Professionals who specialize in the installation, maintenance, and repair of heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and refrigeration units are essential to the functioning of modern society. Learn more about this exciting field with our career guidance pages.
Nearly every enclosed space relies on some form of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, or HVAC. The invention of air conditioning in 1902 revolutionized business and industry. Willis Haviland Carrier received the first patent for the modern air conditioner, which was then known as an "apparatus for treating air." Mr. Carrier shared his formula for the air conditioner with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1911, and that formula is still used today for fundamental air conditioning calculations.
Air conditioning units were tremendously beneficial at the time to printing presses and meat packing plants, which had previously felt severe negative effects from high heat and humidity levels. In 1928, residential air conditioning units were introduced, bringing this luxury to the masses.
While much of the world views air conditioning as a luxury rather than a necessity, there are few places where central heating is anything but a necessity, at least for a few months of every year. The creation of basic central heating is credited to ancient Romans, who installed a system of air ducts in which hot air from a central fire was fed through to distribute heat throughout.
Any place there is climate control equipment requires, at some point, a person to install, repair, and maintain that equipment. Most HVAC mechanics are employed with wholesalers, repair operations, direct sales, building contractors, and elementary and secondary schools.
HVAC mechanics can receive training in programs lasting anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the intensity, training level, and certifications available. Many organizations also offer apprenticeship programs for mechanics to further their training. HVACSchools.com is a great resource to find a school that matches the interests and goals of a budding HVAC mechanic.