If you’re like many homeowners, you have probably installed several things in your own home. From replacing lightbulbs and paint colors to installing new faucet hardware, a new appliance, or – worst yet – twinkling outdoor lights during the holidays, you consider yourself handy with tools and the eventual, begrudging use of the owner’s manual. Still, you probably realize some things are beyond your breadth. Perhaps you’ve unclogged a drain or two but caved and called a plumber when you failed in your attempts to repair a more complex leak. Maybe you did a little DIY stain on your kitchen cabinets but decided to bring in a contractor for the custom tile. Everyone has their limits.

In this post, we’ve outlined 5 reasons you should NOT DIY the installation or major repair on your heating and cooling system. Just like with any other big facet of home ownership, there are DIY tasks – like changing filters – that you can handle at no cost and there are things you must invest in, that require a pro. HVAC is far more complex than most people know and more importantly, the dangers of performing an HVAC repair or installation wrong are WAY too costly.

5 Reasons to Trust an HVAC Professional Instead of DIY

Here are just 5 reasons why you hire an HVAC professional rather than take on a repair yourself:

The Safety of You and Your Family

HVAC is dangerous. Any technician will tell you that there are risks involved with the work we do and we’re trained on how to prevent and deal with those risks. Your heating and cooling system components include sharp edges, heavy equipment, electric elements, and refrigerant – which is cold enough to burn your skin. If you’re not trained on how to handle this, your safety is in harm’s way. If you are injured, you don’t have the protection of worker’s insurance, and the costs will be yours to bear.
Further, a poorly installed system or ill-gotten replacement could cost the safety of your family as well. HVAC systems can cause fires, gas leaks, and several other shortages that could implicate your loved ones – a risk nobody should take.

Following the Law ­­

The Environmental Protection Agency, commonly referred to as the EPA, has sanctioned laws on the handling of HVAC-related materials including refrigerant or any system which already contains refrigerant – you’re not legally able to, nor is it safe to do so. Failure to comply with regulations that govern refrigerant gas is punishable with fines and more punitive measures. Further, improper use of refrigerant gas can also harm the environment and be unsafe for you and your family.

Concerns in the Long Term

Your HVAC system impacts the air you, your family members, and your guests breathe while inside of your home. Improper installation, repair, or ventilation of your HVAC system can increase the humidity in your home, leading to mold, as well as causing filtration issues that will contaminate the air you breathe. Most especially, when a gas furnace is improperly installed, it can build up and emit carbon monoxide gas into your home, which can poison you or your family members. Carbon monoxide is referred to as the silent killer because symptoms can range from flu-like to fatal.

The Costs You Might Incur

By making major errors when installing or repairing an HVAC system, you can compromise the integrity of the system as well as cause damage to the areas of your home affected by the system components and ducts. You’ll run the risk of major costs of time and money if you have to redo steps in your installation or repair, or if you cause other problems in the process.

The Resale Implications

Your current home may be where you hang your hat for a lifetime – or it might not. The fact is most people sell 2-3 of the homes they buy in a lifetime. Just in case your life takes a turn, and you decide to upgrade your home, your family outgrows it, or you opt to relocate for a job or other circumstance, it’s best to ensure that your home is made resell-ready. By making investments that are smart and responsible – such as keeping your HVAC system updated – you can ensure top dollar resale value and ease of obtaining a buyer. Contrarily, if you have performed a DIY install-gone-bad on your HVAC system or opted to repair it yourself (and maybe missed a few key steps) you could be selling a lemon. Since nearly all homebuyers obtain a professional inspection before purchase – especially if obtaining a loan, wherein an inspection would be mandated – your DIY project will be found and documented for sure.

When assessing the costs of a new HVAC system installation or repairs to your existing heating & cooling system, be wise. The DIY option only looks more affordable. In the long run, hiring a professional to install, repair, and routinely maintain your system will keep you safe and save you money. Choose Sheldon's Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing’s for all of your system repairs, new system purchase and installation, or routine maintenance needs.

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