The last thing anyone needs is an air conditioning break down during the summer months. In recent years we have seen an upsurge of interest in DIY related topics, and it can be tempting to attempt any fix yourself. This is laudable and understandable; developing new skills and saving money on repair bills is great in theory. But, there are some jobs that are best left to a professional, and that includes AC repair. In this article, we will look at seven good reasons why you should only hire an AC repair specialist to work on your cooling equipment.
- To Avoid Violating Your Warranty
If you have an AC unit that was only installed in the last few years, it may still have a warranty in place. This is useful because you can offset some of the costs of a repair if something goes wrong before the warranty expires. But, if you read the small print of your warranty, it’s likely that you will discover that it will be voided if a certified technician is not working on it. If you have any remaining warranty left on your AC system, hire a local certified HVAC specialist, or the repair could be more expensive.
- Accurate Diagnostics
Let’s face it, HVAC engineering is complex, a unit can contain electronic, electrical, and mechanical components, and some of these are moving parts. For most of us without formal training, it’s easy to make a mistake and make the problem far worse. Without an accurate diagnostic process, it would be extremely difficult to make a repair. A certified HVAC specialist has been trained to find faults quickly, which saves time and money.
- Specialized Tools and Parts
Most people have some kind of toolbox in their homes to deal with typical problems. This often includes a variety of screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, and other tools that have been acquired over the years. But, AC repair requires some specialized tools that most of us won’t have on hand and would never need for any other kind of project or repair job. Some typical specialist tools would include:
- A reciprocating saw blade to cut through various metal pipes located inside and around the AC unit.
- A vacuum pump to remove moisture that can accumulate inside your refrigerant lines to test them for leaks.
- Sharp tin snips to cut through sections of ductwork to make repairs.
- A multimeter to locate live wires, measure voltages and measure resistance. This is vital to reduce the chances of an electrical shock when working on HVAC equipment.
- Safety equipment, this would usually be heavy-duty gloves, goggles, earplugs, and a face mask.
In many cases, an HVAC specialist will have common components on hand to make the repair even faster. With a DIY repair, it’s likely that you will need to order these parts and wait for them to arrive before you can even attempt a repair. Any delay to an AC system repair when the weather is hot is not recommended.
- AC System Experience
Formal training in any kind of manufacturing, installation, or repair process will give a professional a distinct advantage over an enthusiastic amateur. This is particularly true when it comes to air conditioning and heating systems, which are complex by nature. In many cases, an HVAC specialist can make a diagnosis quickly based on information that would seem trivial to most of us. When the diagnostic time is shorter, the repair can be started sooner, and this reduces the overall downtime. In virtually every case, it will be cheaper to hire an AC repair specialist rather than waste hours of your own time that could be spent more productively.
- Handling Refrigerant Safely
The air conditioning system doesn’t cool your home; it actually removes the heat. This may seem like a strange distinction, but the system relies on refrigerant that is kept under pressure to work efficiently. The refrigerant circulates constantly when the AC system is operating, and if there is a leak, the pressure drops, and so does the efficiency. If your AC system is low on refrigerant, it’s tempting to simply buy some and top it up yourself. This is a mistake because you need to be trained and qualified to handle refrigerants safely. Refrigerant is almost odorless, and poisoning can occur if you don’t know how to handle it safely. Another key issue is that there are different types of refrigerants and they should not be mixed. If incompatible refrigerant types are mixed together, it will have an impact on the efficiency of the entire AC system.
- Faster Repair Times
We touched on this earlier when we discussed the merits of a professional diagnosis of the problem. But, it’s worth mentioning that an AC repair can be a frustrating and time consuming process if you don’t know what you’re doing. A typical HVAC visit will only last 2-3 hours for a repair, cleaning, or replacement, and that includes a clean up. During the repair process, the HVAC specialist will inspect the system for any problems and repair any parts if you agree. If you want to repair your air conditioning to save money, it’s a waste of time because you will spend hours trying to troubleshoot a wide variety of issues. In some cases, you may even make the situation worse, and this will extend the repair time for the AC specialist leading to a higher repair bill.
- Fixing Related Problems
If you don’t understand AC repair, it’s easy to miss potential or related problems when attempting a repair yourself. So, you may fix a problem successfully, but you missed a related issue, and another repair is needed. In fact, smaller issues can snowball into major problems if you don’t fix them earlier when you hand the chance. Smaller repairs are always easier and less expensive to fix than larger problems.
Working on electrical systems that run on 220-240 volts can be dangerous if you’re not qualified. A shock can hurt, and it may even prove fatal, so it makes more sense to hire a professional AC repair specialist.