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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
12 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
99 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best HVAC technician tool kits

It’s easy to take the temperature in your home for granted. With smart thermostats and intelligent devices that learn what we like and deliver without even being asked, we don’t tend to think about comfort until we lose it — then it becomes a priority. Whether you’re considering becoming an HVAC technician or you just want some tools on hand in case of an emergency, an HVAC tool kit is a sound investment. 

A quality set of HVAC technician tools can last for decades, and the tools are versatile enough to use for a variety of weekend repairs. The best HVAC technician tool kits include some safety gear along with all the hand tools you need for the most common jobs. Many also come with a durable tool bag that can stand up to wear and tear. 

Learn more about which tools a top HVAC kit should have, as well as get some safety tips and find out more about what a career in the field entails.

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Since you could be working in a crawlspace or attic where room is limited, it’s important to have only the essential tools in your HVAC tool kit so you aren’t carrying extra weight around.

Key considerations

HVAC 101

What is an HVAC system? “HVAC” stands for “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.” This is the system that gives you fresh, clean, filtered air and comfortable living temperatures all year round. An HVAC system can also help regulate the humidity level in your home. In short, an HVAC system has a direct impact on not only the overall quality of your life but also your health. 

HVAC technicians

An HVAC technician is responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems. Common tasks may include the following:

  • Installing a new HVAC system
  • Repairing an old HVAC system
  • Upgrading an existing HVAC system
  • Troubleshooting problems with heating and air conditioning
  • Planning and performing the wiring needed for an HVAC system
  • Tuning up existing HVAC systems
  • Cleaning ducts
  • Replacing filters
  • Recommending improvements for existing HVAC systems
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Did You Know?
The average pay rate for HVAC technicians can range from $18 to $40 per hour.
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Features

Essential HVAC tools 

The best HVAC technician tool kits include the tools required for the tasks you need to perform most often. Not all HVAC tool kits have all of these tools, but if you want to cover your bases, this list is a good place to start.

Pliers: A comprehensive set of insulated pliers is crucial. You need needle-nose, channel-lock, and linesman pliers for a wide variety of tasks such as grabbing nuts, bolts, and wires.

Wire strippers: When you need to strip the insulation from wires, this is the tool for the job.

Wrenches: Fixed, adjustable, and pipe wrenches are all required for various tasks. While you never want to be without the right size, having too many can make your tool bag cumbersome.

Screwdrivers: You need a variety of screwdrivers for thermostats, vents, and more. To keep the weight down, it’s best to get a ratcheting screwdriver with a wide assortment of bits. It’s also important to get a model with an insulated handle.

Hammer: A solid but lightweight claw hammer is best.

Snips and cutters: You need the right tools to cut wires and snip sheet metal.

Digital thermometer: Precise temperature control is critical in HVAC work. You need an accurate and rugged digital thermometer.

Tape measure: As an HVAC technician, you need to measure everything from furnaces to air conditioning units. To do that, you need a tape measure that’s at least 25 feet long.

Flashlight: A flashlight is essential when working in dark areas. However, a headlamp is even better because it allows you to use both hands to work.

Multimeter: Besides helping to troubleshoot electrical components, a multimeter is an important safety tool that can quickly check for live wires and circuits.

Gloves: You need a durable pair of work gloves to protect your hands from cuts when working with sharp metal.

Safety goggles: When working on HVAC systems, you’ll encounter dust, wood splinters, and fragments of metal. It’s important to protect your eyes from harm with a quality pair of safety goggles.

While it isn’t included in a typical HVAC tool kit, a crucial component for success is HVAC software that enables you to run your business efficiently and profitably.

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Pricing

Inexpensive: A basic set of budget hand tools that includes pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, and more. You can find one in the $50 to $100 price range. These might not be the highest-quality tools, so low-end kits wouldn’t be recommended for a professional.

Mid-range: The $100 to $200 range is where you can expect to find what you need. These kits go beyond the basics and offer more of what you need for HVAC work, such as a multimeter, thermometer, and heavy-duty tool bag.

Expensive: If you’re considering spending much more than $200, be sure you need what you’re paying for. Too many tools and a bulky bag can be more of a hindrance than a help in certain situations.

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Caution
Not using the right tool for the job not only decreases your productivity but can increase your chance of injury as well.
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Safety tips 

There are many hazards associated with working in the HVAC field. However, if you follow a few tips and work smart — not fast — you can greatly diminish the risks.

  • Put safety first. It might take an extra few minutes to get those safety goggles you left in the truck, but it’s important that you not work without proper PPE. The easiest way to stay safe is to learn how to recognize when a situation isn't safe and avoid it. When climbing up or down a ladder, face the ladder and have at least three points of contact on the ladder at all times.
  • Inspect your tools before using them. If a tool doesn’t work properly and you try to use it, you could be putting yourself at increased risk for injury. If you don’t have the right tool, don’t attempt the work. If you need a pipe wrench, use a pipe wrench. Don’t get creative.
  • Understand chemical and electrical hazards. Whether it’s refrigerants, solvents, or something else, make sure you know what you’re working with and how you can best protect yourself from harm. Exercise extreme caution when working with plumbing and wiring. Water and electricity can be a fatal combination.
  • Don’t take shortcuts. The more often you do a task, the more likely you are to look for a shortcut. The reason you learn how to do something right is so you’ll do it that way. And forget about the clock. The faster you work, the more likely you are to make a mistake. 
  • Pay attention to the weather. If you’re exposed to the elements or working in an area that could put you at risk during a storm, stop working and seek shelter.
  • Drive safely. Believe it or not, nearly one-quarter of fatalities in HVAC occur in transportation incidents. Follow all the rules of the road when traveling to and from a job.
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One key but often neglected element in an HVAC tool kit is a heavy-duty tool bag.

FAQ

Q. How long does it take to become a qualified HVAC technician?

A. Depending on the route you choose, an apprenticeship takes longer than a training program. It can take anywhere from two to five years to become a certified HVAC technician.

Q. What skills are required to be a successful HVAC technician?

A. If you’re considering working in this field, the two main skill sets an HVAC technician needs are to be mechanically inclined and to understand and respect electricity. It also helps to be detail-oriented and enjoy helping people solve problems. If you like to work with your hands while engaging your mind and being friendly, an HVAC career could be a good fit for you.

Q. Is HVAC training hard?

A. If working with your hands comes naturally to you, and you find it easy to understand how things work, the educational part of HVAC training probably won’t be that difficult. The hard part is the physical nature of the work. Worming through tight spaces while dragging gear or sweating in 120° attics can be very demanding on a body.

Q. Is HVAC work dangerous?

A. The working conditions for an HVAC technician can expose an individual to a variety of hazards. These hazards can include working in extreme temperatures and at high elevations. Additionally, an HVAC technician occasionally needs to work with hazardous chemicals and may be exposed to carbon monoxide and electricity. 

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