Best HVAC Books and Resources to Help You Master Systems
As an HVAC professional, you know the importance of staying on top of what’s happening in your field. The heating and cooling industry seems to change every year, thanks to a constant stream of improvements to HVAC service software on the market and shifting HVAC business trends. This all boils down to one truth: the moment you stop learning, your business will stop growing.
Reading HVAC-focused books can help you keep tabs on the latest strategies, tools, and research in order to keep up with (and beat out) the competition.
Luckily, you won’t be hard-pressed to find great HVAC books. There are somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published every year in the United States alone, with plenty of HVAC–focused options among them.
Unfortunately, even with so many books available, many of us fail to take advantage of this amazing resource. According to SmithsonianMag 27% of U.S. adults didn’t read a single book within the last 12 months.
Don’t become a part of this statistic—make a commitment to reading several HVAC books this year, and you’ll see rewards sooner than you think.
The more you know about HVAC services, specialties, and advancements, the more successful your HVAC business will be. With these HVAC books in your arsenal, you can stay up to date with the industry, optimize your services, and grow your business—all with the turn of a page. We also included buying links from Amazon or other sources for all books mentioned below.
Click on a section to jump to a particular category, or check out the post in full to read up (no pun intended) on the books you need in your business library.
Best HVAC Training Books
If you’re at the beginning of your HVAC career, or want to learn more about what this job requires, these HVAC training books are a great starting point:
- Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning by Andrew D. Althouse
Best For: “HVAC Fundamentals”
This is a classic and a must-have for any tech’s HVAC book collection. Currently, this HVAC book has 20 editions under its belt and contains information about business fundamentals, service techniques, and tips for diagnosing HVAC problems. Learn important skills and gain more insight into the theory behind some of the HVAC industry’s guiding principles.
Consider this to be your essential foundation book—great for HVAC newbies, but also a fantastic resource for seasoned professionals that want to brush up on HVAC fundamentals. Each chapter contains specific modules to help you zone in on particular topics, with clear and concise explanations.
You’ll start with basic principles and slowly advance into more complex theories, all laid out in an easy-to-read format. Check out the latest information and guidelines put forth by the EPA, and browse the most recent methods of sizing, installing, and maintaining refrigeration systems and air conditioning units.
- Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology by John Tomczyk
Best For: “HVAC troubleshooting & diagnosing”
With over 1,600 pages designed to help HVAC professionals troubleshoot, diagnose, and maintain heating and cooling systems, you’ll find Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology valuable resource.
This HVAC book contains hands-on guidance, practical applications, and a comprehensive look at some of the most common issues HVAC technicians face.
Not sold? This HVAC book has been helping industry professionals for over 25 years. Now in its 8th edition, you can read about all the latest industry advances, plus dive into the soft skills and customer service problems that can affect your business’s success. Gain insight into common issues with industry examples, detailed photos, and Service Call features you won’t find in other HVAC reads.
- 101 Ways to Suck as an HVAC Technician by R Schuster
Best For: “A laugh & what NOT to do as an HVAC technician”
Think HVAC books are boring? Think again. 101 Ways to Suck as an HVAC Technician is guaranteed to make you laugh—and make you think about your future service calls a bit differently.
Bring some fun into your HVAC library. In this HVAC book, you can read stories about hilarious technicians mishaps and mistakes. While meant to entertain, these anecdotes can actually teach you a thing or two about what to do and what NOT to do in the field.
Building Environments: HVAC Systems
Best For: “An inside look into the mechanical workings of an HVAC system”
As an HVAC technician, you’ll be tasked with creating a healthy indoor environment—not always as easy as it sounds. This text can help you understand the basics of HVAC systems and their controls.
With 270 illustrations, you’ll read and see exactly what goes into these complex systems—and learn without being overwhelmed. Study easy-to-read explanations that show how mechanical and control systems work together to create high-quality building environments.
Best HVAC Technician Books
Perhaps you’re already deep into your HVAC career. If you’re a practicing technician, you know first-hand the challenges that different jobs can present. Make sure you’re ready for anything that comes your way in the field by brushing up on the following HVAC tech books:
- HVAC Equations, Data, and Rules of Thumb by Arthur Bell, W. Larsen Angel
Best For: “Keeping up with HVAC codes, standards & equations”
This handbook is an industry standard, and for good reason. In its 600 pages, you can read up on a wide array of HVAC design information. As its title suggests, this book is filled to the brim with field-tested equations, rules of thumb that have saved many techs from embarrassing mistakes, and up-to-date data on the latest building materials and components.
Learn how to read and interpret all codes and standards used in the HVAC industry, including NFPA, ICC, NEC, and ASHRAE. Go over definitions and find in-depth teachings about:
- HVAC System Selection Criteria
- Design Conditions
- Energy Conservation
- Cooling and Heating Load Factors
- Air Distribution Systems
- Piping Systems, Including Plastic Piping
- Central Plant Equipment
- Automatic Temperature Controls/Building Automation Systems
- Noise and Vibration Control
- Architectural, Structural, and Electrical Considerations
- Properties of Air and Water
- Auxiliary Equipment
- Sustainability Guidelines
Best For: “Understanding fundamental HVAC concepts”
A quick but helpful read, this reference manual breaks down pneumatic controls and goes into fundamental HVAC concepts, including auxiliary devices, master and submaster theory, as well as the basic components of a control system.
Use the exam at the back of the book to test your knowledge and spot any areas you need to brush up on.
Best For: “An in-depth understanding of HVAC”
The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is a great resource that can help you gain a better understanding of HVAC systems.
The ACCA offers several technical manuals that cover a wide variety of design, install, and repair topics, including:
- Residential Load Calculation
- Residential Duct Design
- Residential Equipment Selection
- Commercial Load Calculation
- Commercial Duct Design
- Commercial Systems Overview
- Balancing & Testing Air & Hydronics Systems
- Residential Zoning Systems
- Residential Systems Overview
- Air Distribution Basics
- Heat Pump Systems
- Swimming Pools & Spas
Most ACCA technical manuals follow ANSI standards and come with training spreadsheets. These HVAC books are a benchmark in the industry; many of ACCA’s technical manuals are actually used as references in building codes across the United States—talk about a mark of approval.
Best HVAC Certification Books
Looking to get your next HVAC certification? Before signing up for your exam, make sure you study from the following prep books
- The Guide to the NATE-ICE Certification Exams, by Robert Featherstone
Best For: “HVAC/R NATE and ICE preparation”
If you want to pass the HVAC/R NATE and ICE certification examinations, this review tool is a must-have. This HVAC book features two sections: the first is a comprehensive study guide that reviews a wide array of procedures and concepts. Move onto the second part and test yourself with 2,400 questions, covering topics such as electrical theory, indoor air quality and safety, EPA certification, system components, tool requirements, duct fabrication, and plenty more.
Take practice tests, and use the answer key to check your work. With a few quizzes, you can determine how ready you are for the actual exam.
- ESCO Institute Section 608 Certification Exam Preparatory Manual for Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technicians, by ESCO Institute, Jerry Weiss
Best For: “EPA exam preparation”
If you want to prep for an upcoming Certification exam, this manual is a great resource. The ESCO Institute Section 608 EPA Preparatory Manual (what a mouthful) includes all of the questions found within the EPA exam and has been a staple exam prep tool for many HVAC students.
- Step by Step to Passing the EPA 608 Certification Exam, by H. Benetti
Best For: “Questions previously used on the EPA exam”
Need an EPA prep book that takes you through all your paces? Study the Core, Type I, Type II, Type III, and universal exams for a well-rounded study experience. You’ll also see practice questions that have been previously included on the test.
- HVAC Licensing Study Guide, Third Edition, by Rex Miller, Mark Miller
Best For: “Preparing for all major HVAC licensing exams”
Don’t pass up the HVAC Licensing Study Guide, because this third edition prep book won’t leave you wanting. Study more than 800 practice questions and answers and increase your chances of passing all major HVAC licensing exams—on your first attempt.
This comprehensive resource features troubleshooting tips, detailed illustrations, and updated codes and standards you’ll need to comply with in the field.
Best HVAC Troubleshooting Books
- HVAC Troubleshooting Guide, by Rex Miller
Best For: “In-depth HVAC troubleshooting tips”
Whether you’re working industrial, residential, or commercial refrigeration jobs, this HVAC Troubleshooting Guide is a must-have.
Containing information about how to read and prepare electrical schematics and mechanical plans, you can use this guide to brush up on important HVAC facts and figures. With detailed illustrations, informative charts, and in-depth troubleshooting tips, you’ll be better prepared to tackle any job if you’ve got this guide in your back pocket.
With the HVAC Troubleshooting Guide, you can learn more about:
- Identifying and safely using new and old equipment/tools
- Using heat pumps and hot air furnaces
- Calculating ventilation requirements
- Working with refrigeration equipment
- Operating and repairing electric motors
- Programming thermostats
Best For: “Troubleshooting a variety of HVAC problems”, by John Tomczyk
You can never have too many troubleshooting resources—after all, you want to prove to customers there’s no HVAC problem you or your team can’t fix. This HVAC book provides essential information today’s techs need to diagnose (and solve) many of the major air conditioning and refrigeration system issues.
In this guide’s pages, you can read up on troubleshooting a variety of problems, including:
- Airflow problems
- Refrigerant cycle malfunctions
- Suction and liquid line restrictions
- Oil logged evaporators
- Undercharge and overcharge issues
- Compressor inefficiencies
- Restricted metering devices
….and plenty more. If there’s a problem, this book will help you solve it.
Best HVAC Business Books
Improving your HVAC services is about more than brushing up on the latest technical reads. If you own an HVAC company, you need to consider books that cover pricing models, business best practices, and much more.
Make sure you put these HVAC business books on your reading list:
- HVAC Spells Wealth by Ron Smith
Best For: “A comprehensive guide to running your HVAC business
Every self-respecting HVAC business owner should put this book on their reading list. Pegged as the most comprehensive and best-selling “how to” HVAC book available, this book has made its way into the hands of HVAC contractors, vendors, associations, and manufacturers across the world.
Learn how to build, manage, and maintain residential retail HVAC businesses, and decimate the competition with important education, tools, and anecdotes.
In “THE” book of the HVAC industry, you’ll find tips and strategies about:
- Basic business fundamentals
- How to handle customers
- Best practices for dealing with coworkers and employees
- Marketing and sales
- Processes and systems
- Industry commentary
- The Power of Positive Pricing, by Matt Michel
Best For: “Pricing your HVAC services”
Pricing can be one of the most challenging aspects of running a successful service business. Are you charging enough? Too little? What’s the sweet spot? Learn the answers to these questions and more in The Power of Positive Pricing.
This book was written for all service company owners, and designed to help you strategically price your offerings. Learn how to price your HVAC installations and project work, create service agreement prices, and properly present prices to customers—plus a whole lot more. With details on discounts, margin pricing, and overhead costs, you can help position your business to be more profitable with the tips contained in these pages.
- HVAC Business: A Detailed Business and Marketing Plan, by Abigail M. Smoot
Best For: “Developing a plan for your HVAC business”
Learn how to get new clients—and keep them. This ebook provides details on writing an HVAC business plan and includes pro tips and examples.
Whether you’re thinking about starting your own HVAC business or you’re already the proud owner of an established HVAC company, “HVAC Business: A Detailed Business and Marketing Plan” contains important insights you can use to make more money and keep business coming back.
Resources to Continue your HVAC Learning
Already read your way through our list of the best HVAC books for today’s HVAC students, techs, and business owners? The learning doesn’t have to stop there. There are plenty of resources you can use to continue your learning, from online publications to podcasts.
Use online resources
There’s no limit to the number of online resources that you can use to continue your HVAC education. Service industries must evolve to meet the modern consumer’s needs, and using online resources is one way to accomplish that. From HVAC software to Youtube tutorials, there are plenty of ways to use the world wide web to your business advantage – and reach new clients in the process.
Analyze case studies
Looking at large-scale case studies from some of the world’s most successful HVAC manufacturers and service groups is a great way to continue your learning. Here are just a few samples of case studies you can read up on:
- Lakos Case Studies
- Johnson Controls Case Studies
- Piedmont Service Group Case Studies
- Krueger Case Studies
- Star Service, Inc. Case Studies
Take a look at what the major players are doing, and translate their success into your own.
Subscribe to HVAC-specific publications
Taking the time to read industry publications is one of the best ways to learn more about the HVAC field as a whole. Turn your email inbox into a treasure trove of new HVAC information. Subscribe to HVAC publications and keep up with their content.
Digital editions make it easy to access the latest HVAC information, and tracking these types of publications can help you learn about upcoming webinars, conferences, new products, and even job openings in your area.
These publications also give you the opportunity to network – and maybe somewhere down the line publish your own thoughts on industry challenges and strategies.
Check out the following HVAC publications as a starting point:
- HVAC Insider: This digital trade publication can keep you updated on conferences, competitions, and expositions. Check out news articles, keep tabs on market trends, and browse product showcases to see the latest and greatest to hit the field.
- The ACHR News: This publication offers helpful articles, educational webinars, and comes out weekly in both print and digital editions.
- HVACR Business: Want to learn more about business best practices? This publication should be your go-to. Check out their “Business Advice” section and read about legal issues, HVAC training, strategy, and plenty more.
- Contractor Magazine: While not solely focused on heating and cooling, Contractor Magazine still offers plenty of helpful articles for the HVAC technician. Read about technology, tools, energy efficiency, and green energy efforts happening in and out of the HVAC industry.
Grow your network
Speaking of networking, are you putting effort into meeting other service professionals in your industry? Growing your network is a stepping stone to expanding your business, and can actually be a lot of fun, too!
- Meet Business Owners, Technicians & Students
There’s a huge community of HVAC business owners, technicians, and students out there that can help you expand your own professional horizons—you’ve just got to find them. Beyond checking into online forums and reaching out to local professionals near you, you can utilize Housecall Pro’s network of 20,000+ home service professionals. Take advantage of exclusive Facebook groups and free learning space Mastermind Online to learn what you might be missing in your service business.
Like-minded business owners and techs can help you learn more about your own trade, and teach you how to bring in even more customers. Home service professionals across industries face many of the same challenges. Gaining insight from people who’ve been through it before can provide the support and knowledge you need to overcome any obstacles you encounter.
Attend HVAC events
The daily hustle and bustle of HVAC service work can make it hard to focus on anything other than what’s happening in the now. However, it’s important to step back and take a look at the bigger picture every now and again.
- Keep up with current HVAC trends
Attending training events, conferences, seminars, and trade shows can help you gain a wider view of industry happenings. Checking in at these events can help you learn the latest on technology and HVAC trends, and help you build connections in your industry. Additionally, if you live in a state that requires continuing education (CE) hours for certification, some of these events may count towards your required quota.
Listen to podcasts
It’s high time to join the podcast bandwagon if you haven’t already. This popular form of media has taken the digital world by storm the past few years, and there are plenty of HVAC resources you can listen to.
Check out some of these titles on your favorite streaming service, and tune in during your next drive to a job:
- HVAC 360
- HVAC School
- HVAC Expert!
- David’s HVAC CHILLCAST
- HVAC Control Talk
Stay Up-To-Date On HVAC Apps
In this day and age, there is an app for everything. We have generated a list of the best HVAC apps for techs at any point in their career. From learning basic HVAC lingo to streamlining your business workflow, we have listed out the perfect mobile apps for you.
If you want to grow your business, challenge yourself to keep learning. Read about what’s trending in the industry, take notes on new strategies for technical jobs, and gain insight into the business acumen needed to increase your bottom line.
If you fill your reference library with the above HVAC book titles, you can’t go wrong. With these books in your arsenal, you’ll be well prepared to take your business to new heights.
We want to hear from you! What are your favorite HVAC books? Leave a message in the comments below!