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Posts Tagged: DIY

Thinking about DIY’ing your furnace repair? Think again.

Posted On: Filed Under: Heating No Comments on Thinking about DIY’ing your furnace repair? Think again.

 

It’s just not safe.

Unsurprisingly, this is the number one reason not to repair your own furnace, as doing so can have major safety and health ramifications. If your furnace is powered by natural gas, improper repair can lead to dangerous leaks that can expose your family to toxic fumes and the risk of explosions. Electric furnaces can shock you during wiring work. Later on, you won’t know if it is working safely, as a gas-powered furnace could slowly leak carbon monoxide and an electric furnace could cause a fire due to faulty wiring.

Washington Energy Services technicians use their years of experience to repair and maintain your furnace, checking and re-checking all possible safety concerns. Put simply, it’s an assurance of safety for your family.

It can void your warranty and cost more in the end.

Warranties are great—when they aren’t voided. One of the ways you can void a warranty is to install or repair a furnace yourself. Many manufacturers require that only trained professionals repair their equipment in order to uphold the warranty. Consider this: to save money, you repair the furnace yourself (despite the safety risks). A month later, the furnace breaks, but you are not covered under warranty because you did not have a professional fix the equipment. You then must pay for a new furnace, installation, and ongoing maintenance. It’s a risky proposition.

It’s complicated and requires specialized tools.

This one is simple—furnace work is complex. Successful repairs require precise measurements and a solid understanding of electrical components, gas lines, ductwork, sheet metal work, and more. Special tools not typically found in the weekend warrior’s tool belt are also required.

Even though DIY furnace repair isn’t a good idea, there is one key maintenance task you can undertake to ensure proper operation of your furnace: changing your air filter on time, every time. Check out last week’s blog article to learn more about the benefits of consistently changing your air filter and our Automatic Filter Replacement Program.

So while we encourage homeowners to learn the inner workings of their home and take on money-saving projects, furnace repair is just something that’s best left to the professionals. It’s a matter of safety, peace of mind, and of course, comfort.

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To DIY or not to DIY

Posted On: Filed Under: Home energy audit No Comments on To DIY or not to DIY

 

Are there safety concerns?

It’s simple—nothing is more important that your safety. Plus, damaging your home costs money, causes frustration, and can result in substantial time loss. Many types of projects present safety and home damage concerns and are best left to the pros, such as:

  • Electrical or plumbing work
  • Second-story ladder work
  • Roof work
  • Lead paint removal
  • Asbestos removal
  • Large tree trimming and removal
  • Gas appliance repairs

Will I save money by doing it myself?

DIY is heralded as the golden method for saving money. And oftentimes, it is. But before you tackle a project, take the time to consider the often-overlooked costs of DIY. Equipment and supplies can quickly diminish potential savings. More importantly, the price to hire a professional to fix the damage of a botched DIY project can be catastrophic.

If possible, first get an estimate from a professional, even if you think you will do the project yourself. This gives you a baseline from which to compare the DIY costs.

What is my time worth?

Time is money. Just because doing a project yourself seems cheaper, doesn’t mean it’s the best use of your time. This is particularly true for high wage earners and those without a large amount of extra time.

For example, if it would take you 10 hours to complete a task that a professional would do for $300, you’re valuing your time at $30 an hour. Consider your salary, time constraints, and other responsibilities, and then make the determination on the true value of your time. Of course, if the project is fun, will teach you a new skill, or you simply just want to do it, go for it!

Maybe you have several projects on your list, but you’re not quite sure where to start. If those projects relate to energy efficiency or home performance, consider having a Home Energy Audit conducted by Washington Energy Services. Not only will you gain a thorough understanding of your home’s performance, but we can also provide our expertise to help you create a plan of attack for your DIY projects.

There’s a lot to consider when you’re debating between DIY and hiring a pro. Ultimately, just make sure you carefully evaluate cost, time, and your skill set before you make a decision.

Going with a pro? That’s great. DIY? Fight on, weekend warrior.

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