Sole Education Fall 2019: Tech Specs

This week, we asked our students to discuss what technologies are currently trending within their given trades. Read on to see what the latest technologies for the HVAC and Plumbing industries!

Riley: Smarthomes and backpacks!

The HVAC industry is ever-changing and becoming a more advanced field. In today’s society, most people are making their homes smarter. “Smarthomes” with nest thermostats (or the many other communicating thermostats) homeowners are now able to control the temperature and humidity if they have the right equipment from hundreds of miles away by using an app on their phone. 

There are so many new tools that are making a service technician’s life easier. The Fieldpiece wireless SM480v manifold kit is one of those amazing new tools. It has a built-in micron gauge and many other specs to help you perform your job more efficiently.

Another neat tool is the test smart probes. Smart probes eliminate carrying a whole manifold gauge set and hoses around. The new tool-bag backpacks make it so easy to carry your tools in and out of houses, and allow you to keep your tools clean and organized!

Michael: Hydronic heating technology is one of the hottest trending advancements in the plumbing and mechanical trades…

Pun intended!

The best example of this trending technology is the evolution of tankless heaters and hot water boilers. We work with these products on a daily basis. These products are designed to provide domestic potable water, household heat or a combination of both and usually have an AFUE Efficiency rating of 95%!

AFUE represents the annualized fuel utilization efficiency or the percentage of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed. One of the best ways to gain efficiency, reduce energy costs and “Think Green” (low NOx emissions) is to install one of these products. Most manufacturers have now incorporated Artificial Intelligence to self-monitor and adjust to the user’s patterns and demands for heat and hot water.


Whether wall hung or floor standing, condensing or non-condensing, fire-tube or plate heat exchanger, heating or combination, these boilers are SMART! So smart, in fact, that most have an available WiFi connection for smartphone or tablet users.

Using an app to monitor usage, control temperatures, water recirculation, and receive diagnostic and usage information are some of the benefits to a homeowner. For the contractor, this technology will remotely report diagnostic data and share error codes to help mitigate downtime through more precise troubleshooting.

My advice:

Research, read,  and learn as much as you can about these mechanical advancements. These boilers have become smarter and easier than ever!

Follow along with our students’ progress here.
Learn more about the Generation T movement here.