DIY-ing your air conditioner repairs this summer might seem like a great cost saving measure. If you’re reasonably handy, you might be tempted to take on the challenge of fixing your own A/C unit, saving yourself hundreds of dollars in the process. Seems like a no-brainer, right?
Wrong! Your air conditioner is an expensive and complex piece of machinery that shouldn’t be tampered with. Without the right experience and knowledge, attempting to fix any of the following air conditioner issues can be dangerous and lead to much more costly repairs later on:
1. Electrical Issues
As your air conditioner ages, you may start to experience electrical issues and faulty connections that cause your breakers to trip frequently. Attempting to handle this type of electrical work when it comes to your air conditioner is a definite no-go. Even if you think you have an idea of what needs to be done, repairing an electrical appliance at home is extremely dangerous.
When you try to DIY electrical problems, not only are you putting yourself in harm’s way, you may also be leaving your air conditioning unit in an unsafe condition without even realizing it. All electrical repairs and installations on your HVAC system should be performed by a licensed air conditioner repair professional or certified electrician.
2. Air Leaks
Many of us think fixing an air leak in our A/C system is as easy as pulling out that trusty roll of duct tape. Unfortunately, this DIY repair is actually not so simple. Duct tape is not the ideal way to seal any leaks that might have appeared in your ductwork. Plus, it’s incredibly difficult for homeowners to accurately detect air leaks. While you might see a gap or large hole in your duct system, there are likely hundreds of tiny leaks throughout that are contributing to your A/C’s inefficiency rather than just a single leak.
It’s recommended that a licensed HVAC company use their special equipment to detect and seal the leaks that are present in your ductwork to avoid the guesswork that comes with a do-it-yourself repair. Professional sealing of air leaks can make your system more efficient overall and help reduce your energy costs.
3. When You Don’t Know What’s Wrong
Determining precisely what is wrong with your air conditioner is a difficult job even for an experienced A/C technician. For every type of air conditioning malfunction, there are a wide range of potential causes. For example, there are dozens of reasons why your air conditioner has experienced a loss in cooling power or is making that strange noise when it starts up.
Without proper training and years of experience, it is likely that an amateur will misdiagnose the problem and apply the wrong repair, which can leave your A/C unit in a worse state than before or even cause it to fail completely. If you are having difficulty pinpointing the cause of your air conditioning issues, you should immediately stop making adjustments and DIY fixes and call in a pro instead.
Why Avoid DIY Air Conditioning Repairs?
One of the most important reasons why you should avoid a DIY air conditioner repair is your warranty. Attempting a non-professional repair such as opening the unit’s electrical components or recharging it with new refrigerant will likely void your warranty. Your DIY repair is not worth saving a few dollars now when you won’t be able to rely on your warranty when the whole unit needs replacing a few years down the road.
Safety is also important when you’re considering a DIY air conditioner repair. An A/C unit typically runs on more than 200 volts of electricity, meaning you are putting yourself at risk of electrical shock if you start to tamper with any of its electrical components. It is much safer to leave the fixes to a professional who knows which parts of your system are safe to touch, and how to properly shut off electricity to the unit.
If you run into any air conditioner issues this summer, put those tools down! Experienced and certified air conditioning repair professionals are only a phone call away to get your A/C system back up and running in no time!