Sunday, December 9, 2012

Would You Like Some R with your HVAC?

At the recent RSES National Conference, Rusty Walker of Hill-Phoenix noted that many of us in the HVACR business forget about the R – Refrigeration. He noted that during a time of high unemployment, refrigeration contractors cannot get enough skilled help. From his perspective, we spend most of our efforts training HVAC mechanics and too often leave off the R. I must confess that I am guilty as charged. My background is HVAC, my family owns and operates a local air conditioning company, and I have taught Air Conditioning Technology for 35 years. However, we have had many students enter the world of refrigeration and they have done well. 

There are some compelling reasons to consider a career in Commercial Refrigeration, including the ready availability of work and good pay. Every company that owns a refrigeration box, freezer, or ice machine is a potential customer; and these things need to work year round. Commercial refrigeration is undergoing something of a renaissance as companies look to innovative technologies for reducing their carbon footprint, energy use, and operating costs. Getting involved in Commercial Refrigeration now will put you among the first technicians trained for these new systems.

Training is required to become a refrigeration mechanic; it is not something you can just decide to do. This may be discouraging to someone without any training, but it is an advantage for people employed as refrigeration mechanics. Employers cannot simply replace you with someone who is not trained because those folks just cannot do the work, and training them takes time and money. An investment in education will pay off with a career that lasts a lifetime. However, this takes us back to the original problem: there are far too few places to get the training. One solution is to train for air conditioning. The physics and concepts that apply to air conditioning also apply to refrigeration. The basic vapor-compression refrigeration cycle and electrical circuitry are required for both fields. Understanding air conditioning puts you on the road to understanding refrigeration. So how about it. Would you like some R to go with your order of HVAC?


  1. i would like some R with my HVAC order
    Thank You

  2. Thank you for all the info you offer on your site! I appreciate it as a new homeowner!
    hvac summerville