The curriculum in different levels of HVAC programs is similar, but the programs vary in length, with the diploma and certificate programs lasting approximately 12 months or less. It normally takes 2 years to complete an associate's degree program. While not commonly available, there are some 4-year bachelor's degree programs in HVAC. Those seeking advanced training through a graduate degree program can find HVAC content in mechanical or architectural engineering programs. Listed below are some of the topics you can expect to see in your courses:
- Power and resistance
- Electrical heating
- Water volume
- Green technology
- Cost efficiency
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List of Courses
Basic Electricity for HVAC Course
Introductory electricity courses familiarize students with principles of electricity used in the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) industry. Topics common to basic electricity courses include component theory and operation, proper use of test equipment and electrical circuits. Lectures also cover the use of wiring diagrams to evaluate low- and high-voltage currents.
Air Conditioning Control Principles Course
This basic HVAC course teaches students about temperature, pressure and the electrical controls used in air conditioning equipment. Lessons cover motor starting devices, troubleshooting safety controls and operating relays. Instructors also provide an overview of Ohm's law, which examines the relationship among current, voltage, power and resistance, as it relates to air conditioning circuits and controls. Students practice maintaining residential and business air conditioning systems.
Gas and Electric Heating Course
These HVAC classes cover the principles and procedures used to service heating systems. Students gain experience installing, operating, maintaining and repairing gas and electrical heating systems. This includes both older systems and modern systems that use green technology.
HVAC Systems Design Course
In this HVAC class, students examine direct digital control (DDC) systems for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. They come to understand how systems maintain water volume and various temperatures, in addition to the proper procedures for making sure a system is working correctly. These courses also might focus on the design process for DDC systems.
Energy Management and Green Building Course
Students in this course develop a working knowledge of the engineering behind HVAC systems. They learn to investigate problems, gather samples and conduct tests to identify possible pollutants, which might include lead, chemicals or mold. They also explore cost-efficient ways to replace old systems and manage new ones.