Why Penn Foster?

  • Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

HVAC Training Program Overview

You can begin your career as an HVAC Technician in as little as five months, all at 95% less in cost than the average traditional school. The demand for Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) professionals is expected to increase 21% through 2022, faster than average for all occupations.* Penn Foster helps you train for HVAC certification and a rewarding career, at a pace that’s right for you. Graduates have gone on to work for companies such as Marriott, Texas State Aquarium, Memorial Health Care System, and the City of Philadelphia.

HVAC Technicians inspect, repair and maintain heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration systems for homes and businesses. Penn Foster offers a variety of HVAC courses to help you pursue your HVAC Technician Career Diploma.

Curriculum Details

Unit 1

Starting Your Program

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
Introduction to Comfort Control


  • Learn about the uses, components, and types of indoor comfort-control systems.
  • Explore the types of jobs and the pay scales for comfort-control employees.

Unit 2

Math for the Trades


  • Reinforce what you already know about math, and apply your math skills to solve real-world trades-related problems.
  • Measure lengths and angles.
  • Work with fractions.
  • Use formulas to solve problems.
Nature of Electricity


  • Describe the importance of electricity.
  • Understand fundamental concepts relating to electricity.

Unit 3

Fundamentals of HVAC


  • Understand the need for a broad range of technical skills to work with heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration systems.
  • Develop the ability to recognize and correctly employ the tools, equipment, and common materials used by HVAC/R technicians.
Additional Unit Materials

Textbook: Fundamentals of HVAC/R

Learning Aid: Troubleshooting Guide for Compressors

Unit 4

Refrigeration Systems


  • Learn system operations and the basic practices for maintenance and troubleshooting of air-conditioning and refrigeration systems.
  • Know the law for handling refrigerants.

Unit 5

Electrical Systems


  • Understand electrical power and the operating characteristics of equipment, circuits, motors, and control devices.
  • Use schematics to determine the expected operation of an electrical system.
  • Connect circuit components.
  • Evaluate systems to identify problems.
  • Determine a process you can follow to solve the problems you identify.

Unit 6

Residential and Light Commercial HVAC Systems


  • Describe how air-conditioning and heating systems are installed and serviced in residential and smaller commercial applications.
  • Receive practical tips and instructions.

Unit 7

HVAC System Design and Installation


  • Describe building and duct design and HVAC system placement.
  • Explore the skills required to properly install an air distribution system.
  • Learn about commercial-scale hydronic heating systems and the boilers that serve as their heat source, and identify common problems with these systems.

Unit 8

Commercial Refrigeration and HVAC/R Maintenance


  • Identify components used in commercial refrigeration systems.
  • Understand the three categories of “everyday tasks” you’ll encounter while working in the field: installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting.
Lithium Bromide Absorption Systems


  • Understand what absorption refrigeration is and how lithium bromide acts as the absorbent.
  • Know the recommended operation and maintenance of a lithium bromide absorption unit.

Graduation Gift

When you graduate...

When you graduate, you'll receive

(Sent to you when all program requirements and financial obligations have been met.)

  • EPA Certification Test Voucher
  • EPA Certification Preparatory Manual and Exam Registration
  • Troubleshooting HVAC/R Equipment Reference Text

Computer Specifications
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows® 7 or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, Microsoft® Office 2013, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, and Windows XP are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view a HVAC Technician sample lesson, click here.

EPA Certification and State Requirements

Our accredited HVAC Technician program provides everything you need to prepare for your future, including an EPA certification exam voucher, prep materials, and registration.

Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements. These requirements vary from state to state.

Snap-on Student Excellence Program

Students enrolled in the HVAC Technician Program are eligible to participate in the Snap-On Student Excellence Program. This program allows students in trades and technology education programs to purchase high-quality Snap-On tools at a preferred student discount. Some restrictions may apply for total purchase and quantities of certain items. Click here to see the new Snap-on Catalog.


* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers, on the Internet here (visited January 29, 2014).

Here are a few qualities that HVAC Technicians have in common:

  • Patient: Repairing or building air-conditioning and refrigeration units is a step-by-step process that can take time.
  • Problem solver: Finding the missing piece can be challenging and fun.
  • Persistent: You will work hard until you can successfully solve the problem at hand.
  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Cautious: Being cautious helps prevent accidents or injury.

I would like to say that enrolling with Penn Foster Career School was the best choice that I ever made. I would recommend Penn Foster. I just have to say 'Thank You' to Penn Foster for achieving my goal.

- Francisco C., HVAC Technician Graduate

Because of the program I took, many companies have offered me a position. After looking over all of the courses I took, they were very impressed. Penn Foster helped me to achieve the goals I wanted to achieve in a career that’s very demanding. Thanks Penn Foster and all of my instructors.

- Daryl J., HVAC Technician Graduate

I graduated from the Carpenter, Home Inspector, Electrician, HVAC Technician, Plumber, and Professional Landscaper Programs. They are all excellent programs! Penn Foster programs are great!

- Alfred P., HVAC Technician Graduate

We make sure you have everything you need:

  • Graduate debt free with 0% interest
  • Books and learning aids included, along with EPA Certification exam prep materials, exam voucher, and registration
  • Snap-on Student Excellence Program offering up to a 50% discount on Snap-on products
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our world-class faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online campus, plus immediate membership in the HVAC academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Which certifications can be obtained upon completing the HVAC Technician Career Diploma Program? What are the benefits?

Students are eligible for EPA certification, which is a requirement for all persons handling refrigerants.

Is there a final exam in the HVAC Training program?

There is no final exam for the HVAC Training program. Your overall grade is based on the average of your lesson exam scores.

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