HVAC systems are essential components of any home or business. They ensure temperature comfort and indoor air quality season after season. With all of this tireless performance, your HVAC system must be cared for and maintained to keep performing like you need it to for maximum comfort and safety.

What happens when your HVAC system breaks down, though? Like any mechanical system, your heating and cooling unit can develop issues and even break down over time. While it’s tempting to perform do-it-yourself repairs to save a few bucks, avoid this temptation at all costs. HVAC systems are complex and intricate, and attempting to repair them without proper knowledge and experience leads to significant safety risks, damage to your system, and even higher repair and replacement costs. A professional HVAC technician has the expertise and tools necessary to diagnose and repair issues effectively. Working with a technician helps you avoid a potential DIY disaster you could encounter if you try to fix the system yourself. Here are the most common DIY repairs that homeowners attempt on their own. Learn from their mistakes as you search for the right HVAC professional for your job.

HVAC Fail: Failing to Shut Off Power and Gas

Failing to shut off water, gas, and electricity during a furnace repair leads to several potentially hazardous situations that can cause damage to your furnace and physical harm to the repair technician, homeowner, or anyone else nearby.

If the water supply isn’t shut off during a furnace repair, there’s a risk of water leaking into the furnace, which can damage electrical components, cause rust and corrosion, and lead to electric shocks. Gas leaks are a common cause of explosions and fires, and they can also cause asphyxiation, carbon monoxide poisoning, or severe burns. Electricity that continues to course through furnace components can be a cause of electric shock to anyone working around the main unit. A trained HVAC technician has the knowledge and skills to adhere to safety protocols and ensure that all sources of power are cut to your unit before working on it, which significantly reduces the risk of damage and injury to you and your loved ones.

HVAC Fail: Attempting to Use Duct Tape to Fix Leaks

Duct tape isn’t a fix-all for everything. It’s not designed for use in sealing up leaks and cracks in your HVAC system because it won’t provide a proper seal in the midst of fluctuating temperatures. The adhesive in duct tape can break down and lose its stickiness when exposed to heat, leading to weakened and ineffective seals. This causes air and water leaks to reappear, which reduces the efficiency of your HVAC system, increases your energy bills, and allows contaminants to enter indoor air. A qualified HVAC technician will typically use specialized materials such as mastic sealant, metal tape, or foil tape, which are designed to be used in the repair of ductwork and HVAC system components. These materials easily withstand high temperatures, humidity, and other conditions present in your system, giving you a reliable and long-lasting seal that prevents air leaks and improves indoor air quality.

HVAC Fail: Attempting Ductwork Cleaning On Your Own

Ductwork cleaning is an essential maintenance task that’s necessary to maintain your indoor air quality and ensure the efficient operation of your HVAC system. Attempting ductwork cleaning on your own can be very risky and is best left to professionals. Here are some reasons why a professional cleaning company should be used for this work.

Safety Issues

Ductwork cleaning involves working with specialized tools and equipment like high-powered vacuums and brushes, which are dangerous if not used correctly. Improper use of these tools leads to injuries.

Health Hazards

Ductwork accumulates dust, dirt, debris, mold, and other contaminants over time, which affects indoor air quality and poses health risks to you and your loved ones. Attempting to clean on your own will most certainly release these contaminants into the air, leading to respiratory problems and other health issues.

Damage to Your System

Attempting ductwork cleaning on your own can lead to accidental damage to your ducts and even your central unit. This can be very costly to repair and may even lead to the need to replace your entire ductwork system.

HVAC Fail: Switching Out Thermostats

Attempting to switch out a thermostat on your own can be risky and may lead to various problems with your system. Thermostats require electrical wiring, and improper handling of electrical components can cause electric shock, fire, and damage to your whole system. Thermostats are also designed to work with specific heating and cooling systems; choosing the wrong thermostat can result in reduced energy efficiency, inadequate temperature control, and equipment damage. Configuring a thermostat to work with your system is a complex process that requires extensive knowledge of wiring, programming, and troubleshooting to ensure HVAC efficiency.

HVAC Fail: Attempting to Deal With Coolant On Your Own

Coolant can be extremely dangerous to handle, particularly if it’s leaking out of your air conditioner and compressor. This type of coolant causes health hazards if inhaled or ingested. Contact with coolant can lead to:

  • Skin irritation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Asphyxiation

Air conditioning systems are extremely complex, and fixing a coolant leak requires specialized knowledge and experience. Coolant must be handled in an environmentally friendly manner; it’s actually illegal to release it into the atmosphere due to the potential damage it can cause to the ozone layer. A highly trained HVAC technician has the knowledge, tools, and experience to handle high-voltage components and dangerous coolant in a safe and responsible manner. Leave the heavy lifting to these professionals to get your job done right.

HVAC Fail: Internal Component Cleaning

While cleaning your HVAC system is an essential aspect of regular care and maintenance, it’s not recommended to attempt it on your own. Furnaces can be dangerous to work with, given the connections to gas, propane, and electricity. These complex systems have many working parts, some of which can be lethal if you come into contact with them. In addition, any attempt to do work on your furnace will void any warranty that you had on parts and service. This leaves you responsible for future repair or replacements that will be necessary in the future.

Contact a Professional

Your safety can’t be emphasized enough. When it comes to caring for and protecting your home and family, the best recipe for success is choosing professional maintenance and repair services for your HVAC system. American Air, Plumbing, and Electrical has been serving valued clients in central Florida since 1987. Our commitment to providing services such as heating and cooling repair, replacement, installation, ductless mini split service and repair, thermostat installation and repair, indoor air quality assessments, and duct cleaning will ensure that you don’t have to lift a do-it-yourself finger. Trust the professionals at American Air, Plumbing, and Electrical to address and repair all of your HVAC service needs. Contact us today for more information.

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