Three Important Safety Considerations When Working On An AC Unit

Posted on: 19 November 2020

If you are an HVAC contractor or technician, or anyone working on an air conditioning unit for repair or maintenance, then it's important to keep yourself safe. Air conditioning repair and maintenance can be difficult at the best of times, and dangerous if the proper safety precautions aren't taken. It's important to don gloves when handling the sharp metal, avoid any leaking coolant, and to make sure to keep yourself safe from electricity.

Sharp Metal

Fabricated sheet metal is frequently used to build ductwork and other parts of an air conditioning system, particularly if any pre-fabricated ductwork cannot handle any bends or turns that may be present in the space surrounding the air conditioner unit. This metal is sharp, which makes HVAC and related fields one of the many trades that require gloves for safety. The sharpness of the sheet metal can differ from piece to piece, and there are ways to dull the edges if need be. However, there's always a chance that the edges aren't as dull as you originally thought. Additionally, gloves are important due to the chance that the air conditioning unit has coolant leaking from its coils.


Air conditioners cool the air that runs through them by heating and cooling coolant repeatedly from a liquid to a gas within the air conditioning coils. Sometimes, air conditioners do not work properly because the coils that house the coolant are broken or decayed to the point where the coolant cannot be effectively heated or cooled. At these times, the coolant may leak from the unit. Coolant is dangerous to have on your skin as a liquid and to breathe as a gas. Make sure to keep gloves on while you work, as well as long sleeves and pants. If you suspect a coolant leak, consider donning a mask and eye protection.


Finally, any air conditioning unit relies on electricity to function, and this electrical element presents its own obvious dangers. In fact, this electrical danger, combined with the sharp fabricated metal edges and the coolant dangers, is why many experts recommend that you allow a professional HVAC contractor to do the work you need. Anyone working with electric components or wiring needs to have a solid understanding of the components they're working with as well as how to use voltage meters in order to prevent deadly electric shocks or housefires.

Air conditioning units are typically low maintenance, but when they do need to be repaired it can be dangerous. When working on an AC unit, wear gloves, long sleeves, long pants, and make sure you have all the electrical-safety tools you need to keep you and the household safe. If you aren't comfortable working on an AC unit, call a professional and let them do the work.


Summer is Upon Us – Is Your AC Working?

Hi. My name is Laurie Waters. The HVAC contractor was just out at our house last week and did I ever get a lesson from him. You see, we had a warm spell hit and I went to turn our air conditioning on for the first time since last summer. Much to my dismay, it wasn’t working. All I got was a blast of warm air. The fan was bringing the outdoor heat inside. Thank goodness it wasn’t anything major. My unit needed Freon. While he was here, the contractor taught me how to do some routine maintenance around my unit, vents, and filters. I’m going to share this information with you. I hope you find it to be useful.

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