College Catalog Fall 2009 - Spring 2010
Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning - AAS

The Field

The heating, ventilating, air-conditioning (HVAC) industry designs, builds, installs, services, maintains, troubleshoots, and repairs indoor comfort and cooling systems year round. Homes, office buildings, industrial plants, airplanes, cars, and computer technology all rely on complex HVAC systems to create and maintain safe, healthy, and comfortable living and working environments. Many industrial, medical, technical, and commercial processes also depend on sophisticated heating, cooling, air-quality, and ventilation systems.

The HVAC industry is a $150-billion-a-year business nationally and employs millions of people around the globe. The HVAC industry provides solutions to many important environmental issues such as indoor air quality and protecting the ozone layer through proper refrigerant handling. HVAC is a necessity today for personal comfort, medical health, food preservation, water supply, and work productivity. In fact, all human activities rely on HVAC in one way or another. This industry will produce thousands of new jobs in the next decades as markets for these products expand. A newer term that is being used to describe this industry is HPACR, which stands for “heating, piping, air conditioning, refrigeration.”

The Instructional Program

There are a number of HVAC-related curricula at SUNY Delhi, reflecting the diversity in this large industry. The HVAC curriculum described here is the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree. This program contains a strong, representative technical core in addition to a liberal arts, mathematics, and science component. This option is the best one for students considering transfer to a four-year program. 

A very similar program, but without the liberal arts component, is the Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) degree in Plumbing, Heating, and Pipefitting plus Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. This combination degree has the same technical courses as the A.A.S. but substitutes technical electives for the liberal arts, mathematics, and science component. For more information, see the Plumbing, Heating, and Pipefitting plus Refrigeration and Air Conditioning program descriptions.

Career Options

Within the broad field of HVAC, there are a number of distinct career titles. However, the titles are not mutually exclusive, and often overlap in certain types of HVAC operations. These career titles and options are described below.

Refrigeration/Air-Conditioning Technician: The refrigeration and air-conditioning technician is responsible for installing, servicing, and replacing the cooling units which cool our homes or keep our perishable commodities at the appropriate temperature. This technician often specializes in one particular branch of the industry such as home air conditioning, auto air conditioning, mobile container systems such as for trucks, bulk tank coolers for milk producers, etc.

Plumbing Technician: Plumbing technicians install and repair pipes that carry water, waste, drainage, and natural gas in buildings. They cut, bend, and join pipes, and they install fixtures and appliances, such as bathtubs, toilets, dishwashers, and water heaters. They work from blueprints and drawings that show them where to put the pipes and fixtures. In small contracting businesses, the plumbing technician and the heating technician may be one person or one company.

Heating Technician: Heating technicians install, service, and maintain the furnaces and boilers used to heat residential and commercial buildings. Heating technicians must be able to perform heat-loss calculations in order to size the heating source to the structure. They must be able to install piping and sheet-metal ductwork. They must also understand the electrical or electronic controls that operate the system.

Pipefitters: Pipefitters work on large industrial piping systems that carry steam, gases, and chemicals that supply power, heating, or refrigeration. Pipefitters may be known by the type of systems on which they specialize, such as "gas fitter" or "steamfitter."

Graduates of Delhi's HVAC programs can find employment in a variety of situations, from a one-person contracting business to a multinational corporation. The HVAC industry provides job security, respect, upward mobility, great salary, lifelong employment, and opportunity. HVAC professionals can use their skills just about any place in the world. HVAC is a high-technology industry with constant innovations that contribute to making the equipment work better, more efficiently, quicker, and less expensively.

The HVAC-related programs at SUNY Delhi have a primary mission of preparing graduates for direct employment. If a graduate wishes to pursue further education towards a bachelor degree, he or she could transfer to the Industrial Engineering Technology program at SUNY Institute of Technology or to Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA. Another four-year option would be to transfer to SUNY Oswego or Buffalo and pursue a Technical Education degree leading to a career as a technology or BOCES teacher in New York State.

Curriculum

SUNY Curriculum Code:  1486

First Semester

Course No.

Course                                                      

Cr. Hrs.

 RFAC 110

Fundamentals of Refrigeration 

3

 RFAC 120

Fundamentals of Refrigeration Laboratory

4

 RFAC 130

HVAC Electrical

3

 CITA 110

Introduction to Software Applications 

 3 

 MATH 128

College Algebra*

3

 

Total                                                          

 16 

Second Semester

Course No.

Course                                                    

Cr. Hrs.

 RFAC 140

Commercial Refrigeration Principles           

3

 RFAC 150

Air Conditioning Troubleshooting               

3

 RFAC 160

Air conditioning Principles                         

3

 RFAC 170

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Operation Laboratory                               

4

 ___ ___

Social Science Elective             

3

 

Total                                                    

 16 

Third Semester

Course No.

Course                                                      

Cr. Hrs.

 COMM 100

Public Speaking

3

 EICR 210

Electrical Theory III

 

 

or

 

 EICR 220

Control System Design

3

 

or

 

 EICR 240

Electrical Control Diagrams 

 

 MATH 138

Trigonometry*

3

 PHYS 150

General Physics I

 4 

 WELD 100

Fundamentals of Welding

 2 

 

Total                                                     

 15 

Fourth Semester

Course No.

Course                                                     

Cr. Hrs.

 PHPF 150

Heating Theory

3

 PHPF 160

Heating Laboratory

3

 PHPF 170

System controllers

2

 PHPF 180

System Controllers Laboratory

2

 ENGL 100

Freshman Composition

3

 PEDH 220

First Aid: Responding to Emergencies

2

 

Total                                                     

 15 

Degree Requirement: 62 credit hours

Notes

*Mathematics is by placement according to competency. MATH 128 College Algebra and MATH 138 Trigonometry are the minimum exit-level mathematics requirement for this program. Students with appropriate math backgrounds will be placed in higher-level math courses.

Admissions Requirements

Two units of high school mathematics are recommended.

Program Objectives

A graduate of the Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning A.A.S. program should be able to:

  1. Understand and discuss fundamental refrigeration principles, including trade tools, gas laws, pressure/temperature relationship, heat transfer, refrigerants, compression cycle, compressors, condensers, evaporators, metering devices, refrigeration oils, desiccants and driers, evacuation, and safe handling of refrigerants.
  2. Demonstrate a hands-on knowledge of the refrigeration system including skills in servicing, analyzing, problem solving, and pertinent safety practices.
  3. Understand the basic electricity knowledge necessary to HVAC mechanics.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the equipment and specific topics associated with commercial refrigeration systems.
  5. Demonstrate a knowledge of air-conditioning principles and air-conditioning systems, including room air conditioners, air-conditioning systems, heat pumps, low-voltage thermostats, and hydronics.
  6. Apply the knowledge necessary to accurately troubleshoot air-conditioning systems. 
  7. Demonstrate hands-on skills in the installation and servicing of a wide variety of air-conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment and systems in a safe manner.
  8. Understand and apply the fundamentals of gas and arc welding as they apply to the refrigeration and air-conditioning field. 
  9. Understand and apply the National Standard Plumbing Code and New York State Code.
  10. Demonstrate basic knowledge of plumbing materials, tools, and equipment.
  11. Display the ability to measure, cut, and join steel pipe, copper tubing, plastic and cast iron soil pipe; demonstrate knowledge of fittings as well as basic fabrication of sheet-metal principles and layout techniques.
  12. Exhibit basic drafting techniques as they relate to the plumbing, heating, and pipefitting field through the completion of various drawings such as piping isometrics, plumbing floor plans, and riser diagrams.
  13. Install residential hydronic and steam heating systems, and indirect and direct domestic hot-water heaters.
  14. Design and install hot-air heating systems and the various types of hot-water heating systems for residential and light commercial buildings.
  15. Understand AC theory, multi-zone heating systems, and light commercial controls.
  16. Correctly and safely wire oil and gas boilers and hot-air heating systems.
  17. Display an understanding of building energy requirements and demonstrate the ability to perform residential heat-loss calculations.
  18. Recognize and respond to emergencies by making appropriate decisions regarding first-aid care.

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Last Updated: 1/7/09