Ways to be a Better Fridgie

The HVAC industry is forever evolving, and as a fridgie working in this space you should be evolving too. Airmaster Refrigeration Mechanic, Aaron McConnell spoke with, HVAC&R Nation’s Sean McGowan on ways to be a better fridgie.



Patience is a virtue.

As a fridgie, you need to appreciate that the answers aren’t always readily available.

When making changes to a system during service, the system may need to be closely monitored for lengthy periods before any change is identified. Some things you can tweak and see the change immediately, but for many others, such as TX valves, the change isn’t instantaneous and you need to give the system time. Other examples are cycling of condenser fans, air pressure controls, and setting up high-side floats.


So don’t be inpatient. Give it half an hour before making any decisions that could ultimately impact the performance of the system for the worse.


Patience is also required when dealing with people in our industry – from clients to colleagues and apprentices. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, we are not all going to be on the same page at the same time, so be patient and mindful when dealing with people.


Diagnostics and fault finding.

We can all do with having a better understanding of wiring diagrams, but they are the type of thing best studied on site rather than in books. So seek out the opportunity to check the wiring of different systems to familiarise yourself in the event of a fault.


Having a greater exposure to the many different brands and systems in the market, and how they should operate in their application, is invaluable. If you’re in a big enough company, you’ll probably get this opportunity but for those working in smaller companies, it might be easier said than done.


Fault finding can sometimes test the best of us, so having a good support network of friends and colleagues can really help you out when you get stuck.


You might know someone who worked on the system prior to you, or is more familiar with the brand. Lean on them for advice, and be willing to pay it back when they, or someone else you know, needs advice.


Being self-motivated is more than just clocking on.

Motivation is required to organise yourself, to work unsupervised, to want to learn and to advance yourself. No one is going to do it for you.


Don’t fall into the trap of being lazy just because you are work unsupervised. Taking short cuts will short cut your learning opportunities, and the opportunity to advance your career. Usually the lemons get found out.


Make your time valuable, and make yourself invaluable.


Ours is an ever changing industry, so embrace all that it offers – the opportunities, the challenges and the rewards that will come from hard work.


This is an excerpt from the article ’11 Ways to be a better Fridgie’ that appeared in AIRAH’s HVAC&R Nation. To discover further tips from industry members download the full article here.

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