Holiday Gifts for HVAC WorkersBy Randy Legair on Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Get the HVAC tech in your life a gift that will pay dividends on a regular basis throughout the coming year.
The 2020 holiday shopping season is in full swing. If you have an HVAC technician on your list, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together a list of five gifts sure to put a smile on the face of any HVAC tech.
First up? An HVAC essential: a borescope! HVAC work often means working in narrow spaces with tricky line-of-sight. This makes diagnostics anything but easy. This is where borescopes shine—literally in some cases!
A borescope is a long, snake-like device with a camera attached to one end and on the other, an interface for viewing what that camera sees. Because of the svelte design of this device, users can fit it into tight spaces and get a direct visual of everything going on in the system they’re working on. These devices start around $50 for basic models, though prices can soar into the thousands for higher-end models. Resolution, water resistance, length, low light visibility, and connectivity all affect the pricing for a borescope. In most cases, a model in the $100-$200 range will have enough functionality to get the job done.
Next on our list of gifts for HVAC technicians? The laser thermometer. These tools often prove themselves invaluable to HVAC technicians. Laser thermometers use some pretty serious physics to instantly read temperatures at a distance. Most models can easily fit into a pocket, making them highly portable.
These devices can help find cold spots and diagnose faulty thermostats. While most HVAC technicians certainly have a thermal imaging device on their wishlists, those can cost several hundreds of dollars, even thousands! Laser thermometers have much more practical prices, with most highly functional models coming in at less than $100.
Audel HVAC Pocket Reference Guide
Any HVAC technician who wants to stay on top of their game will need our next entry: the Audel HVAC Pocket Reference Guide. This guide holds critical equations, measurements, and specifications that may sometimes elude even the sharpest of technicians. While the widespread adoption of mobile devices has led to a diminishing utility for physical pocket guides, they still help in situations where mobile devices cannot receive a signal.
Another huge benefit of pocket guides? The information presented is typically more reliable or consistent than what you may find on the internet. Having to go through a traditional publishing process helps ensure accuracy of information.
Ensuring that refrigeration units are filled with the correct amount refrigerant is of the utmost importance to an HVAC technician. Refrigerant scales allow technicians to get an accurate idea of exactly how much refrigerant has been removed or added to a system, as well as how much refrigerant might be missing. A refrigerant scale makes the process of accurately gauging the amount of refrigerant required for a job an exact science (rather than a guessing game that could cost a tech their job). High levels of precision, portability, and accuracy are the marks of a fine-tuned refrigerant scale. These scales range from $150 to $250 for highly functional models that will get the job done efficiently.
A lot of problems can cause a technician’s next work order ticket, all of which may require their own specific solution. In the HVAC business, working efficiently is paramount! A tool carrier that holds a wide variety of tools will prove invaluable day in and day out.
Durability is key here. Many of the tools HVAC techs carry are heavy and have sharp edges. Look for a carrier made from a combination of leather and polyester and that has thick stitching on the seams to withstand the strain of heavier items.
Second only to durability, the next most important feature to consider is storage space. As a rule of thumb, the more pockets a carrier has, the more organization options an HVAC tech has. Carriers with additional storage trays underneath the carrier are especially useful for storing the small components HVAC techs have to bring to a worksite (such as drill bits, tape, and small screws and fasteners).
We hope this list will prove useful in your search for the perfect gift for the HVAC worker in your life! Any of these gifts should make a welcome addition to their current tool kit!