- Heating Systems
- Air Conditioning
- Air Quality & Ducts
- Home Performance
- Plumbing & Water
August 5, 2010
Depending on your skill level, do-it-yourself home repair or improvements aren't a bad idea. Many times, when it comes to your home's heating, cooling, air quality or plumbing, those tasks are best left to a professional. We've compiled a list of common mistakes and poor choices homeowners make that we recommend you do your best to avoid.
"If we buy a bigger unit, it will cool our house down better."
Of all mistakes a homeowner can make, purchasing a unit too large for your home is the most common and often most costly. Choosing to purchase a unit from your local home improvement store, or insisting on a larger unit (assuming bigger must be better) can result in wasting a significant amount of energy, and that can cost dearly over the long term.
"It comes with an instruction manual. I'll just follow the directions."
When installing a furnace, heat pump, air conditioner, water heater, it's best to rely on the experience of an expert. Certified HVAC technicians have the proper tools, training, and latest knowledge to understand how to properly calibrate and balance each element of the unit so it works correctly and efficiently. They also are familiar with codes and regulations that must be followed to ensure the unit operates properly and safely.
"Let's just fix it. We don't have the money to buy a whole unit now."
Risking repair over a needed replacement to save money is risky business. Fixing one component of the unit doesn't always work because that component is connected to many other parts. The system is only as stable as its weakest link, which is usually the oldest component. What often ends up happening is this short-term savings can end up costing you more with additional repairs and more frequent service. With today's federal tax incentives, energy efficient standards and financing options, it can be more economically wise to replace your system rather than spend more to keep it running.
"I've heard about air duct cleaning, but our house is only one year old. We don't need to do that."
If you're concerned about breathing clean air inside your home, it's a good idea to have your air ducts professionally cleaned or sealed. Especially in newly constructed homes, air ducts can be contaminated with construction dust and materials that have fallen down vents. If not sealed or cleaned properly, your air ducts can contribute to an unhealthy environment, especially for persons with allergies or asthma.
"My neighbor knows a guy that can do the same job for half as much!"
While it can pay off to shop around for the best price on other areas of home service repair, when it comes to repairs on your HVAC or plumbing, it's best to go with a professionally licensed company you can trust. If the job isn't done correctly the first time, you end up spending more to fix the mistakes of the cheaper company. Professionals can offer a higher level of reliable service as well as better warranties and guarantees that smaller or cheaper companies will not and cannot since those companies business longevity is usually short-lived.
"Maintenance? Why do I need maintenance? My system is running just fine."
Neglecting to maintain your system can lead to costly repairs, inefficient performance and higher energy bills. Regular professional maintenance will prolong the life of your system and help it remain reliable when you need it most. Additionally, manufacturers require regular documented professional maintenance for your equipment warranty coverage to remain intact.
"Sorry it's so cold in here, the other end of our house just gets so warm!"
Turning your thermostat up or down to compensate for temperature imbalances is a sure sign your HVAC system needs attention. Doing so means you are likely wasting a great deal of money, too. It's a good idea to have an airflow analysis done to identify the cause and solutions to your temperature imbalances.