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LCS News
Is HVAC a Do-It-Yourself Project?
February 27, 2013
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There are many things around the home that can be done by a homeowner.  We’ve occasionally been asked about HVAC being a “do-it-yourself” project.  Some questions we’ve been asked include:

  1. If I provide the furnace/air conditioner/heat pump, will you install it?  If the equipment is used, then no, we will not install it.  Someone might get a furnace from their brother’s house or take an air conditioner from their rental home to install on another home or purchase a piece of equipment from Craig’s List.  While the used equipment may work just fine, there are some risks to consider.  Was the equipment properly removed?  Is the equipment sized correctly for your space?  Does the equipment work?  How old is it?  If an air conditioner is not removed correctly, parts can be damaged.  The new owner of the air conditioner wouldn’t know this until the air conditioner is re-installed.  If it doesn’t work, the homeowner will still be responsible to pay for the installation as used equipment does not have a warranty.  Typically, if the equipment provided is new, we will consider installing it.  However, since we (LCS Heating and Cooling) did not purchase the equipment, we will not warranty it. In addition, it would also be the homeowner’s responsibility to talk to the manufacturer.  If a repair is needed three years later, the homeowner would again be responsible for the warranty.
  2. If I provide the part, will you make the repair?  We will consider making the repair, but again there is risk involved for the homeowner.  Are you absolutely sure you got the right part?  Did you diagnose the needed repair correctly?  Are you able to return the part if it’s not correct ?  Is there a warranty on the part?  As in the example above, if for some reason the part doesn’t work or is not the correct part, the homeowner would still be responsible for paying for the installation.  He would also be responsible for any warranty issues that arise.
  3. Should I make a repair or install a water heater/thermostat/humidifier myself?  This is completely up to the homeowner.  These are items that can be purchased at home improvement stores.  A couple of things to consider:  Home improvement stores carry base models of these items.  Contractors purchase these items at supply houses and have accessibility to higher end models and different brands.  Warranties vary as well.  Equipment provided by contractors often has a longer warranty period than what can be purchased at home improvement stores.  Also consider your comfort level and time needed to install one of these items.  The time it may take to install that whole house humidifier may be worth hiring an HVAC company.

When it comes to major repairs or improvements in the home, we are always going to recommend hiring a company to help with those.   Homeowners have peace of mind when equipment or even a part is provided and installed by a licensed and insured HVAC company.  Peace of mind comes from knowing that if something goes wrong, the HVAC company will take care of it.  The homeowner will not have to contact the manufacturer, try to process a warranty, wait to have a part shipped, etc.    HVAC is often an investment.  Our advice is to protect that investment by considering all the factors and risks before making a decision to do it yourself.