Many do-it-yourselfers are going to ask, “Why should I get a professional yearly inspection of my HVAC system when I could do it myself?” This is a good time to honestly explore that question. Are you truly qualified? When inspecting, do you know what to expect from your particular set-up? Finally, what other advantages are there to getting an inspection by a licensed, certified heating and air conditioning company?
Do you know how to do it?
Many people think they can read the report from last year and reasonably figure out the inspection checklist for their heating/cooling system. Certain items like vacuuming out the ducts and changing the filter sound as if they can be done quickly. Some, however, sound easy but are deceptive. For example, a note that says the ductwork was inspected won’t indicate how much work was involved in crawling through the crawlspace to check it all out. Most people understand that their system is supposed to be comfortable and energy efficient, but what’s a realistic expectation when accounting for your house, and family size? A certified HVAC company will have experienced technicians who know what they’re looking for. They also know what to do when finding a problem. Professionals understand both the capacity and productivity of your system and aim to keep it running to manufacturer’s specifications.
What is involved with an HVAC system?
The HVAC system itself can be said to include the machine units, the fan and ducting, thermostat and power hookups. However, many other house systems affect its overall efficiency. Drafty doors or windows, old roofs or poor insulation can hurt your heating bill as well. A professional will be able to discern if you have a direct problem, an indirect problem or just outdated equipment. They can check power draw and refrigerant levels for clues to equipment longevity. They can check for duct openings, lines on the ground or do any of the yearly service expected to maintain the system. If a problem is not directly related to HVAC, they can point out what other household systems might need to be addressed.
Even if you’re able, should you do your own inspection?
If it’s your system, you should inspect it. But, even if you are qualified, you should let a certified, licensed company do your once a year maintenance. Mainly, it comes down to peace of mind. Many manufacturers are going to require a once a year inspection from a certified HVAC specialist to maintain the equipment’s warranties. Also, insurance companies often want to see regular service receipts to pay out on claims, especially if the issue is related to the HVAC system itself. Finally, ask yourself. Can you as a homeowner really achieve the same efficiency, promptness and quality? Professionals have the right tools and the right knowledge.
Those who have some experience with HVAC may feel confident enough to do the yearly service work. Invariably, though, those with the most experience will know to have it done by an outside professional. Even for the most committed do-it-yourselfer, getting a yearly service check-up on your heating and air conditioning system is important enough to get help. Make the call; it’s the right choice.