Should You Try to Repair Your Heat Pump Yourself?
Homeowners who tackle home projects for enjoyment or necessity wonder whether or not fixing a heat pump is a DIY project. Much of the maintenance of a heat pump can definitely be done yourself. A few repairs can be DIY tasks if you have the right tools. However, the majority of repair work on heat pump systems is best left to a professional contractor.
Heat Pump Repair Takes Specialized Skills
Even most skilled DIY homeowners don’t have the knowledge and skills to fix their heat pump system. HVAC repair has been called one of the toughest kinds of home repair because of what is involved. Many times, the issue is electrical, and electrical problems are notoriously difficult to diagnose whether they are in the heat pump or the air handler. Refrigerant systems work also takes experience and training that most of us simply don’t possess.
Heat Pump Repair Requires Special Tools
Most repair jobs around the house require a set of tools DIY buffs are familiar with. Those tools can be used to fix anything from the roof to installing kitchen counters to finishing the basement. Repairing a heat pump or a furnace takes special tools that most handymen and homeowners don’t have. Most rental placed don’t have them either. They are expensive and hard to find. These include specialized gauges to check the system’s refrigerant pressure and meters for the electrical and blower systems.
Handling Refrigerant Requires a License
To purchase and handle refrigerant to recharge a heat pump requires obtaining a refrigeration contractor’s license in every state. Refrigerant is not something you can pick up at the local home improvement store.
DIY Repairs and Maintenance of your Heat Pump System
There are a number of things you can do yourself, however. Homeowners with a good understanding of electrical systems can run power to where the unit will be installed. For existing systems, you may be able to diagnose a relay, switch or condensate pump that isn’t working and switch it out.
Replacing a thermostat can be fairly easy, and so can clearing a clogged condensate drain and fixing issues with exposed ductwork.
Annual maintenance can be done by a knowledgeable homeowner. With a shop vacuum and light brush you can clean both the outdoor and indoor coils as well as the blower and reachable duct work. You can check for refrigerant leaks or cracks in refrigerant lines.
What you can do yourself depends on your skill and experience. When in doubt, call a pro for heat pump problems you can’t handle , just like you want others to do when they call you to do whatever it is you do.