Sometimes you can handle heating repair tasks on your own, but other times your safety is at risk if you do. Learn when you need to hire a professional and when you can safely tackle something as a DIY project.
Heating repair is one form of home improvement that you need to be very careful with. Some aspects of your HVAC system you can easily fix on your own, but others are best left to a professional. As a good rule of thumb, if you are not confident in your ability to fix something, you should not do so.
Safe to Do Yourself
Some tasks are tasks the average homeowner can handle. For instance, changing the furnace filter in your unit takes just a few minutes and requires no special skill. Simply remove the old filter and replace it with a new one. You can also vacuum or brush the heat exchanger surfaces once per year. Just remember to power off the unit before performing these maintenance tasks.
Replacing a thermostat is another task that you might be able to handle on your own, if you are comfortable working with wiring. You may also be able to light the pilot light on your unit if it goes out. Before doing either of these somewhat simple tasks, check with the owner’s manual for your HVAC system, and follow all instructions carefully.
Repairs That Need a Professional
Sometimes you are safer if you hire a HVAC professional to deal with your heating repair needs. No matter what the situation, if you are unsure about the safest way to do something, call in a pro. However, certain situations almost always require the skill of a trained, licensed contractor.
If your furnace stops working, take the time to troubleshoot the situation before calling in a professional. Make sure the thermostat is set properly, and check to see that the pilot light is lit if the model has one. Check the batteries in your thermostat as well. If the furnace has an electrical switch that turns it on and off, make sure it is on. If you have an oil burner, check the oil levels. If none of these situations are the cause of the problem, then you need a professional contractor to look at the unit and determine what is wrong. Attempting to fix other situations in your furnace could put your safety at risk.
If you need to add ductwork or adjust the layout of your ductwork in your furnace system, consider at least consulting with a professional. Failure to install ductwork properly could lead to energy loss through leaks in the system.
Finally, if you have determined that heating repair is not the answer, but rather you need to install a new furnace or HVAC system, you must use a licensed professional. Doing so ensures that the job is done to code and your family is safe. It also ensures you will not run into problems when it comes time to sell your property.
Finding the Right Contractor
When you need heating repair services, take the time to find a highly recommended contractor. Ask others who have had heating work done, or look at reviews on third-party websites. These resources will help you find a contractor with excellent skills and a solid reputation.