Heat Shrink Applications for the HVAC Industry
The market for heat shrink terminals has been growing consistently. We have seen steady increases in this category – over 80% in the past five years. For many working with wiring it is considered the RIGHT way to do a job and ensure it is a permanent solution. Regular nylon crimp terminals have become considered by some as “cheap” or “hack”.
So why has the HVAC industry been slower to adopt heat shrink terminals? They are sometimes perceived as an automotive item, however they are not specific to any one industry. In fact, ANY application of wiring terminals can benefit from the use of heat shrink.
Since most of HVAC wiring isn’t directly exposed to the elements, the sealing aspect of heat shrink isn’t as much of a concern as it is in the automotive market. However, sealing from corrosion is not the only benefit heat shrink offers. Another benefit that heat shrink specifically offer the HVAC market are to ensure a secure, consistent connection that is less reliant on the technician’s skill with a crimper. With heat shrink terminals the sealant better secures the wire preventing wire pull out due to someone tugging/snagging it, or from temperature cycles. Many hours spent tracking down loose or intermittent connections could be avoided by using heat shrink terminals.
One way to maximize the benefits of heat shrink terminals is our 5023F Ratcheting Crimp Tool. It will only release when a proper crimp has been attained. It won’t overcrimp or undercrimp. Overcrimping heat shrink is of particular concern as you can split the heat shrink insulation and the sealant will seep out when heated. This tool removes the need to for a technician to develop that ‘feel’ for a properly crimped terminal.
We have found that as soon as experienced technicians realize the benefits, they prefer working with heat shrink terminals as it ensures they won’t be called back to a job for a repeat complaint. It allows them to offer their customers a higher quality of service and differentiate themselves from the competition.