How Virtual Manifold Gauges on a Phone Help HVAC Contractors

January 24, 2023
Phone displays gauge detailing low liquid pressure line for air conditioner located on map

Let’s be honest, good HVAC technicians are hard to find these days and keeping good technicians on staff can be a challenge in its own right. Still there is light at the end of the tech shortage tunnel with technology that helps to boost productivity and enable real-time collaboration for your elite team of HVAC professionals.

When it comes to HVAC gauges it is one thing to get helpful digital readings when onsite at a client’s home or business, however virtual gauges are completely next level. Virtual gauges allow HVAC technicians the flexibility to view equipment readings, wherever they are, from a phone or computer - even before they arrive at the client’s location. With remote access to equipment readings for gauges, temperature-and even amperage-technicians can diagnose potential system performance issues and prepare well in advance for their onsite jobs and daily truck rolls.

Virtual gauges also come with the added advantage of being connected to a data intelligence platform that provides both current and historical data. This visibility into the past and present equipment performance gives technicians a complete picture of what is happening with the equipment over time-whether it’s a few hours, days, months or years.

With this enhanced, data-driven visibility, techs can better determine whether an issue is consistent, or triggered by certain conditions. They can also work collaboratively to solve more complex system issues. Indeed, good technology can never replace a good technician, however, it can certainly make a technician’s job easier, and your HVAC business more efficient and profitable.


Real World Application:

A Midnight Mystery

A customer’s system was freezing up in the wee hours of the morning and although their HVAC contractor had already changed a few things on the system, it was still happening. This mystery needed history.

The contractor determined that he needed to get readings on precisely when the freeze was taking place. He also concluded that he would need to review all the available data and conditions before, during and after the freeze event took place in order to diagnose exactly what was causing the problem.

With a Sentree remote A/C monitoring system installed, to provide live virtual gauges and historical data, the contractor was able to view runtime info, as well as minute by minute readings for the pressures, superheat and subcool throughout the night. The data uncovered that the system was running all night, non-stop which was causing the system to freeze up.

With this in-depth system performance intel, the contractor was able to trace the issue to the homeowner’s programmable thermostat that was automatically decreasing the set temperature to a very low set point during the night and triggering the event. With a clear view of the current and historical data, the contractor was able to identify the root issue causing the system to both run non-stop, and freeze up. After a quick readjustment of the thermostat, the system was up and running again. Mystery solved!


Virtual gauges are a part of a larger HVAC technology solution known as remote A/C monitoring that provides all of the following advantages:  

  • virtual gauges and readings for your team to remotely diagnose equipment issues
  • real-time and historical A/C performance data to assign technicians and plan for truck rolls
  • key customer business intelligence data to plan for repair service, replacement parts and new system sales
  • instant equipment alerts to get in touch with clients before they call your competition

Beyond these key benefits, remote A/C monitoring helps HVAC businesses drive efficiencies and scale in major mission critical areas including:

  • client retention
  • brand reputation
  • team performance
  • operational excellence
See first-hand how remote A/C monitoring can boost your HVAC business.