In a world with home improvement shows and Do-It-Yourself entrepreneurs, many of us are inspired to upgrade our homes over the weekend with the help of social media. With a great deal of information available, homeowners are capable of tackling most home renovation projects. However, there are times when it’s best to step aside and hire a professional.
Where to Draw the Line
HVAC equipment is safe to have in your home for heating and cooling. However, servicing and replacing this equipment can be dangerous for untrained homeowners and should be left to the professionals. The dangers include electricity, pressurized refrigerants, and flammable gas.
- Electricity: A Typical Residential HVAC system operates on 220 volts and 30 amps. According to the Electronic Library of Construction Occupation Safety & Health, 50-150 milliamps (.05-.125 amps) is enough to stop a person’s respiratory system.
- Pressurized Refrigerants: HVAC systems circulate a fluid called refrigerant. If the refrigerant meets human skin, severe frostbite can occur. In addition, releasing refrigerants from HVAC systems is illegal and carries hefty fines.
- Flammable Gas: Most furnaces use natural gas or propane for heating fuel. As a result, if the gas lines are not installed properly, a leak may develop which can be ignited outside of the furnace.
Should I call a Professional?
When it comes to making home improvements, you should never attempt a project above your skill or comfort level. When your HVAC equipment needs serviced or replaced, you should always consult a licensed HVAC contractor.