Stay Healthy, Not Hot, While Working Outside This Summer
Schools are out, vacations are under way, and the HVAC busy season is in full swing. Here are five ways techs can keep health a top priority this summer.
By: Mike Moore
For many people, summer marks a time of relaxation and fun, but for HVAC technicians, this busy season can lead to long hours with little time to think about their own well-being.
According to a survey on ways that HVAC companies deal with the busy season, nearly 65% of HVAC companies have their existing teams work longer hours to meet increased demand. With added business contributing to mental and physical exhaustion, even a highly trained tech can forget the basics of personal health and safety.
To keep the busy season enjoyable—and safe—make health a priority this summer. Here are a few ways to stay safe while keeping cool:
- Take hydration breaks. The best way to keep alert and safe this summer is to drink water and electrolyte-rich drinks constantly throughout the day. Getting enough to drink is very important when you work in the heat. Do not wait until you are thirsty to start drinking water. And, no, coffee and energy drinks do not take the place of water. Take water breaks every 15 to 20 minutes to give your body a refreshing pause.
- Wear the proper footwear and attire. The types of clothing you wear have a direct effect on your comfort and safety when working in heated industrial environments. A lightweight, moisture-wicking undershirt will absorb moisture and keep you cool, while your winter fleece will quickly become uncomfortably hot. Choosing the right shoes can also make the difference when it comes to your safety on the job. Safety shoes that avoid electrical shocks and slick spots will help protect you from work-related dangers, while shoes designed for the heat will allow your feet to breathe. Leave your slip-ons at home.
- Stay nimble with exercises and stretches. With more jobs in the day, you're pushing your body more often. Staying nimble is important to your physical safety and your ability to work. Increasing your core, back, and arm strength will further benefit your body for strenuous, long workdays. Yoga might not be your thing, but setting aside five minutes before and after work to stretch your muscles will allow you to stay limber when having to maneuver into tight spaces throughout the day.
- Remember your sunscreen and sunglasses. At the risk of sounding like an over-concerned parent, avoiding sunburns and exposure is important to your long-term health when working outside. Beyond the irritation and discomfort, sunburns also cause you to lose fluids and make it difficult for your body to cool itself. As an added health bonus, sunglasses with UV protection will guard your eyes from damage that can eventually lead to cataracts.
- Take advantage of resources. There are a variety of mobile apps at your fingertips that can speed up some of the simple steps of a jobs. For instance, you can use the barcode scanner on the LennoxPros app to quickly find repair parts and lookup warranty information on Lennox units. Beyond eTools, take advantage of HVAC Training courses to be the best tech you can be.
Mike Moore is the Training Director for HVAC Learning Solutions. For more eTools that can help you get the job done faster, check out the AHRI Residential Matchup Tool and Document Library on LennoxPros.com and the LennoxPros app.
Be at the top of your game for the cooling season. Enroll in the HVAC Learning Solutions course, Advanced AC & Heat Pump Diagnostics, and make sure you have the tools and protective gear for a safe job.
Learn more about the Advanced AC & Heat Pump Diagnostics course.