The DIY impulse is hard to kill. It’s leftover from the Paleolithic era, when your nearest neighbor might be 5,400 stride-lengths away, and if you needed to fleece your mastodon flock, you were on your own.
Be better than a caveman. Call an HVAC technician when…
You celebrate the new year
Your HVAC system deserves the “spa treatment” once every year. A technician can check the refrigerant charge level, identify leaks, correct faulty wiring, measure system efficiency and so forth. Your job is to be Cinderella and just clean.
It doesn’t work
Did you expect a more technical answer, like when a defective solenoid coil causes a malfunctioning reversing valve? The whole point of an HVAC technician is so you don’t have to learn how to spell solenoid, much less troubleshoot one.
According to Hannabery HVAC, the following problems should be immediately rectified by a trained professional:
- A heat pump stuck in “Defrost Mode.”
- A boiler in a flooded basement.
- An indoor fan that keeps running.
- An outdoor unit making bizarre, loud noises.
- A water leak at an indoor unit.
- An outdoor unit that won’t shut off until you manually trip the circuit breaker.
- A pilot light that won’t stay lit.
- An oil burner that keeps tripping the reset button.
A bad thermostat, an old compressor, blown fuse, defective humidistat, blocked oil filter, bad reversing valve–these are component issues, not mere maintenance problems, and they require professional diagnostics and replacement. Any issues that cannot be seen with the naked eye usually require technical servicing.
The Internet comes up empty
Not even Wikipedia can supplant 2-5 years of formal education or apprenticeship instruction.
It’s extremely cold/hot outside
Nobody wants to replace a faulty expansion valve on a frosted air conditioner during a 104-degree Fahrenheit summer afternoon. This is when you can just pay someone else to be uncomfortable in your stead.
You renovate your home
HVAC technicians bring education, experience, and fire-flinging power tools to the table. Without proper advice when designing an HVAC system extension, you might purchase oversized equipment or accidentally recirculate flue gases.
HVAC contractors and technicians often offer heat-loss and energy-efficiency calculations. These numbers help you decide whether to re-insulate the attic, which SEER rating of air conditioner you need, or how to size the ductwork for your two-room addition.
You’re not on your own. Contact an HVAC technician.