In the world of YouTube and DIY sites, it seems it would be easy to go to the local DIY big box store and get the supplies necessary to complete HVAC repairs yourself.
It is not that simple, and there are a good many reasons why.
In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency made changes to its refrigerant purchasing requirements.
Refrigerant is what keeps your A/C sending in cool air, and its use and purchase are strictly regulated. Most refrigerants contain CFC and HCFC – two known products that can damage the ozone layer. Releasing these chemicals into the air is highly illegal and carries a very stiff fine. Most refrigerants are sold in cylinders, cans, and drums – containers most people cannot properly transport and store. Transporting these chemicals without a universal refrigerant license also carries a hefty fine.
Even if it were possible to get refrigerant, sellers are required to monitor sales with certified contractors. If you do not have a license, chances are you will be discovered eventually.
Refrigerants require expensive and specialized equipment to put into an HVAC system and to reclaim it. This is only one such special tool needed to make HVAC repairs, and it should go without saying – you have to know what you are doing as well. Unless you have several thousand dollars to spend on equipment and tools you will likely use once or twice, it is best to leave it to the professionals.
Not only should safety and regulations be taken into consideration, but also, your warranty. Many times, homeowners can actually void any warranty that is still available on their HVAC system. Without the proper channels to go through you won’t know who to take the part to for warranty exchange. While this can be remedied with a simple Google search, most HVAC supply shops will not work with you unless you have the proper licensing and an account with them.
Most home HVAC systems run on a separate current from the remainder of the home. Powerful capacitors that hold electrical charges are inside the unit in addition to many moving parts. Inexperienced people who think they can work on their own HVAC systems could be very seriously injured or worse.
Here is an example. You decide to climb up into the attic to work on the HVAC system, and you accidentally step through the ceiling. You will be on the hook for the bill, whereas a professional company has insurance against this very type of situation.
Ultimately, it is better to leave the home HVAC repairs to a professional who can do it safely, correctly, quickly and save the homeowner money in the long run.