HVACRedu.net Blog

Workforce Development Online for the HVACR Industry

Tech Tip: Determine the Cause of a Frozen Indoor Coil


by Larry Brewer

iced indoor coilWhen an indoor coil freezes up the home environment warms up and residents are likely to get hot under the collar. Fortunately, once the cause is determined, the solution will be straightforward.

An indoor coil freeze up is often caused by low airflow. Low airflow, in turn, can be caused by one, or a combination of, the following:

  • Dirty indoor coil
  • Air Filter Problems
    • dirty air filter
    • air filter with excessive resistance to air flow
    • blocked return grill
  • Duct problems
    • undersized duct (return and/or supply)
    • improperly sized duct (return and/or supply)
  • System problems
    • Undercharged system
    • System operating in low ambient condition
    • Low return air temperature
    • Low load condition
  • Motor problems
    • indoor motor bad
    • indoor motor capacitor bad
    • undersized indoor piston

A methodical check of these possible causes will soon reveal the culprit and the needed repair, resulting in a cooler home and residents ready to chill out.


3 Things You Need to Know About Reducing HFCs

by Monica Gomez

sun against black spaceThe ozone layer is an incredible thing. It absorbs a large amount of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which would be very harmful if they were to hit Earth at full strength.

Unfortunately, some chemicals erode the ozone layer, leading to concerns over their impact on climate change. While HFCs do not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer, they are still not environmentally friendly because these chemicals trap heat in the atmosphere in a way that worsens our current predicament.

As you may know, HFC is an acronym that stands for hydrofluorocarbon, a refrigerant commonly used in HVACR units. Chemical engineers created HFCs in the 1980s as a safer replacement for chlorofluorocarbons, which contain chlorine that can deplete the ozone layer. HFCs do not contain chlorine and are therefore safer for the environment, but HFCs do still contribute to global warming.

Now that you know about HFCs, here are three things you need to know about reducing them:

1. The U.S. Government Has Called for Action to Reduce HFCs

American Flag against continentThe United States government, HVACR industry leaders, manufacturers and retailers are seeking out greener ways to keep machinery cool while eventually eliminating HFC use altogether.

In September 2014, the White House announced a combination of executive actions and commitments from the private sector to reduce HFC emissions and greenhouse gases by the equivalent of 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2025. This would have the same effect as removing nearly 15 million cars from the road for 10 years.

The executive actions include updating regulations for vendors and service contractors, evaluating sustainable technologies in all federal buildings, and encouraging private sector investments in low-emission technology. The executive actions also call for greater investment in developing new technologies that support safer alternatives to HFCs.

2. Industries Are Committed to Reducing HFCs

Many HVACR companies have committed to a $5 billion investment over the next ten years in hopes of developing a viable coolant that would be an affordable and eco-friendly alternative to HFCs. The investment also covers the expense of designing and manufacturing new equipment capable of working with the new generation of eco-friendly coolants.

cooling tower

Nearly two-thirds of all HFC usage is associated with servicing old HVAC units, according to refrigerationschool.com. With this in mind, HVACR industry leaders are prioritizing the development of alternative coolants that service technicians can use to service old devices safely and effectively.

Manufacturers and retailers, as well, are realizing the importance of decreasing carbon emissions, and many are making a commitment to using green coolants and equipment. Coca-Cola decided to purchase only 100 percent HFC-free cold drink equipment. Target aims to eliminate HFC coolants in all their refrigerated warehouses and HVACR units, and has already begun investigating new refrigerants for their beverage machines. Other companies have joined the fight to reduce HFCs, including DuPont, Honeywell, Lapolla, and SEVO Systems.

3. What Homeowners and Business Leaders Can Do

Business and homes use HFCs and other refrigerants that emit fluorinated gases. Substituting refrigerants with alternative coolants and switching to technologies that do not emit these gases can reduce emissions.

working on a unitContainment is one of the best ways to reduce HFCs. Homeowners and business leaders can reduce HFCs locally by scheduling regular inspections and maintenance on equipment, including refrigerators and air conditioners. Leaks are a major cause of HFC emission. In fact, 15 percent of leaks are responsible for 85 percent of refrigerant loss, according to the European Fluorocarbons Technical Committee. It is essential to use and maintain all cooling units according to manufacturer specifications. Homeowners and executives can also replace outdated equipment with newer, greener machines.

Together, individuals, business, and government leaders can reduce HFCs in aplanet earth way that doesn’t contribute to climate change. No single entity can do it alone—

it will take a combination of government regulation, industry innovation, and individual participation to make Earth a better place.


HVACRedu.net & Rocky Mountain Education Center Introduce the Facilities Engineering Technician Program

By Patricia Leiser

logos of Red Rocks Comm. Coll, FET, Rocky Mtn Education Ctr

On May 28th, 2015 Chris Compton, CEO of HVACRedu.net, and Ed Hegwood of Rocky Mountain Education Center (RMEC) presented the new Facilities Engineering Technician program in Washington, DC at the Department of Energy Better Buildings Summit.  All the government agencies were in attendance and the program was a big hit!

Technician next to panelFor the past 2 ½ years RMEC has been working with HVACRedu.net to design and implement an FET (Facilities Engineering Technician) program that meets the needs specified by the DOE Building Operations Professional.  This program has been packaged to be used worldwide by community colleges and employers for the entry level and existing workforces.

There are two components:  an online classroom and a hands-on competency section.  Both are equally rigorous and combine to fulfill all aspects of a competency based workforce education model.  Each of the two components is priced separately to allow the client to customize their program.  There is nothing else like it.

  1. The Online campus is both richly academic and accessible 24/7 asynchronously. Students enroll for one year at a time (the equivalent of 160 online instructional hours) and have access to Student Services, Technical Support, and Online Faculty to guide and respond to their individual online learning needs.  Students move through the online FET program one learning module at a time with an exam at the end of each module. The program is flexible, employer directed and can be site specific.
  1. The facility client chooses whether to have students perform the demonstration of competency at their facility or at the Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) HVAC Lab in Lakewood, Colorado. If they choose their own facility, senior facilities personnel must be vetted in the competency verification process by RRCC staff, or RRCC staff can conduct the session(s).  The facility client also chooses if they want multiple competency sessions throughout the program or a single event at the end of the program.  The ratio is approximately 10 – 12 hours of online course work coupled with 1 hour of hands-on lab instruction.

The FET Program is structured for 4 – 6 years of ongoing on-the-job and online education and training.  Students learn and work at the same time.  Employers cultivate a highly skilled workforce.

  • The first year includes 106 hours of Common Core and 54 hours selected from a specific track:
    • Common Core: Trade Math, Basic Hand & Power Tools, Work Habits, Customer Service Skills, Safety, Building Science Intro, and Intro to Blueprints.
    • Tracks: HVAC, Water Heating, Boilers, Plumbing, Electrical, or Building Automation.
  • The second year includes 160 hours of online instruction continuing in the selected track and recommended studies by the FET employer to cover specific areas that are of importance to the particular facility served.
  • The third year includes 160 hours that complete the specific track two people at a laptopselected, and additional course work identified by the employer.
  • The fourth through sixth years are customized to meet the specific needs of the FET employer, up to 160 hours of online instruction.

Chris and Ed have been working long and hard to bring this program to you and they would love to visit with your Facilities Director to explore how this program can be customized to exceed your educational expectations.

CLICK This Link to view the FET Program – RMEC Facilities Engineer Technician (FET) Program Powered by HVARedu.net

CLICK this link for a copy of the DOE Building Operations Professional: https://www4.eere.energy.gov/workforce/sites/default/files/DOE_BB_Fact_Sheet_NIBS_Workforce_v9.pdf

HVACRedu.net, founded in 2000, provides consulting and online access to complete, comprehensive, and growing online educational programs, recognized by the leading experts in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, Building Performance industries and utility companies as the primary online education resource.  Asynchronous courses are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the convenience of adult learners.  Skilled industry professionals maintain contact with each enrolled student.  Quality education, student success, and exceptional customer service are the primary objectives.

 Red Rocks Community College:  

  • Established in 1969, Red Rocks Community College delivers high-quality, affordable education programs leading to two-year degrees or professional certificates.
  • The college serves over 15,000 students per year online and at campus locations in Lakewood and Arvada.

RMEC/OSHA Training Institute: Ed.Hegwood@rrcc.edu

  • Rocky Mountain Education Center is an OSHA authorized Education Center serving Region VIII since 1992.
  • RMEC is a leader in many areas of technical education and certification training with courses offered in health and safety, water and storm water management, electrical code, renewable energy, energy efficiency and the Ready to Work Academy.  Over 95,000 students trained.
  • RMEC provides on-site/Customized Training worldwide that includes locations in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. CLICK HERE: Energy Efficiency Work Force Development


If you would like more information about this press release, please call Patricia Leiser at 888-655-4822 x1123 or email patricia@hvacredu.net