Summer is coming to an end and temperatures are starting to cool down. You know what that means: it’s almost time to turn the heat back on for the fall season. But if you don’t get an inspection and take care of those little heating and cooling repairs now, you could be in trouble come December. Many handy homeowners think they may be able to forgo the formal inspection and fix HVAC system issues themselves; they assume this will save them time and money. Unfortunately, DIYing your heating and cooling repair can have dastardly consequences, ranging from the annoying to the potentially deadly. Below, you’ll find three reasons why you should ditch the DIY and call an HVAC company for your repairs instead.
- It can be dangerous
Many small household projects are totally fine to handle yourself. But heating and cooling repair is not one of those projects. Your HVAC unit contains high levels of electricity, as well as chemicals and refrigerants, and you and your family could easily be put at risk if you mishandle these elements. For your own safety, please don’t try to fix your heating and cooling system yourself. Ultimately, a repair bill is far more preferable to an illness, injury, or fatality.
- It may cost you more in the long term
You might consider DIYing a cost-effective alternative to paying a professional. But in all likelihood, you’ll end up paying more if you try to handle it yourself. You could easily make a small problem much bigger simply because you don’t have the knowledge or experience to actually fix it. In addition, you’ll require specialized tools that might cost you just as much as paying a technician. An inspection will typically cost $80 to $100, but if you mess up your furnace or AC unit, you’ll be paying much more than that to repair or replace it.
- It can void your warranty or have legal consequences
Many warranties require you to have professional maintenance performed. If you decide to DIY, you may void what’s left on your warranty. Not only that, but trying to fix a problem with your HVAC system yourself may even be illegal. The EPA (as well as your local government) requires anyone working with refrigerant to possess certain certifications. If you have to buy refrigerant to fix your system, you’ll have to get it from an unregulated source, and that purchase may be illegal. If you work on another person’s AC unit without the proper licensing, you can be fined or face additional legal consequences. While no one is going to come to your home and arrest you for trying to fix your own HVAC unit, it’s probably best not to take your chances.
You may be tempted to DIY to save money, but the risk isn’t worth the cost. Always work with a licensed and reputable HVAC technician and take care of problems sooner rather than later. That way, you’ll be able to offset large replacement costs and be able to work maintenance into your budget.