Sometimes something breaks in your home and you call a professional to fix it. He comes and in a short time it is repaired. Maybe you even watch him and feel that what he did was not all that complicated. You then get a bill for his time and think, “I could have done that myself.”
Everyone is looking to save money when it comes to home repairs. But you are not a certified service technician, and even though it looks very easy when you watch videos on the Internet, equipment like HVAC units are complicated machines whose service and repair takes training and experience. In the end, if you do not have both, you can damage your system costing you even more money for repairs.
While being handy brings a lot of satisfaction to homeowners, there are situations where a professional should be call in. When it comes to your HVAC system, do you know where to draw the line between a DIY fix and a professional visit?
Maintenance and fixes homeowners can do on their own
Changing Filters – This is a quick and easy job that homeowners can definitely do on their own without the assistance of a service technician. You can usually tell when a filter change is needed because the one in use will be dirty.
Fuse Replacements – If you are having an electrical problem with your HVAC, the issue may be as simple as a blown fuse in the unit. Check the unit for blown fuses and if you find one swap it out with a new one. Make sure you replace the new fuse with the exact same fuse you removed.
Resetting the Thermostat – If you are experiencing a discrepancy between the temperature setting on the unit, and the actual temperature, an easy fix may be for the homeowner to reset the unit’s thermostat. Nearly all HVAC units have a reset or recalibration switch or button. Look at your units manual to find out how to use it.
Removal of Debris from Easy to Reach Areas of Air Ducts – There will be debris that accumulates around the air ducts connected to the HVAC that can cause the unit to not work at optimal efficiency. In the case of debris being near the mouth of the air ducts, it is a simple fix for homeowners to remove it. However, if removing the debris entails your taking a safety risk in any way, you should call a call a HVAC technician.
Checking the Condition and Tension of Some of the Unit’s Belts – There will be some belts on the unit are easy to see and reach. These can be checked for tension and condition by the homeowner. If you suspect a broken or worn out belt, check and see if that is the case. Do not replace it however, turn off the unit and call a service technician.
HVAC Issues Only for the Professionals
Major or Unreachable Obstructions – Some obstructions stuck in the duct work or other areas may be difficult to get to. Never put yourself in danger to try and clear these obstructions. Call a service technician who will have specific equipment to remove any obstructions.
Electrical Problems – If you find that replacing the fuse does not cure your HVAC problem, you need to bring in a professional. There might be a risk of electric shock or the system being shorted-out. To avoid these risks bring in someone who is trained to deal with electrical issues.
Strange Noises or Smells Coming from the Unit – If you see or smell smoke, or hear loud or unusual noises come from the unit do not try and diagnose or fix on your own, call a service technician. This could be a serious problem that could cause in injury or be a warning of a bigger problem occurring or about to occur with the unit.
Finally, HVAC units may contain hazardous chemicals that should only be handled by professionals. So if you see any chemicals leaking, you should turn off the unit and call an HVAC technician.
Certified service technicians spend years learning their craft. They know exactly how to avoid major problems when working on your systems and how they should be installed. Interacting with many parts of your HVAC system can be dangerous. Also, did you know that DIY repairs are not covered under your system’s warranty? You are 100 percent responsible for the damage done to your system if you choose to fix it yourself. So other than the few small repairs covered here, leave the service and repair of your HVAC system to the professionals.