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Heating and Cooling workers adjust to protect themselves against COVID-19

Jaclyn Harold
Created: April 01, 2020 06:44 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- When it comes to essential workers food service and public safety personnel maybe some of the people that come to mind, but employees in the heating and cooling industry are also listed as essential. 

"Furnaces can have problems with leaking carbon monoxide and gases, so if you were to have something like that happen that would be dangerous for somebody in their home," said Nicole Haley, the sales Manager at Haley Comfort Heating and Cooling.

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The staff isn't considered on the front-lines like healthcare workers, but the sales representatives encounter customers in the store, and technicians can visit several homes each day. Which still leaves the possibility of exposure open.

"Most of our interactions are typically in a home so when we're diagnosing a problem to figure out what is wrong with a furnace we would have technicians come out to the house," said Haley.

As COVID-19 cases rise, and more Minnesotans find themselves working from home, Fixing a furnace or replacing a cooling system is not the kind of job that can be done virtually. Haley said the company can use FaceTime and other digital avenues to talk with customers about concerns and options before making a home visit. 

If maintenance needs to be done inside the home, technicians are using a little extra precaution to do their part in keeping the community safe.  

"Before we go into a customer's home we're always calling them the day before to make sure no one has traveled or that there's nobody with any symptoms for our technician's safety and our employees as well. We're also asking the customers just that they go to another room while we're performing any of the service work so they're not in the same area," said Haley.

The sales manager said plumbing is another essential service.


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