Residential Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificate

Residential heating

Start your HVAC/R career today

Program facts  manufacturing construction icon

  • Credit hours: 19
  • Stackable to degree: Yes
  • Potential job outcome: Heating and air conditioning mechanic and installer

Take the first step in your HVAC/R career with this 19-credit-hour certificate program designed to provide you with the skills necessary to perform preventative maintenance and repairs to residential heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems.

The six courses in this program emphasize practical application for performing system diagnostics and developing troubleshooting techniques.

This certificate provides a strong introduction to Harper College’s HVAC/R program, which is highly regarded by local employers.

Classes are taught in Harper’s state-of-the-art HVAC/R Open Lab, where you’ll work with more than 70 pieces of commercial and residential equipment.

Credit earned for this program can be applied to Harper’s Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Technology Degree AAS Degree.

Certificate program requirements

This 19 credit-hour certificate program is designed provide students the skills set to perform preventative maintenance and repairs to residential heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Emphasis is placed on practical application to perform system diagnostics and develop troubleshooting techniques.


Number Course Title Credits
ELT 110 4

Description: Introduces fundamentals of electricity and magnetism. Covers basic electrical laws and principles. Presents electrical quantities, units, symbols and notation. Examines foundational electronic materials and components. Presents elementary DC (direct current) and AC (alternating current) network analysis, key semiconductor devices, and simple analog and digital circuits. Also covers electrical safety considerations, laboratory instrumentation and test and measurement techniques.

HVA 101 3

Description: Introduces vocabulary, concepts and scientific principles used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. Studies theories on heat laws, pressures, matter, and energy; examines refrigerant chemistry and the refrigeration cycle. Covers proper refrigerant management techniques and safe practices. Emphasizes practical application, troubleshooting techniques, measuring and testing the operation of the basic refrigeration cycle; including working with ACR copper tubing, tools, and instruments. (formerly RAC 101)

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in ELT 110 (Introductory Electronics) and MTH 097 (Basic Technical Mathematics) with grades of C or better, or consent of coordinator.

HVA 103 3

Description: Introduces vocabulary, concepts and scientific principles used in the heating industry. Studies heat laws, heat transfer, and examines fundamentals of the combustion process. Covers gas, oil, and electric forced-air systems for residential comfort heating. Emphasizes practical application for testing and adjusting system performance, troubleshooting electrical systems and control, working with gas pipe, preventative maintenance, service and repair. (formerly RAC 103)

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in ELT 110 (Introductory Electronics) with a grade of C or better, or consent of coordinator.

HVA 105 3

Description: Introduces electrical principles and concepts, electrical safety, electrical controls and electrical wiring diagrams utilized in residential and light commercial HVAC systems. Covers electrical symbols, Ohms' Law, series and parallel circuits, power distribution, magnetism, transformers, switches, relays, contactors, AC motors, motor starters and capacitors. Emphasizes the practical application for electrical system diagnosing; measuring volts, ohms and amps; troubleshooting, testing and adjusting electrical controls; interpreting wiring schematics, and wiring electrical circuits. (formerly RAC 105)

Prerequisite: ELT 110 (Introductory Electronics) and MTH 097 (Basic Technical Mathematics) with grades of C or better.

HVA 108 3

Description: Builds on concepts learned in HVA 101 and HVA 105. Introduces the application of the refrigeration cycle in respect to small appliances. Covers refrigerators, air conditioning and fundamentals of heat pump operations. Reviews work-safe practices, electrical system diagnostics, proper refrigerant handling and charging techniques, brazing and soldering copper tubing. Emphasizes practical application, operation, installation, maintenance, service and repairs.(formerly RAC 108)

Prerequisite: HVA 101 with a grade of C or better, and prior or concurrent enrollment in HVA 105 with a grade of C or better.

MTH 097 1 3

Description: Reviews arithmetic, introduces basic algebraic and right triangle trigonometric techniques. Includes arithmetic, elementary algebra, geometry, ratio and proportions, measurements, right triangle trigonometry and their application to solve a variety of career and technical problems. Draws practical problems the student’s career area, including emergency services, graphic communications, building trades, culinary arts and information technology. Intended for students pursuing Harper degrees and certificates in career program fields. This course: is not transferable, does not satisfy the prerequisite for any other mathematics course, and does not satisfy any general education requirements.

1 - Students may take MTH 097, MTH 101, MTH 103, or higher.

Related programs

Students interested in HVAC/R may also be interested in:  


Next steps

For more information about residential HVAC/R training, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.