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Classes Start January 14, 2020
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What is New About Our 10-Week HVAC Classes?

What is New About Our 10-Week HVAC Classes?

What is New About Our 10-Week HVAC Classes?

Did you see the news about some changes happening here at The Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating? We have recently changed the format of our HVAC classes from a 14-week class format to a new 10-week format.

The adjustment in the length and format of our classes may seem like quite a big change, but ultimately it is a change that we think will be of great benefit to both our students and our school. 

We wanted to take a little bit of time to explain exactly what the change from 14-week classes to 10-week will mean and what changes will happen as a result.

Why the change?

Over the years of teaching, Chris Walters, the school’s founder, has continued to fine-tune and perfect the curriculum we conduct for our students. As a result, Chris and our staff have gotten very efficient… not to toot our own horn. With our staff knowing what topics need more emphasis and what topics require less time, many of our recent 14-week classes have started to become trimmed of fluff and finished up ahead of schedule!

So, in order to help our students complete their education and get into the field a whopping four weeks early, we decided to just completely change our schedule since our classes were trending that way anyway. 

With a new 10-week format, our students can start finding work and making a living in their new field sooner than ever. 

What is different?

While it seems like trimming four weeks off our HVAC classes is a significant cut, we assure you it really isn’t! The 14-week and 10-week classes have the same schedule, cover the same topics, and contain the same information. We have simply just tightened things up.

By maximizing efficiency in the classroom because of the shorter class duration, our new 10-week format allows us to actually spend more time than ever on hands-on training and education. Mastery of heating and cooling equipment servicing can only happen through doing. This approach helps our students get more comfortable with the equipment and techniques and helps better prepare them for entering the workforce.

The other difference created by shortening our class durations is that it allows us to add another class session! We are now able to offer morning, evening, and afternoon classes now instead of just morning and evening, allowing us to admit and train more students throughout the course of the year!

How can I sign up?

Our new 10-week program is offered four times every year with morning, evening, and afternoon options. Right now, the training school is busier than we have ever been, which means available spots are going away fast!

But, the change and newly created afternoon has also created more opportunities for admission! If you are interested in starting a rewarding career in the HVAC industry here in Texas, you’ll find no better curriculum or training staff anywhere else that will prepare you with the knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed. 

Check out our schedule of upcoming HVAC classes, learn more about the curriculum, and how to apply to join the school here! If you aren’t sure if HVAC is right for you, you can also ask us about sitting in on a 3-hour class free of charge!

An HVAC Career Change is the Fresh Start You Need

An HVAC Career Change is the Fresh Start You Need

Looking for a career change?

The first path people take in their career isn’t always the correct one. After many years at a job in a career you once saw as your passion or direction in life, many find themselves burnt out, lacking that passion they once had, or simply feel like they are wasting away sitting behind a desk all day. There is no shame in it. Career changes these days is actually more common than not.

If you are one of the many people out there who are in this kind of situation or feel this way, a fresh start could be just the thing you need to get your professional career back on track and find a new passion.  

A career change to the HVAC industry is just the thing you need!

The students that come to us here at the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating come to us from all sorts of different backgrounds. While some are starting their career in HVAC fresh out of school, many others are coming from a different career looking for a new and fulfilling career.

What that second group finds here is the introduction into a new career that is challenging, rewarding, interesting, and the exact change of scenery they need to find their lost passions. 

If you are a hardworking professional who enjoys solving problems, helping others, and performing a valuable service and are looking for a new career path, a career in HVAC is the fresh start you need. Here’s why.

No previous experience required

One of the biggest challenges when shifting gears with your career then subsequently getting your foot in the door of the new career you are pursuing. Landing a job or returning to school for a field you haven’t studied or have experience in can be very difficult. The beauty of a career in HVAC is that all you need to get started is the willingness to learn and a good work ethic. Admission into the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating doesn’t require previous experience in HVAC repair or installation.

Many of the students we train are completely new to the field, and that is completely fine. Our comprehensive training course covers everything a student needs to know to become a successful HVAC technician from the basics to the more complex subjects. Whether you have experience or not, every student is treated equally and begins on equal footing, making it a career that is very accessible to those interested.

Accessible education

Getting started isn’t just easy, but getting the education you need is equally accessible. Many careers require a college education from an expensive institution and various degrees that can take years to obtain. If you have already gone through that process before, the idea of doing it all again may feel impossible.

This is not the case with technical training. Getting the necessary education, training, and certification you need to get your HVAC career started from can be accomplished at the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating in just 10 or 14 weeks at a fraction of the cost of a university. You don’t need to spend a lot of time or money getting your new career in HVAC started.

All are welcome

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, if you are a hard worker you can succeed in a career in HVAC. Despite what perceptions may be, the HVAC trade is made up of a diverse group of individuals with opportunities available for all interested in achieving them.

The HVAC industry welcomes all, with equal potential for men, women, and under-represented groups. There is no such thing as a “typical HVAC technician.” So, if you are considering a career switch to the HVAC industry, throw away any notions that you may not fit in or that there aren’t opportunities for someone like you, because there are plenty.  

Fulfilling work

One of the biggest things that causes people to change their career is the loss of passion. They find themselves doing work that is no longer fulfilling to them and seek to find something that makes them happy and proud to do what they do. A career in HVAC offers the chance to learn and practice a trade that has a very in-demand skill set and provides a very valuable service to your community. 

HVAC technicians acquire a set of skills that puts them in a position to provide a service that few others can. And, in many situations, you will be providing your customers with incredible relief by fixing the comfort systems in their home that keep them and their family’s warm in the winter and cool in the brutal summers. At the end of the day, you will be helping those in need and being someone’s hero by doing what you do. HVAC technicians perform a job that they can be proud of. What is more fulfilling than that?

Potential for growth

The biggest reason people find themselves changing careers however, according to a recent study, is people finding themselves running into a lack of opportunity for growth as well as professional and personal development. A career in HVAC is one that is filled with potential.

Due to an ongoing shortage in skilled labor, jobs in the HVAC industry are plentiful and come along with very competitive salaries. Honing your craft, continuing to educate yourself, and obtaining additional certifications can also open many doors for an HVAC technician to go out on their own and start their own business. There are many different paths the career of an HVAC technician can take if you are willing to go the extra mile.

Ready to reignite your career with a fresh start and career change? Learn about the upcoming classes here at the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating or sit in on a session for free to learn if its right for you! Your new career is waiting for you here.

What You and Your Customers Need to Know About R22 Refrigerant

What You and Your Customers Need to Know About R22 Refrigerant

For years, R22 refrigerant was used in the majority of in-home air conditioning systems and considered the king of refrigeration. Well, the times have certainly changed.

Since January 2020, the production and importation of R22 has been banned, allowing only for continuing use of R22 from recycled or stockpiled reserves because of its negative impact on the environment. By January 2030, the EPA’s goal is to phase out the use of R22 almost entirely

Considering that the majority of air conditioning and other cooling systems manufactured and installed before 2010, when heavy R22 regulations began, utilize R22 refrigerant, these mandates have changed much about the education and practices of HVAC technicians when it comes to refrigerants. 

It has spurred us in the HVAC industry to explore and understand more environmentally and efficient refrigerant alternatives as well as inspired technicians to educate their customers on the matter. After all, the phasing out of R22 refrigerant is also going to put customers in the position to make some important decisions regarding their systems as well. 

When those questions and decisions do come up, as an HVAC technician or a technician in training it’ll be your responsibility to help your customers make the best and most informed decisions for understanding and replacing their R22 refrigerant systems.

Here are some of the most important things for you and your customers to understand about R22 refrigerant.

Why R22 refrigerant is banned

The reason refrigerant has fallen under so much scrutiny over the past few decades is the negative impact it has been found to have on the environment. Refrigerants can produce emissions that are destructive to the Earth’s ozone layer and contribute to global warming. 

This revelation spurred the EPA and governments across the world to begin enforcing stricter regulations on the use of refrigerants and creating new required certifications for HVAC technicians on the handling and disposal of refrigerant, such as the EPA 608 Certification.

So, while 2020 was a year that ramped up restrictions on production and importing of R22 refrigerant, regulations on environmentally harmful refrigerant has been ongoing for decades, with 2010 being a major turning point. 

Your customers can continue to use their equipment

The most common question you are likely to encounter from your customers regarding their R22 refrigerant units is “am I still allowed to use it?” The answer is, of course, yes. While the ban exists to cease the production and import of R22, it doesn’t ban the ongoing use of it. So, it is important to put your customer’s mind at ease on this fact.

However, while the ongoing use of their current system is fine, it will present some serious issues for them going forward. As their HVAC technician, someone they should value and trust as an expert in your field, you do have an obligation to inform your customers of what they will be dealing with long term with these systems.

Maintaining their R22 refrigerant system is going to cost them

Because of the ban in production and import, ongoing repairs and replacements on R22 refrigerant systems will have to come from the remaining stockpile of reserves – a stockpile that will continue to rapidly dwindle over the next few years.

As supply diminishes and repair and maintenance demand for these systems (many of which installed before 2010) increases, it will create a landscape in which the cost of these repairs will rise and rise and rise. In the next few years, a refrigerant replacement job that would normally be fairly straightforward and relatively inexpensive will cost your customers a great deal more because of the limited supply.

As you encounter customers with cooling systems that utilize R22, it is a good idea to make this situation known to them and help them understand their options going forward. They may be stubborn and OK with paying more for the sake of living with their system until it finally kicks the bucket. However, you should make them at least understand the value of upgrading and replacing their cooling systems with more efficient and environmentally friendly modern systems.

R22 alternatives

As HVAC technicians continue to work in a post-R22 world, knowing the available R22 alternatives will help you be a better and more well-rounded HVAC technician, as well as become a more valuable resource for your customers when they are searching for replacements for their outdated cooling systems.

While no refrigerant is perfect and each has their own pluses and minuses, our preferred R22 alternative is R421a. R421a has 0 ODP, is non-flammable, is useful in a number of different applications, can in many cases can be used as a direct R22 replacement, and most importantly is one of the more environmentally friendly refrigerants available. 

R32, R407c, and other greener refrigerant alternatives are also available and preferred by some. Like we said, there is no end-all be-all refrigerant choice. Good HVAC technicians will familiarize themselves with as many as they can and come to their own conclusions as to which they prefer and recommend to their customers.

The Training Center of Heating and Air Conditioning takes the health of the beautiful world around us very seriously, so refrigerant education is something we take very seriously and even make EPA 608 certification a part of the requirements for graduation from our school.

If you are interested in learning more about a career in HVAC as a technician, check out upcoming schedule of classes to find the session that best suits you. 

Pros and Cons of Opening an HVAC Franchise Location

Pros and Cons of Opening an HVAC Franchise Location

Is an HVAC Franchise right for you?

For anyone who goes through the rigors of an HVAC education and training likely has the end goal of one day owning their own HVAC company. While that may not be the first step post-graduation (it is probably a good idea that you work in the industry for a while first) the appeal of having your own business is certainly something every technician should aspire to one day.

Of course, it takes a lot to get there, including lots of certifications and additional training and education on not just HVAC, but successfully running a business. That can take a lot of time and money, let alone the personal investment of running a business.

That is why, for many, a first logical step in the right direction of opening up an HVAC business for yourself is joining and opening an HVAC franchise location. 

Opening a franchise location makes a lot of sense for many HVAC professionals, but it also comes with a number of considerations that have to be taken into account as well. Just like opening a business of your own, joining a nationwide franchise is a big decision.

If you are considering joining and opening an HVAC franchise, here are some of the pros and cons that come with the territory you should consider.

Pros

Get a taste for running a business

Many of those opening HVAC franchises have only ever worked as a technician or installer for another company and have never had any experience running a business. One of the perks of opening a franchise location is the availability of support and operational help, so franchisees can get a taste for running their own business with the backing of a large franchise.

Franchises often have conversion teams to offer on-site instructions and mentoring for the first several months to help the new owner get up to speed with franchise operations. If you have never run a business before, joining a franchise can help teach you a lot.

Access to great resources

When you run your own HVAC business, you are left on your own for just about everything: advertising, equipment purchases, prospecting, etc. Doing all of the things necessary to running a business and finding new customers is a full-time job on its own. With a franchise, you’ll often have much needed help on all these fronts.

Most franchises give you access to a wide range of marketing tools and assets to help with advertising, as well as that franchise’s customer database to help you keep and grow your customer base. 

Name recognition

One of the toughest things for an HVAC business just starting out is earning the trust of local customers. Buyers are (and should) be very particular and weary about who they do business with. For a company just starting out that they have never heard of, this can be a tough task.

The advantage of opening a franchise location is that you more than likely get to skip that uncomfortable step in the process. Their well-established business means it is very likely that they (or someone they know) has hired your franchise before, heard an advertisement on the radio, or seen you on TV. That name recognition goes a long way in earning trust in your company.

Cons

You aren’t your own boss

One of the biggest appeals of starting and owning your own business is the satisfaction of being your own boss. As the owner, you get to control every aspect of your business from the name to even what the colors on your trucks are. You don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself. In a franchise, you don’t get this luxury.

While opening a franchise puts you in charge of the location, at the end of the day it is not entirely your business. You still report to the higher ups in the franchise, don’t have control over the name, colors, and much in the way of larger decisions. If being your own boss is important to you, a franchise doesn’t offer complete freedom.

Change can be difficult on current business owners

Franchising isn’t just an option for new business owners. Many businesses opt to join a franchise in order to take advantage of the support and resources they offer. This can be a good move for a rising business who needs assistance fulfilling their potential. However, anyone considering this route should be mindful that change is going to have to happen, whether you like it or not.

For many established business owners, the transition can be difficult to swallow as they see things about their business they once had total control over change without the ability to stop it. Joining a franchise is not necessarily a bad move, but as the owner you need to acknowledge that there are going to be changes and accept them.

HVAC Franchise fees

The process of opening an HVAC franchise location isn’t as simple as just calling them up and getting started. In order to join the franchise, you’ll need to offer up a franchising fee upfront in order to begin. 

Franchising fees vary from franchise to franchise, but are often several thousands of dollars, a similar investment to what it takes to start a business of your own. In order to open an HVAC franchise location, you will need to approach the process very similarly to how you would if you were opening your own business.

All in all, opening a franchise location for an HVAC company can be very rewarding and beneficial for business owners starting out (or looking for a change) but does come with its own demands that must be met. Just like starting your own business, it takes time, effort, and serious planning to make sure the process goes smoothly and works out for both sides.

Ready to begin your HVAC career? The Training Center of Heating and Air Conditioning is the perfect place to learn everything you need to know about the industry, beginning your career, finding your first job, and maybe even opening your own business here in the Houston, Texas area.

Learn more about our upcoming schedule of classes today.

HVAC 2021: Industry Leaders Preparing for a Great Year

HVAC 2021: Industry Leaders Preparing for a Great Year

After a year in which the only thing that was predictable was the unpredictable, 2021 offers a fresh start. However with the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing and many changes to come after it is eventually overcome, there is still a fair amount of uncertainty surrounding the future of many businesses and industries.

For us and our students at the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating, that obviously begs the question, “what does the immediate future look like for HVAC?”

The global pandemic leading to lockdowns and calls to shelter in place across the country, people spent more time at home this past year. Because of this, the HVAC industry was fortunate enough to stay steady and serve the heating and cooling needs of folks in their homes in order to stay comfortable while they stayed safe.

But, will that continue to be a viable situation for the foreseeable future? After all, although a career in the trades equips you with a very special skill set, if the future for HVAC feels unsure, incoming HVAC professionals and technicians need to be aware of what is ahead of them.

While the pandemic will eventually be conquered and life returning to (somewhat) normality, it is still worth carefully considering the outlook of any professions you are in or currently exploring as we head into 2021 and the somewhat uncertain future that lies ahead. 

When it comes to what the HVAC industry will look like in 2021, what better source to turn to than the leaders of the industry?

The Future Looks Strong

In a recent article, many of the HVAC industry’s most distinguished leaders were asked about what the outlook for the HVAC industry and HVAC technicians looked like in 2021. There was a common sentiment among every one of them: the future is looking strong!

Projecting the needs of customers and the outlook of an eventually returning economy, the leaders of the HVAC industry point to a multitude of factors that should contribute to a strong continuing need for HVAC services and technicians, as well as new opportunities that should begin to present themselves. 

Our work is never done

The reality is that as the pandemic continues, and even after it is eventually past, folks will continue to rely heavily on the comfort provided by their heating and cooling systems. Many businesses and professionals will continue to work and operate remotely from their homes and drive the need for peak performance of their HVAC system. 

The foreseeable increased reliance on home comfort systems by those working and learning from home, many of these experts predict, will drive the need for more regular equipment servicing and replacement over the next few years, providing no shortage of jobs and opportunities for HVAC service providers and technicians.

New growing interest in indoor air quality

Many of the industry’s experts noted that the airborne nature of the pandemic has also created an increased awareness of consumers on the need for improved air quality, especially in commercial spaces. Even following the conclusion of the pandemic, experts predict there will continue to be a demand for indoor air purification equipment for both homes and businesses – a need that will be filled by those in the HVAC industry.

As demand for air purification equipment increases, heating and cooling companies will see an increased opportunity for installation and servicing work surrounding these types of equipment. This will drive a need for HVAC technicians to thoroughly train and educate themselves with this type of equipment in order to better offer and market these services.  

New regulations will create better practices

Normalcy will not return without changes to protocols for HVAC technicians to safely serve their customers. However, these changes, some experts predict, will ultimately prove to have positive effects on operations, particularly project management.

Brian Helm of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America Inc. in particular stated, “In 2021, I think contractors will use what we learned from working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic to simplify many aspects of project management. We will see the evolution of data management tools from the current desktop-centered format to a mobile-centric approach. This will make it easier than ever for our project managers to stay connected.”

So, should those considering a career in HVAC be concerned about the future of the industry? Quite the contrary! The 2021 HVAC outlook for technicians looks very promising. Here at the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating, we are continuing to educate and prepare our students for a HVAC career in a post-COVID world. 

Learn more about our upcoming class schedule online.