This program will provide you with an understanding of the factors involved in designing, building, controlling and maintaining energy-efficient building environmental systems. The first two years of the program will give you practical skills through hands-on projects in the shops. You will be working on a wide range of furnaces, air conditioners, refrigeration equipment and other appliances in our labs.


Program name
Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Technology
3 years (6 semesters)
Starting month
September, January
Ontario College Advanced Diploma
Method of study

Year of Study

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Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 Open
May 2021 N/A
International students
Sept. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 Opens Apr 6, 2020
May 2021 N/A

Full Description

Worker looking at plans

Rising fuel costs, indoor air quality and climate change are all factors in raising awareness of the true cost of energy, and the need for energy-efficient building environmental system design, construction and maintenance.

This program has been developed to address the current and future needs of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R) industry. In the first two years you will study residential and some light commercial systems. In the third year there is an additional focus on commercial systems.

You will develop a firm understanding of the factors involved in designing, building, controlling and maintaining energy-efficient building environmental systems for a wide variety of requirements.

The program covers the basics of air system and hydronic (water) system theory, required to design distribution systems and select appropriate fans, pumps, heating and cooling plants, and system controls for larger buildings.

The program follows industry-standard design practices for environmentally responsible and energy-efficient residential, commercial and industrial systems, as established by the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute (HRAI), the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Canada Green Building Council.

Part Time Study Options

Part-time study options are not available for this program; however, our Continuing Education department offers evening courses and part-time certificate programs in Building/Construction Technologies. See

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Relate effectively to heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration supervisors, coworkers and customers.
  2. Comply with applicable acts, regulations, legislation, and codes to maintain personal and public safety.
  3. Solve scientific, mathematical, and engineering problems related to designing, operating, and installing energy systems for commercial and industrial complexes.
  4. Prepare and analyze detailed drawings, and compile technical specifications for energy systems.
  5. Design, operate, and install energy systems for commercial and industrial complexes.
  6. Develop strategies for ongoing personal and professional development that lead to enhanced work performance and career opportunities, and keep pace with industry changes.

Required Courses

Printable Curriculum Planner PDF icon


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
HVAC1001Refrigeration Theory I
HVAC1006Electrical Fundamentals for HVAC
HVAC1018Gas Technician III
GSCI1022Building Science and the Environment
MATH1136Mathematics for Building Technologies 1
COMM1007College English


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
HVAC1003Refrigeration Laboratory Applications
HVAC1008Electrical Circuit Analysis for HVAC
HVAC1016Gas Technician II (Part A)
HVAC1022Understanding Construction Drawings
HVAC2003Refrigeration Theory II
MATH1146Mathematics for Building Technologies 2
GNEDGeneral Education Elective


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
HVAC1017Gas Technician II (Part B)
HVAC2001Residential HVAC System Design
HVAC2012Air Conditioning Theory
HVAC2014Building Code for HVAC
GNEDGeneral Education Elective


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
HVAC1021Gas Technician II (Part C)
HVAC2006Air Conditioning Laboratory Applications
HVAC2013HVAC Computer Applications
COMM1113Professional Communications for Building Technologies
GNEDGeneral Education Elective


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
HVAC3010Commercial Load Estimating
HVAC3011Air Distribution Design
HVAC3012Hydronic System Design
HVAC3020Quantity Surveying
BLDG3052Construction Business Management


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
HVAC3013AutoCAD for HVAC
HVAC3014Building Environment Systems Control Laboratory
HVAC3015Commercial Refrigeration System Design
HVAC3016Commercial/Industrial Ventilation System Design
HVAC3017Mechanical Systems Estimating
BLDG2022Law and Construction Contracts

Detailed course outlines

General Education Electives

Career Options

On successful completion of this program, students will have sufficient training to challenge the Gas Fitter 2 provincial qualification exam** and if successful (75% passing grade) obtain the Gas Fitter 2 certification.

As well, in the Building Code for HVAC (HVAC 2014) course delivered in Semester 3, we assist students in preparing to challenge the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Housing HVAC House exam.* Individuals who are successful (75% passing grade) can use this qualification towards obtaining their Building Code Identification Number (BCIN)**.

*Please note that in addition to passing the HVAC House exam, there are further requirements to qualify for a Building Code Identification Number. For more information on the Building Code Identification Number, please visit the Ontario Building Code website.

** The above mentioned qualification exams are administered by the Province of Ontario. George Brown College is not responsible for the administration and/or marking of these exams.

Your Career

Successful graduates of this advanced diploma program may find employment opportunities in a broad range of disciplines within the industry, including:

  • Consulting engineering and architectural firms
  • Design/build contractors
  • School boards
  • Commercial refrigeration installation and maintenance companies
  • Building automation and control companies
  • Building maintenance
  • HVAC/R manufacturing, sales and distribution companies

Graduates may also pursue management careers in the mechanical sector of the construction industry or opt to become self-employed specialty contractors.


$3,774.00 *

Additional Cost

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in Fall 2019. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2020 and at later dates.

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

Financial Assistance

This program is approved for OSAP funding, provided the applicant meets OSAP eligibility criteria.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, including the required courses, and any other selection criteria outlined below.

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent**
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 11 Math (M or U) or Grade 12 (C or U)

** Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and no OSSD)

Mature Students may take the Admissions Assessment for English and Math, OR may consider upgrading to achieve the credit(s) needed in English and Math.

Please note that George Brown is committed to ensuring that applicants will succeed in their program of choice and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants may be required to have grades higher than the minimum requirements stated.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit for more information.

International Students

Visit the International Admissions page for more information.

Apply to

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

Contact Us

School of Apprenticeship and Skilled Trades

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 6711


Office: Casa Loma Campus, Room E308

For more information about George Brown College, you may also call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

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    George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.