Heating and cooling system mechanics install and repair heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration systems.
Heating system mechanics install oil, gas, electric, and other systems. They may install dehumidifiers, heat pumps, air filters, or ventilators. They read blueprints and manufacturers' directions. They cut or drill holes in floors, walls, and roofs for air ducts. They may assemble the ductwork. Mechanics install fuel and water lines, pumps, ducts, and vents. They connect the electrical wiring and controls. They check the unit for proper operation.
Heating system mechanics also maintain and repair these systems. They clean and oil parts, replace filters, and clean vents and ducts that have collected dust. If the system is not operating properly, mechanics check thermostats, nozzles, and controls to diagnose the problem.
Mechanics may install new controls to reduce energy use. In large buildings, they may install controls to control temperature in specific areas.
Cooling system mechanics install air-conditioning and refrigeration units. To set up these systems, mechanics install motors, compressors, piping, and many other components. They connect the equipment to the ductwork, refrigerant lines, and electrical source. They charge the system with refrigerant and check its operation. Mechanics also set or program the controls.
When cooling systems break down, mechanics diagnose the problem and make repairs. They test parts such as compressors, relays, and thermostats. They also talk to owners and users to understand any issues.
Mechanics must follow government regulations when working with refrigerants. They must conserve the refrigerant by plugging any leaks in the system. If they take out the old refrigerant, mechanics must contain it. They replace it with new non-toxic refrigerant.
Heating and cooling system mechanics use a variety of tools, such as:
- Hand and power tools
- Pipe cutters and benders
- Pressure gauges
Heating and cooling system mechanics keep records of the repairs and replacements they make.
Some mechanics work in pairs or teams. They may assist another mechanic or work as a supervisor.