What should you do if your heating and cooling unit suddenly begins to act up? While you might be tempted to try and fix it on your own, you probably shouldn’t do so, especially if you don’t have any formal training. That being said, there are times when it is probably okay to conduct DIY maintenance on your HVAC system. Here is a look at the tasks you can perform safely on your own as long as you have the skills to do so as well as the times when you should not.
Changing Air Filters
The air filter on your unit should be changed several times a year. This is an easy task that most people can handle. Perhaps the most important aspect of this job is to simply make sure that you use the correct style of air filter for your unit.
Making Sure Vents Are Clear
As people live in their homes, they begin to accumulate all kinds of possessions. Eventually, some of these items might spill over onto the vents and registers where your heated or cooled air enters your home. It is important to keep these areas free of furniture, blankets, toys, and other items so that the air flows freely. Since you are more than capable of clearing out these items on your own, this is one HVAC maintenance task you can readily accomplish throughout the year.
Clearing Away Outside Debris
If outside debris builds up and mounds against your HVAC unit, it can lead to expensive problems. For example, all of this debris might just encourage small animals or insects to build nests in or around your unit, particularly if it isn’t actively operating at the time. Therefore, you should make it a habit to go outside and remove debris from around your heating and cooling system every couple of months. At least twice a year, you should trim back any plants, trees, or weeds that are invading the space occupied by your HVAC system.
Dealing with Odd Noises and Odors
If your HVAC system is making strange noises or emitting odd smells, you should resist the temptation to try and fix the problem. More likely than not, your unit is in need of serious repair, and you should call in an HVAC specialist to help.
Dealing with Poor Performance
When your heating or cooling system fails to deliver the comfort you’ve grown accustomed to in your own home, you should arrange for a maintenance checkup on your unit. Most likely one or more components need replacement. Don’t risk trying to fix it on your own, because the cost to undo anything you’ve done is going to be more expensive than simply bringing in a professional HVAC repair specialist from the beginning.
Most homeowners have the skills needed to switch out a dirty air filter to replace it with a new one. Beyond that simple task, you might want to defer to the skills and knowledge of a professional HVAC technician. The cost to do so is well worth the benefits you receive, especially the peace of mind you achieve by knowing that your heating and cooling unit is in tip-top shape.