Lincoln seniors among first in Ky. to pass rigorous HVAC certification

Published 5:37 pm Friday, March 29, 2024

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Lincoln County High School seniors Blake Folger and Ashton Isham are among the first in the state to earn the Low GWP (Global Warming Potential) Refrigerant Safety certification.

“It is a great achievement,” said Lincoln County Area Technology Center HVAC Instructor Adam Basham. “Their hard work has paid off. We had some great students willing to take this on. They were fully engaged. This sets them up for the future of working with refrigerants and HVAC. I honor them for their hard work and dedication.”

The certification will be necessary for HVAC professionals in the future as new environmental regulations will result in traditional Freon refrigerants being phased out. Instead, more eco-friendly registrants using Butane will be used. However, the flammable gas used in the new refrigerants requires different safety measures than those used in traditional refrigerants.

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“I am glad I got the certification; I am ahead of the game when I get a job,” Folger said. “It is a good feeling to be one of the few who have the certification.”

Isham is eager for the certification to give him a competitive edge in the job market.

“If someone is interested in HVAC it is good to have,” Isham said. “It gives you something extra to carry in your pocket at a job interview. It is worth it.”

The test is more complex than traditional HVAC certifications.

“It keyed in a lot more on safety, a whole lot more. That makes it tougher,” Folger said. 

Isham and Folger are both in their first year of HVAC training and intend to pursue careers in HVAC. Isham recommends that others looking to learn a trade pay close attention and be patient.

“Make sure you are willing to sit down to learn the information. It is a lot to take in,” Isham said. “If they are willing to put in the time and hard work to pass the test they should go for it.”

Basham worked in HVAC for 35 years before becoming an instructor. He is glad to see his students succeeding and reflecting positively on Lincoln County.

“I have been honored to work with the students,” Basham said. “It has surpassed anything I thought would happen with this vocational program. We have superseded what the state requires to be college and career-ready ready and they are ready to be some great people in Kentucky.”