Must Have HVAC Tools

Whether you are just starting or are an experienced contractor, servicing or installing HVAC systems requires the right tools. How do you decide which tools to add to your toolkit? Include the tools listed below in your toolbox if you want your clients to experience excellent customer service and get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Hammer

A hammer is a primary tool that every HVAC contractor needs. You can use it to hit things and get them in place, and you can also use a hammer to remove nails.

Tips

You can use a combination of a hammer and a drill. Use the drill to make the pilot holes to avoid splitting, particularly when hammering on a wooden surface.

How to care

Proper maintenance of your hammer involves cleaning after use and sharpening its claws for easier nail removal.

Tape measure

Installing and repairing an HVAC system requires a lot of measurements. A tape measure helps you to measure spaces for air conditioner units and ductwork accurately.

Tips

When working alone, your tape measure has a hand notch that you can hook on a nail or screw as you measure your length. If you are measuring a vertical length, you can hook your tape at the bottom so that you can measure your length from above

How to care

To increase the service life of your tape measure, always control the blade return to prevent damage to the blade and the end hook. It is also important to keep your tape measure clean and dry. If it is made of fibre or steel, keep it away from extremely high temperatures to avoid expansion. It is also essential to regularly inspect your tape measure to ensure that the markings are visible and the blade is straight

Pipe Wrench

To handle your job effectively, you need to have a variety of pipe wrenches. They are handy when you want to loosen or fasten pipes from the HVAC system. You can also use a pipe wrench to hold pipes if you need to cut them. It is almost impossible to do meaningful work if you don’t have a pipe wrench in your HVAC tools kit.

Tips

While working on an air conditioning system, you can use two wrenches, 8 and 14 inches. Combining them gives you a better grip and makes your task easier. Additionally, use the pipe wrench with aluminum handles because they are lighter.

How to care

It would help if you lubricated your wrenches regularly to prevent rusting of the non-painted surfaces. It is also essential to inspect your pipe wrench and replace the old and damaged parts after use.

Screwdriver

A screwdriver is one of the most important HVAC tools. All HVAC systems are held together by screws, and if you intend to take them apart, you need to have different types and sizes of screwdrivers. You can also use the screwdrivers to tighten screws on various components of the HVAC system, including air vents, fans, and thermostat

Tips

While using your screwdrivers, ensure they have insulated handles to avoid getting electrocuted. For easier unscrewing, you need to keep the screw and the driver tip in contact by applying downward pressure. When unscrewing a stubborn screw, use the grip of an adjustable wrench for easier unscrewing.

How to care

After use, clean your screwdriver’s blade and oil it to prevent rusting. It is also essential to only use the screwdriver to drive screws.

Drill

A drill is an essential HVAC tool used to make tiny holes where your HVAC system wires can run through. Sometimes you will need a set of drill bits and other supportive HVAC tools.

Tip

Invest in a cordless drill. It makes drilling easier and does not limit your movement. It is also important to have enough batteries to power your drill until your work is complete.

How to care

If you want your drill to work efficiently, clean its ventilation slot thoroughly. Also, always ensure that your drill is dry and thoroughly lubricated to prevent rusting. It is also essential to regularly sharpen your drill’s bits and blades.

Pliers

You need pliers as one of the many HVAC tools for a day to day operation. While working on an HVAC system, you need the small, medium, and needle-nose pliers to handle wires, bolts, and pipes. You can also use your pliers to bend wires.

Tips

While buying your pliers, select the insulated set, they will protect you from electrocution. Sometimes, grabbing wires is challenging. Use the needle-nose pliers, they are sharp and can easily get through tiny spaces.

How to care

You need to clean and dry your pliers after use. It is also important to oil the metallic parts of your pliers prevent them from rusting.

Multi-meter

A multi-meter is a must-have safety tool for every HVAC technician. It tests for voltages and electrical current on wires and outlets. It is essential as it prevents you from getting electrocuted when working.

Tips

If you are working close to electrical hazards like live wires, use a multi-meter to test for voltage before performing any task.

How to care

When using a multi-meter, avoid dropping it, the calibration might get damaged and give you the wrong reading. To extend the battery life of your multi-meter, always turn it off after use. It is also important to avoid switching your multi-meter’s reading when in use. For instance, change the reading from current to voltage.

Thermometers

Temperature control is essential and one of the HVAC tools you need is a handy thermometer. A thermometer helps you to take temperature readings on the HVAC system. You can use a thermometer to read the air difference at the supply or the return register. It can also help you determine when the supplied air is super-heated or super cooled.

Tips

To satisfy your customers’ needs, ensure that your thermometer’s readings are accurate. If you use infrared digital thermometers, you can record readings when the motors, compressors, or breakers are overheating.

How to care

To continue getting accurate readings, you need to have your thermometer re-calibrated regularly. Additionally, clean your thermometer after use.

Sawzall

A Sawzall is a tool that you can’t afford to lack. You’ll need it to cut through HVAC materials while working. Depending on what you are sawing, all you need to do is change the saw blades.

Tips

It is better to have a Sawzall with reciprocating blades, you can saw through any material using a single saw. If you want your saw to cut through most material, always sharpen it .

How to care

Caring for your saw involves replacing the blades regularly to avoid dull blades. You also need to lubricate the saw regularly and store it in a dry place to prevent rusting. It is also important to ensure that the blades align to improve their performance.

Manifold Gauges

You should also include manifold gauges in your list of tools. They are used to monitor the pressure of refrigerants to determine whether there is a leak in the system. You can also use them to measure the levels of refrigerants.

Tips

You can use the gauges when you want to test and charge a device, but you must read the vacuum pressure first.

How to care

To care for your manifold, check your gauges often and have them re-calibrated to improve the accuracy of your reading. It is also important to inspect your gauges regularly and replace worn-out parts, including the gasket.

Extension cord

It is also necessary to have an extension cord  as one of the HVAC tools in your van. You’ll need it to charge your batteries and connect your power tools while working.

Tips

When working away from an electrical outlet, you need a long and durable cord. Connecting the cable to an outlet will help you use your power tools. While using the power cable, ensure it’s correctly connected to an outlet.

How to care

After using your power cable, disconnect it from the outlet and store it in a dry toolbox. Also, don’t overload your extension cord.

Vacuum pumps

Another important tool you need is vacuum pumps. They are used to remove moisture and air from the air conditioning lines

Tips

You should use the vacuum pumps if you want to know which lines are leaking before adding the refrigerant.

How to care

To care for your vacuum pumps, run and inspect your pump after every use. Additionally, keep your vacuum cool because high temperatures can reduce its ability to pull out air or moisture.

Caulking gun

A caulking gun is useful when filling seals in the ductwork and joints. You can also use the gun to seal cracks before mounting the air conditioning system. Sometimes while installing an HVAC system, you might drill extra holes. You can use the caulking gun to fill the holes.

Tips

While setting up your caulk gun, do not reduce the caulk tube too much. The hole left might be too big for the cracks you are sealing. It is also possible to reuse your caulk tube even if there is dried calk on the tube. You only need to cut two ends of the tube, remove the dried caulk and use duct tape to hold the tube together and reuse it.

How to care

After use, wash the gun and tubes to remove the excess caulk. It is also important to regularly inspect the gun for damage. While loading and unloading, be careful to prevent damaging the gun.

 Crimpers

Crimpers are great HVAC tools. They make it easier for you to work with metal sheets. They are used to fold metals to fit in a piping system, especially the ducts. You can also use them to close openings on a pipe.

You can use crimpers when you want to reduce the diameter of a duct to create a seamless connection with another duct.

Caring for crimpers involves cleaning the blade and storing it away from moisture after use. You also need to check its oil reservoir to ensure that it is properly lubricated

Tubing cutters

These are some of the most popular HVAC tools. Cutting tubes is a part of the HVAC technician’s routine. The tube cutters cut the HVAC systems’ copper tubing without creating rough edges. To easily cut a tube, clamp the cutter’s cutting wheel around the tube and spin it until its cut

Tips

To efficiently cut the tube, keep tightening the clamp. If you want to cut pipes of various diameter’s you can adjust the wheels.

How to care

It is essential to clean your cutters and oil thoroughly to prevent rusting. It would help if you also inspected the cutter regularly to ensure that it’s wheel is sharp. If any part is damaged, replace them.

Leak detector

The primary function of a leak detector is to detect leaks in an HVAC unit. You can either detect the leaks electrically or opt to use a dye that shows you exactly where the leak is in the refrigerant line.

Tips

It would be necessary to have a leak detector when dealing with an old HVAC system. Additionally, you can also use it when there is moisture on your HVAC system, and you haven’t identified its source

How to care

Always ensure that your leak detector is clean and dry. Also, handle it with care to prevent breaking its pump.

Psychrometer

Buying a psychrometer is very important. The tool helps you to determine the humidity of a room. You can also use a psychrometer to measure the rate of airflow and air mixture.

Tips

It is essential to measure humidity in the commercial building used for manufacturing because high moisture levels might affect their products. Before using it, ensure its wick is wet enough and avoid holding it close to your body.

How to care

If your psychrometer has a frayed wick, replace the wick to avoid inaccurate readings. It is also essential to regularly inspect your psychrometer. If you find any damage, replace or repair the worn-out parts.

Coil fin straighteners

Coil fin straighteners are used to unclog twisted coil fins and dirty condensers.

Tips

If, after inspection, you realize that the airflow and heat exchange is limited, you can use the coil fin straightener to straighten the bent fins and improve the heat and airflow. It is also important to have a straightener with multiple combs so that you can clean the multiple sized fins

How to care

To properly maintain your coil fin straightener, use the right sized straightener for your fins. Also, check if your straighteners are worn-out and replace or repair them.

Tin snips

Working on an HVAC system involves dealing with metal sheets, and you’ll need a tin snip to cut them. It would help if you had the left, right, and straight tin snips. You can use the left to cut in the left direction, the right cuts in the right direction, and the straight to cut in a straight direction.

Tip

If you want to cut a thick metal sheet, use the straight tin snip. They are stronger and can cut through multilayered metal sheets

How to care

To maintain your tin snips, keep them cleaned and dried. Also, wipe them with oil to protect them from rust. It is also essential to examine the blades for any dentures and replace them if worn-out

Hand seamers

Hand seamers are used to bend or straighten metal sheets, they are marked to create accurate and clean bends.

Tips

The hand seamers are more suitable when you want to bend smaller pieces of metal. They are also appropriate for bending metal that needs precise measurements.

How to care

To maintain your hand seamers, clean and grease regularly to avoid rusting. Also, store them in a cool and dry place

Scratch awl

The primary function of an awl is to mark metal sheets to facilitate a straight cut. You can also use the awl to punch holes on wood or metal sheets.

Tips

A scratch owl is a preparation tool that you can use before making a deeper cut

How to care

To care for your awl, always ensure that you store it in a cool, dry place. Additionally, it is essential to resharpen it’s blades when they become blunt.

Staple gun

While working, you’ll need a staple gun to secure joints. It is also useful when securing foil lines in the HVAC system. You can also use the staple gun to assemble your ductwork and tuck in the insulation.

Tips

While buying a staple gun, select an adjustable one to facilitate easier stapling on both hard and soft surfaces

How to care

To care for your staple gun, always keep it clean. It is also essential to inspect your staple gun before use to ensure no loose or worn-out parts.

Folding bar

Another tool that you’ll constantly be needing is the folding bar. It bends metal sheets at an angle

Tips

You can use the folding bar if you want to create a straight seam for the metal you are bending

How to care

The care routine for a folding bar is simple. After use, clean and store it in a cool and dry place.

Metal shears

While working on an HVAC system, you need to have metal shears. They are used to cut straight sheets of metals.

Tip

The metal shears are more helpful when you are cutting long metal sheets.

How to care

If you want your shears to last long, keep them cleaned and dried to avoid corrosion. It would help if you also used antirust grease on unpainted surfaces to prevent rusting. Grind your metal blades often, inspect your shears, and replace the worn-out parts for the best performance.

Wire strippers

A wire stripper is one of the most commonly used HVAC tools. It removes the plastic insulation on the electrical wires during installation, repairs, and HVAC system maintenance.

Tips

To efficiently stripe your wires, identify the gauge of your wire and insert it in a hole with a similar gauge.

How to care

To increase the service life of your wire strippers, store them in a cool, dry place. Additionally, after every use, check the jaws, and if they are damaged, replace them

Levels

A level helps you to ensure that furnaces, air conditioners, and thermostats are leveled during installation.

Tips

If you are working on metal surfaces, opt for a  magnetic level, it will keep your hands free while you are leveling.

How to care

To care for your level, always ensure it is stored properly in your toolbox. You should also inspect your level regularly and replace the end caps if damaged. Additionally, if you accidentally drop your level, check it for accuracy.

Refrigerant scale

The scale helps you weigh your refrigerant and know the amount to use when installing or recharging an HVAC system.

Tip

When working on a sensitive refrigeration system, you need to use a precise scale.

How to care

To care for your refrigerant scale, regularly inspect it for wear, tear, and corrosion. If you notice damages, repair them immediately. It is also essential to make necessary adjustments for accurate measurements.

Torch kit

Blazing and soldiering are crucial while working on HVAC systems. A torch HVAC tools kit connects soldier lines in the compressor and other parts of the HVAC system.

Tips

While soldiering, it is easy to ruin the pipes; therefore, use the torch kit carefully

How to care

To care for your torch kit, clean it after use and don’t forget to clean the tip of the touch for efficient soldiering. Also, inspect the horses regularly to ensure that all the components, including the regulators, have good working conditions. If there are any worn-out parts, replace them. It is also essential to avoid using grease or any petroleum products on the kit.

Core remover

It is also essential to have a core remover in your HVAC tools box. You can use it to remove and replace broken cores in the HVAC system. You can also use the core remover to dislodge a leaking seal.

Tips

When trying to remove a  stuck core, adjust the core remover tip using a flat head screwdriver. Also, while removing or replacing a core, avoid over tightening your core remover because you might destroy the O rings in the core remover.

How to care

After use, keep your core remover in a cool and dry place. It also needs often greasing to prevent rusting.

Nitrogen regulator

While working on an HVAC system, you can use a nitrogen regulator as a pressure control valve. It controls the release time of pressurized gas and liquid in the refrigeration system

Tips

While setting your regulator in the nitrogen tank, make sure that the regulator is open before you open your valve

How to care

To care for your regulator, regularly inspect the gauges and ensure they provide the correct reading. Also, store your regulator in a dry toolbox.

HVAC software

To run a successful HVAC business, you need to automate your operations. An HVAC software creates schedules and invoices and makes estimates. The software also helps you with lead management and billing. you can also use them for marketing purposes.

Tips

While looking for an HVAC tool, opt for one with an easy-to-navigate interface and a mobile app. The mobile app will help you access essential functions through your mobile phone.

How to care

You need to update your software regularly to increase its efficiency.

Service van

It is also essential to have a service van to store and transport your tools and equipment to your workstation. Additionally, your service van can also help you get to your clients on time and increase your productivity. Service vans are also perfect branding tools

How to care

Maintaining your service van involves taking it for servicing to identify problems that need repair.

A good HVAC contractor has a blend of excellent skills and the best tools. If you have the wrong tools, you can compromise the quality of your work. Therefore, if you want to succeed and deliver quality work, you need the right tools.