Like many homeowners interested in keeping their air conditioning systems in great shape, chances are you want to tackle some of the necessary maintenance tasks yourself. Handling your own A/C maintenance does help save time and money, but there are certain things that are better left in the hands of a seasoned air conditioning company. The following highlights a few examples along with a detailed explanation of why the DIY route is a no-go.
1. Refrigerant Charging
Refrigerant is the lifeblood of any air conditioner and ensuring proper operating levels is essential for keeping your A/C system fit. But handling refrigerant can be a messy and often dangerous task.
For starters, the components that handle refrigerant do so under extreme pressures, which could prove dangerous if these components are handled improperly. Direct contact with refrigerant can also result in skin irritation and even frostbite. There's a good reason why you'll need special equipment and special training to inspect and recharge A/C equipment. Most refrigerants are also harmful to the environment in varying ways. Despite the widespread ban on refrigerants containing harmful chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), modern refrigerants like R410a still contribute to the greenhouse effect.
2. Coil Cleanings
The evaporator and condenser coils play a leading role in your A/C system's operation. The evaporator coil helps absorb latent heat from indoor spaces while the condenser coil disperses said heat outdoors. Both coils rely on a clean, debris-free surface to operate efficiently. However, the very act of cleaning the coils can easily damage the coils if you're not careful.
Both coils are lined with thin aluminum fins that help transfer heat between the coil and the surrounding air. These fins are exceptionally fragile, and it only takes moderate pressure to crush the fins flat. Crushed fins block airflow, which in turn prevents the coils from doing their job. Crushed coil fins reduce overall A/C efficiency and even lead to overheating and other A/C problems. HVAC professionals have specialized tools that clean A/C coils without damaging the coils. Some of these tools even allow A/C repair companies to clean coils without coming into direct contact with the coils.
3. Wiring Repairs
High voltages can make any wiring repair a dicey situation, especially if you're not aware of the protocols needed to work safely around electrical components. Performing your own wiring repairs without taking the necessary precautions can easily result in electrocution. Not only do you risk your own health and safety with DIY wiring repairs, but you'll also risk of damaging critical A/C components. Under most circumstances, you're better off leaving wiring and other electrical repairs to the professionals.