Staying Safe While Working With Refrigerants
If you are training to be able to service air conditioning systems, you will be working with refrigerants needed to cool down homes and businesses. Working with these hazardous materials means you will need to take safety precautions to ensure you do not become injured during repair. Here are some guidelines for you to follow when learning how to use these materials.
In order to be able to work with refrigerants in the field, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires technicians are certified in proper handling of these hazardous materials. You will need to take an exam which would give you the proper certification if you receive a passing score.
Many commercial HVAC classes through HVAC Technical Institute will prepare students for this exam by going over scenarios where refrigerant is needed. Safety precautions would be taught via textbook and classroom discussion with other students. It is important to learn these procedures in a classroom setting in order to receive the information needed to pass the exam.
Wear Proper Clothing
Depending on the boiling point of the refrigerant being used, different results can occur that can cause injury to you if precautions are not taking. Lower boiling point refrigerants can cause frostbite or eye problems. Higher boiling point refrigerants can cause respiratory and skin problems. It is very important to wear the proper gear when handling these materials. Gloves, safety goggles, long-sleeved shirts and respiratory masks should be worn the entire time these materials are being handled.
Since refrigerants are known to cause destruction to the ozone layer of the atmosphere, special precautions need to be taken when transporting the materials to make sure they do not leak or spill. When refrigerants are in the vicinity, make sure that there is proper ventilation in case of a spill. When a refrigerant spills, it can cause unconsciousness if there is not enough oxygen in the area.
Refrigerants are stored in large cylinders. Make sure that when storing these materials, there is extra room in the cylinder for expansion. Never fill cylinders up to the top or the material could burst through the cylinder if the temperature gets too warm. When using refrigerants, always check the cylinder to recheck the contents so you are sure which type you are working with. When charging refrigerants in an air conditioning system, use gauges to confirm you are using the proper amount of pressure.