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  1. #1

    HVAC/R as a Hobby?

    First of all, I am very mechanically inclined, and I love working on cars. Do all the work on all of our familys' cars. To add to this I am pretty good with electrical stuff as well.

    I have recently been intrigued by HVAC/R, and am wondering if it is something that can be looked as like a hobby. Similar to how I consider working on cars to be my hobby currently. I am more interested in the Refrigeration side of things.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    And I have been lurking on these boards for a while now, just trying to absorb as much info as I can.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Hmmm, maybe. I am your polar opposite. I took up carpentry, then later automotive as a hobby. I am lucky in that I can buy books and figure things out from there most of the time.

    HVACR may be a little different. The first thing that comes to mind is WOW WHAT AN EXPENSIVE HOBBY!!! LOL! I say that because the tools cost a real fortune. Equipment/materials are not cheap either.

    And HVACR books generally stink by comparison to previously mentioned industries. I went to school for it, in hindsight I am thinking it would be pretty hard to pick up without some formal education and really even some experience on the job. Depends perhaps on how you define hobby. If you are wanting to do it as actual repair work, I think a hobby is a terrible idea because of risk of personal injury or damage to equipment far exceeds any potential gain. But if you got some special project[s] in mind or science experiments it can be pretty cool. In either case there is no harm in learning new stuff, but it is expensive though.
    "You boys are really making this thing harder than it has to be". Me

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatechmp3 View Post
    First of all, I am very mechanically inclined, and I love working on cars. Do all the work on all of our familys' cars. To add to this I am pretty good with electrical stuff as well.

    I have recently been intrigued by HVAC/R, and am wondering if it is something that can be looked as like a hobby. Similar to how I consider working on cars to be my hobby currently. I am more interested in the Refrigeration side of things.

    What are your thoughts?
    Not sure where you live as nothing is stated , but where I live in CT... HVAC&R school is a must , EPA certification of what you would be working on (universal is best ),many hours of training as an apprentice before even being considered for a license to legally do the work on your own (all a must in my state or you won't even get to touch a unit ! ).If you want to call that a hobby then go for it.

  5. #5
    thanks for the replies. anyone else got any other thoughts on this. to add to the first post, i am interested in the AC and Refrigeration side of things, dont want to mess with the explosive gases too much haha

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Ontario
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    131
    I dont know where you from but the gas work and a/c and refridgeration kinda go hand in hand. Unless you live in the southern states where a/c and such run all year round you can proly get away with working without your gas tickets. But where i am here in canada our a/c is off for like 7 months a year so the gas ticket is a must as we do furnace installs and repair.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    As was stated it is an expensive hobby. The information you need is all in books and on the net. But information is not experience. It can take years to learn even how to read your gauges and what these readings mean.
    Maybe you should think about taking up something easier like astrophysics.....?
    Never give up; Never surrender!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    maroon lazyboy
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    its a hobby

    HVAC is fine for a hobby, if you also do it for a living! I guess I don't understand the question...

    Learning the theory and mechanics of HVAC/R could be a hobby, but service or installation work needs to be taken a bit more seriously!!! You need to devote some time to it, for instance your whole life, like alot of the guys here!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Albuquerque NM
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    Forget it. I've spent the last year or two learning about it, and I probably know more about it than 99% of non-pro homeowners. It's fine if you want to learn the theory and learn enough of the practical aspects of it to be able to hire pros who will do things the way you want it, but it's not a good hobby in general because of the experience required.

    Check my post count.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    4,229
    Really isn't much you can do on the HVAC side as a "hobby" but you can learn a little bit about refrigeration, there is a market for antique refrigerators. Possably you could locate something that could be restored and make you a little cash.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Western PA
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    Have a blast.

    HVAC tools are available all over eBay and HVAC/R books are readily available also.

    Buy a couple of used window units and see what you can do with them.

    Oh... Wait...

    You need to be certified to buy refrigerant, so you need EPA certification at a bare minimum, but that isn't tough.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by garya505 View Post
    Forget it. I've spent the last year or two learning about it, and I probably know more about it than 99% of non-pro homeowners. It's fine if you want to learn the theory and learn enough of the practical aspects of it to be able to hire pros who will do things the way you want it, but it's not a good hobby in general because of the experience required.

    Check my post count.
    this makes perfect sense, and this may be what i am looking to do. know what i am talking about, but have someone else actually do the work for me. maybe try to do the easier repairs myself and hopefully be able to troubleshoot systems before the tech.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger93rsl View Post
    Really isn't much you can do on the HVAC side as a "hobby" but you can learn a little bit about refrigeration, there is a market for antique refrigerators. Possably you could locate something that could be restored and make you a little cash.
    this could be interesting, i am more interested in commercial stuff, like walk in freezers/refrigerators, ice machines, etc...
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    Have a blast.

    HVAC tools are available all over eBay and HVAC/R books are readily available also.

    Buy a couple of used window units and see what you can do with them.

    Oh... Wait...

    You need to be certified to buy refrigerant, so you need EPA certification at a bare minimum, but that isn't tough.
    this could also be fun, almost like a crash course to see if it is something i really am interested in. i have looked into the epa testing requirements, and it doesnt seem too tough to me...after graduating from Georgia Tech, I am pretty proficient with studying and taking tests.

  13. #13
    i have also thought about taking some basic hvac classes at the local community college, just to get my feet wet a bit...are the classes worth taking?

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