Why? Because technology moves fast nowadays, and advancements in the HVAC industry are never too far around the corner. As HVAC systems develop, so must your skills and knowledge. Keeping up with business trends and industry standards is vital if you want to have a successful career as an HVAC technician.
It’s not all about looking to the future, though. Some of the best HVAC books were written a relatively long time ago but remain relevant today. Having the expertise to service all kinds of HVAC systems, new and old, separates the average techs from the masters.
The literature on HVAC is vast, so to make it easy for you, here are the best HVAC books that every technician should get familiar with.
The 8 best HVAC books for experienced technicians
Whether you’re new to the trades or running an HVAC business for decades, every single one of these HVAC books should either be on your bookshelf or in your truck.
While the texts listed in “The best HVAC books for beginners” are still relevant, these HVAC books for experienced techs cover a wealth of topics within HVAC, and all offer uniquely valuable content for those with more underlying knowledge.
HVAC Spells Wealth by Ron Smith
If you want to start a new HVAC business or you’re looking to improve upon your current one, this HVAC book is a precious resource. It’s full of practical advice from someone who has been through it all and is now revered as an industry expert, having made Contracting Business magazine’s list of “The 22 Most Ever Influential People in the HVACR Industry”. In fact, the exact term used on Smith’s very own website is “HVAC Legend-Crusader.”
Available in both paperback and audiobook format, HVAC Spells Wealth is known within the industry as the “ultimate how-to manual for a service company.” It is highly recommended by HVAC contractors, technicians, and company owners from all over North America. It’s full of industry insight and great business tips, so if you’re wondering how to increase revenues and profitability, HVAC Spells Wealth will make a great addition to your bookshelf.
The Power of Positive Pricing by Matt Michel
Matt Michel wrote The Power of Positive Pricing to help improve your business’ sales, quality, and profitability. He looks at pricing economics, costs and charges, and consumer psychology with his expert eye and provides meaningful insights that you can apply directly to your HVAC business. This is arguably the best HVAC book on the subject of pricing.
It’s essential reading as an HVAC contractor and can totally change the game. This HVAC book will help you to understand the world of pricing and give you control over your profits like you never imagined.
Commercial Refrigeration for Air Conditioning Technicians by Dick Wirz
This HVAC book, now in its 3rd edition, is well-known within the world of commercial refrigeration. It was written to correspond with a 60-hour course developed by the author for NAPE (National Association of Power Engineers). It’s one of the best HVAC books out there.
If you intend to work with supermarket fridges and equipment like walk-ins, reach-ins, and ice machines, this is the HVAC book for you. As well as thorough written content, this HVAC book contains handy illustrations and diagrams too.
Pumping Away by Dan Holohan
Even those with decades in the HVAC trade can learn something new by cracking open a Dan Holohan book, and Pumping Away is no exception to the rule. Although it’s not typically an item on most “Best HVAC books” lists, it’s bound to transform how you approach your work.
Praised for being well-written, easy to read, and containing handy drawings, Dan Holohan explains the wisdom of the late, great Gil Carlson in a way that any HVAC tech or hydronic enthusiast can grasp. This one is a guaranteed time and money-saver!
Watch this excerpt from one of Dan’s seminars:
The Home Comfort Book by Nate Adams
While this HVAC book was intended for homeowners rather than HVAC professionals, you should not underestimate its worth. It takes a holistic view of achieving the most pleasant home environment, tackling comfort, health, and energy efficiency.
You will probably enjoy it so much that you recommend it to homeowners you work with!
ACCA Technical Manuals
The ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America) technical manuals are considered a benchmark in the HVAC industry and are referenced in building codes in states all over the country.
Every HVAC tech worth their salt should have a thorough understanding of the four most important and best HVAC books or manuals: Manuals J, S, T, and D. Together, they are essential for a proper HVAC installation.
Manual J covers heating and cooling load calculations, providing essential guidelines for properly sizing an HVAC system. Manual S looks at equipment sizing, ventilation, and airflow so that you know how to select the right system for a particular property. Manual T is a step-by-step guide on distributing air, with detailed technical information on air diffusers, grilles, and registers. Manual D focuses on heating and cooling duct design, including sizing, sealing, and insulating information.
HVAC Equations, Data, and Rules of Thumb by Arthur Bell, W. Larsen Angel
This HVAC book is a fantastic resource for any HVAC installer or field tech. The newest, 3rd edition comes with over 20 pages of equations and has been updated to reflect the very latest equipment, techniques, and code changes (including ASHRAE standards).
HVAC Business: A Detailed Business and Marketing Plan, by Abigail M. Smoot
Are you developing a plan for your HVAC business and looking for some direction or professional guidance? Then this book is a must-read for you.
Abigail M.Smoot uses real-world examples to explain how to get the type of clients you want—and keep them, too. Unlike other titles on our list, this HVAC book isn’t to be kept in the back of your truck for technical reference. It’s worth settling down on the couch for this one. Conveniently, it’s available on kindle.
The 6 best HVAC books for beginners
At the start of your HVAC journey, a huge amount of your time will be spent soaking up knowledge from various textbooks. But, not all of the best HVAC books for technicians are on a typical school syllabus. Some, you will need to discover yourself.
The best HVAC books for beginners will aid you in your mission to build a foundational understanding of technical, theoretical, and practical knowledge of HVAC/R.
Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning by Andrew D. Althouse
Originally published in 1968, this comprehensive text offers the perfect mix of theory, skills, and techniques. This up-to-date technical information will teach you how to install and service modern HVAC and refrigeration systems to the highest standard.
Plus, the all-new safety and careers chapters include topics like workplace readiness, career preparation, and well-thought-out illustrations. Now in its twentieth edition, this book will be fundamental to your success as an HVAC technician. It is a must-read HVAC book for beginners.
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology by Bill Whitman, Eugene Silberstein, Bill Johnson, and John Tomczyk
Currently, in its eighth edition, this book will teach you all you need to know about maintaining and troubleshooting air-con, refrigeration, and heating systems. Taking an arguably mature and sensible angle, Tomczyk dives into the important topics of sustainable technology and green awareness in the HVAC/R industry.
This is one of the best HVAC books to keep on your workbench—or in the van for reference while you’re out in the field.
Electricity for Refrigeration, Heating, and Air Conditioning by Russell Smith
In its tenth edition, Electricity for Refrigeration, Heating, and Air Conditioning should need no introduction. It has proved itself as a critical resource for students and sits a well-deserved second place on our list of the best HVAC books for beginners.
Russell E. Smith covers essential electrical theory and applies it to real-life scenarios and techniques in this book. Known for its accuracy and attention to detail, this text should be a vital addition to your HVAC tech arsenal.
The best HVAC books for beginners: further reading
Many lists of the best HVAC books for beginners are whittled down to exclude some of the most important texts.
These are a few worthy HVAC books that deserve a place in your library and will boost your development as an HVAC professional:
- Electricity for HVAC & R: A Guide to Troubleshooting by ESCO Institute
- Step by Step passing the EPA 608 certification exam by H Benetti
- Barron’s Mechanical Aptitude & Spatial Relations Test: Third Edition by Joel Wiesen
HVAC resources you should follow to stay on your ‘A-game’
If you’re not paying attention to the constantly evolving HVAC industry, you will get left behind. Falling asleep at the wheel will not only damage your success as a business, but you will be doing your customers a disservice, too. Make sure you’re up to date with the latest happenings by checking out these useful resources alongside the best HVAC books on your bookshelf.
There are so many HVAC blogs out there that it can be overwhelming trying to decide which ones to follow and which ones to avoid. Luckily, Workiz has done that hard work for you and compiled a list of the 15 best HVAC blogs to check out.
Print and digital publications, like magazines, are another form of media that will slap you with a bit of entertainment while providing helpful news and industry updates. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Contractor Magazine
- ACHR News
- John Tomcyzk, coauthor of “Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Technology,” writes for ACHR News. See his latest articles here.
- HVAC Business
- HVAC Insider
- Workiz’ blog
There is no substitution for face-to-face networking. Show up at conferences, seminars, trade shows, and training events, and you will find yourself privy to all sorts of information that you would otherwise struggle to find (online or elsewhere). You will also forge stronger connections with people within the industry and build on your own and your company’s reputation.