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Thread: Too weak?

  1. #1
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    Too weak?

    Im considering going into the HVAC field and was wondering how much weight youd need to be able to lift. Im a 20 year old female who works out regularly, but can really only lift up to 30 pounds by myself.

  2. #2
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    That depends on what part of this field you want to get into. If you're looking at field work like install or service that might be difficult. My tool bag weighs about 40# and my tool boxes probably weigh twice that. You'd probably have to find a position that has you paired up with other workers the majority of the time. I'm curious to hear others' opinions.
    "If common sense was so common, everyone would have it."

  3. #3
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    Just keep lifting.

    There are women techs in this trade that hold their own. Just dont act like you have to prove yourself. Dont be afraid to ask for help.

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  5. #4
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    My main tool bag is on a dolly. I use a rope to lift them to the roof, it makes it much easier. Jobs with heavy parts are two person anyway. You should have nothing to prove, it's not a competition. If you find yourself with a good company you will all work as a team. If you find it hard at the beginning to lift things you will probably find you build the muscles up if you need them over the first year. I think you will be fine.

    When I do service work I don't lug a bag with me. I grab the tools I know I will need and stick them in my pocket, It's very little weight. Service calls I bring a hand bag of basic tools that I sling over my shoulder, repairs I bring the big bag that gets pulled around on the dolly. I can lift it just fine but why wear myself out, if I wear myself out lugging tools around then I won't have any energy to play with the kids when I get home, there's just no need for that. I move tanks and bottles on the dolly also.

    A ladder might be your biggest challenge. They can be awkward. But big ladders get set up with two people and I've set them up with some very small fellas before. Again, I think you will be fine.


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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shun View Post
    I’m considering going into the HVAC field and was wondering how much weight you’d need to be able to lift. I’m a 20 year old female who works out regularly, but can really only lift up to 30 pounds by myself.
    A new 25 pound bottle of R410A will weigh more than 30 pounds, not much over, but a little over. So might want to start working on lifting 30 plus pounds with 1 arm.

    If you only do residential HVAC, you won't have to lift much more that that by yourself. But every so often you will, when changing out a compressor.
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shun View Post
    Im considering going into the HVAC field and was wondering how much weight youd need to be able to lift. Im a 20 year old female who works out regularly, but can really only lift up to 30 pounds by myself.
    Why are you considering HVAC, and what kind of HVAC are you thinking of doing? HVAC is a huge field consisting of everything from residential to restaurant refrigeration to huge commercial stuff.

    Most of HVAC can be dirty, miserable work at times. For the right person who likes a challenge, it can be rewarding though.

    There are a few segments of HVAC that are physically less demanding though. Controls and energy management system techs come to mind. They often walk around with just a laptop computer and a volt meter. Being a pipe insulator is also easier work that you might be able to get into. It's probably not fun working with fiberglass insulation every day, but you do suit up for it and I hear it pays pretty well.

    Residential service could also be a little easier. I might worry about sending someone like you alone into strangers houses though, but I guess you could carry some pepper spray with you or something.

    Please come back and let us know more about what you're thinking about.
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  9. #8
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    I used to be 'strong like bull' and lift and move very heavy things (frigging radiators). As I got older I work smarter, not harder. Same with lifting.
    Are you sure about 20 lbs? A gallon of water is 8.3 lbs. A gallon in each hand and you're almost maxed out? You're probably a lot stronger than you think.

    Although 20 lbs means you can't even go around in an office building changing filters because you may not be able to carry the ladder.
    Is 20-30 lbs due to an injury or some physical limitation? If not, strength training, improving your core is not that hard and you'll easily see some great results.
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  10. #9
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    Go for it, but you need to be willing to learn (ask questions & "Listen"), do what you are told, not be affraid of getting dirty, and working hot or cold conditions and everything in between. To coin a phrase: Work smarter not harder! I really do believe in equal employment.

  11. #10
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    The world of controls and automation offers a career in a HVAC-related field without lugging a heavy tool box or cans of refrigerant.

    My laptop backpack does weigh about 30 lbs, however.

    Just a thought about an option.

    Ken

  12. #11
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    I am only a HVACt student but as a father of two daughters I would say go for it. I spent 26yrs in the Air Force in a career field dominated by men but some of the best I worked with were women. There is no doubt in my mind that you could enter this career field and do well. There are so many aspects to this field, you would undoubtedly find one that suited your strengths and abilities.

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  14. #12
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    A good technician works smart, not hard. Leverage is your best friend. Finding methods to lift/move things using mechanical advantage (leverage) is what it's all about no matter who your are or your age.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

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  16. #13
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    I am a 24 year old woman working as an install tech in the HVAC field. At first its a little awkward learning how to lift an evaporator coil or something but either way I work with a partner almost every day. It would be impossible to get a system up into an attic by myself and would be extremely high risk for injury. But with two people its really not that hard. I try not to lift too many condensers onto the hand truck by myself unless its a smaller system. We work in tough conditions, attics cramped and up to 150+ degrees. But the pay is decent (as I only have a little less than a year experience so far) and I have already learned tons about HVAC systems. Still have a very long way to go.

    I have always played sports or done weightlifting but Im not fit by any means. I weigh 220 lbs and do the same work all the other guys here do. If you dont think you would be well suited to install, try to find somewhere willing to show you the ropes on the service side. Still work to be done, just not as hard labor so often. Maybe a compressor or evaporator coil changeout now and then.


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