I swear that the guy who invented roof top units never lived in a northern climate area in winter or the deep south or southwest in summer. Since I am a northerner, I especially have a great dislike for the person who invented roof top heating equipment.
Just think about it — a heating unit that can only be worked on outside in whatever mother nature has to offer. It could be 40 degrees or 40 degrees below zero and the poor service tech has to get the unit working for the customer despite concern for his own comfort and well-being. He may have to trudge through snow on the roof, and , depending on the make, lay down in the snow to work on the heating section — not fun.
Now I deal with contractors in Chicago, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota, and we all know what a northern mid-west winter is like. I worked 25 years in the field as a service tech before becoming a tech support person for a manufacturer, and I know what it is to have to get on a roof in a mid-west winter and get the heat going. Even as a manufacturer tech support person, I still go on roofs and help contractors who can’t seem to solve a problem.
Now, this winter has been especially brutal on service techs in this area. It is the 3rd snowiest winter on record in Chicago and one of the coldest winters on record in Chicago, yet, despite setting records, the service tech still puts on his insulated coveralls, his Sorel insulated boots, his long under wear, his thermal socks, his knit hat and whatever else he can do to try to keep warm on a roof at 10 degrees with a -30 degree wind chill but the problem still remains of trying to keep his hands warm.
I don’t know about you, but I just can’t seem to work with heavy warm gloves on. I have to be able to touch and feel things and see what is happening. Because of this, the hands become the most vulnerable part of a service tech working on a roof top unit in winter. Yet despite this, they manage to do their jobs and get the unit working and the customer warm.
So, I dedicate this post to all the service techs who brave the elements, climb up the ladders, trudge through the snow, carry a lot of winter weather clothing gear in their trucks, and get the heat restored for their customers without regard for their own comfort.
These are the unsung heroes in our industry. These are the persons who take care of their company’s customers. These are the personnel who have committed to being the best.
To borrow a line from the Marines — these are The Few, The Proud, and The Strong and I thank every one of them for their commitment to our industry despite some (probably well meaning) engineer who thought it would be a good idea to put heating equipment on a roof in winter and cooling equipment on a roof in the hottest of summers conditions and developed roof top equipment.
All of you who work on this type of equipment are my heroes !!!