Don’t Be a DIY Dope

HVAC projects you should (and shouldn’t) attempt at home. 

I love to see homeowners who know when to DIY. Handling simple repairs and routine maintenance around the house can save you time and money. All you need is a toolkit, a free Saturday afternoon and some elbow grease.

Spring is coming, and that means our dedicated DIYers are getting the home improvement version of cabin fever. But how do you know when to call it quits and call a pro? Here’s how to keep your projects from becoming DIY disasters.

Must-Have Maintenance

There are plenty of home maintenance projects you can complete on your own. Changing your HVAC filters regularly is one that comes to mind, but it’s probably not involved enough to satisfy someone who lives and breathes DIY.

Once it’s a bit warmer, but before you switch to air conditioning for the season, try this. Your outdoor HVAC unit needs regular cleaning to function efficiently. Turn off the unit at the thermostat, and turn off the electrical breaker to the unit. Using a garden hose, spray into the louvers of the outside unit up close with a strong stream. Take your time and don’t rush it. Once you’ve carefully sprayed the whole unit, turn the electric and the thermostat back on.

DIY Danger

In general, you should avoid any DIY project that a professional would need a license to do. That means any electrical work; installing, moving or repairing gas appliances; or technical repairs on your HVAC system. For plumbing, if it’s more complicated than busting a clog or fixing a leaky faucet, you should definitely call a pro.

Why? Because your home’s electric and gas systems are actually dangerous to work on if you don’t know what you’re doing. Natural gas leaks can kill people. And please be honest with yourself. Watching a YouTube video doesn’t make you a competent electrician. That’s not an exaggeration. It’s a fact. Don’t take chances.

If that’s not reason enough, the cost involved in fixing projects gone wrong more than eliminates anything you saved by doing it yourself. A plumbing leak can ruin your flooring, sheetrock, furniture and more, plus you might need to call a professional mold mitigation company. That’ll turn into real money quickly.

If DIY is on your spring honey-do list, I recommend just using common sense and enjoying a hands-on project. But if you find you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, go ahead and call a pro to help you out. For more information, visit or call us at (215) 375-7134.

About Joseph Giannone 6 Articles
Joseph Giannone, is a local expert and owner of Joseph Giannone Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, proudly serving NW Philly (and all of Philadelphia & Delaware counties). More info at or call 215-375-7134

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