Nothing in your house affects your comfort more than your heating and cooling systems. But unless the heater bows out during a blizzard or the air-conditioning goes on the fritz in the middle of a heat wave, most of us pretty much ignore our heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment.
This is a common mistake, though. When it’s not kept in shape, even the best system can cost you. How much? Depending on how you heat and cool your home and the climate of the area you live in, clogged filters, dirty thermostats, sooty flues, leaky ductwork and un-lubricated fan motors can reduce heating and cooling efficiency by up to 25 percent. Some of these maintenance tasks are simple, while others require a trained pro.
When it comes to simple projects around the house that do not require the expertise of a professional, the do-it-yourself, or DIY, approach can help save you time, money, and hassle. However, trying to take on a project that is beyond your scope of knowledge can have costly consequences, especially when it comes to HVAC. The key to ensuring that your HVAC system is running smoothly to keep your home comfortable year-round is knowing which projects you can tackle yourself and which require you to hire a pro.
If you enjoy completing home improvement projects yourself, you may be wondering what HVAC services you can tackle on your own. The following projects are safe for homeowners to complete themselves:
Change Your Air Filter
This is one of the best ways that homeowners can help prolong the life of their air conditioner or heater while also ensuring the best indoor air quality possible. Homeowners should change their air filter once a month or more often if it gets clogged or dirty.
Keep HVAC Components Clean
This is also important for making sure that your HVAC system runs smoothly year-round and maintains energy efficiency. Homeowners should ensure that the outdoor condenser unit is clean and free of dirt or debris and trim any vegetation or plants around the unit at least two feet around.
Insulate Your Home
Adequate insulation is vital to maintaining energy efficiency, which impacts your HVAC unit as well as your energy bills. Energy Star offers a helpful DIY Sealing and Insulating guide that is helpful.
Though DIY HVAC can certainly help you save money in the long run, it is important to make sure that you are completing these tasks correctly to avoid any damage to your HVAC system. If you are unsure or want to learn how to maintain your air conditioner or heating unit, ask your HVAC technician to show you how to complete these tasks properly.
While there are some HVAC projects that you can tackle yourself like basic maintenance, there are other times when it is best to call in an expert. Here are some situations where we recommend that you call a trained HVAC technician:
New HVAC System Installation
When replacing or installing a new HVAC unit, it’s best to call in the professionals. An experienced HVAC technician can effectively calculate the right size unit for your home to make sure your home comfort needs are met and the system will run efficiently. Professional installation ensures that your unit is properly installed and ready to go.
Air Conditioning and Heating Repairs
Homeowners with HVAC knowledge may be able to handle simple air conditioning and heating repairs on their own. However, when in doubt, homeowners should call an HVAC technician. One wrong step, and you could end up doing more harm to your system than good.
Though there are some cleaning tasks that homeowners can do on their own, it is recommended that they still get a tune-up once a year with a trained HVAC technician. These professionals check for more than just a clean system and will also check other areas of the system to make sure no repairs are needed.
Still have questions about whether or not you can handle an HVAC project yourself? Give us a call at Speedy AC! Our friendly, knowledgeable team would be happy to answer any questions that you have and send over one of our qualified technicians if you are stuck with a problem you cannot fix yourself.