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EFCTS Student First to Pursue a New Specialized Path in HVAC Industry

Hunter Langbein sits in the CDC control room of his HVAC lab with computers and controllers lining his desk and wall.

Hunter Langbein, a senior from Teays Valley High School, is making history. He is the first student at Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools to explore Direct Digital Control (DDC) systems as part of the district’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program at Fairfield Career Center. 

DDC systems combine HVAC programming and technology skills so the heating and cooling for large manufacturing facilities and other buildings can be controlled from a single system, creating greater efficiencies. Experience in implementing automated control systems sets students like Langbein apart and provides a different skill set apart from traditional installation, repair and preventative care.

This is a niche part of the HVAC industry that Langbein said will increase his earning potential. Based on information through ZipRecruiter, top earners in this segment of the field bring home as much as six figures annually. Eastland-Fairfield plans to expand this specialized part of its HVAC program in the coming years. According to industry leader Carrier, this will be the first high school program of its kind in the country.

“HVAC is a broad career field. Between residential and commercial, I know there will always be a need for it,” said Langbein about why he selected Eastland-Fairfield’s HVAC program after researching various career paths. 

Langbein has also gained introductory experience through the district's Work Based Learning program, which allowed him to attend his mandatory classes before heading off to work for Custom Controls Group, based in Gahanna, Ohio, each day. During his senior year he worked approximately 20 hours per week, where he had been primarily responsible for ordering packages and managing inventory. He said familiarizing himself with the parts so he knows how to apply them to his future work is a key component in the training process. 

“I’m just a sponge right now, learning how to install censors and working on the sequencing of operations. I like knowing that if you put in the work and effort at Eastland-Fairfield, you’ll find a job, and a good paying one at that,” said Langbein. “Once I’m established in my career, I plan to pay it forward by returning to teach HVAC students.”

His five-year plan includes building his own home, and within the next 10 years he hopes to be a controls engineer helping make Custom Controls Group one of the best control companies in the nation. 

To learn more about Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools and the HVAC program, visit