Updated: Sep 14
I'm a little person. Seriously 5'2 and 120lbs of awesomeness! Most of the time, that's not a huge problem, but in the HVAC field EVERYTHING is designed for 6'2 200lb men with muscles bigger than my thighs. Walking back an extension ladder is hard enough, but when the 4th rung is literally above your head it presents a whole new challenge.
Sometimes we HVAChicks have to create coping mechanisms to deal with the fact that these systems aren't built with us in mind, and the physical harshness of the job on our bodies. Here are some tips and tricks I've learned in the field. Hopefully they will help you too!
'Walking Back' and securing an extension ladder: Click this link!
Reaching into a condensing unit to loosen or tighten compressor bolts: CLIMB ON IN THERE!!!! Your short 'T-Rex arm' will NEVER fully reach to a point where you're comfortable and stamina depends on comfort! If you want to make sure your bolts are as tight as possible, without tearing a ligament or falling off a ladder, climb right on into that condensing unit, scooch down and use that leverage, girl!
Carrying a Compressor or other heavy items: The portable dolly cart in the link below has saved my life! Everything in this job is heavy, only carry when you have to, use this cart when you don't! When you have to carry it to get it into or out of the unit, you can pick up/put down on the cart instead of the ground which makes it much easier to lift with your knees instead of your back! Always carry compressors upright and hold near the bottom, make sure your elbows are bent so as to not strain your shoulder and back muscles!
Checking temperatures in mini splits that are high up on the wall: Invest in Fieldpiece temp sticks! They have a convenient magnet so they stay in place wherever you are taking your readings. Make sure you have a compact, portable step stool in your truck. They are light weight and beat the heck out of carrying a little giant around! See the link below for the one I use!
Carrying Refrigeration jugs: Full Jugs are HEAVY! The best advice I can give is even though when carrying heavy items, our elbows naturally want to straighten, carrying things in a "hanging" position puts extra strain on our ligaments and joints! Instead of swinging the jug at your side with your arm resembling a rubber band, BEND YOUR ELBOW a little bit, using your wrist and shoulder instead of your elbow joint to carry the weight!
Be Kind Hvachicks~ That's what sets us apart<3