HVACRedu.net Blog

Workforce Development Online for the HVACR Industry

Optimizing HVACR Performance to Grow the US Economy

by LeeAnn Bonds

A recent post at Esco Group’s blog connects the dots between an improved outlook for the US economy, and optimized HVACR systems. The numbers are shocking:

man in suit, with plumbingWhile congressional leaders debate ways to ignite the American economy, they need to look no further than the HVACR industry.Studies of residential HVAC equipment show that the majority is not being installed correctly:

72% are oversized – A system that is too large or small can greatly impact not only the building occupant’s comfort and health but also the energy consumption of the structure and equipment life.

68% are overcharged – A slight under or over charge effects energy consumption by 18-25%.

70% have improper airflow – This affects both sensible and latent heat efficiency and decreases energy efficiency.

91% remain untested for combustion safety and efficiency – A minor air / fuel ration inaccuracy will affect efficiency by 18% to 20%.

With HVACR accounting for 43% of the energy used in residential buildings and 37% in commercial buildings, how much money could Americans save if these systems were running in accordance with manufacturers specifications?  How many jobs could be created by giving Americans extra money to spend each month?

Continue reading  Growing the US Economy through HVACR System Performance  at the Esco Group site to get the low down on how HVAC HVAC ExcellenceExcellence is hammering away at the problem through education, specifically at their upcoming 2015 HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference.

We at HVACRedu.net hammer away at the problem, too, with big hammers. We provide training to prepare you for HVAC Excellence and other industry certification exams. We teach rank beginners what they need to know to contribute as a valuable employee. We offer courses and reviews to shine up the know-how of even the most seasoned professionals.

“The Economy” is about as big-picture as you can get, and is only one of a clock reading 'time for training'plethora of reasons to carve out time in your crazy-busy schedule for training and updating your industry knowledge. Contractors and techs alike need to stay on the bleeding edge, as our CEO Chris Compton likes to say, in order to compete in today’s market. The fact that optimized skills and knowledge may help optimize the economy? Hey, that’s a big fat bonus that benefits everyone.

To take a positive step towards greening up your bottom line (and the economy), call 888-655-4822 and ask what we can do to help.


HVACRedu.net Home Page is a Treasure Trove of Resources

by LeeAnn Bonds


treasure chest with mapTreasure Trove:a collection of discovered valuable items, a discovery of great importance or monetary value…



What are you seeking? Our HVACRedu.net home page is your map to treasure troves of training resources, made available to enrich your education, enhance your career, and enchant your customers.

You decide what the treasure is—mark the spot with an X. Then explore our home page and draw your  map to reach your goals.kid pirate with barrels of treasure

Grab your shovel (or your mouse, or possibly even your finger) and start digging in our home page. You’ll unearth unsuspected treasures, untold wealth, almost inexhaustible good stuff.

We’ve drawn some maps you’re encouraged to use. Each tile on the home page is a starting place.tiles from home page

Click on the one that matches where you’re standing right now, and explore the possible paths.

You can choose a long path (bigger prize) or a short path (instant win!).gold coins

If you’re just after one shiny coin—a module or course to brighten up your resume or buff up your business skills, you’ll find that prize in our Master Catalog, found in the top navigation and at the bottom of the home page:

catalog and contact info

By the way, you’ll notice that also nestled in that modest spot is our Career Information Kit (a free download) and a Contact Us link. This link in itself is a real gem, because if you click on Contact Us you can ask any question you like and one of our cartographers (okay, one of our crew members—but hey, we really do call ourselvesblank map with question mark a crew, har har!) will contact you back, answer your questions and help you line out your treasure map.

On the other hand, if you’re after a titanic treasure such as an entire training program to get you from ignorant to  invaluable, from blank to bursting, fromHVAC tech launching like a rocket untrained to unbeatable,  you’ll strike the mother lode (wait, am I mixing my metaphors?) when you click on the “I am New to the HVACR industry” tile. Or fill out the form below this guy to get our free Career Information Kit and a complete description of our comprehensive, clueless-to-certified TechLaunch program.

If you’re already following your treasure map, are enrolled in one of our courses or programs, and you just want to log into the campus, click on the “I’m already enrolled and want to LOGIN” tile. campus login

Or in the grey bar across the top of the page (the top navigation), click on Campus Login.

That unassuming grey bar is  stuffed with riches of its own! Mouse over “About” to find out about our founder and crew, our accreditations and recognitions, as well as news and testimonials. “Pricing and Financing” describes all your options for financing your treasure hunting expedition. Or try “Programs” for thorough descriptions of our Apprenticeship, Academic, and Certificate Programs.

Don’t miss the great information on the “Careers” tab. Follow the advice there and you’ll soon be captain of your own ship.pirate ship with dolphins

Finally, whatever your  quest or question, do Contact Us! Use the link in the grey bar, or the phone number at the top of the page, or the “Be an HVACR Technician” form on the right side of the page, or get a piece of paper and write us a note: send it to PO Box 77, Heron MT, 59844. Just don’t stick it in a bottle and toss it in the sea…

No message in a bottle!






Servicing Heating Systems in Preparation for Winter

by Larry Brewer and the HVACRedu.net Crew

winter coming soon“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.” ― Alan Turing

Winter is upon us and as professional HVACR technicians, you will need to remember all of those different little bits of information you have stored away on all of the different types of heating equipment. Here are some of the most common symptoms you’re likely to encounter when servicing heating units.

Who’s that Knocking?

Knock Knock!On some heat pump systems, when the unit shuts down there will be a loud knocking sound that will transmit from a check valve to the refrigerant lines, making it sound as if someone is beating on a door or wall.

There are two check valves in the heat pump system, and either one of these could be the one making the noise. To determine which check valve is making the noise, some technicians will use a wooden dowel, placing one end of the dowel near the check valve and the other end on their ear. The valve making the noise will be louder than the valve not making the noise.

This knocking problem in heat pumps can be caused by non-condensables in Heat Pump Schematicthe system. Another cause can be that after the system has been shut down for a brief time, the high and low side pressures could be near equalization. If this is the case, the liquid surrounding the ball check valve can pulse back and forth rapidly causing the knocking noise

One fix for this is to replace the ball check valve with a magnetic check valve. Some will replace the ball check valve and the expansion valve with an expansion valve that has a check valve built in. Another fix is to install a bi-directional solenoid valve in the liquid line that cycles off with the compressor contactor.

The Sounds of Water (or Refrigerant)

whitewater-rapids-1013tm-pic-1692Some heat pumps will have a tea kettle whistling noise on start up. Some will have a noise of running water through pipes. Refrigerant is a fluid and it is normal for it to make noises when moving through piping at high velocities the same as water does. When installing the copper lines for a heat pump system, pay close attention not to allow the copper lines to touch any sheetrock walls or wall studs as this will tend to amplify the noises being transmitted through the copper line set.

Low Airflow: What Not to Do

Be sure to check for proper airflow on a heat pump system. One of the common problems associated with residential systems is low airflow. The symptoms in the cooling mode will be low superheat and low suction pressure.

Heat Pump cutaway viewSome technicians will try to elevate the suction pressure by adding refrigerant to this system. This does not fix the problem, and in fact it will compound the issue. Now we have a system that has low airflow across the indoor coil and also is overcharged. When the system is switched over to the heat mode, the indoor coil is now the condenser coil, the indoor airflow will still be inadequate, and with the system being overcharged the compounded issues will cause the high pressure switch to trip, shutting the outdoor heat pump unit off. The fix for this problem is to resolve the indoor airflow problem.  Then correct the refrigerant charge.

When working with a heat pump system that has a suction line accumulator in the outdoor unit, always watch the frost line or sweat line on the side of the accumulator. Allow the unit to run long enough for all the refrigerant to boil off from within this vessel and become active within the system. In mild weather the heat pump unit may run for 5 – 10 minutes, then cycle off because the indoor air temperature has been satisfied. When the temperature is colder the unit may run for 15 to 20 minutes. In the colder weather, the longer run time has allowed all of the refrigerant to become active within the refrigerant system, and if the system is overcharged this will cause the unit to trip on high head pressure.

When servicing a unit, some technicians will watch the refrigerant pressures for five minutes, then disconnect from the system thinking all is well with the charge. If they had waited a few more minutes they would have seen the head pressure climb to a point of tripping the high pressure safety switch.

Need More Heating System Information?

HVACRedu.net logoHVACRedu.net offers an excellent course on Heat Pumps. Designed as an introduction to reverse-cycle heat pumps used in residential and light commercial applications, the course covers the components and operational differences of a heat pump vs. a straight air conditioning system. You’ll study components, installation, troubleshooting, and solutions. You’ll want to have a strong working knowledge of basic HVACR fundamentals prior to taking this advanced course. When you complete it, you’ll have earned 21 hours of continuing education (CEHs) applicable to NATE re-certification, and/or 10.5 BPI continuing education units (CEUs). You can purchase the course in our HVACRedu.net Online Store.

What about Gas Heat?

Working on a lot of gas heating systems? For a thorough treatment of the gas flameknowledge and skills needed to become a  highly skilled technician who will install, maintain, and repair residential and small commercial Gas Heat Systems, you can enroll in our 133 HVACR Gas Heat I course. The course explores all the mechanical, electrical, and accessory devices commonly found in modern Gas Heating systems, covers fuel gas composition, electronic ignition, high-efficiency furnaces and more. With this knowledge, you can build troubleshooting skills and identify applicable codes as they pertain to the installation and use of these systems. Also extremely important is the course’s focus on safety for the technician, the building, and its occupants. Completion of Gas Heat I earns 18 hours of CEH credit applicable to NATE re-certification, and 9 BPI CEUs.

Toughen up on Troubleshooting

Technician with Gauge and WrenchFor a focused refresher on combustion-related problems in gas and oil heating systems, take this Troubleshooting Combustion module. The function and proper use of tools used for effective combustion analysis is also discussed. Alternately, our Combustion Safety, Testing & Analysis module, covering the application of those concepts in modern HVAC systems and equipment might be just the information you need to level up your skills this winter.

Whatever you decide to learn, we encourage you to learn something heading into this winter season. And if we can help you buff up your skills, update your knowledge or answer any questions, please contact us and we’ll be happy to talk with you.frosty tree

“If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.”
― C.S. Lewis