Air-cond service sector seeks to reopen with new safety SOP

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Association (Macra) has come up with a proposed standard operating procedure to safeguard its workers and the public so that they will be allowed to operate and conduct repairs in households.

Its business development manager Chine Wai Tong said they would like to have a dialogue with the relevant government agency in order to have a clear guideline on whether the domestic sector could operate where services or repairs could be conducted.

“We have also come up with a proposed SOP in order to safeguard the workers and the public in order for them to start servicing the domestic sector,” he said yesterday.

Chine said the air-conditioning sector is essential to conduct services and repairs in households as people have been working from home since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Residents require a conducive environment to work and should any air-conditioning system fail, it will create a non-conducive environment.

“It is also essential to ensure the indoor air quality is good as unhealthy indoor air will promote the growth of bacteria and viruses,” he added.

Air-conditioning servicing for the commercial sector should be allowed to operate too, Chine said, as the industry cannot be shut down any further.

“We have to be prepared to live with Covid-19.

“If the industry is still shut it will cost a lot of businesses to go bankrupt while the domestic (household) sector would also suffer.

“That is the reason why we have already come up with a proposed SOP to minimise the risk in order for the industry to operate in the domestic and commercial level,” he said.

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (Ashrae) Malaysia chapter president Ng Wen Bin said since the pandemic people were more concerned about air quality than ever before.

“It’s left many people wondering about the safest way to handle air-conditioning needs,” he said.

With fears of the spread of Covid-19 still running high, Ng added that scheduling air-conditioning services when it is not an immediate need is not recommended.

However, he said, there are three scenarios that may warrant a visit from a technician – the air-conditioning unit isn’t working, the need to tune-up the air-conditioner for better electricity and efficiency, and to service and clean the air-conditioner for better air quality.

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