HVAC Technician or Electrician: Which One Do I Need?

At first glance, this might seem like a question with an obvious answer. Homeowners need an electrician to deal with their electrical problems and an HVAC technician to fix issues with heating and cooling units. Since all modern HVAC systems use at least some electricity, even if they run on gas or propane, it’s actually a little more complicated than homeowners might think. Read on to find out when to call an HVAC technician and when to call an electrician in Millbrook, AL.

When to Call an HVAC Technician

HVAC technicians provide a range of services to homeowners. They install, maintain, and repair all kinds of heating and cooling systems.

Routine and Preventative Maintenance

All homeowners should call HVAC technicians at least once per year to schedule routine maintenance visits. Don’t ignore these visits just because the unit seems to be working as intended. Failure to perform routine maintenance can void the system’s warranty and leave it prone to serious mechanical or electrical failures.

During a routine maintenance visit, the HVAC technician will check all the system’s major components. If one or more of the parts are becoming worn, the technician will suggest a proactive replacement. This form of preventative maintenance will keep the system running smoothly and safely, cut back on homeowners’ monthly bills, and ensure the HVAC unit’s longevity.

Heating and Cooling System Repairs

All trained technicians can also perform more complex HVAC repairs. Homeowners need to keep an eye and an ear out for signs of trouble, though, so that they’ll know when to call instead of waiting until the heat or air conditioning stops working completely. Here are a few things to look out for:

Strange noises, which usually indicate mechanical problems that need to be fixed.

Unexplained increases in energy bills that occur as a result of unit inefficiencies, often caused by underlying mechanical problems.

Thermostat alerts on newer systems will tell homeowners when something is amiss so that they can call their HVAC companies for repairs.

Insufficient or inconsistent heating and cooling can be caused by a number of underlying problems. A repair tech will diagnose the issue and recommend the appropriate repairs.

New HVAC Installations

Even the best-maintained HVAC system will need to be replaced eventually. An HVAC technician will offer advice about when it makes more financial sense to replace an aging, inefficient, or severely damaged unit than to repair it. He or she can also recommend the best models of heaters, air conditioners, and heat pumps to meet the household’s unique needs. Once the homeowner has chosen a new HVAC system, the technician will arrive with everything required to remove the old one and install the new components safely and efficiently.

Types of Systems HVAC Technicians Can Work On

There are many types of HVAC systems, but a trained technician will be able to work on just about all of them. That includes:

  • All types of furnaces
  • Heat pumps
  • Zoned heating systems
  • Forced air systems
  • Packaged heating units
  • Just about any other system designed to supply hot and cold air to the home

What’s great about working with a comprehensive HVAC service is that homeowners won’t have to look elsewhere for help if they choose to switch from a gas furnace to an all-electric system. Clients can upgrade to heat pump systems, add new climate control zones to their existing forced-air systems, and more.

When to Call an Electrician

Unlike HVAC technicians, who specialize exclusively in working on heating and cooling systems, electricians have a much broader skill set. They can do everything from designing and installing new electrical systems to diagnosing problems with the home’s wiring, switches, or circuits, replacing broken components, and more.

Electrical Inspections

Experts recommend that consumers schedule electrical inspections whenever they purchase new homes, make substantial renovations to their existing homes, after storm damage, after DIY electrical work, and whenever they are having reoccurring electrical problems. Some homeowner's insurance policies also require periodic electrical inspections.

During an inspection, the electrician will check every part of the home’s electrical system to look for problems like incorrect wiring, loose connections, overloaded circuits, blown motors, and other potentially serious issues. Scheduling an inspection gives homeowners the chance to identify potential problems with their systems before they become more serious.

Electrical Repairs

Homeowners who already know that there is something wrong with their electrical systems should contact an electrician immediately. Some types of electrical problems can be dangerous, and working with electricity is never safe without adequate training. Here are a few of the most common types of repairs performed by electricians:

  • Failed electrical outlets
  • Sparks coming from electrical outlets
  • Flickering or dimming lights
  • Frequently tripped circuit breakers
  • Uncovered junction boxes
  • Too few outlets
  • Lack of GFCI outlets in wet areas
  • Overwired panels
  • Backstabbed wires
  • Ungrounded receptacles
  • Plugs falling out of receptacles
  • Inexplicably high monthly energy bills

Electrical Design

Planning to renovate a home or install an addition? A qualified electrician can help with the electrical design. He or she will discuss the household’s needs and ensure that they can be met safely. That might mean installing extra overhead lights, adding outlets, or adding extra circuits to accommodate increased electrical loads safely.

Electrical Installations

Whether homeowners want to rewire their entire houses, or they just need a new ceiling fan installed, an electrician is a right professional to call for help. Common electrical installations in existing homes include:

  • Landscape lighting
  • New overhead lights
  • Ceiling fan installations
  • Exhaust fan installations
  • Service control panel replacements
  • Security lighting installations
  • TV wall mounting
  • Sump pump installations
  • Adding outlets or GFCI receptacles

Electricians can also install specialty products like in-home backup generators, car charging stations, and security systems. The bottom line is that if it generates, conducts, or runs on electricity and can’t be plugged into a standard wall outlet, it’s always best to hire an electrician.

The Importance of Hiring a Professional

Homeowners with handyman experience take pride in doing a lot of the work that needs to be done around their houses alone. Unless they’re talking about basic things like replacing fuses, switching outlets, or adding dimmer switches, electrical work never falls into the category of home improvement tasks best tackled using a DIY approach. The results of an amateur wiring job can be disastrous, so it’s just not worth the few dollars saved on hiring a professional.

Licensed electricians undergo substantial training, both in school and on the job. They can safely perform what would otherwise be dangerous work, and they’ll always offer professional results. That means homeowners won’t need to worry about electrical shocks and fires that could occur later down the line if the job is performed incorrectly. They can also avoid dealing with the same problems over and over.

Electricians, and HVAC technicians, for that matter, also carry comprehensive insurance policies. Their employers take out both workers’ compensation and liability insurance policies to cover all employees, so there’s no need for homeowners to worry about who will be on the hook for hospital bills or repairs in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. Given that professional electricians are far less likely than homeowners with no experience to make mistakes that lead to damage or personal injury, these insurance policies are more for clients’ peace of mind than anything.

Some homeowners assume that because electrical wiring looks simple, they’ll be able to figure it out for themselves as long as they take basic precautions. Sadly, this is a misconception. Wiring that looks simple is still connected to a large, interdependent network composed of wiring, circuits, and other components.

Needless to say, things can get complicated quickly and homeowners can easily find themselves in over their heads. More often than not, DIY repair attempts just make the situation worse, while hiring a professional will resolve the problem quickly, safely, and efficiently every time.

Who Fixes Problems with HVAC Units’ Electrical Systems?

This question isn’t only relevant to homeowners with electric HVAC systems. All HVAC systems require at least a little electricity to run properly. In many cases, either an electrician or an HVAC technician can resolve issues with HVAC units’ electrical systems but check with the company first. Not all HVAC technicians can perform electrical repairs, and not all electricians have experience working with HVAC units that run on gas, propane, or other fuel sources instead of electricity.

By far the best solution is to work with an HVAC company that also offers electrical services. That way, homeowners can trust that the technicians will have access to licensed electricians to resolve even serious electrical problems. Plus, there’s no need to call a completely different company for traditional electrical work.

Why Choose AirNow Home Services?

AirNow Home Services offers a full range of both electrical and HVAC services. Our company’s technicians have the training, tools, and experience required to tackle just about anything clients throw their way. When homeowners choose AirNow, they’ll get straightforward pricing and professional results, so browse our website to learn more or call us for a quote today.