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  • utterly confused

    Recently, my father decided to open his own airconditioning and heating equipment repair shop in our area. For a few weeks, he has able to gather his own clientele, and I know soon there'll be more coming. My worry is he might not be able to cope with the demands and expectations of his customers, so I'm thinking of helping him out. Can you possibly help me find some appropriate trainings I might take in relation to HVAC? I found an article that lists some but it seems incomplete to me.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    BIG RULE #1

    Refrigeration work requires a license. Can't buy, service, or remove the stuff without it. See if the classes are offered at your local community college. Without that license, you're SOL.

    If the classes are offered, take them, they will teach you what you need to know except they won't teach you how to work fast. Fast is another critical element.

    Good Luck

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    • #3
      Good comes first, fast comes later when you get good.
      "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
      John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BigThom
        BIG RULE #1

        Refrigeration work requires a license. Can't buy, service, or remove the stuff without it. See if the classes are offered at your local community college. Without that license, you're SOL.

        If the classes are offered, take them, they will teach you what you need to know except they won't teach you how to work fast. Fast is another critical element.

        Good Luck
        In some areas only a business license is required.

        You cannot purchase or service refrigeration equipment with out certification. The test is so easy your dog (if he can read) could pass it.

        So dependant on where you are located going into business is fairly simple. But like someone said experience and knowledge is so important and it is difficult to get without some assistance. Don't jump in feet first, you will get yourself into big trouble. There may be retired guys in your area with a bundle of knowledge that would be willing to teach.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BigThom
          BIG RULE #1

          Refrigeration work requires a license. Can't buy, service, or remove the stuff without it. See if the classes are offered at your local community college. Without that license, you're SOL.

          If the classes are offered, take them, they will teach you what you need to know except they won't teach you how to work fast. Fast is another critical element.

          Good Luck
          In some areas only a business license is required.

          You cannot purchase or service refrigeration equipment with out certification. The test is so easy your dog (if he can read) could pass it.

          So dependant on where you are located going into business is fairly simple. But like someone said experience and knowledge is so important and it is difficult to get without some assistance. Don't jump in feet first, you will get yourself into big trouble. There may be retired guys in your area with a bundle of knowledge that would be willing to teach.

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          • #6
            Duplicate posting, I must have hit the save button twice
            Last edited by thorn; 09-02-2006, 06:36 AM. Reason: duplicate

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            • #7
              Last time I purchased refrigeration equipment, the supplier would not sell it to me without having a copy of federal? license on file. I assured him that my HVAC contractor was doing the refrigeration but they would only sell it to me after calling him to confirm. I was told it violated federal law to sell me anything with refrigerant in it unless I had the license.

              Generally my tinner supplies all the equipment but this was a furnace/ac changeout for my sister, I had the time to changeout the equipment and get it set up for him to braze the lines and charge the system, he didn't have the time.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BigThom
                Last time I purchased refrigeration equipment, the supplier would not sell it to me without having a copy of federal? license on file.
                I am not sure the supplier is correct, he is definitely being careful. We thought that for a while then found (our opinion) we could sell to the public. We also made the customer sign that the equipment would be installed by a licensed and qualified installer. That was more for liability on furnaces.

                The consumer would have to make a deliberate attempt to release the HFC refrigerant and the supplier cannot control that not unlike any other purchase. They should be able to sell R-134 equipment as any one can purchase the refrigerant.

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                • #9
                  Looks to me like you have had some good advice. The Community College or tech school is a good way to go. My cousin has been teaching HVAC at the CC level some 25 years and probably has trained nearly 50% of the techs in his area. This is where you get the basics and you should get the necessary certification (federal) to install and service HVAC equpment thru the CC.
                  Mostly the feds are interested in the mangament of refrigerants (Freon) and other haz mat type materials. The rules are probably an over reaction to ozone depletion, etc. , but what beaucratic system does not become overbearing.

                  If your father is certified and has a license, this shoud be a big start, but you still have to have certification to work with this stuff (on the tech end). If he does not have the license and certification then he is headed for trouble, big time.

                  The training is just the start. Then comes the OJT and brand specific on-going training through the manufacturers' and distributors.

                  Your father may be dealing mostly with residential and light comerical (that's fine) but he may also be into bigger "stuff". This does and could invovle electrical, pluming, light carpentry, etc. This is where the OJT and working with someone who has the experience comes in nicely.

                  I was a partner in an HVAC business for some 3 years (my end was sales). I am not too good on the tech end, but I learned a lot. Met some of the best people in the world in this business, both partners and competitors. Sorry to say I knew a few dishonest "jerks" too.

                  As you seem to understand, by your post, this can be a demanding business and as the weather changes the requests from the customers can come fast and furiously. Just some one to answer the phones and manage paperwork, billing and customer relations can be a huge help. Even if you don't get the tech training you can learn a lot and this will help as you become an interface between the customer and the tech (your father).

                  Good luck and God Bless,

                  p.s. by the way, there is always a need for competent, honest, people who can be upfront and service oriented with the public. A large percentage of the smaller firms seem to miss this opportunity.
                  thepapabear<BR>When a bureaucrat has a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail.

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                  • #10
                    Some 30 + years ago I attended the 4-year RSES course on HVAC. It was a great program and I highly reccomend it.

                    Mark
                    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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