Many homeowners pursue DIY projects to save money or test their skills. While DIY projects can cut down on bills tremendously while giving you something to do, it’s better to leave some tasks to the professionals.
Regarding DIY HVAC replacement, unless you’re a certified and licensed technician, it’s better to call a company. DIY HVAC replacements is always a bad idea, and below we’ll explore four reasons why and when to call HVAC services in Sugar Land, TX.
1. Safety Concerns
The first reason why you shouldn’t consider DIY HVAC replacement is due to immediate safety concerns. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and covers many appliances and services.
Without the proper training, you can put yourself or your family at risk when trying to replace certain appliances. Let’s take a look at some safety hazards that exist:
We typically think of electrocution due to exposed wires or snapped power lines. However, any electrical components can present this issue when you don’t know what you’re doing.
When integrating a new HVAC unit, you must access your electrical panel when replacing your old unit. HVAC units come with plenty of electrical voltage that can cause extreme burns, permanent damage, and even death in some cases.
AC units use a chemical called refrigerant to help cool your home. Older models often use R-22 refrigerant, while newer models use R-410A refrigerant.
While R-410A refrigerant is non-polluting compared to R-22, both can cause issues following exposure. Refrigerant, when inhaled or ingested, may trigger the following conditions and symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe damage to organs
- Chemical burns
- Fluid building up in your lungs
- In some cases, death
You may not inhale or ingest refrigerant when replacing or installing your AC unit. However, poor installation can cause a leak or create favorable conditions for a leak to occur.
Many other injuries can happen depending on your new HVAC replacement. For example, an indoor component might be easy to get to, but an outdoor unit, such as on the roof, might be higher.
Besides falling, working with improper equipment can present opportunities for harm. Certified technicians will have specialized tools and the proper training to minimize risks while on the job.
Of course, many appliances and parts are hefty by themselves. Moving an old air handler yourself or with an inexperienced friend can result in a doctor’s appointment.
2. A Waste of Time and Money in the Short-term
The main reason homeowners will pursue a DIY HVAC replacement is to save time and money.
Some people think DIY projects will save you money in the short term but become expensive in the future. However, this is a common misconception. While you won’t need to pay for labor, you still need to purchase the necessary equipment and parts. Additionally, the toolkit in your garage may not do the project justice.
When you hire an HVAC repair company, they often provide discounts on parts and have the necessary HVAC units, tools, etc. Therefore, hiring a contractor can be cheaper, even when paying for labor. Of course, a skilled contractor also moves faster than a DIY hobbyist.
3. A Waste of Time and Money in the Long-term
Sometimes you can argue a DIY HVAC replacement is cheaper in the short term. However, it’s almost always more expensive in the long term. The following issues can occur when replacing an HVAC system yourself:
Poor or Wrong Installation
After replacing your HVAC system, you flip on the switch to have cool air flowing and start celebrating. However, while everything appears to be working fine, problems like loose components or the wrong parts installed can happen.
A poorly installed HVAC unit means it’s more susceptible to breaking down. These breakdowns can result in expensive repairs or a total replacement.
For example, most AC units last between 10 to 15 years when properly installed. An improper installation, however, can result in a much shorter lifespan.
Reduced Energy Efficiency
Besides a poorly installed unit affecting repair costs, it can also affect your energy bills. When your HVAC unit isn’t optimized by a professional, it’ll often need to work harder. This process results in it using more energy, thus raising your bills.
The Wrong Unit Installed
The proper DIY HVAC replacement means you’re also selecting the unit yourself. However, even though you’ve found the latest model with the best perks, that doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for your home.
A problem many homeowners encounter is installing a unit that’s too big or too small. An HVAC unit that’s too big will short cycle, and a unit too small will run constantly, trying to maintain the right temperature and humidity.
Determining the right size for your home can take time and effort. A technician, however, will have the right tools to help you decide.
4. Can Violate Certain Regulations
Not using a certified, licensed, and bonded HVAC team can violate specific regulations. For example, to remove or replace an air conditioner, you must pass a test from the Environmental Protection Agency. This test certifies you know how to handle refrigerant.
While the test isn’t complex, you still need to pay a fee. However, stricter requirements and consequences exist. For example, many areas and buildings have specific HVAC codes regarding ventilation, electricity, gas, and environmental standards.
Keeping track of all of these standards can be an extensive project itself. Depending on the violation, you can even face hefty fines or jail time. Lastly, you can void your appliance’s warranty by trying to install or repair it yourself.
For Expert Help, Call BVS Today
At BVS, we know a DIY HVAC replacement can be tempting, especially if you want to save a few bucks. However, you can also face serious consequences. Our team is here to provide affordable and high-quality HVAC replacement.
Ronald is one of the key contributors to BVS Home Experts, a family-owned and operated full-service air conditioning and heating company serving the Katy and West Houston areas. With a deep understanding of air conditioning and heating concerns, Ronald brings a wealth of knowledge to our readers.