Course Description

Basic Furnace teaches students how to identify, maintain, and trouble shoot the most common heating and air conditioning systems encountered while performing weatherization measures. Students leave with an understanding of ventilation requirements for combustion appliances, as well as a firm grasp of the health and safety implications of improper installation, maintenance, and use. The course follows the Department for Energy’s standardized curriculum for Heating Systems for Energy Auditors/Inspectors and aligns with HVAC tasks under the NREL Job Task Analyses for Energy Auditor and Quality Control Inspector. The structure of the course includes lecture, dialogue, and practical experience through hands-on skill sets.

This course has 32 contact hours and can qualify as 16 continuing education units (CEU) toward Home Energy Professional Recertification.

Course Objectives

  • Understand how heating systems work
  • Know the effects of Carbon Monoxide on home inhabitants and be able to measure it
  • Identify the combustion appliance zone (CAZ)
  • Identify different types of furnaces and hot water heaters
  • Inspect ventilation systems and analyze drafts
  • Perform duct diagnostic test (pressure pan and duct blaster)
  • Perform worst case CAZ depressurization test
  • Utilize the furnace lab to give students practical understanding
  • Develop confidence troubleshooting a working furnace
  • Be familiar with vent sizing
  • Evaluate combustion through basic analysis and inspection
  • Identify spillage, gas leaks, and complete thorough visual inspection of appliance

Organization of Course

This is a lecture-lab course focused on "hands-on" learning in our state of the art furnace training facility. Students will learn topics in the classroom and then immediately apply those concepts in practice on actual working furnaces. Student participation in discussions in the classroom and in the lab exercises is very important. This course has a written final exam and student participation is graded as pass/fail.

Grading Criteria and Passing Score

The final exam is a written test and each student must pass with an 70% score or higher. Students that do not pass will be allowed to retake the exam in accordance with the Montana Weatherization Training Center retesting policy.


  • Private HVAC Contractors
  • Weatherization Furnace Technicians
  • Weatherization Professionals
  • Energy Auditors
  • Program Managers

Course Fees

  • $750 for the public
  • Free for associates of the Montana Weatherization Workforce

For additional information, please contact the Center at [email protected] or you can call (406) 586-0070.