DIY vs. Professional: When You Need to Call in an HVAC Technician

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.

DIY HVAC Projects

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.

When Do I Need an HVAC Technician?

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.
  • Annual Tune-Up – 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 . Our 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.

Will Vacuuming or Dusting Air Registers and Vents Make a Difference?

If you look into your air vents or registers and see dust and debris, you may want to pull out the vacuum. Unfortunately, the DIY approach removes only surface grime, leaving other allergens and germs deeper within the ductwork. To clean the ductwork and other HVAC components thoroughly, you may need to hire a professional.

Vacuuming or Dusting Air Registers and Vents

Can you handle cleaning your own air registers and vents, or do you need a professional to clean your ductwork? Read on to find out what is the best approach for you.

When to Call in a Professional

Seeing visible dirt, dust, and other contaminants inside air vents is a clear sign you may need professional cleaning services. A professional will explain the process and offer services at a reasonable rate. Costs can range from a few hundred and a few thousand dollars, depending on the buildup and the size of your space.

Unless you see or experience signs of dirt or hazards in the ductwork, you may not need to invest in professional services. However, if you notice any of these red flags, contact a reputable company for an inspection and a quote.

General Home Concerns

If you aren’t positive about the previous owner’s cleaning practices, consider asking for a ductwork inspection before you move in. You may also want to consider professional cleaning after a remodeling project or any high-dust/debris work inside the home.

Mold

Mold requires professional remediation. To prevent serious negative health consequences, contact a company certified to handle mold in HVAC systems. You also may need a way to prevent a recurrence in the future.

Significant Contaminant Buildup

Insect and rodent infestations, dust, debris, and pet dander can all build up in air ducts and destroy the overall air quality. Sprays, air filters, and other solutions cannot clean the air until the source of contamination is removed.

After duct cleaning services, you can have peace of mind regarding your interior air quality. With a few additional steps, you may also reduce the risk of future problems.

Preventing the Buildup of Dust and Grime in Your HVAC System

While vacuuming the surface areas of air ducts won’t do much to improve air quality, you can take steps to keep your interior environment dust and allergen-free:

  • Dust, vacuum, and sweep regularly. Keep the surfaces in your home reasonably clean to prevent particulates from entering your HVAC system. This may also reduce the risk of an expensive vermin infestation.
  • Replace HVAC air filters regularly. Follow recommended guidelines for changing the filters for improved performance and air quality. Most filters have a life expectancy of four to six weeks, but every environment is different. Ask your service technician for replacement recommendations in your area.
  • Invest in a yearly tune-up. Make sure the service technician inspects the air ducts so you can plan for or postpone cleaning services as needed.
  • Groom pets. Keep indoor pets brushed and regularly bathed to prevent the accumulation of dander and fur in your ductwork.

Use these tips to manage the amount of allergens in your home, and contact a professional for cleaning as needed. Then, breathe easy knowing your home is completely clean and respiratory system-friendly. If you need professional help cleaning your ducts, give us a call today.