DIY HVAC Maintenance: Why It Is Never, Ever a Good Idea

While some do-it-yourself maintenance is a tradition for many American homeowners, should DIY HVAC  repairs be on that list? The consensus among experts who provide consumer advice on home repair, as well as that of all major manufacturers of heating and cooling components, is no in almost all cases.

DIY HVAC procedures should be limited to regular system air filter changes — monthly during cooling season and at least every other month during winter heating season. For any other issues, however, there are very valid reasons why leaving it to certified professional technicians is the best approach.

It’s Not Safe

The furnace and air conditioner in your home incorporate systems that utilize high-voltage electricity, pressurized chemicals, high temperature flames, and hazardous, dangerous gas as a byproduct.

  • The central air conditioner compressor and other associated components in the outdoor unit require 220-volt electrical power, twice the voltage in your household circuits. Very specific electrical procedures must be followed for safe and effective repair or replacement of these units.
  • AC system coils circulate Freon refrigerant, a chemical that is toxic to inhale as well as contact, and illegal to release into the atmosphere. DIY HVAC work presents definite risks of freon exposure. Refrigerant currently approved requires certification to purchase. Any person evacuating and installing freon in a central air conditioner must be trained for handling and using these specialized chemicals safely.
  • A residential, gas-fired furnace combusts natural gas, producing a burner flame that exceeds 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The combustion process also generates toxic carbon monoxide — a colorless and odorless gas that can be fatal to persons who inhale it. This includes the person performing DIY HVAC work on a furnace, as well as the occupants of the house.

The Warranty Won’t Cover It

Warranties provided by major heating and cooling manufacturers include terms that prohibit most DIY HVAC work. Where damage or malfunction of system components occurs because an unqualified person worked on a unit, the warranty may be void, and the homeowner may be responsible for all costs.

Avoid the risks of DIY HVAC repairs. Contact Paitson Bros., your local source for certified professional service since 1922.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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