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Best School for Learning HVAC Technology - Denver, CO

Red Rocks Community College, located outside of Denver in Lakewood, CO, has more than 150 programs and a multitude of courses for those interested in earning associate's degrees or certificates. Programs in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC) provide training for both new students and working professionals.

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Red Rocks Community College

Opened in 1969 as part of the new Community College of Denver, the Red Rocks campus took its current name in 1983. It now has campuses in Lakewood and Arvada, each located just a few miles outside of Denver. Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) serves 14,000 students each year, and is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Among RRCC's offerings are associate's degrees and certificates for students interested in career preparation or career change. As part of the Construction Technology Department, the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Department features five Associate of Applied Science degree programs and eight certificate programs. All are updated regularly as energy efficiency requirements and HVAC technologies evolve.

HVAC Programs

Certificate in Refrigeration Levels 1-2

The Level 1 program begins with a 10-hour course covering Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for construction, then moves on to present the fundamentals of refrigeration technology. Theory, systems, refrigeration electricity and refrigerant recovery are covered. Participants are also required to take a course in First Aid and CPR. Graduates may take the Environmental Protection Agency's certification exam. They can also go on to enroll in the Level 2 Refrigeration Certificate program, which includes advanced courses in piping, systems repair and controls.

Certificate in Air Conditioning

Students must take all Refrigeration Level 1 courses as part of this program. An air conditioning (AC) basics course provides students with information about the pipes used in HVAC systems, and practice in using them. Control systems, sheet metal ducting and AC system design are explored in lectures as well as shop classes. Advanced topics cover AC repair and service for both residential and commercial systems. A course on the International Mechanical Code prepares students for the code certification exam.

Certificate in HVAC Fundamentals

This certificate program consists of 30.5 credit hours and provides students with a basic introduction to HVAC technology and systems. In addition to the 10-hour OSHA standards course, students must complete classes in basic refrigeration, electricity, gas heating and CPR.

HVAC Controls Technician Certificate

Introductory courses in this certificate program are similar those found in the previous HVAC fundamentals certificate program. Additional courses teach students about the properties and use of HVAC controls, including pneumatic controls, air conditioning controls, heating controls and refrigeration controls.

Associate of Applied Science in Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration

All courses for the Refrigeration Level 1 Certificate are taken as part of this program. In addition, the structure and control of gas, forced air and hot water heating systems are covered, along with those of AC systems. Participants practice repair and service in shop classes. They must also take selected Construction Technology Department courses in energy, engineering, occupational safety or architecture, and a course on the International Mechanical Code. General education studies round out this 2-year program.

Associate of Applied Science in Hydroponic Heating

As with refrigeration programs, the hydroponic heating program includes both a First Aid and CPR course, as well as the 10-hour OSHA standards course. Studies of hydroponic heating theories, systems and controls follow in both class and laboratory. Of particular importance are hot water, low pressure steam and radiant heating systems. Students also review relevant parts of the International Fuel Gas Code and take 10 hours of construction technology classes.

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