Leading air conditioning and refrigeration groups have called on federal, state, and local authorities to grant “essential business” status to the sector’s technicians and engineers.
The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has joined with nine other organisations, representing the HVACR and water heating equipment manufacturers, contractors, technicians, engineers, plumbers, and sheet metal contractors in issuing a statement to governmental organisations grappling with travel and personal interaction restrictions designed to prevent the spread of infection.
The groups argue that its engineers are vital to “keeping the American people productive, healthy, and comfortable in these trying times”.
In an open letter to federal, state, and local officials, the groups state: “While citizens are coping with a variety of unforeseen and unusual restrictions, it is essential that they are able to maintain their HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment. Aside from providing comfort, this equipment is vital for health and safety in addition to productivity, particularly for water heating, air filtration and food and medical supply preservation, especially in this time of quarantine. When equipment fails, technicians must be able to repair or replace it as quickly as possible.”
“Accordingly, as states and local jurisdictions considering their health crisis travel restriction plans, we respectfully request that HVACR technicians and engineers be considered essential businesses,” the statement concludes.
Organisations signing the statement are: the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA); the Heating, Airconditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI); the Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA); North American Technician Excellence (NATE); the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC), the Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA); the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI); ASHRAE; and the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA).