YouTube makes it easy for anyone to be a mechanic – to some extent.
Replacing your car battery, fixing your brakes, and changing your oil are all simple and safe jobs to do at home with the right tools and a little knowledge.
At the same time, not every car repair is safe or smart to complete yourself. AC services are the same way. Opening your AC unit and attempting to repair yourself is extremely dangerous and costly.
It’s much more likely something will go very wrong instead of right.
What can go wrong exactly? Well, quite a lot.
What AC Services are Acceptable to DIY?
While you should never try to fix an AC unit yourself, you can and should follow basic maintenance standards to keep your unit healthy.
Replacing the Air Filter
It’s important to replace your air filter regularly. It’s also worthwhile to invest in high-quality pleated or polyester filters. According to the EPA, Americans spend 90% of their time indoors where toxins and pollution levels are up to 5x higher than outdoors.
All the air you breathe goes through your air filter. If your filter is filled with dust, dirt, and grime, so is your home’s air.
Ideally, you’ll want to replace your air filter every:
- 30 days in homes with multiple pets or residents with allergies, compromised immune systems, asthma, or chronic conditions.
- 60 days in homes with one pet
- 90 days in pet-free homes
Keeping your air filter clean also prevents dirt and dust from accumulating on the rest of your air conditioner and overworking the machine.
Cleaning the Outside Unit
You should also make sure your outdoor unit is free of debris, leaves, dust, and dead insects.
Debris can build up in your air conditioner’s fan and lead to breakdown. It can also overheat or overwork your AC unit which can skyrocket your energy bills.
Turn off the air conditioner from the thermostat and use an air compressor or vacuum to clear out any junk. Your AC unit will run more efficiently.
Cleaning the Evaporator Coils
Not everyone will be comfortable cleaning their own evaporator coils. That’s okay! Give us a call to schedule a 32-Point Tune-Up and our expert technicians will take care of it.
You can, however, cut off the power to the unit and use an air compressor to spray out the coils. If you’ve neglected replacing your filter, your coils are probably dirty. Your coils cool the air. Dirty coils lead to an:
- Overworked and stressed air conditioner
- AC unit blowing warm air
- Dirty air entering your home
- Broken parts
Here’s Why You Should Never Pop the Hood and Attempt Home AC Services
Aside from a little cleaning, you should never DIY your AC services. Why? Well, a lot of reasons ranging from extremely dangerous and illegal to costly and disastrous. Here’s how.
1) DIY AC Services is Extremely Dangerous
Air conditioners are complicated pieces of machinery filled with environmental, biological, and physical hazards. It’s absolutely not safe to pop it open and start messing with things. You could end up:
- Getting electrocuted. Most HVAC systems pull 220-240 volts which is fatal.
- Cutting yourself. Fins and fan blades are extremely sharp and can pierce right through your skin.
- Getting sick. Freon and other refrigerants are highly toxic.
2) Home AC Services Could Be Illegal
As per the Clean Air Act, only certified workers are legally allowed to handle certain types of refrigerants. Certified technicians have special training on how to transport, use, and dispose of toxic refrigerant chemicals. Attempting this yourself is a violation of the Clean Air Act and is dangerous.
3) You Don’t Have the Right Tools and Parts
Even a garage full of mechanic’s tools won’t do much good for AC services. If a part needs to be replaced, you’ll have to find a supplier which isn’t easy to do on your own. You can’t exactly go pick up AC parts from Home Depot.
Our expert technicians, on the other hand, drive fully stocked trucks with all the tools and parts needed to complete common repairs on the spot.
4)You Can’t Identify Potential Problems
If you popped open your AC unit, would you know what to look for? Air conditioners aren’t like any other piece of machinery. Even if you have experience working on cars, ACs are a totally different ballgame.
An experienced technician knows exactly what to look for. Plus, they can check out other faulty parts while they’re at it to prevent new problems from popping up.
5) You Could Void the Warranty with DIY AC Services
This is one of the more costly problems with DIY AC services. If you open the machine up and start messing around, you very well could void the warranty.
Why pay more than you have to for repairs? Just call an expert technician and let them handle it.
6) There Could Be Multiple Issues to Address
You might be able to identify and fix one problem yourself if you have a little more knowledge than most people. However, there’s a possibility your AC unit has multiple problems going on.
Often when one part goes bad, it triggers a domino effect and damages a nearby part too. An expert technician knows exactly what to look for and what to check.
7) You Might Make the Problem Worse
Here’s another costly reason to avoid conducting your own AC services. All the YouTube videos in the world can’t make up for specialized training and experience.
Without both of those, you run a very real possibility of making the problem worse. When that happens, you’ll end up paying way more than you need to for the basic repair.
8) Technicians Can Diagnose and Fix It Faster
Air conditioners are finicky and technicians have seen it all. They know exactly how to diagnose the problem based on the symptoms you give them. They’re expert investigators.
At Island Comfort, we work 24 hours a day and we’ll be at your house as soon as possible. Under the right circumstances, we can get you back running in as little as a few hours.
Got a Problem? Call the Experts at Island Comfort
Don’t attempt any AC services or repairs at home. Just give us a call at Island Comfort and we’ll get there ASAP. Our trucks are fully stocked with most of the parts needed to complete common repairs on the spot at an affordable price.
Need a hand? Schedule a call with Island Comfort today or call 888-781-0364.