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Can a Residential Tech Transition to Market Refrigeration?

Nathan and Bryan have a rollicking conversation about Nathan's transition from residential HVAC to market refrigeration. Nathan also covers what he has learned along the way. Hopefully, his experiences can help you decide if moving to market refrigeration may work for you.

Before Nathan went into market refrigeration, he handled problem customers and repeat issues on the residential HVAC side. He worked on zoning systems and mini-splits quite often. Even in that time, he did minor work on supermarket projects if the team needed an extra person. Market refrigeration projects require full scopes of work and time constraints, complicate the transition from residential HVAC work.

Market refrigeration primarily deals with rack systems. Rack refrigeration systems are different from residential HVAC systems because they require less of an understanding of heat transfer; refrigeration techs need more mechanical knowledge and may rely on many rules of thumb. Tactile skills are essential for refrigeration, but an understanding of the scientific fundamentals is less important.

Although there are plenty of opportunities for increased profits in market refrigeration, the losses are also fast and harsh. The customer relationship is also perhaps even more important in market refrigeration because the service (and customer) options tend to be more limited. You may also expect to sacrifice more time due to the urgency of supermarket work. While you don't have to work yourself to death, you should definitely expect to have less time and to reschedule plans quite often if you make the transition to market refrigeration.

Nathan and Bryan also discuss:

  • Sight glasses vs. subcooling
  • Cost of mistakes
  • Acceptable vs. unacceptable outcomes for customers
  • Overhiring vs. underhiring
  • Rack replacement
  • Difference in standards
  • Replacing TXV parts
  • Motors in refrigeration
  • Hands-on skills and relevant professions
  • Good and bad practices in refrigeration
  • Working hours

Learn more about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.

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