As summer eases into fall most motorists are leaving air conditioner levers in the off position as beating the heat becomes less of a concern than preparing for winter’s wrath.
But the A/C element of a vehicle’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system also dehumidifies defroster moisture that can hinder vision by fogging or freezing on the inside of window glass.
Ensuring that all HVAC components are fully functional is thus a matter of year-round importance – making qualified A/C technicians a hot ticket due to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Section 609 certification requirements for the recovery, recycling and recharging of potentially polluting refrigerants. The measure, part of the Clean Air Act, mandates that A/C technicians must be trained, tested and certified by an approved organization.
Working on today’s A/C units is increasingly complex, necessitating up-to-date service and repair training as refrigerants and systems change.
“There’s a huge demand for new technicians as older technicians retire,” says Marion J. Posen, vice president of member relations and marketing at the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide, an industry association covering all the aspects of vehicle thermal systems. “It’s a very, very large field.”
Anyone riding in anything anywhere is directly impacted by HVAC, including consumers cruising in cars and trucks, commercial fleets, military motor pools and other local, state and federal governmental entities. A recently released study from Allied Market Research reports that the global automotive HVAC segment is annually expanding by 8.9 percent with expectations of becoming a $22.8-billion market by 2022.
Automakers and suppliers are continually developing new components and refrigerant technologies to meet emissions standards and market demands that further emphasize the need for properly certified technicians to service the systems.
No longer engineered solely for cabin comfort, A/C has dramatically evolved into a crucial system for cooling the high voltage electronics and battery packs found in hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electrics, extended range electrics and fuel cell vehicles, according to Chief Technology Officer Dr. Mark Quarto of Henderson, Nev.-based FutureTech Auto, who will be speaking at the Feb. 15-18 MACS 2017 Training Event and Trade Show taking place at the Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim, Calif.