Crane Safety for Rooftop HVAC Installation

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If your air conditioner or heat pump is located on the roof of your home, you may have wondered how it got up there —and, more importantly, how it will be replaced when it’s time for a new one. The fact of the matter is that rooftop installation of an HVAC unit requires a skilled, competent team of professionals that is committed to both quality and safety. The team will consist of both your AC contractor and a crane service that will work together to ensure that both you and your property are safe, following strict, well-defined protocols.

The Work Zone

It’s natural to get excited when a big crane pulls up. You may even see neighbors and other onlookers who want to watch the action or even take photos. While marveling at the mechanics is not a problem, it’s important that a large area is cleared around the path of the crane’s load (the HVAC unit).

Rigging the Unit

Typically, it’s the HVAC contractor who is responsible for rigging the unit before it is craned as they are the individuals who have the most knowledge of it. A standard home unit weighs hundreds of pounds, so it’s important that it is securely attached with straps and hooks to ensure that it is lifted safely and not damaged while it is being lifted. It’s not worth damaging a unit or risking safety if the correct equipment isn’t available.

Safety on the Roof

Reputable, experienced HVAC contractors are very comfortable working on roofs, but they are always conscientious, moving slowly and deliberately to avoid falling or making a costly mistake.


Every member on the worksite needs to be aware of what’s happening with the crane at all times. Hand signals are used for communication between the crane operator and foreman to ensure there is no confusion. Everyone must be alert for instructions throughout the craning process.

Avoiding Power Lines and Trees

Crane operators must take extra precaution to stay away from power lines, trees, and other tall objects. If there isn’t enough space, the job must be performed a different way.

Be Aware

As the homeowner and the customer, it’s always a good idea to watch the craning process. See how the unit is being rigged, watch it being lifted up, take photos, and ask questions. It’s your house, and it’s your HVAC system. Reputable HVAC companies will welcome you as you watch this fascinating process.

At Bruce’s, we take rooftop HVAC installation very seriously. Call us for more details about our installation process or to schedule a free quote on a new unit.