Mission: HVAC 2017 has come to a close – and our students have a few parting words to share about their experiences in the program and the knowledge they gleamed from the past nine missions. They also offered their suggestions for the future of the program – stay tuned and you may see their ideas put into practice in the 2018 program!
Congratulations to Aaron, Chris, and Gustavo for completing Mission: HVAC 2017!
For their final mission, each student responded to the following questions:
Q1: Which Mission was the most beneficial to you?
Q2: What were some of the most significant things that you learned from the Missions?
Q3: Which mission was the most challenging? Which was the easiest?
Q4: What topic (s) would you recommend for a Mission assignment?
Q5: What changes would you recommend for next year’s Mission: HVAC program?
Q6: What advice would you give to next year’s Mission: HVAC students?
Aaron: Ask Questions!
1: Personally, the most enjoyable mission for me was Mission 5: Trends in Technology. Technology within this industry has vastly improved and is changing what this field use to be. Now service technicians really should be good with technology and stay up to date.
2: During these missions, I learned quite a lot about reflective insulation, energy codes, and efficiencies in the HVAC world. Also, I learned a lot about the different opportunities within this great industry.
3: The most challenging mission for me was the up to code mission because that area is more foreign to me and hard to remember them all sometimes. Also, codes are different all over the country. The easiest was the Necessity or Nuisance mission because I have personally worked a lot with the reflective tape and I know the struggle the liner can cause.
4: I would recommend doing a mission where the student interviews a LEED certified industry person to gain knowledge pertaining some of the requirements of a LEED building. Also, sometimes with beginners in this industry they don’t always know about certain hand tools and materials or what they are used for. So, doing a mission on tools would be a great learning opportunity for beginners in this trade.
5: I thought that the HVAC mission was very well constructed and easy to complete each mission. I also really enjoyed the missions and learning some new things. Sometimes I found it tough to get someone willing to interview. Since I am a full-time student away at school this made it difficult too. So, one change that I would recommend doing for next year is their own research on topics over the internet.
6: The advice I would give next year’s students is to go into each mission with an open mind and learn as much as you can from each interview. The amount of knowledge that these industry people have is vast and seeing each person’s point of view can be very beneficial. Also, don’t be afraid to ask more questions or even ask about different topics.
Gustavo: Loyal and Honest
As we get to the end of our Missions, I can’t deny the fact every mission given to me was executed by me with great learning excitement that allowed me to better understand the mission at hand. Taking part in this research with Shurtape Technologies, was an honor and amazing experience, where some of the most amazing and helpful was shared with me by such great HVAC technicians. If given the opportunity to participate again, I would say “yes” every time!!
1: I have to say that Mission #3 “Up to Code” was the most beneficial to me because it allowed me to gain such great insight straight from the work site HVAC professionals, of the importance of being code compliant. Being code compliant made much more sense to me after finishing Mission 3. Mission 3 allowed me to see things from another perspective, not just as an “HVAC student.” Being “Up to Code” means everything when working out in our field. I learned that without proper code compliance, any HVAC technician is sure to fail in his/her career. The opportunity of speaking to HVAC technicians working in my neighborhood, was a very rewarding opportunity where much valuable code compliant information was shared with me by amazing HVAC experts with many years of experience.
2: Every mission was unique, challenging in its own way and most of all rewarding in every way. However, I have to admit that the importance of being a loyal and honest technician, was something that I recall hearing over and over again. Not only did I get reminded of this in almost every one of my Missions, but also from my own family HVAC technicians. Being loyal and true to your customers, is something that I will always take with me everywhere. Another significant piece of advice that I remember being given to me by many HVAC technicians, was the importance of keeping yourself and your customers “SAFE” at all times. Safety, safety, safety is the key to making sure everyone goes home alive.
3: For me, I think that Mission #2 “HVAC around the Nation” was the most challenging one because of the importance of understanding the Houston seasons and finding a knowledgeable technician who ha d experience dealing with the crazy Houston weather and its yearly seasons.
The easiest Mission for me was Mission #6 “Necessity or Nuisance.” I found it the easiest because its focus was on the technicalities of working with tapes in the HVAC field. Nearly every HVAC technician uses special types of HVAC tapes, which made it easy on them to give me solid truthful answers to all my questions. It was interesting hearing about tapes and its important role in this field.
4: I would recommend having a topic on solar panels and their impact on the HVAC field.
5: I would not change many things from this Shurtape Mission Program. It was an amazing experience being part of it!! I learned so much from every Mission, and the knowledge gained was immense! The only thing I would recommend would be to have all of next year’s applicants submit video entries instead of the typed essays we had this year.
6: I would advise them to take all Missions seriously and give each mission the proper time needed to complete every mission the right way. Applying yourself to each given mission, is the key to being mission successful!!
Chris: Keeping the Code
1: Mission 8 was the most beneficial to me. I got to interview a couple of local contractors and get an insight into the operation of their business and was able to compare my experiences in the field with the things they told me.
2: I learned a lot about building codes and UL listings. I have been very glad to have the information I got from the HVAC inspector that I interviewed. I learned a lot about duct sizing, and our conversation about tightness led me to do some research on how fresh air can be brought into homes to avoid making the house “sick.”
3: The hardest challenge for me was the one dealing with efficiency- I had to really stop thinking of efficiency in terms of cost effectiveness, and think in terms of energy consumption. Coincidentally, I also learned the most from that mission. The easiest mission was the one about the reflective duct insulation. I had just been a part of a package unit change out, and my employer talked to me a lot about vapor barriers and insulating duct work before and during the project.
4: I would have liked to have seen a mission about airflow calculations and understanding the importance of how duct sizing relates to proper airflow and system operation. Proper duct sizing is overlooked so often in the trade that almost all units I work on have an external static pressure that is above the max recommended for the unit.
5: I enjoyed the time I spent working on my missions, and I think Shurtape is really doing a great thing here in encouraging young people to learn a trade. I would just say to keep up the good work!
6: Take advantage of the opportunity these missions give you to talk to many different contractors. Don’t be afraid to reach out, and talk to as many as you can- each one will have a different way they do business than the last, and the amount of good information that they have is almost overwhelming!