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If you are a problem solver and like working with your hands, think about a career in heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R).
This program prepares you to design, install, service and maintain furnaces, air conditioners and refrigeration systems. Through classes, hands-on projects and jobsite experiences, you’lllearn about basic HVAC/R systems, electricity, heating, gas and oil codes, load calculations, cooling, refrigeration, duct design and troubleshooting.
Whether you want to work as a service technician, service manager or business owner, you will graduate ready for a variety of job opportunities working with HVAC/R systems in homes, office buildings, schools, factories, hospitals—and even airplanes and cars.
We offer a seven quarter, two-year Associate’s Degree of Applied Science (A.A.S) in HVAC/R. Graduates of the program are prepared for entry-level positions as a technician in the HVAC/R trade, a rewarding career that is fast-paced, challenging, and requires an independent mindset.
Students of the SCC HVAC/R program study electrical theory, motors, controls, refrigeration theory, gas and electric furnace troubleshooting, air conditioner and refrigeration system troubleshooting, heat pump troubleshooting, and computer based digital controls. Please see course descriptions for a detailed listing of each course and learning topics.
Hands-on learning and troubleshooting is an important part of our program. The SCC HVAC/R lab has over 120 pieces of operational equipment for students to learn on and practice with. All pieces of equipment were installed by students, and have been maintained by students. Classroom theory is backed up with real-world testing, measurement, and troubleshooting on actual pieces of equipment students will see in the field after they graduate. An optional internship is available sixth and seventh quarters as well. Students will have the opportunity to take the tests to receive their Spokane Gas Heating Mechanic’s 1 License and EPA 608 Universal Refrigerant Handling License. Students will also register to receive their WA L&I Electrical Trainee License, and will start to receive credit for hours that will apply towards an electrical license.
AIRC 103 — Fundamentals of Electricity in HVAC/R — 4.0
Students explore the fundamental concepts of electricity and magnetism, and basic applications in the HVAC/R trade. Theory includes voltage, direct and alternating current, resistance, series and parallel circuits, electrical symbols and schematic diagrams, electrical safety, and basic electrical components. Emphasis will be placed on the skills to interpret basic schematics for gas heat, electric heat, and air conditioning systems.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 106 — HVAC/R Electrical Applications — 6.0
Students further explore electrical applications in the HVAC/R field. Topics include motors, line voltage and low voltage controls, relays, transformers, and thermostats. Special emphasis is placed on the development and use of schematic and wiring diagrams for troubleshooting gas and electric furnaces.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 107 — HVAC/R Electrical Applications Lab — 8.0
Topics will include wiring, testing, and troubleshooting of series and parallel circuits, low voltage and line voltage controls, interpretation of schematic diagrams, and electrical safety. Emphasis will be placed on wiring, testing, and troubleshooting an electric and gas furnace.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 108 — Fundamentals of Heating Systems — 6.0
This course introduces the fundamentals of heating with forced air fuel gas burning appliances and electric heating appliances. Students will explore gas codes, venting, gas piping, the combustion process, and components of residential and light commercial heating systems. Emphasis will be placed on sequence of operation, troubleshooting, and the relationship of the electrical and mechanical functions as a complete system.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 109 — Fundamentals of Refrigeration — 5.0
Students will explore the physics and theory governing the vapor-compression refrigeration cycle, human comfort and psychometrics, and practical applications of refrigeration systems.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 110 — Fundamentals of Refrigeration Lab — 10.0
Students will focus on the proper use of refrigeration tools, evaluating refrigeration system performance, analyzing ladder diagrams, and troubleshooting electrical components.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 125 — Sheet Metal Layout and Fabrication — 1.0
This course introduces the theory and practical application of sheet metal practices in duct fabrication. Topics include sheet metal tools, layout, duct fabrication, and duct installation procedures.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 126 — Sheet Metal Layout and Fabrication Lab — 3.0
Lab component to accompany AIRC 144 Sheet Metal Layout and Fabrication. Students will use sheet metal tools, equipment, and layout procedures to fabricate and install a duct system.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 136 — HVAC/R Safety — 1.0
This course will introduce students to the safety requirements mandated by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries and OSHA. Topics include safety standards, fall protection, electrical safety, struck-by, caught-in or between, PPE, HAZMAT, and health hazards in construction.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 137 — Fundamentals of Heating Systems Lab — 8.0
Students will wire, troubleshoot, and repair residential and light commercial heating systems. Emphasis will be placed on developing skills to identify system problems, troubleshooting strategies, and repair procedures.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 203 — Fundamentals of Air Conditioning — 7.0
This course continues refrigeration instruction to also include comfort cooling and air conditioning. Students will explore techniques for proper refrigerant handling, recovery, recycling, reclaim, and evacuation, in preparation for the EPA 608 Refrigerant Handling License. Electrical skills will be further developed, exploring the use of electric motors, capacitors, motor protective devices, additional controls, and code compliance.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 204 — Fundamentals of Air Conditioning Lab — 7.0
Students will focus on the proper use of refrigeration tools, evaluating refrigeration and air conditioning system performance, analyzing ladder diagrams, troubleshooting electrical components, recovery and evacuation procedures, and brazing techniques.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 205 — System Performance Testing — 5.0
This course will introduce students to the idea of considering the individual components as part of a complete system when evaluating performance. Topics include the measurement of system performance through airflow, critical charge, charging tables for air conditioning systems, combustion analysis for combustion appliances, economizers, fan laws, fan and blower performance, air distribution systems, and hydronics. Heat transfer in buildings and calculation of heat load will also be covered, focusing on the building as a system.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 206 — System Performance Testing Lab — 10.0
Students will measure airflow and analyze results, evaluate system performance, and practice advanced troubleshooting procedures. Troubleshooting will include refrigeration problems, compressor replacements, electrical problems including compressors, motors, and controls, combustion problems, and airside problems.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 207 — System Servicing and Troubleshooting of Heat Pumps — 5.0
Students will explore heat pump fundamentals, types of heat pump systems, system accessories, troubleshooting, and diagnostics. Topics include heat pump compressors, flow control, thermostats, controls, control strategies, piping, electrical and mechanical troubleshooting, and airflow. Electrical skills will be further developed, exploring the use of electric motors in heat pump systems, capacitors, motor protection devices, controls, and code compliance.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 208 — System Servicing and Troubleshooting of Heat Pumps Lab — 10.0
Lab exercises will focus on understanding and troubleshooting the refrigeration cycle, electrical components, evaluation looking at the system as a whole, and strengthening technician skills through the use of schematic reading, troubleshooting procedures, and customer service techniques.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 262 — Fundamentals of Direct Digital Control — 5.0
This course introduces the fundamentals of control theory and applications for direct digital control in commercial HVAC/R systems. Topics include unique characteristics of commercial buildings, commercial and mechanical systems, control theory, sensors, control strategies, control devices, basic electronics, and basic networked communication systems.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 265 — Fundamentals of Direct Digital Control Lab — 10.0
Students will select, install, and commission a direct digital control system for a specific commercial application. Applications include a rooftop unit with economizer, geothermal heat pump, and commercial low temp refrigeration system.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 266 — Cooperative Education Seminar — 1.0-2.0 Credits
For course description, see Cooperative Education.View SCC Course Learning Outcomes
AIRC 267 — Cooperative Education Work Experience — 1.0-18.0 Credits
"My experience in the SCC program was great. The faculty was knowledgeable, approachable and very thorough in their teaching, and I left with a strong understanding of the trade." — Mike Hatley, Johnson Control service technician
"The HVAC/R program at SCC gave me a good solid foundation for my professional life. Their instructors are terrific, and they are especially great at helping you build your self-confidence. I'm very glad I chose SCC to launch my career." — Santos Cardenas, Lincoln building engineer for Goodale & Barbieri Real Estate Services