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Academy HVAC Students Build Freezer Equipment

Temperatures in one freezer fell below zero degrees

Two HVAC students next to a compress and condenser    A cabinet turned into a freezer

HVAC students in Nick DeBlanco’s class at Milliken Tech are building freezer apparatus to learn the technical side of what makes them work. This includes recovering, or safely removing, refrigerant from old systems, rebuilding parts with torches to braze and connect lines, monitoring pressure, and seeing how cold their new systems get. Two students constructed a homemade freezer from an insulated wood cabinet that got as cold as -10 degrees. Many students are also working toward their EPA certifications, which allow them to handle refrigerants.

Two HVAC students braze copper pipes  

There are four classifications of federal EPA 608 Certifications: A general knowledge and regulation section that all test takers are required to pass, and three other sections that vary in content based upon equipment type and size. HVAC professionals can earn one or every certification, known as a Universal Certification.


Said DeBlanco, “One of the best ways to learn about something and truly master its inner workings, is to take it apart and put it back together, or to build one yourself. Through a step-by-step process, this has taught my students how each part of a basic freezer interfaces with the others and ways to troubleshoot when something may not work. They also understand the value of entering the workforce equipped with sought-after industry certifications.”


The Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology, referred to as the Academy, is the Career and Technical Education Program of Eastern Suffolk BOCES and has locations in Bellport, Oakdale, and Riverhead. Milliken Tech is located on the Oakdale campus.