Impress clients by being well-equipped with these essential HVAC tools.
To grow your home services business, you need to have tools that set you up for success. Whether you're launching or expanding a business in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, checking all of the best HVAC tools off of your shopping list will ensure you're well-equipped for the job.
Gaining positive reviews and loyal customers for your business requires you or your HVAC technicians to be fully prepared for just about any installation or repair—all by the time you arrive on the job site. Of course, it isn't just any tools that will work. To offer the most reliable HVAC services possible and compete for your share of the soon-to-be $208 billion global market, your toolkit should be filled with tools you can rely on, too.
Below, you'll find our complete HVAC tool list with suggested products that you can depend on for every call.
5 HVAC technician safety tools
When your employees are working with electricity, chemicals, and potentially hazardous tools, sometimes at a height, it's important to take extra precautions to avoid any injuries. After all, caring for your team is equally as important as treating your customers well, since your employees' satisfaction directly translates into their work. To keep them healthy and happy, you can purchase the following products.
1. Working gloves
High-quality utility gloves can help prevent cuts and burns when working hands-on with HVAC systems and materials. The most effective working gloves should be woven or layered with strong materials that make the product cut-resistant. At the same time, they should be flexible for you to work in and fit well with your hand.
Our pick: Ironclad General Utility Work Gloves, which offer synthetic leather and thermoplastic rubber protection, plus an ergonomic no-slip design.
2. Safety glasses
With thousands of workplace eye injuries causing approximately $300 million in losses for U.S. businesses each year, you must be equipped with safety goggles or glasses that offer protection from flying particles. High-quality safety glasses meet international safety standards ("ANSI Z87" should be engraved on the side), often with protective coating to ward against fog, scratches, dust, or harsh light.
Our pick: MAGID Y50BKAFC Safety Glasses, which are stylish while offering scratch-free and fog-free coating, as well as peripheral protection.
3. Hard hat
Head injuries can quickly become critical injuries, so wearing a hard hat onsite is particularly important in the HVAC industry, especially when working from a height. Seek durable hard hats that meet industry standards and fit comfortably without obstructing vision.
Our pick: Pyramex Ridgeline Full Brim Hard Hat, which is a strong resin-based product that offers an adjustable and lightweight fit.
4. Ear plugs
When power tools and sheet metal meet, work can quickly get loud. Including industrial-grade ear plugs or earmuffs in your tool bag can help you and your technicians avoid hearing loss when they're working close to high-decibel sounds.
Our pick: Pro For Sho 34dB Safety Ear Protection, which are lightweight and also appropriate for shooting ranges.
5. Steel-toed work shoes
A proper work shoe is essential when working with sharp tools, heavy equipment, and electricity, which can all damage your feet upon impact. In addition to having steel toes, the best work shoes are non-slip, waterproof, and durable enough to protect you from sharp objects. They should also be comfortable to stand in for long periods of time.
Our pick: Timberland PRO Men's Titan Safety Toe Oxford, which has a padded collar, maintains its flexibility in extreme temperatures, and is designed for comfort.
11 HVAC hand tools
Some of the most important tools that HVAC technicians use every day are common hand tools many home owners may have in their garage. However, since you’ll be using these HVAC tools extensively, you'll need to invest in high-quality versions of these household products to minimize expenses in the future.
Every HVAC technician must be equipped with pliers to hold and cut heavy wires, including those located in hard-to-reach areas. Even students training to be technicians are required to have basic needle nose pliers, lineman’s pliers, and tongue-and-groove pliers, which are used almost daily. We recommend getting a complete set for professional use.
Our pick: Craftsman Evolv 5 Piece Pliers Set, which includes diagonal pliers and slip-joint pliers.
A set of diverse screwdrivers is an important part of every technician's HVAC tool belt, as they're required for getting into vents and behind thermostats. To ensure you can unscrew parts efficiently for clients, select screwdrivers (including Phillips-head and flat-head screwdrivers) that allow for a good grip.
Our pick: GEARWRENCH 80066 Screwdriver Set, which include rust-resistant and ergonomic tools made with alloy steel.
3. Tape measure
Measurements are a basic part of HVAC work. It's hard to go wrong with a standard tape measure purchase, but we do suggest a product that's at least 25 feet, easy to read, and able to self-lock.
Our pick: CRAFTSMAN Tape Measure, both affordable and durable, in addition to being easy to grip.
A cordless drill is a necessary HVAC tool for providing efficient installations and repairs. Always seek a highly portable product that you can take into small spaces. Your drill should also be over 18 volts to provide enough power and come with a spare chargeable battery. To make the most out of your drill, consider purchasing a set of drill bits (including hex bits) as well.
Our pick: DEWALT DCD777C2 Compact Drill Driver, a popular product that offers 20 volts and long-lasting power.
Wrenches are used daily by HVAC technicians, especially for working with plumbing or gas lines. The pipe wrench is an absolute must, though many professionals in the field also find themselves frequently using adjustable spanner wrenches.
Our pick: Tradespro 830914 Heavy Duty Pipe Wrench, a perfect toolkit staple for pipes up to 2 inches.
Hammers are included in pretty much every household toolkit, but as an HVAC professional, you should have the most durable version possible. We recommend straight, rip claw hammers instead of hammers with less versatile curved claws.
Our pick: Estwing Hammer, which is powerful while reducing the shock you feel by 70%.
Crimpers are commonly used to bind sheet metal but can also help you cut and crimp wires. They can even act as a wire stripper, so you don't need to purchase a second tool. We recommend crimping tools that are comfortable and easy to squeeze and release.
Our pick: Titan Tools 11477, a crimper that helps you easily create a secure double crimp.
8. Hand seamer
Also known as tongs, hand seamers play an important role in installing and repairing ductwork for clients. As long as you purchase a heavy-duty product, this HVAC tool will help you evenly mold sheet metal as needed.
Our pick: ABN Sheet Metal Hand Seamer, which has a 3-inch jaw marked in increments for greater precision.
Providing an accurate HVAC repair estimate for your clients often depends on the use of a thermometer, which quickly detects issues with air conditioning or heating, as well as missing insulation. Always go for a thermometer that is digital and includes a laser for the most precise measurements.
Our pick: ennoLogic Temperature Gun, which includes a helpful hands-free mode and back light for working in tight or dark spaces.
From air conditioners to furnaces, everything you install must be level at all angles to be effective and long-lasting. Poor installation is good cause for a bad review. The most important factor when selecting a level is reliability, so make sure to research what other HVAC techs use and trust.
Our pick: Qooltek Multipurpose Laser Level, which includes tools for short-distance measurement and a laser for hands-off use during installation.
11. Staple gun
Insulation and sheet metal frequently need to be stapled in place. To effectively hold these materials, you'll need an equally heavy-duty product. Try to look for a staple gun that is a known anti-jam product to reduce headache for you and your technicians.
Our pick: Stanley TR150 SharpShooter Heavy Duty Staple Gun, which is easy to press and limits hand fatigue.
9 Specialty HVAC tools
Dealing with HVAC systems often requires specialty tools specific to your industry. To be prepared for whatever issues your customers are facing, you’ll want to add the following HVAC tools to your checklist.
When working with wires, outlets, appliances, or switches, you and your employees can use a multimeter to detect electricity. This keeps everyone on the job site safe by helping you navigate behind the scenes without getting electrocuted or sparking a fire. The best multimeters are usually digital and don't require direct contact with the electric source you're testing.
Our pick: Amprobe AM-520 HVAC Multimeter, a reliable product with a backlit LCD screen and the ability to remember your data.
2. Caulking gun
Sealing ductwork and other cracks or openings in your work area always requires a caulking gun. To avoid leaving a mess in your clients' homes, purchase a drip-free product that's easy to load, use, and clean.
Our pick: Newborn 930-GTD Drip-Free Caulking Gun, which reduces hand fatigue during use with an ergonomic comfort grip.
3. Tin snips
Tin snips are one of the most basic HVAC tools that both students and professionals always have with them. They're primarily used to cut through sheet metal and can be described as strong scissors. Always select durable products with comfortable, grip-friendly handles. Your tin snip purchase should include three types: rights, lefts, and straights.
Our pick: Craftsman Evolv 3 pc. Aviation Snip Set, which is an affordable combo pack of every type of snip you need.
4. Tubing cutters
Cutting through hard aluminum, copper, brass, and plastic tubing can take quite a bit of time, but when your HVAC toolbox includes a tubing cutter, you'll get more precise cuts that don't damage your clients' tubing material. The standard tubing cutter for HVAC technicians should work for pipes between 1/8 to 1 1/8 inches thick.
Our pick: RIDGID 40617 Model 101 Close Quarters Tubing Cutter, which is strong and durable, yet perfect for cutting tubing in tight spaces.
5. Manifold gauge
Also known as a refrigeration gauge or refrigerant gauge, the manifold gauge is a non-negotiable HVAC tool that most frequently acts as a leak detector but is also useful when removing refrigerant or charging AC units. Both analog and digital gauges are equally accurate, though analog gauges usually provide this accuracy at less than half the cost.
Our pick: Mountain 8205 R-134a Brass Manifold Gauge Set, an affordable, complete set that comes with a year warranty.
6. Reciprocating saw
When you're working with a wide variety of materials, ranging from wood to thick pipes, you'll need a saw that can cut through all of them without requiring you to change the settings. This will help you get through large projects quickly to keep your clients satisfied. This isn't an HVAC tool that you’ll be seeking major savings on—always look for the best quality first.
Our pick: Milwaukee Sawzall, a product that's often synonymous with the term "reciprocating saws" and trusted by HVAC techs.
7. Vacuum pump
When you own an HVAC business, you'll be expected to provide a vacuum pump to remove moisture from air conditioning lines. This protects your clients from failed AC systems and protects you from eating the cost of damages. Vacuum pumps do tend to be a bit of an investment, so make sure to find one that prevents oil backflow and is both durable and easy to use.
Our pick: Robinair (15310) VacuMaster Single Stage Vacuum Pump, which is designed to stay cool and last longer.
8. Step ladder
Ladders are an often overlooked HVAC tool that should be a permanent addition to your work truck. While they're not directly used to install or repair anything, they're essential to helping you get a good view of vents and be able to reach inside. The best step ladders are at least 4 feet, portable, and able to hold your weight without wobbling.
Our pick: Cosco Three Step 5' Lite Solutions Folding Step Ladder, which is lightweight, industry-approved and designed to never leave scuffs on your clients' floors.
9. Extension Cord
While many cordless tools exist nowadays, extension cords are still an important part of your HVAC toolkit that will help you bring electricity to just about any area you're working in. HVAC specialty tools tend to require quite a bit of power, so it's important to find powerful industrial-grade extension cords that are at least 50 feet and double insulated.
Our pick: US Wire and Cable 74050, which can even be used in freezing temperatures.
Your HVAC tool for business
Having the best versions of necessary HVAC tools can help you get the job done most efficiently, but when it comes to expanding your clientele by impressing potential customers, you'll need a modern business tool at your fingertips.
With a tool like Podium, you can multiply your reviews on relevant websites like Google and Porch.com by up to 15 times and respond to each one seamlessly. Every piece of positive feedback you receive can directly influence consumers to choose you. As your ratings improve, your home services business will naturally leave a better impression on the thousands of customers researching options online.
Learn how you can get more for your HVAC business with Podium to build customer loyalty and grow your audience.