need a mix of the essentials and specialized items tailored for this application. This HVAC technician tool list features everything you need for any installation, troubleshooting or repair in the field.
10 Essential Hand Tools
Of course, you need the basics for your tool box. Before we get to some specialized tools, below is a quick list of items to have on hand.
- Hammer – Look for a medium-sized, multipurpose hammer. It should be lightweight and have a gripable handle that is easy to hold.
- Pliers – A set of pliers featuring a wire stripper and needle-nose pliers are essential.
- Screwdrivers – Have a kit with different heads, including flat, Phillips, hex and square. The more options, the better.
- Hand wrench – Your tool bag should have a mixed set of fixed and adjustable options.
- Cutters – Metal cutters and tubes are HVAC's valuable tools for cutting anything at work. You should at least have quarter-inch or half-inch cutter.
- Tape measure – Accurate measurements are always key. A 25 or 50 ft. tape measure should be enough for this application.
- Flashlight – Techs need a reliable flashlight in tight, dark areas. Check out this list for the best options.
- Gauges – Make sure your kit includes gauges for detecting pressure and leaks in an HVAC or refrigeration system. Both are key for troubleshooting and repairs.
- Multimeter – This tool checks the electrical current and notifies you if a voltage is present. Like gauges, these help with troubleshooting procedures.
- Drill – While a corded option is fine, cordless gives you more flexibility to work in tighter spaces or areas that don't have immediate access to an outlet. Smaller 12-volt batteries are lightweight, but 18+ volt systems will pack a good amount of power. If you want, consider a system that also offers a 12V charger option for your van.
14 Specialized HVAC Tools
Aside from your major hand tools, you'll need some specialized gear made for HVAC/R technicians. Below are some you should have ready in your service van or tool box:
- Core removal – When working with broken cores, this tool helps remove and replace them easily.
- Coil fin straightener – This instrument helps clean debris when the air conditioner condenser coils are clogged or twisted, improving heat exchange and airflow.
- Thermometer – A digital thermometer that is portable, efficient, and long-lasting to comply with your requirements and deliver outstanding customer service.
- Caulking gun – You can sealmessly seal the air duct and fill holes where needed.
- Nitrogen regulator – This tool acts as a pressure control valve and helps reduce pressurized gas or liquid to work properly for the application.
- Leak detector – A leak detector is necessary for checking moisture and leaks in areas you're working in.
- HVAC load calculator – This allows you to quickly determine the heating and cooling demand for the unit and space.
- Flushing solvent – As the HVAC system ages, line interruptions become more likely. Having a flushing solvent on hand helps remove contaminants from the line quickly.
- Crimper – This device lets certain types of metal wrinkles to fit the front of the piping.
- Psychrometer – The tool measures the airflow and air mixture as well as relative humidity.
- Hand seamers – Hand seamers give HVAC technicians the power to bend or cut metal by hand. The tight grip and insulation make the task easier.
- Thermal imaging tools – Thermal imaging cameras are a helpful diagnostic tool, enabling technicians to identify and correct short-sighted causes accurately.
- Reciprocating saw – This versatile saw is caplable of making a wide variety of cuts on different materials and finishes, including drywall, sheet metal, pipe and wood.
- HVAC software – Yes! This counts as an essential item to add to any HVAC technician tool list. Some of the latest software and apps can help with organizing tasks and invoicing.