A heating and air conditioning repair van was parked in front of my house yesterday. The technician was strapping his tool belt around his waist, then walked to the four-plex next door. Apparently one of the outside condenser units for the air conditioning went kaput again.
During the past several years, the two aging condensers have needed service at least once each summer. While performing most of those service calls, some poor HVAC technician has had to toil away on the west side of the building where there is little or no breeze and the sunshine bears down upon him.
Yesterday afternoon, the poor worker certainly earned his pay. After about an hour of apparent trial and error tinkering, the technician removed the old condenser unit altogether, hauled it to the van, then drove away. A few hours later, a larger truck from the same repair company arrived with a crew of two more men and the original technician.
All three strapped on their tool belts, walked to the back of the truck, then began unpacking a brand new outside condenser unit from its shipping box. In less than an hour, the three HVAC technicians had completed the installation job, tested it, and left. The new condenser sat on its pad, humming quietly away.
If I was still a high school student, I’d seriously consider a career in HVAC (Heating Ventilation And Cooling). The technology is constantly improving and becoming more efficient. Many of these changes are coming about to address energy consumption and global climate change issues. All of these together provide career opportunities.
Aside from the need for workers and technicians to build, install, and maintain conventional HVAC systems, there are new technologies becoming more common in building temperature and environmental control. Some are being designed with solar/battery energy source considerations in mind.
I was surprised to discover that there are even geothermal HVAC systems available.
Geothermal systems work with the same heat exchange principle as conventional atmospheric air conditioners and heat pumps do, except the heat transfer plumbing is installed deep under the ground, not exposed to the air. These systems use the constant temperature of the ground to provide heat in the winter and dissipate heat in the summer. This is a very safe, efficient energy source that doesn’t ever run out. It will be interesting to see how this technology is utilized more for individual and industrial applications in the future.
Our culture is largely indoor based, so heating, ventilation, and cooling technology will remain very important aspects of our day to day lives. The HVAC industry will be a healthy, viable part of our domestic economy into the foreseeable future.
I know for sure that I feel thankful for the cool, refreshing air in the summer and the warm, cozy air in the winter.