Tempted to take on a DIY HVAC repair? You may want to reconsider. Even the most adept do-it-yourselfers may not have the skills necessary to safely and efficiently repair complex heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units. HVAC service technicians undergo years of training to master their skills, and the average Joe usually does not have the expertise necessary to produce results of the same caliber. Here are just a few reasons DIY HVAC repair is a bad idea.
You May Fix the Wrong Component
HVAC repair is more than just the fix itself. It also involves a thorough inspection and troubleshooting. With numerous parts to inspect, it is not always easy to target the problem right away. Sometimes, a homeowner will mistakenly repair a component that is not even faulty, resulting in wasted time and money. Many homeowners do not have the tools or equipment needed to locate the source of the problem and will instead speculate. You can take the guesswork out of HVAC repairs by allowing an experienced service technician to diagnose and repair your heating or cooling system for you.
Working with High Voltage Electricity Is Dangerous
Your heating and cooling units use high voltage systems to perform at peak capacity. While HVAC repair technicians are equipped to safely repair units that run on electricity, most DIYers are not. By trying to fix electrical components yourself, you run the risk of sparking, burning wires, and other types of damage. Remember that every component in your units is interconnected in a specific way. Disturbing these sequences can have negative financial and safety repercussions. Always hire an HVAC repair professional to make repairs, especially if you suspect that the problem is associated with an electrical component.
Watching a Video Does Not Constitute Experience
Many homeowners are under the illusion that if they watch a video on how to perform a certain repair they can safely conduct a DIY repair. With the growth of instructional video sharing sites like YouTube, you can find tutorials on how to do just about anything. However, this does not necessarily mean that the repair job is easy to do or is safe to perform on your own. While most homeowners can take on minor maintenance tasks like changing an air filter in their furnace, the majority do not have the knowledge required to make more complex repairs.
You May Expose Yourself to Dangerous Chemicals
Part of being an HVAC repair technician is knowing how to handle dangerous chemicals like refrigerant, a cooling chemical commonly used in air conditioners. In fact, the law requires technicians to attain their EPA certification before being allowed to legally deal with cooling mechanisms. In addition to the safe handling of refrigerant, you must know how to safely dispose of it. Freon is considered a health hazard and a legal toxic substance. Inhaling the coolant can be highly poisonous and could even result in death. If you accidentally cause a Freon leak, it can also contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer.
Ventilation Requirements Need to Be Met for Safety
Before certain HVAC repairs can be made, local, regional, and national HVAC codes and manufacturer installation and repair guidelines must be met. These guidelines are in place to ensure safety for both the technician and the residents of the property. Failure to follow these ventilation guidelines could result in health hazards due to breathing in dangerous fumes. Your local licensed HVAC repair technician will have sufficient knowledge regarding these guidelines and will know what local HVAC codes to follow for maximum safety.
Running or Disturbing Gas Lines Can Be Highly Hazardous
Natural gas remains one of the most commonly used heating fuels in the United States. In fact, an estimated 57 percent of American homes heat with natural gas. While common, natural gas is a highly flammable substance that should only be handled by a licensed, professional HVAC technician. Whether you are planning to install a new gas line or need to repair an existing heating system that uses natural gas, this is a job that you should never do yourself. Your local HVAC repair technician will need to make any essential repairs based on manufacturer specifications to avoid hazards like explosions.
You May Lose Your Service Warranties
Many professional HVAC services come equipped with guarantees on both labor and parts. However, these warranties often become void if you decide to make a repair on your own and cause damage to the unit. If you lose your warranty, you may be stuck paying the full price for another repair. You also risk having to pay medical bills in the event that you injure yourself while making an HVAC repair. If you work with a fully bonded and insured HVAC contractor, worker’s compensation and commercial liability insurance will usually protect you.
HVAC Repairs Take Considerable Time
You have probably heard the saying ‘time equals money.’ This phrase still rings true, especially when you are spending a considerable amount of time doing something. When you make an HVAC repair, you probably will not be able to complete it as fast as a repair technician would as your knowledge is limited. This results in wasted time that you could be using to do something more important. Leave the repairs to the professionals who can get them completed quicker and without risk of damage or injury.
When money is tight, the thought of a DIY HVAC repair can be enticing. Unfortunately, DIY heating and cooling repairs come with many risks that you want to avoid. Due to the complexity of such projects, it is always best to leave these types of repairs to the professionals. At Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. in Gaithersburg, MD, we offer cooling and heating repair services to homeowners in Montgomery County and NW Washington, DC. To schedule service or for a free estimate, contact us today and a Comfort Advisor will come to your home and assess your unique HVAC repair needs.