What HVAC Repairs You May or May Not Attempt Yourself

Learn which HVAC repairs you may or may not attempt yourself. Explore the benefits of DIY vs. expert AC repair services at Sandium. Get expert guidance for HVAC issues.

Updated on Oct 23, 2023
5 min read
What HVAC Repairs You May or May Not Attempt Yourself

Although home HVAC systems are built to last long, over time they will need some repairs in most cases. When the HVAC unit breaks down, you should take care hire the services of an experienced professional to perform the repairs. You might be able to resolve some minor issues on your own. But for major repairs, it is prudent to contact a skilled Northern California contractor.

Tasks You can Possibly Do Yourself

As an active DIY enthusiast, you may want to attempt some tasks on your own, which could save you on the repair costs. Here are the DIY repair tasks you might want to do on your own:

Changing the Air Filter

A clogged filter will lower the efficiency of your HVAC, reduce your indoor air quality and potentially cause other problems. You can check the air filter yourself and if you find it full of dust or dirt, it is time to replace it. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Switch off the unit
  • Identify the air filter (it may be located in the air handler)
  • Take off the cover and remove the filter
  • Insert a new filter and put the cover back
  • Choose the new filter of the right size and appropriate MERV value

Cleaning the Drain Pan

When your HVAC system’s condensate drain line is clogged, the unit will not be able to drain moisture and the drain pan will collect water. Follow these steps to clean the drain line on your own:

  • Switch off the HVAC unit
  • Locate the condensate pan (probably located underneath the air handler)
  • Mop up the stagnant water with a rag or use a handheld dry/wet vacuum to suck it up
  • Apply soapy water to clean the drain pan
  • Check the drain outlet outside, which is usually located around the foundation. Clear any clogging in the pipeline by using a vacuum cleaner
  • Locate the drain line access point (it is T-shaped with a plastic cover). Take off the cover and check for any debris or dirt. Use a cleansing liquid and water to flush the condensate drain line

Tasks You Should Leave for Professionals

Your HVAC unit is a complicated piece of equipment. Without proper training, skill and the right tools, attempting DIY repairs can be risky and may also damage your HVAC system. Call an experienced contractor if you notice the following troubles with your HVAC:

Problems Related to Electrical Work

Your home HVAC system is connected to the electrical wiring in your home. If anything goes wrong with the electrical components or wiring of your HVAC unit, you should let a trained HVAC technician perform the repairs. Do not touch any frayed wires, loose connections, and avoid handling components such as the blower motors and fan, and start and run capacitors.

Refilling the Refrigerant

It is prudent to never refill the air conditioner refrigerant on your own. The refrigerant is a toxic chemical and it is hazardous to handle it yourself if you are not trained for it. Inhaling the highly toxic refrigerant gas can cause you health problems. Let a seasoned HVAC professional who understand the right levels of refrigerant gas required for your unit and how to refill it safely do the job.

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Take the first step towards comfortable, energy-efficient, and stress-free living by scheduling a consultation with Sandium.