An entry-level technician repairs an A/C unit as part of his HVAC job interview

Trade School Tips: Preparing for HVAC Interview

Imagine this: You’ve just discovered an exciting job opening, and you want to apply. Or maybe you’ve already applied and have scheduled an interview! Now what? How should you prepare? Get ready to ace your entry-level A/C and Refrigeration interview with these helpful tips, HVAC question and answers, and general advice from the Apex Technical School team.

Practice A/C and Refrigeration Job Interview Questions

HVAC interview date circled on a calendar in black inkMost job interviews begin with general questions. General questions give you a chance to demonstrate your personality and work ethic—two important considerations that will help the interviewer decide if you’re a good fit for the role and the company culture. Some general questions include:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want to work in the HVAC field?
  • What do you know about this company?
  • Tell me about your education/certification and what you learned.
  • What are some skills you’ve gained at other jobs or at school that you feel you could use in this position?

As your meeting progresses, the nature of the interview questions changes too. You may notice that the interviewer asks more technical questions the longer your conversation lasts. This is normal! Technical questions are your chance to shine by communicating your skills and confidence in the HVAC trade. You may want to prepare answers for these common technical questions:

  • Can you describe the A/C, refrigeration systems and appliances you have worked on and are most familiar with?
  • Tell me about an HVAC problem or challenge you couldn’t solve. What did you do to find a solution?
  • If you saw a coworker making a mistake or being unsafe, what would you do?

Lastly, what do you want to know about the company or role you’re interviewing for? Brainstorm a few questions when you’re preparing for your interview. Keep these in the back of your mind or write them down on a sheet of paper that you bring with you to your interview. This shows you’ve taken initiative to envision yourself in the position and that you’re serious about the job. Some questions you might ask the interviewer are:

  • Are there opportunities for training or advancement within this role?
  • What is the biggest challenge the company is facing right now, and why?
  • What would a successful person be doing in this role two months from now? Six months from now? A year from now?
  • What do you like most about working here?

What to Wear to an HVAC Job Interview

If you’re unsure what to wear to an HVAC interview, you’re not alone. Many individuals who are interviewing for their first entry-level position question what’s appropriate attire. A good rule of thumb? Dress one step up from what the job would require. Since HVAC jobs typically require work clothes and boots, that clothing may not always be right for the interview.

Instead, boost your professionalism one step by wearing casual business attire for your interview. This may look like an ironed button-down shirt, khaki pants (not jeans) and dress shoes. Depending on the company and if you’ll be customer-facing in your role, you could choose to wear a tie to the interview as well. Always maintain good hygiene.

Related: What Is the Refrigerant Certification for HVAC Technicians?

What to Bring to an HVAC Job Interview

A technician holds A/C refrigeration equipment and answers HVAC questions

Before you leave home for your interview empty-handed, plan what you may need to bring. It’s a good idea to ask the interviewer ahead of time if they’ll require you to install or repair equipment as part of the interview process. If so, bring your toolbox to the interview with a few basic tools:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Multimeter
  • Wrench

In addition to tools, it’s a good idea to bring extra copies of your resume inside a clean folder. Don’t assume the interviewer already has a copy. Plus, if they decide to bring another employee to ask you questions at the interview, you’ll have extra copies for that additional person. You may also want to bring a list of references, or people you know professionally who can speak to your character, work ethic and skills—such as former bosses, instructors or coworkers.


Now, you’re ready to knock your HVAC interview out of the park and be on your way toward an exciting career path! If you’re an Apex HVAC student who needs help with your resume or interview preparation, reach out to our job placement assistance team. We’re here and ready to help you!




*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

An HVAC technician repairs an air conditioning unit

Apex Student Spotlight: Jamil Williams

This month, we sat down with Jamil Williams, a trade school graduate of the Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Appliance/Controls program at Apex Technical School. Jamil told us what he’s been up to since graduating from the program, what he liked about Apex, how he stayed motivated, what HVAC classes were his favorite, and much more.

Keep reading to learn about Jamil’s story—because his answers might surprise you!

Q&A with an Apex Graduate

Apex Technical: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Jamil Williams: My name is Jamil Williams. I’m from Harlem, New York. I’m an Apex graduate, and I’m back taking AC Refrigeration refresher courses.

AT: Why did you decide to enroll in trade school?

JW: I was looking for a career change. I was working at sweetgreen. I felt I could do better than making salads, and I would overhear customers talking about their careers. That motivated me to do something different. I knew I could do better.

AT: How did you juggle other responsibilities and Apex’s HVAC training program at the same time?

JW: I took HVAC courses in the day program. That worked well for me, because it gave me time to go home to do what I had to do at home. It allowed me to be closer to my family.

AT: Other than the option for day or evening classes, what else helped you choose Apex?

A trade school graduate works on equipment with an Apex instructorJW: I found out about Apex from my counselor in high school. She mentioned Apex, and I remembered seeing the transit ads, and I knew it was a well-known school. I also have a thing for working with my hands—Lego, origami, classes on survival, basketball, robotics. Being hands-on always drew my attention.

AT: Sounds like trade school was the right fit!

JW: Yeah, I was motivated to go to trade school because, from my high school experience, I wanted to focus on one thing. In college you can take an HVAC program, but you would also have to take literature classes and do liberal arts. For me, that would be too much and a distraction. My family also does not have the money for college. My sister is enrolled in college, and she’s taken on a lot of debt.

AT: How were you able to focus on your goals?

JW: Apex set me up for success. It gave me multiple skills that I can use forever. The HVAC program kept me on track and focused. I learned how to be more responsible. For example, my instructors told me, “You can’t be late. It’s like a job.” Little things like that made a big impact and kept me accountable for my actions. Now I’m back for refresher classes, and it’s good practice—it’s getting me ready to go into the field. It makes me confident.

AT: What was your favorite class?

JW: Advanced Commercial Refrigeration/Air Conditioning. We had more systems in the class, package units, split units, compressors. The first time I got to fix an open hermetic compressor was in that class! You get to open it and see the mechanics of it. I learned how to wire four-way valves in a split unit system and how to use them correctly.

AT: What was the biggest challenge you overcame in your program?

JW: My biggest challenge was the passing the Section 608 Technician exam to earn my EPA certification. I initially only passed type 1 and type 2. I overcame this by studying the section I failed and taking a practice test at school and at home. My biggest achievement is my EPA universal. I found out through email about my test results. I saw the email early in the morning, I hopped out of bed, and screamed so loud—I was really hyped! My next priority was to focus on my fire guard. I’m now preparing for that.

AT: Did you feel supported by Apex?

JW: I felt supported by Apex because I got a lot of tutoring, and people took interest in helping me. Staying after school was always available. Even if it wasn’t my teacher, another teacher would help. Apex has different departments and student services for different needs—like grades or attendance. There’s a whole support system here.

AT: What would you tell someone who is thinking about enrolling?

Desks in an HVAC classroom at Apex Technical SchoolJW: The admissions process helped me choose my trade. Once the confusion was out of the way, Apex helped me complete the paperwork. Plus, the school helps balance course work and shop time. It’s already laid out for you.

AT: How do you feel now that you’re an Apex graduate?

JW: My experience at Apex was unexpectedly fast. It was a good experience because it trained me and motivated me to become a better man. I learned I could accomplish things. There were some ups and downs, but overall it was a good experience.

AT: Is there anything else you want to share about your experience?

JW: Before learning a trade, I was surrounded by a bad environment. But I set a standard for myself. I decided to walk the motivation. I almost became the motivation. This mindset introduced me to some of the other students’ stories and the paths they took to become motivated. I surrounded myself with people who had the same mindset and wanted to achieve the same goals. I knew I was on the right track because they were on the right track.

Learn More About Hands-On Training

If Jamil’s story inspired you, we encourage you to check out all the programs that Apex offers! Have questions? Contact us and we’ll help answer your questions, share program information, schedule you for a campus tour, and discuss your financial aid eligibility. Classes are starting soon!



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

After earning the EPA certification for HVAC, a technician diagnoses and repairs an A/C unit

Refrigerant Certification for HVAC Technicians

If you’re currently an HVAC student or you’re thinking of enrolling in HVAC trade classes, congratulations! This exciting field can be rewarding for many technicians who have a passion for problem-solving, details and working with their hands. However, before you can work with certain types of equipment and products in the HVAC trade, you must earn a special certification. Let’s explore what this certificate is and how you can earn it.

What Is the EPA Section 608 Certificate for HVAC?

An HVAC technician, who received the EPA 608 certificate, repairs a refrigerator in a residential home

The Section 608 certification measures HVAC technicians’ knowledge of handling various refrigeration products. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that technicians provide a safe and eco-friendly outcome when they’re working with air conditioning and refrigeration fluids.

What does this mean? The EPA explains:

EPA regulations under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act require that technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release refrigerants into the atmosphere must be certified.

By earning this certificate, technicians demonstrate that they know the proper methods for handling and disposing of fluids that can have potentially harmful effects on the environment.


Related: How Long Is HVAC School?

How do I get certified under Section 608?

An Apex Technical School student takes the EPA 608 certification exam on a desktop computer
Technicians must pass an EPA-approved test to earn Section 608 certification. EPA-approved certifying organizations administer the test. The test is comprised of four parts with 25 multiple choice questions in each part. Apex Technical School encourages test takers to study before sitting for the exam.

Learn More About Air Conditioning & Refrigeration

Now that you understand how to get the EPA certification for HVAC technicians, it’s time to take the next step in your journey by enrolling in hands-on skills training. Apex offers HVAC classes in the day or evening to fit your schedule. Learn more about the HVAC program at Apex, or contact us now to get answers to your questions.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

A graduate from HVAC technical school inspects an air conditioning unit on a commercial building

How Long Is HVAC School?

HVAC training is a popular option for students who feel inspired by heating, air conditioning and ventilation as a potential career path. However, if you’re motivated to start working in the field quickly, you may be wondering just how long HVAC school takes to complete. Here’s some good news: training classes at HVAC technical school might not take as long as you think.

How Long Does It Take to Get an HVAC Certificate?

At Apex Technical School, students can spend as little as 7 months in the HVAC program. This timeline is long enough to give students 900 hours between the classroom and the shop, while also providing a more direct route to completion than a community college or traditional university, which can take two to four years on average.

Now that you have an answer to the question, “How long is HVAC training?,” let’s explore the benefits an HVAC training program will offer you during that time period.
An HVAC student wears a belt with HVAC training program tools and instruments

Hands-On Experience

In the HVAC program at Apex, students get opportunities to practice hands-on techniques that they can carry with them after graduation. Students learn to maintain and repair domestic and commercial air conditioning and refrigeration systems, electrical controls, major home appliances and gas-fired heating systems. They move from basic courses to more advanced classes, practicing their skills and HVAC theory along the way.

Opportunity to Learn Alongside Others

In addition to gaining hands-on experience in six courses throughout the HVAC training program, students also get the opportunity to learn with like-minded peers who share their interests. Dedicated instructors with field knowledge lead classes and demonstrate technical methods used within the HVAC industry. Through collaboration and instruction, students practice what it means to work through challenges together and independently—just like in the workforce.

Related: How Hands-On Learning Benefits Trade Job Seekers
HVAC technical schools like Apex prepare students with skills for their career path

Preparation for an Entry-Level Position

When you want to break into a new industry, such as the HVAC industry, an entry-level position is an important goal. Apex helps you on your journey to realize that goal by providing a path to learning the HVAC trade and giving helpful resources. From job placement assistance to resume writing tips and interview preparation, support is available at Apex.

Learn More About Our HVAC Technical School

Don’t get cold feet. Take the next step, and learn more about our HVAC program. Explore topics covered in our HVAC classes, request information and more. We’re happy to answer your questions about enrollment, start dates, financial aid opportunities and classes. Simply contact us online to get started.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Woman in HVAC trade repairs an air conditioner with screw driver

Women in the HVAC Trade

Countless opportunities exist for women in skilled trades, especially in the HVAC industry. According to Women of HVAC, female-owned businesses have increased 1.5 times faster than the national average in the past 20 years, and there has been a similar rise in female HVAC technicians. If you’re interested in pursuing a hands-on education to become a woman in the skilled trades, here’s why the HVAC industry may be the path for you.

Women Succeed in HVAC Programs

Student learning to be a woman in the skilled trades in HVAC class at ApexWomen are often an underutilized resource when it comes to skilled trades. As more baby boomers retire over the next decade, the HVAC industry will need skilled individuals to step into the field and thrive.

Historically, the industry has been male-dominated, but that trend has already started to change as more women pursue HVAC programs at trade schools. Women in HVAC classes at Apex can receive a hands-on education that prepares them for an entry-level position.

Why Women are an Asset in the HVAC Industry

If you’re a woman who enjoys hands-on work, the technical nature of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning field may suit your interests. Women who have strong communication skills also thrive in environments that involve talking with customers, explaining repairs and scheduling maintenance. Plus, some female customers may be more comfortable with a female HVAC technician in their home so you may find that you fill a need for some customers.


HVAC industry woman wearing yellow work vest fixes a commercial air conditioner

How Women Transform Skilled Trades

Women in skilled trades are not only an asset to their industry but also an inspiration to others who aspire to follow in their footsteps. Representation matters, and more female HVAC technicians will show women everywhere that they might find fulfillment in the HVAC trade, too.

Finally, as more women technicians step into the HVAC industry, they have the potential to deepen their knowledge with years of experience and eventually serve as entrepreneurs of their own HVAC company—showing other women that they can contribute to and transform this exciting field.



Discover Apex’s HVAC Program

Turn your ambitions into reality by learning how you can kickstart your path as a female HVAC technician. Our team is happy to talk to you about women in the HVAC program at Apex or help you schedule a time to come to our campus and learn about enrollment. Get started by visiting our HVAC Program page or contacting us.




*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

An A/C and Refrigeration Program student checks circuits with digital multimeter

Do You Know HVAC Safety?

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians often enjoy a rewarding and hands-on trade. These technicians require practical skills, problem-solving abilities and a passion for technical knowledge about heating, A/C and refrigeration equipment.

Individuals working in this trade should also understand HVAC safety standards. Whether you’re an HVAC student starting training classes, or you’ve been working in the field for years, you can find ways to protect yourself and others from potential hazards. Here are some HVAC safety tips to improve day-to-day operations:

1. Assess the situation

An individual uses HVAC tech service tools, a mobile phone, and a mask on the job
When an HVAC technician arrives at a jobsite, he or she should look around to understand the environment. Where is the HVAC equipment located? How many exits are there? What potential accidents or hazards might be present? Every jobsite is unique, and it’s crucial to evaluate the scene before getting to work. By pausing to reflect on the work setting, HVAC technicians give themselves valuable time to remember HVAC safety tips and act on them.

2. Wear safety gear

In addition to assessing the workspace, HVAC technicians should also ensure that they protect their body from potential accidents, chemical spills, electrical hazards and falls. Some individuals in the HVAC trade wear durable clothes to ensure the skin on their arms and legs doesn’t come into contact with sharp metal edges on air conditioners, heating systems or ventilation shafts. Gloves, protective eyewear and masks can also help increase safety for HVAC workers.


Related: Questions Homeowners Ask About HVAC Systems

3. Handle equipment properly

An HVAC technician follows HVAC safety tips on the job

While assessing a job, HVAC technicians can determine what types of heating or cooling appliances are present and what tools or equipment they need to inspect and repair issues. Therefore, knowledge about trade tools is key. In combination with HVAC history and theory, individuals learn hands-on skills in trade school, where they have the opportunity to handle HVAC service tech tools in a shop setting with experienced instructors. This is valuable training for entry-level employment and can go a long way in maintaining HVAC safety standards in the field.

Learn HVAC Safety in Trade School

Do you have a passion for working with your hands? If you enjoy problem-solving and have an interest in heating and cooling repair, learn more about the A/C Refrigeration Program at Apex Technical School. Classes are starting soon, and our Admissions team is scheduling appointments to help answer your questions.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

An air conditioning and refrigeration student learns hands-on skills from an instructor

A Day in the Life of a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Student

Tradesmen and women in the HVAC industry work on heating, cooling and ventilation systems day in and day out. Typically, people who pursue the heating and cooling trade enjoy learning how things work. They may have a natural passion for troubleshooting and feel a sense of achievement for a job well done.

Many beginners wonder if the field is a good fit. They also wonder what a typical day is like in trade school for HVAC students. At Apex, students can expect to be taught skills and training for an entry-level position. Here are a few more things you can expect when you’re an HVAC student.

HVAC Students Study the Basics

An average day for an HVAC student begins with basic skills and theories. Students start with electrical concepts and theories used in the industry. Lessons cover a range of subjects, such as:

  • Voltage circuits controls
  • Wiring diagrams
  • Residential and commercial units

As students learn, they build upon their technical skills and knowledge. In addition to basic electricity, students are taught the fundamentals of refrigeration. Refrigerant is used in many types of cooling and heating units to help transfer heat. Students are taught about refrigerant as well as:

  • Temperature (Celsius and Fahrenheit)
  • Humidity
  • Heat flow and heat transfer
  • Pressure and refrigeration cycle

Students spend time in both the classroom and a shop setting.

Learn to Evaluate Work Sites

Refrigeration and cooling students at Apex Technical School spend time in the shop where they are taught a wide variety of safety measures and industry practices. Students are taught about the shop environment, equipment and basic skills required of HVAC technicians to service refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners.

Students learn about safety rules and dangers to watch out for, including:

  • Electrical risks
  • Chemical hazards
  • Equipment temperature
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Proper tool use

Avoiding accidents is necessary to keep yourself and others safe and unharmed in the work environment.

Work on Residential and Commercial Appliances

Refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners are widely used in areas such as residential homes, office buildings, schools, restaurants and other commercial establishments. Students in HVAC school are taught how to apply electrical and refrigeration theory by working hands-on with appliances in the shop. Instructors help students use tools and diagrams necessary for some hands-on installations and repairs.

Students also spend a portion of their day working next to other students. This helps reinforce a teamwork mindset and provides opportunity for collaboration and peer support. Knowing how to work independently and with others is often a sign of a productive, dedicated tradesperson—and many entry-level employers seek out employees who can work collaboratively.

Discover more about the air conditioning and refrigeration program when you schedule a tour online.


Want to learn more about electrical? Explore the Electrical program at Apex.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the New York State Education Department. 

 Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.


A HVAC technician tests a thermostat for air conditioner problems

What Are Common HVAC Problems in the Summer?

Across the country, temperatures begin to heat up in May, June and July. Homeowners and commercial businesses rely on air conditioning to keep indoor spaces comfortable and cool. However, sunny days bring problems for A/C units that must work overtime all summer long. In fact, technicians who work for HVAC companies may find themselves facing a few common problems. Learn about summer air conditioner problems and how an individual in the HVAC trade solves them.

Low Air Flow

The summer sun helps grass, shrubs and vegetation flourish. While that may be good news for homeowners, it spells trouble for air conditioning units. Overgrowth around an A/C unit causes overheating and inefficient air flow. Upon inspection, air filters may be consistently dirty, especially when foliage grows on or near the unit and prevents air flow.

Low air flow and dirty filters lead to dirty coils. Homeowners should maintain their lawns and keep all overgrowth to a minimum near A/C units. HVAC technicians clean dirty coils and provide the maintenance necessary to keep an air conditioning system running effectively.

Capacitator Failure

Capacitator failure is another reason an air conditioning unit shuts down in the summer. Like a rechargeable battery, the start capacitator and the run capacitator supply energy to start the motor and keep it running. Capacitators are vulnerable to overheating—especially if the unit is running too hard, too long or short cycling.

A capacitator is part of the unit’s electrical system, and when it overheats, wears out or experiences a power surge, the air conditioner malfunctions. Individuals in the HVAC trade can replace a capacitator with a new one because they have knowledge of electrical systems. Malfunctioning or broken capacitators that aren’t repaired or replaced right away can lead to costly expenses.

Low Refrigerant Charge

Refrigerant is an essential component to an A/C unit. It works to dehumidify the air by absorbing indoor heat. Refrigerant starts as a liquid, changes to a gas then turns back to liquid. This process repeats continuously to ensure heat is absorbed and the air stays dry and cool. However, sometimes in its liquid stage, refrigerant leaks from the A/C coils.

When refrigerant is leaking, individuals in the HVAC trade usually discover that a low refrigerant supply is the culprit. Technicians repair and test the system to ensure the refrigerant is circulating properly and maintaining a stable temperature in the residence or commercial building.

Maintenance is important to keep air conditioners running efficiently during the hottest months of the year. However, issues may still occur for HVAC systems running around the clock. The good news is most air conditioner problems can be prevented or repaired by an individual in the HVAC trade. Apex offers students the entry-level knowledge and skills they need to diagnose summer heating and cooling problems. Learn more about the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program at Apex, including classes on residential and commercial appliances, electrical and more.


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.


HVAC tradesperson uses AC training to check equipment

4 Signs an HVAC Career Path Is for You

Is trade school the right choice for me? Do my interests line up with a specific trade? I think I’m interested in HVAC training, but how do I know if heating and cooling school is the right path for me?


If you are considering taking your education, skills and knowledge to the next level by going to a trade school, you have probably asked yourself these questions. Individuals interested in a future in the heating and cooling trade often wonder if their personality, interests and skills are a good fit. As you weigh your options and plan for the future, consider these indicators.


  1. I am a reliable worker.


    You are a dependable person who understands everyone plays an important role. Family, friends, coworkers and supervisors trust you to work hard and fulfill expectations. People know you will follow through with what you say you will do—whether it is a small request or an important appointment.


    These qualities help students studying the HVAC trade complete their work. For example, if an air conditioning unit stops working in the middle of the night, homeowners and building managers want a trustworthy individual with the skills and knowledge to resolve the problem right away.


  3. I like solving problems.


    You are a technically minded person—which means you approach a problem by locating patterns and efficiencies. You may prefer to create a system or routine when you want to be successful with work or school. Following a process gives you control over challenges, and you often break a project into smaller parts because you want to see how things work.


    In HVAC school, you can use this trait to your advantage. Heating, cooling and refrigeration systems have a web of inner parts, and students learn how and why things work to produce cold or hot air. When one of these important systems breaks or malfunctions, an individual in the HVAC trade is often the first person on the scene. Students who are technically minded are prepared to examine a control panel and locate patterns to complete important repairs.


  5. I enjoy an active lifestyle.


    You like staying active—whether you are spending time with family and friends or learning hands-on in the classroom. You are the type of person who does not mind taking a walk or a drive with no destination in mind—as long as you are going somewhere, you are happy. A traditional desk job sounds a little boring to you, and you think you want a future that requires working on your feet.


    People in the HVAC trade spend time driving to job sites, working with their hands and maybe crouching into tight spaces to assess and service heating, cooling or refrigeration equipment. This active role calls for individuals to be comfortable moving on their feet for periods throughout the day.


  7. I like helping people understand things.


    When you know how something works, it is easy for you to teach others to be successful with it, too. Your knowledge and passion for a topic—such as cars, cooking, or movies—sets you apart from others. You are friendly and approachable, and you feel comfortable talking to strangers.

    Individuals in the HVAC industry interact with many people throughout the day—and they are often answering important questions about their trade, skills, knowledge of various equipment, or why a replacement part is necessary and how it will improve an overall system. Homeowners, contractors and business managers want to understand what a red flag looks like—and an HVAC tradesperson is responsible for explaining various elements about a furnace, air conditioner, refrigerator or other appliance. Strong communication and patience help make these interactions successful.

If you are interested in learning entry-level HVAC skills or starting trade school classes, explore our A/C and refrigeration program and schedule a tour online today.

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

What Are the 7 Trade School Programs at Apex?

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to school. Some students attend a traditional college to earn a two- or four-year degree. Many others discover a combination of knowledge, skills and technical training is the right path for them. A vocation education at trade school provides students with a variety of positive benefits. If you’re interested in attending trade classes, keep reading to learn about our programs.


Automotive Service Repair

At Apex, the automotive service repair program helps students learn to repair vehicles, help vehicles operate safely and get specialized training for an entry-level position. It provides a foundation of technical skills students use to evaluate mechanical systems and make repairs, as well as:


  • Fix and maintain the inner parts of the vehicle
  • Test major components when a vehicle breaks down
  • Work on engines, transmissions and brakes
  • Perform basic car care and maintenance, including oil changes


Students spend time in the classroom and shop where instructors incorporate diagnostic procedures, proper tool usage and much more. Auto mechanic classes are often a good fit for individuals who enjoy hands-on learning and have a passion for cars. Discover four signs auto mechanic school is right for you.


Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, Appliance/Controls

This vocational program focuses on teaching skills related to repairing and troubleshooting air conditioners, refrigeration systems, electrical control panels, major home appliances and gas-fired heating systems. Students in the HVAC program at Apex learn how to:


  • Use the basics of electricity for installation, service and maintenance
  • Repair and maintain domestic and commercial units
  • Learn about cooling towers, piping and ductwork
  • Follow codes and safety practices


HVAC training classes include both basic and advanced segments where students split their learning time between the classroom and shop. Interested in the HVAC field? Learn more about


Auto Body Repair

From preparing a car for body repairs to learning how to weld and retexture plastic, students in this vocational program train to enter the auto body repair industry. Students not only learn to improve a vehicle’s appearance but also:


  • Work on collision repairs, windshields and window glass
  • Fix structural, safety and cosmetic issues, such as dented doors and bumpers
  • Use paint and welding techniques
  • Restore older cars damaged by rust and age


In auto body repair classes, experienced instructors teach students techniques for fixing everything from minor to major auto collision damage. Explore the differences between the


Combination Welding Technology

Apex’s trade classes give students hands-on experience and teach a range of welding knowledge. Students learn techniques for welding repair and maintenance as well as how to use some forms of advanced welding equipment. Apex instructors focus on helping students:


  • Read blueprints and interpret welding symbols
  • Perform the four major welding processes, including SMAW, GMAW, GTAW and FCAW
  • Weld plates and pipes in multiple positions


Welding has been used for centuries to join two pieces of material together and continues to be a viable modern career option. Interested in learning if combination welding classes might be a good fit for you? Here are three signs you should consider welding training.


Electrical and Advanced Electrical

This trade school program prepares students to perform a variety of electrical tasks—from reading circuit diagrams and installing wiring for lighting to learning about green energy systems and more. Apex students learn with instructors and peers, study theories in the classroom and get hands-on experiences in the shop. Students training in the electrical program learn to:


  • Use basic tools and equipment to repair electrical conductors and components
  • Perform splices, bonding and grounding
  • Install circuit breakers, fuses and wiring
  • Install security systems, fire alarms, intercoms and other electronic systems


Electrical and advanced electrical classes span six segments and help students earn 900 hours of trade school training. Interested in exploring a bright future in the electrical field? Discover four reasons the electrical trade could be the path for you.


Construction and Building Skills

Individuals in the construction and building trade program touch upon a variety of skills—ranging from carpentry and electrical familiarity to plumbing, kitchen and bath knowledge. These tradesmen and women use their hands-on skills to:


  • Troubleshoot and repair electrical boxes and fittings
  • Frame windows and doors
  • Install light fixtures, wiring and countertops
  • Use power tools and plumbing blueprints


At Apex, students prepare to enter the construction field by taking six segments of carpentry and building skills classes, as well as learning to build a model house in the shop. Think you might be a good fit? Explore five signs a construction career path is right for you.


Plumbing and Pipefitting

Students in this vocational program learn how to install water heaters, water supply and waste disposal systems found in private kitchens and bathrooms. They also learn the basics and practice real techniques, including:


  • Assemble pipe sections, tubing and fittings
  • Locate leaks and repair pipes, fixtures and drainage systems
  • Follow blueprints, codes and safety specifications
  • Use a variety of hand and power tools, levels and other materials


Plumbing classes give students the opportunity to learn how to find the source of a problem, as well as what it takes to solve the problem. Wondering if you’re ready to pursue the plumbing trade? Here are four signs a plumbing career could be a good fit.


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.


Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Red and blue manifold gauges on an HVAC system for small spaces

What Is the A/C & Refrigeration Trade?

Individuals in the A/C and refrigeration trade keep buildings, offices, stores and homes cool and comfortable. Heating and air conditioning systems control the temperature, humidity and overall air quality. By providing a climate-controlled environment, refrigeration systems make it possible to store and transport food, medicine and other perishable items.

In America, most homes and buildings use some form or system for air conditioning or refrigeration. Additionally, the popularity of air conditioning systems worldwide continues to grow with the development of new technology and products.

Interested in pursuing HVAC technical training? Read more to learn what to expect as an individual in the HVAC industry.

  1. What does an individual in the HVAC trade do?

    In the air conditioning and refrigeration trade, technicians may install, maintain and repair industrial, commercial and residential HVAC systems and component parts. To install HVAC systems, technicians mount or place system components based on drawings or verbal instructions. Then, the technicians assemble and install the refrigeration or air conditioning system. HVAC technicians calibrate controls on the unit, which includes wiring, and test that the system works properly.

    Residential or commercial HVAC system maintenance includes checking system parts, lubricating moving parts and monitoring the refrigerant charge. Additionally, to repair a HVAC system, a technician diagnoses the problem and fixes the unit by replacing or repairing controls, electric wiring or other parts. HVAC technicians may also repair heating equipment and troubleshoot gas-fired equipment.

  2. Where does an HVAC tradesperson work?

    An HVAC technician repairs a rooftop A/C unitRefrigeration and air conditioning technicians usually work for companies that install and service A/C or HVAC systems. Some refrigeration and air conditioning technicians are self-employed.

    As an air conditioning and refrigeration tradesperson, expect to work in homes, schools, stores, hospitals, office buildings, or factories. Technicians often work in hot and cold environments depending on the type of unit, building or repair. Working in small spaces, outdoors, on rooftops and during irregular hours is common in the A/C and refrigeration industry.

  3. How long is HVAC school?

    Depending on your enrollment, an A/C and refrigeration program generally takes between six months and two years to complete. When considering HVAC programs and certification, look for trade schools that are licensed by the state. You might also want to see if the school is accredited.

    At Apex, students can spend as little as 7 months in the program. Learn more about enrolling in trade school at Apex Technical School.

  4. What HVAC tools does a tradesperson use?

    Common tools used in the refrigeration industryIn the A/C and refrigeration industry, technicians use a variety of tools to install, maintain or repair residential and commercial cooling systems or units. For general HVAC work, expect to use these tools: an electric drill, a tape measure, pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, ladders, and electrical testers. Some common air conditioning tools for installing or repairing units: a tubing cutter, refrigeration gauges, and a vacuum pump.

  5. How do I gain HVAC skills in New York?

    New York offers opportunities for skilled A/C and refrigeration technicians. A large population and a temperate climate has need for heating and cooling system installation, repair and maintenance. If you’re interested in gaining entry-level skills for the HVAC industry, enroll in a trade school, like Apex Technical School


    At Apex, students in the air conditioning and refrigeration program develop skills to work on:

    • Major home appliances
    • Basic domestic and commercial refrigeration systems and air conditioning
    • Advanced commercial refrigeration systems and air conditioning


Interested in pursuing a path in the refrigeration industry? Learn more about the HVAC trade and training program by visiting the Apex Technical School’s website.


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

An individual in the HVAC industry repairing a refrigerator with various tools

Air Conditioning History and HVAC Industry Growth

Man’s attempts to stay cool and comfortable during extreme summer heat are well documented. Historical evidence shows attempts by several individuals to control indoor temperatures. For example, the Ancient Romans utilized the aqueduct system to circulate cool water through the walls of their homes. The emperor Elagabalus built a mountain of snow in the garden next to his villa to keep cool during the summer.


1800s: Cooling Devices and Innovations


Throughout history, individuals used hand-held fans to create a breeze and stay cool. A Chinese inventor built the first room-sized, but hand-powered, rotary fan. Another innovation in cooling indoor spaces included building homes with windows facing away from the sun. Builders also installed ‘wind towers’ onto large buildings to catch and circulate the breeze. And to be comfortable in the sweltering heat of Washington, D.C., President Garfield used an awkward device to blow air through cotton sheets doused in ice water.


1900s: Developments in Electricity and Motors

The development of electricity and motorized power led to air conditioning and the HVAC industry as we currently know it. Using alternating current motors, Nikola Telsa invented oscillating fans. In 1902, Willis Carrier invented the first air conditioning system. Originally intended to control humidity in a printing plant, Carrier’s mechanical unit sent air through water-cooled coils to produce cold air. In 1922, Carrier invented the centrifugal chiller, adding a central compressor and reducing the size of his industrial refrigeration system.


In 1925, the Rivoli Theater introduced air conditioning to the public. The air-conditioned theater started the summer blockbuster tradition, as people went to see movies to escape the heat. Starting in the 1930s, air conditioning spread to department stores, rail cars and offices. In 1945, Robert Sherman invented a portable, in-window air conditioner that cooled, heated, humidified, dehumidified and filtered the air. Eventually, residential homes and buildings started adding air conditioning and HVAC units. According to the Carrier Corporation, 10 percent of homes had air conditioning in 1965.

Today: HVAC Market and Products

Many different types of units exist in the HVAC market. Price, functionality and purpose tend to determine the type of AC or HVAC unit installed. The type of building being cooled also factors in to what type of AC or HVAC unit is used. Learn about the most common types of air conditioning systems below.

Domestic Air Conditioners

  • Room Air Conditioners: Room air conditioners mount in windows or through walls to cool a room while the compressor is located outside. Room air conditioners are sized to cool just one room, so many may be required for a whole house.


  • Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners: Mini-split systems use an outside compressor/condenser and indoor air handling units. To be cooled, each room or zone uses its own air handler. Each indoor unit connects to the outdoor unit via a conduit carrying the power and refrigerant lines. Indoor units typically mount on the wall or ceiling.


  • Central Air Conditioners: Central air conditioners cool an entire house. In each system, a large compressor unit located outside drives the process; an indoor coil filled with refrigerant cools air that is then distributed throughout the house via ducts.


Commercial & Industrial Air Conditioners


  • Split System Air Conditioners: Small commercial buildings use single split air conditioning systems. They provide heating and cooling to individual rooms, making them ideal solutions for small offices, server rooms, shops, and cafés.


  • Multi-split System Air Conditioners: Multi-splits work the same way as single splits but connect indoor units to one outdoor unit. Places like restaurants, offices, doctor’s surgeries and shops frequently use multi-split systems.


  • VRF or VRV Air Conditioning: VRF stands for variable refrigerant flow, while VRV stands for variable refrigerant volume. Medium to large applications, including hotels, retail spaces, larger officesand mixed-use buildings use VRF/VRV air conditioning. Efficiency, reliability and controllability make these systems capable of meeting larger buildings’ complete heating and cooling requirements.


Future: Advancements in the HVAC Industry

In America, most homes and buildings have some form of air conditioning. Advancements in technology make air conditioning and HVAC units widely used. Consider HVAC and industrial refrigeration skills and repair if you are interested in pursuing a trade career.


The following topics cover the basics of the HVAC and refrigeration industry:


  • Major Home Appliances
  • Basic Refrigeration
  • Domestic Refrigeration
  • Commercial Refrigeration
  • Commercial Air Conditioning
  • Advanced Commercial Refrigeration


To understand more about the HVAC industry, learn about the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program at Apex.


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Refrigeration trends include smart refrigerators, which help you make your grocery list on a smart phone when you run out of items.

3 of the Latest Refrigeration Trends

The HVAC market, which includes domestic and commercial air conditioning and refrigeration systems, is constantly evolving to better produce more efficient and safer home appliances. Refrigerators are no exception. Cooling technology has come a long way since the ice box. Here are some noteworthy refrigeration trends gaining speed in the industry and today’s households.

Smart refrigerators act as a family hub

Homeowners looking to make their homes a little smarter are turning to connected appliances or devices that can communicate with one another. Top home appliance brands including Samsung and Frigidaire have released refrigerators with seemingly futuristic capabilities with the intention of bringing families together.

Smart refrigeration features include built-in screens that allow you to watch TV, digital sticky notes and family calendars, and the ability to stream music during cooking or entertaining. Some smart refrigerator models utilize interior cameras to track food inventory with images that can be referenced during shopping trips.
According to Consumer Reports, the smart home evolution is center stage. Christine Edwards, senior analyst at Gap Intelligence says, “Deep learning technology is expected to be the next iteration and focus for smart home appliances as they continue to evolve to our lifestyles, physical home space, adaptive environments and user dynamics.”
Smart refrigeration features include built-in screens that allow you to watch TV, digital sticky notes and family calendars, and the ability to stream music during cooking or entertaining. Some smart refrigerator models utilize interior cameras to track food inventory with images that can be referenced during shopping trips.
According to Consumer Reports, the smart home evolution is center stage. Christine Edwards, senior analyst at Gap Intelligence says, “Deep learning technology is expected to be the next iteration and focus for smart home appliances as they continue to evolve to our lifestyles, physical home space, adaptive environments and user dynamics.”

Environmentally safer refrigerants

When it comes to choosing major appliances, many homeowners and business owners say environmentally friendly options are important to them. The Linde Group, a leading world supplier of industrial, process and specialty gases, notes the rise of R600a, also known as Care10, in a range of popular refrigeration appliances.

This natural refrigerant is popular “due to its low environmental impact and excellent thermodynamic performance, and it is now the refrigerant gas of choice in domestic and small commercial refrigerators.” The good news for earth-conscious shoppers looking for domestic or commercial refrigerators? Care10 is a nontoxic refrigerant rated with zero ozone depletion potential and very low global warming potential.

Greater need for ease of use and energy efficiency

Today’s homeowners are not only concerned with Wi-Fi-connected features and safe cooling systems, but also appliance efficiency. What does this boil down to? Energy bills. Fewer people are willing to pay the high sticker cost for a refrigerator if that machine consistently increases electric bills.


To help combat energy inefficiency, manufacturers have designed new models with glass windows built into the refrigerator door. When a user walks within proximity of the fridge’s sensor, the interior lights up and allows the user to see what’s inside without opening the door and releasing the cold air. Thus, energy costs stay low.
Additional features such as air-tight crispers, LED lighting, and in-door storage can also help lower energy costs and improve use. Technology that focuses on better user experience leads to home appliances that function for the way we live and consume energy.
Where will refrigeration trends go next? Keep up with Toolbox Chatter for the latest news in refrigeration and high-velocity HVAC technology.
Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

HVAC working fixing an air conditioning unit

The History of the HVAC Industry

While the HVAC trade as we know it today is defined as mechanical systems that help heat, ventilate, and cool (air conditioning) buildings, the modern HVAC system stems from centuries of innovation. Find out how humans first started heating and cooling their buildings, and how HVAC has evolved into an advanced mechanical trade.

The History of Heating

While the timeframe is disputed, humans mastered fire at their earliest existence, with clear evidence dating back to 125,000 years ago. It was, and remains, humanity’s primary source of heat, whether it be through lighting a fire in a cave or igniting a modern gas-powered heating system.

Evidence points to ancient Greece as responsible for first using the heat-power of fire to create a central heating system. They built flues (a duct or pipe) underneath buildings that spread the heat created by fire throughout the buildings. The Roman Empire advanced the Greeks’ heating system work by building furnaces, which magnified the heat created by fire, and transferring it through pipes underneath floors and inside walls.

As with the Roman Empire’s heavy influence on the history of plumbing, the Empire’s fall caused a delay in the innovation of the history of heating. During the medieval era, buildings were heated mainly by fireplaces, with some highly efficient heating systems powered by furnaces still in existence. Small modifications were made to make the primitive fireplace more efficient, according to, including reducing the size and installing metal plates inside the hood to keep hot air in and cold air out.

In the 1700s, hot air was used to centrally heat buildings through pipes in the walls. However, radiators soon began to take over the heating trade, starting with steam radiators and evolving into hot water radiators. In the 1900s, homes began to receive heat in every room rather than only one or two heat-equipped rooms. Boilers that powered radiator heating systems made this possible around the world.

Now, we have heating systems that can also be powered by electricity, solar energy, or even local geothermal heat.

The History of Air Conditioning

As fire has remained the primary source of heating, water has been humanity’s primary source of cooling. When water evaporates, it has a cooling effect, which was discovered by ancient Egyptians. They hung wet reeds in windows, allowing the air that blew into the room to cause water evaporation and, thus, inside air cooling.

Other ancient societies developed cooling systems, including the ancient Romans whose aqueducts transferred cool water through walls. China saw the invention of the water-powered fan as early as the 2nd century.

Mechanical refrigeration, cites, began in the mid-1800s with the invention of an ice-making machine. Motivated by the idea that cool air could benefit sick patients, American Dr. John Gorrie invented a machine that powered a compressor by steam, wind, water, or horse and successfully made ice. His invention, which was an important development in the history of refrigeration, was never adopted publicly.

Willis Carrier is credited with inventing the first modern air conditioner in 1902. While searching for a way to control humidity, Carrier designed a cooling and heating machine, which could dehumidify and humidify air.

Cooling systems began to be widely embraced by the public in the 1920s when public movie theaters adopted the distribution of cold air through floor and ceiling vents. While these systems were widely implemented in public spaces, they were too large to be added to individual homes until the 1930s when General Electric optimized a “self-contained room cooler,” according to This quickly led to the creation of the window air conditioning unit.

By the 1960s and 1970s, central cooling had been improved and downsized to be added to most homes, leading to a drastic rise in energy usage. Energy conservation and efficiency has since been an important part of the HVAC trade, affecting the way recent HVAC system history has developed.

The Modern HVAC Trade

While the history of heating and the history of refrigeration and air conditioning developed separately, the heating and cooling fields have merged as homes and buildings are often able to share one system for both purposes. And as humidity can lead to warmth, and dryness can lead to coolness, the field requires a good understanding of how water can affect temperature. Those in the modern HVAC industry can focus on some areas in the field including:

  • How electricity powers major appliances like refrigerators
  • Cooling systems powered by vapor compressions
  • Commercial air conditioning systems
  • Gas-fired heating systems
  • Electrically-powered heating systems

Heating and cooling has become a central part of modern society, allowing us to achieve optimal comfort in our buildings. You can learn more about how society has pursued building comfort in this article about the history of construction.


Now that you know some HVAC history, consider pursuing the trade. Learn more about the Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Appliance/Controls program at Apex.


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.