Fixing or installing an air conditioner is rarely cheap (and for good quality, it generally should not be). As a result, you may find yourself tempted to perform DIY work on your home’s system to save on labor costs. While we encourage you to expand your knowledge to help with your home’s upkeep, attempting a DIY air conditioning project can lead to multiple system issues—not to mention safety hazards.
Here is what you need to know before attempting any DIY AC repairs or installations.
1. HVAC technicians normally have years of training and experience.
No one becomes a qualified HVAC technician in just a few short weeks or months. Typically, an individual will go through on-the-job training, obtain a degree or certification, participate in an apprenticeship program, or do a combination of these three things.
This learning and experience-building period can last anywhere from about 2 to 5 years, and it’s necessary to understand the complexities of heating and cooling systems. A technician isn’t just familiar with HVAC machinery: they also understand the chemistry and physics involved in your air conditioner’s cooling process.
2. DIY work on your heating and cooling system can void the warranty.
A quality air conditioning system should come with a manufacturer warranty. To keep from voiding it, typically you’ll need to stick to some terms and conditions outlined in the paperwork. A manufacturer warranty often requires that you get your AC tuned up by a licensed professional annually—otherwise, you’ll void the warranty.
You might also void the warranty by installing or repairing the system yourself if you are not a licensed contractor. Bottom line: make sure you read the terms and conditions!
3. DIY repairs on an air conditioner can be dangerous.
When performing work on an air conditioner, there are multiple ways to get hurt if you don’t know what you’re doing. Overheated components can burn you. Air conditioners require high voltage, which puts you at risk of electrocution.
You might also expose yourself to refrigerant, which is dangerous to breathe in. Additionally, refrigerant is harmful to the environment if released into the air, which is another reason why it should only be handled by trained professionals.
4. The installation will not be up to par.
More goes into an air conditioner installation than hooking up machinery. Parts need to be balanced and sealed. Your ductwork may need to be adjusted. Insulation may need to be added.
The devil is in the details when it comes to a quality AC installation, and if you don’t know all the little tweaks that must be completed, your system won’t operate efficiently. This will result in inefficient performance, higher energy bills, premature wear-and-tear, and more frequent breakdowns.
DIY AC Work That You Can Do
While it’s never a good idea to tackle an AC repair or installation without training, there are a couple of things you can do to help maintain your system:
- Change the filter regularly (every 30-60 days during heavy use).
- Hose down your outdoor unit at the beginning and end of summer to wash away dust and debris.
For honest, reliable air conditioning repairs and replacements, you can always count on the Atlanta professionals at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, LLC: (770) 749-7667.