HVAC Engineer Skills


Figure. The HVAC practical engineer

A practical engineer

The best part after graduate from the engineering faculty is to be an engineer. Many people though that engineer is someone who can create something usefull by just produce it. The statement is not wrong but it just feels not complete whitout how to market the product, for example an HVAC engineer know how the air conditioning equipment work, how to calculate the cooling load, know the detail to make one simple air conditioning unit. Is it stoped until that step? I keep this question and answer it in the middle or at the last of this paper.

A practical engineer combine the theoritical knowlage with the practical training, in some case they can perform engineering duties. They know well the equipments work even more datail.

Being a practical engineer will get more advances in knowing the field like how to install the equipment, they know the principal and detail work of many aquipment. But in some cases practical engineer can not make basic design or detail design and also important decision related to the cost estimation. Therefore an engineering job to make such work.

Building construction

Many buildings constructed in this world, from small building until high risk building. Those building will be filled by many people who stay for a long time periods, the design made by engineer shall configure about the comfortability in the building design. In this step mechanical or HVAC engineer take part on design begins from basic design until the porsion of engineering job is finished.

What would be HVAC engineer know about the design in a building? The basic knowledges of air conditioning and that what next. The concept and construction or installation of air conditioning equipments. People in the building need healthy air ventilation so they can work inside the building, people need camfortability so they can work longer inside it.

To be an engineer we have to learn about equipments that used for construct an air conditioning system in a building. The equipment such as ducting, fans, water chillers, pumps, energy safing equipment, etc.

It is important to study those equipments to be an engineer who work in construction companies. By selecting one equipment from many types in the market is also a skill should have by HVAC designer or engineer. Selection of equipment is one of the steps in air conditioning design. This step also important it is because related to cost management in construction building project.

For example, water chiller, if I search using google there so many product of water-chiller sell on internet. Many companies offer good water-chiller equipment and also the installation even the maintenance for a couple of years. Some companies offering the guarantee for more than two years. In this case the engineers have to choose one of the products offered by the company.


chiller in the market

Simple control, the easiest control is on and off. costumers want to have a simple control for many equipments. Engineers should have skill to make an easy control in HVAC system. Usually in the college a control system is given to the student but it is still the theoritical study. In some real case engineer facing the problems about the sensors (pressure gauges, temperature gauges, etc). Where to put those sensors? Is it after compressor or before comrpessor, and so on. For engineer this is kind a simple problem, so the best way to solve this problems the student should know more the real industries by visiting them.

Design a system

We should have the skill and the sense of engineering especially on air conditioning design. Designer has to know the basic understanding of design such as; draw the P&ID (piping and instrumentation diagram), basic concept of air conditioning system and also the equipments, cost estimation and scheduling the projects.

Piping and instrumentation diagram should be conducted with the skill of using CAD program. Engineer will be close with CAD program in a computer for example, AutoCAD. AutoCAD is a powerfull program for drawing many object. It could be used for 2D or 3D, but P & ID always made in 2D. Drawing skill is not an instant, an engineer should trained them self to make it as their habitual.

As it has mentioned before that engineer should know about the control system, P & ID is the place to put the instrumentation equipment, i.e. presure gauges. So engineer could apply the basic knowledge of control in P & ID sheet. The pressure gauge may be represented by a symbol. If an engineer can make P & ID logically they can read it and understand the system work on it.


In the futere, we should to understand more detail how all equipments related to air conditioning system works. So we can be come a specialist on HVAC and genaral mechanical engineering.

We should to study more about design and also the equipment, such as;

  1. cooling system in the power plant
  2. cooling system in the factories
  3. cooling system in a high risk building
  4. etc.

Cooling system in the power plant

Power plant is a huge energy conversion plant, the energy convert from mechanical to electrical by utilize steams to rotate a turbine and electric produce in generator. The steam than cooled by using cooling systems. Most power plant builds at near the beach to get cooling water but for some power plant (geothermal plant) they don’t use water from the beach but using cooling tower. And I think, those system is not one of air conditioning system that learn in the college.

Cooling system in the factories

Food industrial has a major need on refrigeration system, because many kind of food has to be refrigerated to maintain the condition of body and the inside such as vitamins.

At fish processing factory, the factory using a huge refrigeration system to keep the fish freez. The temperature on the food saving container is below -10 oC, the compressors they used and it was a big compressor with ammonia as the refrigerant. Not only the compressor but also the control of all those equipments. We can make design that refrigerant system used in the factories like that one.

Cooling system in the high risk building

The focus application in air conditioning system is to maintain and control the air in the building. So many high risk building using central air conditioning system in order to keep the room in comfortable for occupant (people). High risk building usually used for office, appartement, and a mall in the ground floor. All the function for the building will be work if air is comfort for people stay inside it.

We should learn about how the trully system work and also the equipment use in the building. The ducting technology, the chiller technology, fan technology, control relates to air conditioning tecnology, etc.

Price, Market and Bussines

There must be a cost for each action, to make all the design come true there is a cost for it. Engineers also have to estimate all cost to actualize the plan in design, and it is necessary to take a profit on what they do.

Price the design, price the construction or price the products and gain the profit it just same as make the products and gain the profit. But there is another problem that how to market the products. It is obviously that people will be interest with product that has a good quality but if the product is not exposed to market with selling strategy so the product would not be useful.

Engineering is also a bussiness to get more profit. The profit is measured by how many money that could be get by engineer. So engineer also has to sell their product/design to the market, use relation to sell the products is likely effective because the relation to other is one asset to know the products very well. Make as many relations to other people so they know your products.

Advertisement is another key to enter the market. TV, radio, internet, seminar, expo agenda, etc are the media for advertise the products.


It is a great deal to be an engineer, by using their intelectual making something to help many people life easier. Engineers have to know many thing related to their specialization; equipment, design (drawing, P&ID, etc), cost estimation, etc. and another important thing is marketize their products to as many costumers.

And we should to have all those skills.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s