Some people love DIY projects. Even so much that they are curious about how appliances work and could attempt to open them up, explore, and put them back together. This is extreme but it does happen in the Bay Area.
These types of people may be tempted to repair HVAC systems at home on their own, should there ever be a problem. While the idea sounds simple and interesting, it is really dangerous to attempt DIY HVAC repairs, no matter how good you are with circuits and wiring or how many articles you read online or how many YouTube videos you watch. DIY HVAC repairs are obviously dangerous for the people trying them, but also dangerous for your system. Any error on your part can result in long term damage or expensive part replacement. HVAC repairs are best left to trained professionals. This is what they undergo training for. And only then do they receive the required certifications and permissions to conduct HVAC repairs in residential areas.
So, why should you avoid DIY HVAC repairs?
1. You will be working around high voltage conditions
Everyone knows that coming in direct contact with electricity can be injurious to health or even fatal. HVAC systems utilize very high voltage electricity. This is why only trained electricians and HVAC technicians have the permit to conduct repair work. No matter how fond you are of circuits and think you know how to do the job, the risk of something going wrong is high.
2. You will come in contact with dangerous chemical refrigerants
Handling certain parts of the HVAC system is not only dangerous for you and everyone else in the building but it is also against the law. Air conditioner refrigerants, for instance, have dangerous chemicals in them. It is for this reason that only technicians who have an EPA 608 certification (by the US Environmental Protection Agency) can perform HVAC maintenance and repairs, and undertake disposal of refrigerants
3. You may not have the correct tools and equipment
Many HVAC problems may need special tools and gauges to check the causes of malfunction and to repair the same. You probably do not have all of these and attempting repairs without them or with inaccurate alternatives can end badly. Also, investing in these tools is way more expensive than calling an HVAC technician.
4. DIY repair can lead to more issues
As you are not a trained technician, you may handle a part wrong or install something incorrectly, causing more malfunctions or even system failure. To avoid expensive repairs and replacements, stay away from DIY repairs. A trained technician, while repairing the existing HVAC issue can also spot other potential problems in time.
What can you do yourself?
While complex repair work is best left to professionals, you can actually conduct some minor troubleshooting on your HVAC system and fix the problem on your own.
Changing thermostat batteries, for instance, is an easy task and keeps your system functioning smoothly. Depending on your system, you may even be able to check, clean, or replace air filters on your own. For more complicated repairs, it is best to get in touch with your HVAC contractor.