Should You Save Money with DIY HVAC Repairs or Use Professional HVAC Services?

When something goes wrong around the house, are you the type of person who wants to take care of it yourself? The DIY spirit is strong in a lot of people, and it can help to save time and money in some instances. However, it is not always the best or safest option. This is certainly true when it comes to your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It’s better to leave the hard work to a professional service and only tackle smaller, easier maintenance for your HVAC system.

The Problems with DIY HVAC Repairs

Below, we’ll be looking at some of the biggest problems that can stem from DIY HVAC repair. You’ll soon see that even though you might be capable, the risks are simply too many.

Safety Risks

In 2018, USA Today published an article on the most dangerous jobs, and HVAC made that list. Even for trained professionals, there is danger. Those who don’t have any formal training in the field would be at a much higher risk when trying to conduct their own repairs. One of the biggest potential dangers is electrical shock. Working with refrigerant for the AC can be dangerous, too. HVAC specialists have undergone training to help mitigate these hazards.

Voiding Warranties

If you have a newer HVAC system, there’s a good chance it’s still under warranty. However, if you attempt DIY repairs, this warranty is automatically voided. The only way it will remain and be honored is if you hire professionals for servicing or repairing the system.

Poor Quality Repairs

If you haven’t gone through schooling for HVAC repair and service, you won’t know how to determine what’s wrong with the system. You could misdiagnose the problem and then try to repair or replace elements that aren’t broken. Even if you figure out the cause, a lack of knowledge means you won’t be able to complete the repair as quickly or correctly as a professional. Learning through videos on YouTube doesn’t give you a full HVAC education.

Dealing with any electrical components could create a short circuit, which later causes a fire. The Department of Energy has said that many common HVAC problems result from faulty installation, poor service procedures, and improper maintenance. Instead of trying to do it yourself, get some help from professionals.

Lack of the Correct Tools

Since you aren’t an HVAC professional, you probably don’t have all of the correct tools needed for proper repair and maintenance. You need more than just a basic tool set. This often leads to people looking for “alternative” tools they can use to try to get the job done. Others may try to buy the tools, which is an expensive option given the fact they still don’t have the know-how to handle the repairs correctly.

It Could Cost More

If you try to complete a repair on your own, there’s a good chance you will do it incorrectly. Sometimes, people even cause irreparable damage to the system. Either way, it will mean calling in the experts to help get everything back in working order. Not only will the DIY repairs waste your time, but it often means spending far more on repairs than you would’ve if you had just hired the experts from the start.

DIY Often Means More Worry

Ultimately, the potential savings you could get from DIY HVAC repairs aren’t worth it. There is too much of a risk that things could go wrong—sometimes catastrophically wrong. Working with professionals will provide you with the peace of mind you deserve.

These are just some of the reasons you should avoid doing your own HVAC repairs. Of course, there are some simple things you can do on your own that could help you save a bit of money.

What Types of HVAC Maintenance Can You Do on Your Own?

While you don’t want to handle any repairs on your own, you can do some simple and basic maintenance that can keep your system in good condition. Below are a few of the jobs you can do.

Change AC Air Filters

An easy way to ensure you have fresh air and a clean, working system is by changing out the air filters in the AC regularly. Those who suffer from allergies should replace them every 45 days or so, although this can vary based on your location and how often it is used. Typically, changing the filters three to four times per year is sufficient.

Clean the Exterior of the HVAC System

Take the time to clean the outside of your HVAC system. Begin by shutting down the power using the service disconnect or circuit breaker for safety purposes. Remove any debris, such as leaves or twigs, from the exterior. Keep plants at least 2-3 feet away from your AC unit. Next, spray the outside of the system with a coil cleaner or a water hose to remove any buildup of dirt or gunk. However, avoid using a power washer, as it can damage the unit’s coil.

Repairs You Need to Leave to the Professionals

Anything more complex than basic maintenance and cleaning should be left to the professionals. They can help with troubleshooting, so they know the exact problem and how to fix it for you. This saves you from making an expensive mistake when trying to determine the issue.

If you notice any fluid leaks, strange sounds, etc. contact the experts as soon as possible. They should be the ones to handle any replacements that are needed, as well as calibrate the thermostat and clean the ducts. They have all of the specialized equipment and knowledge needed to get the job done quickly and to do it right the first time.

The cost of hiring professionals for the job is well worth it compared with all of the problems that can arise from DIY work. Take the time to find a high-quality, reputable company in your area to handle all of your HVAC needs.