Why Do-it-Yourself HVAC is a Bad Idea!

DIY_HVAC_is _Bad_Idea

Completing a Do-it-Yourself (DIY) project may give you a sense of accomplishment but not all projects should be DIY!  You may be able to paint a room, create home decor, or even change the oil in your car. However, only licensed professional HVAC dealers should install or repair your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system!


The “How to…” Video


YouTube’s videos can be a great source of entertainment or information. However, “How to…” videos may lead homeowners to believe they can undertake jobs that should be left to experts. This is especially true when working with heating and cooling equipment. Only a licensed professional HVAC dealer should install, repair or perform maintenance on your HVAC system.

Creating the comfortable indoor temperature you set on your thermostat or control system is a delicate balancing act between equipment, air flow, and engineered mechanics. As a result, a professionally trained expert is crucial for a quality heating or cooling system installation or repair.


Required Qualifications and Skills


Residential HVAC systems are complex systems with many components. Dealers often have years of training before they become experts in residential indoor comfort systems. In some locations, HVAC contractors must register for a professional HVAC license and/or pass tests for applicable certifications.

As new products and technologies are introduced into the heating and cooling industry, licensed professional HVAC technicians often receive specialized training. When a homeowner wants to incorporate the latest equipment, parts or technology into their home’s current HVAC configurations, modifications may be required. This requires expertise! Additionally, most HVAC manufacturers offer HVAC dealers ongoing training opportunities to keep up with the latest innovations.


Just Say “NO” to DIY HVAC


The unlicensed heating and cooling DIY’er does not have the industry-specific knowledge, resources, or skills that are available to HVAC professionals!

Installation or repair without licensed or professional HVAC technician may lead to damaged equipment, compromised system efficiency, and voided warranties.  The following are a few reasons why NOT to take on DIY HVAC: 

Experience and professional requirements: It is essential that your local HVAC dealer be experienced, qualified, and backs their work. Although residential HVAC licensing requirements vary by state, licensing can provide proof of professional training.  Be sure you are working with a licensed professional who is willing to provide a limited warranty for their work and products installed. Doing the job correctly the first time may help eliminate the need for repeat visits, as well as ensure your system is running at peak performance. However, a license may not reflect actual installation expertise.

Refrigerant: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations require that technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release ozone-depleting refrigerants into the atmosphere be certified in proper refrigerant handling techniques. Individuals cannot buy refrigerants without the appropriate EPA 608 Certification. Unless you have this certification, do not attempt to handle air condition coolants.

Ventilation Requirements: National, regional and local HVAC codes and manufacturers installation guidelines may have specific ventilation requirements for HVAC equipment. Your local licensed or professional HVAC contractor should have sufficient knowledge in HVAC safety code in your particular area.

Electricity: There can be shocking consequences when homeowners start working with their home’s electrical components. According to 2016 National Fire Protection Agency statistics1, an estimated 48,000 home structure fires caused by electrical problems were reported to U.S. fire departments. Handling the wiring and electrical needs of HVAC equipment requires a trained electrician or skilled technician.  

Gases: Natural gas is the most common type of home heating fuel. It provides nearly 57% of American homes with heat.2 However, it is critical that a license or professional HVAC technician properly install or repair gas heating systems per manufacturer specifications.


It’s All About the Details


Proper HVAC operation is a delicate balancing act. Licensed professional HVAC dealers should be trained in necessary and precise calculations such as volumes, loads, weight, flow rate, and more. If one or more variables are out of sync, the entire system’s operation and your indoor comfort may suffer.  An experienced HVAC technician has the necessary tools required to calculate the right sized unit for your home, and ensure each calculation and measurement pertains to your specific HVAC needs.

HVAC systems are significant investments in your home. While DIY may seem like a good idea for your wallet, the long-term consequences may end up costing you for many years to come. Do-it-Yourself HVAC is a bad idea!

Find an Amana Dealer

1 News Releases, NFPA emphasizes importance of electrical fire safety during National Electrical Safety Month. (2016, May 3). Retrieved from National Fire Protection Association: http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/news-and-media/press-room/news-releases/2016/nfpa-emphasizes-importance-of-electrical-fire-safety-during-national-electrical-safety-month
2 Energy saver 101: Home Heating. (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy.Gov: https://energy.gov/articles/energy-saver-101-infographic-home-heating