The winter’s frigidly cold temperatures have made the jobs of HVAC techs more difficult, as well as exceedingly important. For people whose heating units broke down in February in Cleveland, when record lows were recording, the heating, ventilation and air conditioner man or woman was a welcomed sight.
Heating repair technicians, however, had their share of obstacles in the harsh winter, during shifts of up to 14 hours. For example, they had to be extremely cautious as they set up their ladders as icy patches on the ground can cause ladders to skip out on them. Thus, many HVAC techs got creative by backing up their van to set the ladder against its tire at the location for a firmer hold.
This tip shared by technician Doug Braford on a recent NPR interview was one of many. Braford went on to say that he had to find balance between setting up the ladder quickly for a long day ahead and also wanting to be safe.
In addition, Braford explained that the uniform for a heating, ventilation and air conditioner technician was a tricky one in the severe winter conditions. Given the chilly temps outdoors, layers of warm clothing was a great choice, generally.
However, when he entered a warm building, he would begin to sweat under the layers, and then, once he went back outdoors it felt extra cold because clothing layers were now drenched in sweat. To help compensate, he brought along dry socks to put on when this happened.
Regarding his hands, Braford explained that as long as he kept moving it was a way to keep his hands from becoming so cold that they didn’t seem to work anymore. Other ways that HVAC technicians kept their fingers warm outdoors were to wear electric gloves and even motorcycle gear. Body suits with heat packs prove useful for these types of conditions too.
Doug Braford also joked in the NPR interview that facial hair, such as the beard of Mel Gibson, would be help protect facial skin against the harsh temperatures. Thank you to HVAC techs, including Doug Braford of Braford Heating and Cooling, for helping warm homes around the Cleveland area and beyond.