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Read This Before You Try an HVAC Hack

There are a lot of videos out there explaining how to do “simple” DIY hacks to your home’s HVAC system, including how-to fix furnaces and air conditioning units. However, you may want to hold off on any home improvement projects and read this first.

Why HVAC Hacks Might Not Be Worth It

There are several reasons why you should avoid trying an HVAC hack, and these three are probably the most important:

You could break what you’re trying to fix.

This is very significant reason to avoid DIY HVAC hacks. You may go into a project thinking you’ll save a couple hundred dollars, only to realize that your handiwork has cost you thousands. If you are not a trained HVAC repair professional, we recommend staying away from fixes that go beyond changing your air filter. You could cause damage to your HVAC system inadvertently, or worse: break the entire unit. The cost of a full HVAC system replacement is just not worth the small amount of savings that the DIY promises.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that all HVAC units aren’t the same. Many videos online explain how to repair a specific type of unit. Variations in brands, year made, and unit sizes mean there are a plethora of HVAC systems out there and they all require their own unique repair and maintenance. Instead of leaving it to chance, leave it to a pro.

It’s dangerous.

You know how your HVAC system is powered by high voltage electricity? Yep, you don’t want to mess with that. Electrical safety is really important: switches, fixed wiring, outlets, and receptacles are responsible for approximately half of all fires caused by electrical equipment—and the cause of most fire related deaths and injuries in the United States.

Unless you’re very well experienced with electricity, you should steer clear of messing with any appliances that require high voltage electricity. Even if your unit is unplugged, a charge can remain in the unit’s capacitor, which could cause quite a shock. When working with high voltage electricity, one wrong decision or accidental move could cause serious injury or death… and that’s simply not worth the small savings of DIY.

You’re probably not equipped for the task.

Not only do HVAC professionals have appropriate training and experience fixing HVAC systems, they also have the proper tools. This is a pretty noteworthy thing to keep in mind if you’re considering taking on an HVAC hack of your own. For proper HVAC diagnostics and repair, you’ll need several specific types of tools and gauges. These types of tools can be quite pricey, and may cost more than a simple service call would. Unless you plan to go into HVAC repair yourself, purchasing these tools may not be the wisest investment. Instead, save yourself the trouble and opt for a professional when your HVAC system needs repair.

As a homeowner, you know that HVAC systems don’t come cheap. So, protect your investment, and call in a professional when your system needs repair. We’re here to help! Call us at 703-496-5527

DIY Is Great for Crafts, But Not Your HVAC System

Some DIY projects are perfectly handled by homeowners with various levels of experience, but repairs are best left to professionals. Repairs to air conditioners and furnaces are some projects best left to the experts. Attempting to fix problems with such complicated equipment may result in further expensive damages to the machinery

Benefits of Hiring a Professional for Furnace Repairs

While furnaces are not as complicated as air conditioning units, they are more dangerous. Leaving the repair of these pieces of HVAC equipment to professionals is highly recommended because:

  • Repairs will take less time. A broken furnace in the middle of winter can be a serious hazard. Fixing a furnace should be done as quickly as possible, and an expert technician can finish repairs much more efficiently than a DIY homeowner.
  • The HVAC system will be better protected. If a homeowner makes a simple mistake while trying to fix his or her furnace, it may end up being damaged beyond what any repairs can fix. Repair attempts made by a homeowner will also normally void any warranty on the furnace, whereas repairs by a technician will not.
  • Your home will be safer. A furnace is one device in your home which puts out carbon monoxide: an odorless, colorless, potentially dangerous gas. When properly maintained by a professional, furnaces only emit low levels of this gas and most of that is properly vented outside the home, keeping the people inside safe. If homeowners make improper changes to the furnace, however, they may result in a buildup of the dangerous gas that can cause numerous health issues and even death.

Why Homeowners Should Trust Air Conditioner Repair to a Technician

While air conditioners are not as hazardous to work on, they can still be dangerous to repair and are very complicated. Homeowners can tackle some aspects of A/C maintenance, such as replacing air filters, but other tasks need to be left to HVAC professionals. Benefits of leaving A/C repairs and complicated maintenance tasks to technicians include:

  • Access to the best equipment. If a part is broken in an air conditioner, technicians have access to a wider range of replacement parts and will know better which part is a proper choice for the system.
  • More thorough diagnoses. A technician can not only solve one problem in an air conditioning unit but can also find others. Their diagnosis will consist of things a homeowner might not think of or is unable to do, such as checking the charge on the refrigerants.
  • Increased safety of repairs. One of the most common injuries related to A/C units is electrical shock. A professional will know better how to keep themselves safe from this and other dangers than a homeowner.

Although homeowners can easily do some DIY projects involving HVAC systems, there are problems that require a professional’s skills and should never be attempted by anyone else. For the safety of themselves and their families, homeowners should call a technician to repair their furnace or A/C unit.

If you are experiencing issues with your HVAC system or need to schedule routine maintenance, you can trust the HVAC experts at Fire and Ice to help keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. Contact us today for more information.

The Questions Homeowners ALWAYS Ask Our HVAC Technicians (with Answers!)

The seasons are changing once again, and it is time to consider calling your friendly HVAC technician to perform annual maintenance on your HVAC unit. While you always need to be sure to contact a qualified HVAC tech to perform even routine maintenance, there are some the questions homeowners always ask our HVAC technicians that we can answer for you ahead of time.

Common HVAC Questions Answered

Here are some of the most common HVAC questions our technicians get throughout the year:

How often should I schedule routine maintenance for my HVAC system?

At least once a year. Don’t wait until your unit is breaking down to call a qualified specialist, instead keep up a standard maintenance routine for the life of your unit. It will extend the life of the unit, keeping it more energy efficient than a unit that goes without.

How important is it that I get the right size unit for my home?

The answer here is very important. If you don’t get the right size your unit may end up being left over capacity and it will not be as energy efficient as it would be if it were the right size.

What size unit would be the best for my home?

There is not a set answer for this question. It is instead going to be determined by the size of your home, the flow of the interior design as well as the construction style. To make sure you have the right size HVAC unit, call a qualified HVAC technician.

How often should I change my air filters?

Whether you have disposable filters or reusable filters, it is important that you change them or clean them at least once a month. The allergy sufferers in your home will thank you for the routine cleaning as dust and other particles will build up in the filters. A good rule of thumb is if you check the filters and they look dirty, it is time to clean or replace them.

Why is it important that I change the filters frequently?

By keeping clean filters in your HVAC unit, you are helping your air conditioner or heater run at its peak operating performance. It assures your unit has the best air flow and improves the indoor air quality as a whole.

What maintenance can I do myself other than changing the filters?

Make sure the ground the unit remains free of debris. When landscaping, be mindful of any debris near the unit and make sure to clean it properly. If the grass and dirt are clog the outside of the system, it will affect the air flow to the unit causing it to have to work harder to heat or cool your home.

To get the most out of your heating and air conditioning unit, it is important to schedule routine maintenance, while keeping your unit clean. If you need a tune-up or other HVAC service, don’t hesitate to give us a call today. We can answer all of your HVAC questions.