HVAC technicians need to have the right tools for the job—and we’re not just talking about screwdrivers and power drills. In addition to your physical toolkit and safety gear, there are plenty of apps that make everything from ductwork calculations to online banking easier. 

Whether you’re fully established or looking to grow your client base, the right HVAC tools can put you on track toward consistent success and a strong business reputation. Here’s a peek at some of the jobsite equipment that’s critical for success, as well as a few digital resources that elevate the way HVAC professionals run their business.

20 essential HVAC worksite tools and equipment

This list of essential HVAC tools is divided into two categories: tools for the worksite, and tools to manage and grow your business. Having a robust toolkit ensures you’re prepared for any job challenges that arise. When the physical labor is finished, use the second category to solicit reviews, find new clients, plan your next job, and more.

  1. Caulking gun: Your caulking gun can help you seal ducts and repair holes whenever necessary.
  2. Coil fin straightener: This tool cleans out debris when air conditioner coils are clogged or dirty. It straightens out the coils to encourage better heat exchange and/or air flow.
  3. Cutters: Start with a small set of metal and tubing cutters. If you need a larger size for specific projects, you can always add it later.
  4. DuctCalc Elite: This is an app to help HVAC techs size ductwork. Once you’ve calculated your duct size, flow rate, air velocity, and pressure drop, the app will help you customize the calculations for your job site.
  5. Ear protection: HVAC work is surprisingly noisy. Investing in quality ear muffs or disposable ear plugs will keep your hearing safe on the job.
  6. Electric drill: Add a cordless electric drill to your HVAC toolkit—and keep a spare battery in there, too. Interchangeable bits and 24 or more volts should cover most of your needs.
  7. Extension cords: Pick up some 50-foot extension cords to power your electric tools on the job site.
  8. Flashlights and headlamps: Crawling around in the dark makes it challenging to see what you’re doing. Flashlights are a must, but a headlamp is great for hands-free lighting.
  9. Gauges: Refrigeration or manifold gauges measure the different refrigerant pressures to detect leaks. You may need multiple sets as you gain expertise.
  10. Gloves: You’ll need a pair of flexible yet sturdy gloves to wear when you work. Select a pair that allows you to hold small HVAC tools and bits.
  11. Goggles: Eye protection is key. Pick up a couple pairs of goggles or safety glasses, including a pair with magnification.
  12. Hammer: Don’t forget your hammer. Fiberglass hammers are sturdy and lightweight, making them easily transportable.
  13. Masks: HVAC work can be dusty and hazardous. Having a set of disposable masks will prevent you from inhaling foreign substances.
  14. Pliers: Invest in a range of small to large pliers, plus a set of insulated pliers and needle-nose pliers. This should cover the majority of nuts, bolts, pipes, and wires you’re likely to deal with.
  15. Saw: Invest in a reciprocating saw blade for jobs where you’ll need to cut through materials. Keep spare blades on hand as they dull quickly.
  16. Screwdrivers and nut drivers: Try to keep a variety of screwdrivers and nut drivers in your toolbox. Screwdrivers with interchangeable bits and magnetic nut drivers are a great way to maximize your space while providing multiple options.
  17. Staple gun: Staple guns are ideal for securing foil lines and joists to improve airflow during ductwork assembly.
  18. Steel-toed boots: A pair of high-quality steel-toed work boots will prevent slips and will protect your feet if you drop something heavy.
  19. Thermometers: A digital, portable thermometer will help you evaluate temperature control.
  20. Wrenches: You’ll also need a variety of wrenches, including crescent, pipe, fixed, and adjustable wrenches in small, medium, and large sizes.

5 must-have apps for HVAC professionals

While there are dozens and dozens of hand tools and specialized equipment items for HVAC professionals, there are also a handful of essential digital tools that need to be part of your toolkit. Here’s a look at 5 pieces of software that make the cut:

  1. Quick-reference apps. HVAC professionals are constantly calculating, which also requires a fair amount of referencing. Save time and ensure precision by loading up your smartphone with HVAC-oriented quick-reference apps like MeasureQuick HVAC, HVAC Buddy, HVAC Load Plus, and HyTools. The ability to calculate complex calibrations, reference fitments, or even just verify something you already knew will give you peace of mind on any jobsite. 
  2. Scheduling apps: Every job is different, but HVAC professionals still need a framework for managing the many moving parts. Jobber guides contractors through the entire job process, from scheduling jobs and creating quotes to invoicing clients and tracking your time and expenses. Other features include sending appointment reminders and tracking customer/job site data, so you’ll have an easily accessible database of client notes.
  3. Management apps: What’s even more difficult to manage than a job? An entire business! It’s why HVAC technicians often use management apps that integrate across operations. Housecall Pro, for example, helps you generate estimates, create invoices, customize client notifications, and send payment reminders. You’ll also be able to send marketing emails, request reviews, and even bid on jobs right from your phone.
  4. Digital banking software: Managing money is a top priority for any tradesperson, and digital banking software goes a long way in making it easier on HVAC pros. NorthOne’s business banking accounts are ideal for small business owners and contractors, including HVAC technicians. In addition to low-fee digital banking services, you’ll have access to 90,000 ATMs nationwide, plus integrations and free tools to help you manage your cash flow, track expenses, and save for your future needs.
  5. Bookkeeping software: Speaking of finances, you’ll need software that helps you balance your books, prep for tax season, and monitor your cash flows. QuickBooks is one of the most popular accounting tools available. Whatever your financial skill level, this software helps you create and track invoices, track expenses, manage your cash flow, and reconcile accounts. With both app and desktop versions, you can manage your money on the go or from home.

Discover better business banking with NorthOne

Now that your HVAC technician toolkit is packed with helpful HVAC tools and apps, there’s only one thing left to do: sign up for a small business banking account with NorthOne. We worked with small business owners across the country to find out what you want from your bank. From our easy-to-use banking apps to features that help you save time, plan for expenses, track your cash flow, and more, you’re bound to find everything you need in a digital banking service. 

Apply to NorthOne