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Tips for HVAC Techs Working in the Summer Heat

hvac techs staying cool in summer

Heading into the summer season brings much anticipation for HVAC technicians. Not only is summer the busiest season, it’s also accompanied by the hottest temperatures and most hazardous working conditions. It’s crucial for technicians to exercise caution when working in extreme heat.

Technicians should be aware of the various health hazards that can come with overexertion in the heat. Following are a few tips for technicians on combating the heat and staying safe while on the job.

Read more in: Career Outlook for an HVAC Technician.

Stay Hydrated

While it sounds like a given, many people don’t realize how much water intake you actually need to stay hydrated on a hot day. This is especially true when performing physically demanding work like HVAC. Fluid loss from excessive sweating can result in dehydration.

Dehydration is more detrimental than most people realize. Its results can be far worse for your health than feeling extreme thirst. Dehydration can actually impair cognitive function, physical performance, and cause serious health conditions like heatstroke.

Begin drinking water throughout the work day – before you end up in a cramped attic or crawl space. Invest in a large insulated water bottle that keeps your water cool. There are some water bottles that will hold up to 80 ounces! You may also want to consider keeping a cooler in your work truck filled with extra water in case you run out.

Dress for the Weather

Choose to work in lightweight and breathable clothing whenever possible. Aside from worksites where certain PPE is necessary, HVAC technicians should dress with the weather in mind.

When you find yourself in a hot attic, crawl space, or outdoors in the open sun, what you are wearing makes a noticeable difference. Consider wearing sunglasses and hats with a wide brim on days where you’ll work outside. Also remember to use plentiful sunscreen with a high SPF to save exposed skin from harmful UV rays.

While the weather is not within your control, you can set yourself up for a manageable day by wearing the right clothing.

Plan Your Schedule

Although technicians are not always in control of when jobs are scheduled, planning outdoor jobs for certain periods of the day can be beneficial. If an upcoming job requires you to work in a hot and cramped area, or outdoors, it may be best to schedule it during the morning or an evening when the weather is cooler.

Include adequate breaks while working. Shaded or air conditioned areas to rest and reset will be ideal. Some technicians find they enjoy taking breaks in their work truck with air conditioning and extra fans.

Being aware of certain weather conditions can also help you plan your week accordingly. Whether it’s selecting the right attire, or packing the essentials like cooling towels, or portable fans and air conditioners, staying on top of the forecast can make a significant difference on that extra-hot day.

Know Your Limits

If the heat ever becomes too intense, know when to call it quits. While finishing the job and doing it well is important, safety should always take precedence. Even the most dedicated technicians are not immune to heatstroke, or other heat-induced medical complications.

Try modifying your work practices whenever possible to improve your working conditions. If there are any methods for you to limit your sun exposure, try doing so. Seek shade when you can, and be sure you have enough sunscreen applied. If it’s possible, try positioning yourself to avoid prolonged sun exposure.

Also, be aware of any changes in how you feel. If you or a colleague feel light headed, nauseous, an increased heart beat, or confusion, stop the job and seek medical treatment immediately.

Keeping Your Worksite Cool and Safe This Summer 

Caution in the summer isn’t solely about a technician’s comfort; it's essential for your well-being. Dehydration reduces your focus, and can result in confusion, fatigue, drowsiness, and an increased risk of hazardous mistakes. If you’re considering a career as an HVAC technician but are concerned about the hot working conditions, rest assured! There are many strategies technicians use to counteract the summer heat while still enjoying the lucrative pay that comes with working during the busiest season.

Interested in becoming an HVAC technician? Find an HVAC trade school near you to get started today!

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