HVAC training helps maintenance and facilities staff maintain, troubleshoot, and repair HVAC system while providing the skills and knowledge needed to pass EPA certification exams. This leads to an important question: do you provide on-site or online HVAC training? Each learning mode has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Types of HVAC Training

Onsite HVAC training is exactly what you would expect: a qualified instructor comes to your work site to conduct the training seminar. Online training is more complicated. Some courses are asynchronous, using message boards, videos, and other training material in a situation where student and instructor do not make direct contact. Live online training allows instructors to connect with students in real time from a distance, and effectively incorporates the benefits of both asynchronous and onsite instruction.

Student-Teacher Engagement

A significant amount of effective human communication is delivered through facial expression and body language. Simply put, being able to see the instructor and read his or her facial expressions helps students understand what the instructor is saying. Students can ask questions in real time and get immediate answers.

In this regard, asynchronous training loses out to onsite training. When communicating through message boards, all body language is lost, increasing the chance students will misread and misinterpret instructions. Students also experience a delay between posting a question on the classroom message board and receiving an answer.

Live online training allows students to read instructor body language and receive immediate answers to questions, just like they would in onsite settings.

Training Methods

Both live online and onsite training combine hands-on training with instruction materials, quizzes, and question and answer sessions. Live training provides the same activities, often combined with PowerPoint presentations and interactive extras. In both cases, the ability to engage in hands-on activities allows students to practice their new skills, greatly increasing knowledge retention. In contrast, asynchronous online training relies heavily on videos and written material, although it may also include interactive features.

Convenience

Onsite training brings the instructor to your facility, rather than you incurring the expense of transporting staff to a classroom setting. This allows the instructor to tailor training to your facility’s specific needs, but can mean pulling staff out of their regular work rotation to attend class.

Asynchronous settings allow your employees to complete training on their own time. Students can proceed at their own pace, but it can be more difficult to chart each student’s progress.

Live online training, like onsite training, removes the cost of transportation from the equation. Instructors can still customize seminars to address your facility’s specific equipment and needs, and student process is easy to chart.

Which HVAC training would you choose? The decision depends heavily on the needs of your facility, your budget, and the temperament of your staff. In most cases, live online training is more convenient than onsite training and offers the same educational opportunities. Asynchronous online training is best used for individual staff members who can be counted on to stay focused on the training.