For over a decade now, we have lived in an amazing information age where any piece of useful or trivial fact is available at our fingertips. This is extremely liberating, and many of us have discovered a world that would have never learned about without the advent of the internet. Thanks to social media websites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube, we have seen a surge in the popularity of DIY as a topic. Many people love to learn how to build and fix things, and this is a net positive. But, it’s also important to realize that some tasks simply shouldn’t be tackled by an enthusiastic amateur for a wide variety of reasons. We believe that HVAC servicing and repairs fall into this category, and this article will explain why.
Safety Should be a Top Priority
There is no way to sugarcoat this; carrying out HVAC repairs can be extremely dangerous if you don’t have formal training and experience. An HVAC unit contains sensitive components and high voltages that could easily damage or even kill an unsuspecting DIYer. If you don’t have a good understanding of how electrical systems work and you’ve never been trained to service or repair HVAC equipment you should leave it to the professionals.
Another key safety issue is chemicals. HVAC equipment uses various chemicals and refrigerants to remove heat from our homes, and most people are unfamiliar with these substances. If these chemicals are handled incorrectly, they can cause serious injuries, and there are specific precautions that need to be followed carefully. It’s essential to wear the right safety gear to minimize the risks of exposure and ensure that no serious injuries are caused. An HVAC professional needs to have certification in order to handle these chemicals safely.
Access to Specialized Tools
Any good DIYer will already know that it’s important to have the right tool for the job. The same is true for HVAC servicing and repair tasks. The professional tools used for HVAC work are specialized for the identification and repair of air conditioning problems. If you don’t have access to these tools, then it’s likely that you will cause damage to the unit if you attempt a repair. Buying HVAC tools is not a smart move, you won’t use them for anything else, and they are expensive to purchase. For the amount of use that you would get out of a set of professional tools, they are not a great investment. It also takes formal training to learn how to use these tools safely without causing damage to the sensitive components in an HVAC system.
Experience Cannot be Underestimated
The acquisition of skills in any trade or professional should never be casually disregarded. After all, if you think about your own career, how long would it take to teach someone how to do your job well and anticipate or identify a problem? For most professions, this would take a great deal of training and experience, and working on HVAC systems is no different.
In many cases, an HVAC technician will identify a seemingly minor issue that’s likely to develop into a much larger problem. Fixing that minor issue now could save the homeowner a great deal of money later when the required repair costs may be far more expensive. This is a skill that can only come from formal training and plenty of on the job experience. Even the most skilled DIY enthusiast with access to the best tools cannot gain that knowledge and experience by working on their own HVAC system.
When it comes to attempting a minor repair, it’s also important to understand that it’s easy to cause damage to an HVAC unit. Any dropped tools or patched repair jobs can damage other components in the system. Every part in an HVAC system relies on the other parts around it; there are electrical, electronic, and moving mechanical components to consider. Damaging one part during a minor repair could lead to damage that’s uneconomical to repair, and you may even need a new HVAC system.
Working on HVAC Equipment is Difficult
If you don’t have that hard earned HVAC technician experience, it can be tricky to work on this type of equipment. As an example: if you wanted to install a new HVAC system, would you know how to find the right size and capacity equipment to efficiently work in your home? Sure, you could carry out a lot of research on HVAC systems, but how would that translate to your home? Why is a load calculation needed? Have you considered the airflow issues? What is the level of insulation required? These questions are the tip of the iceberg; if you don’t really know what you’re doing, it’s easy to end up with an expensive HVAC system that doesn’t work in your home. This could compromise your indoor comfort levels, and it could lead to other problems, such as cold spots, damp issues, and poor energy efficiency. Getting some professional help from a local certified HVAC technician is the best way to avoid these problems and save money on your energy bills.
3 Essential DIY Maintenance Tasks
If you want to use your DIY skills on your HVAC system, there are some essential maintenance and cleaning tasks that will help. Here are three vital tasks that will help you to keep your HVAC equipment running efficiently.
- Air Filters
The air filters need to be checked and cleaned or replaced as per the instructions in your owner’s manual every month. This will help to maintain the airflow, reduce the strain other components, and increase the useful lifespan of your HVAC equipment.
- Battery Checks
Make sure that you have a carbon monoxide detector installed, check the batteries in the unit on a monthly basis and this will protect your family from toxic fumes.
3, General Cleaning
The areas around your HVAC equipment should be kept clean and clear of obstructions that could impair the efficiency. Trim back plant growth around your outdoor units and find somewhere else to store unused tools and outdoor furniture.