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Why Won’t My Home Improvement Store Let Me Buy HVAC Parts and Supplies?

collection of different hvac parts and supplies

It seems like it would be simple enough to go to your local home repair store to buy the heating and air conditioning parts you need to repair your HVAC system, but if you’ve tried to buy HVAC supplies after 2010, you may find yourself facing unexpected restrictions.

Why can’t you buy HVAC parts and supplies at your local home improvement store?

If you’ve been denied the purchase of HVAC supplies recently, it was probably a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Refrigerant Sales Restriction.

CFC and HCFC refrigerants and other refrigerant blends contained in bulk containers like cylinders, cans and drums can only be purchased by technicians with specific HVAC certifications. Usually, this doesn’t restrict people from purchasing appliances that contain these refrigerants, but this can differ from region to region, and appliances with certain refrigerants aren’t allowed to be imported.

What is The Purpose of These Restrictions?

The restrictions aim to reduce the proliferation of refrigerants that reduce the ozone layer. It also aims to reduce the release of these refrigerants into the environment through venting and waste disposal.

Wholesalers are charged with monitoring sales to certified contractors, so they may be more or less cautious depending on where you shop.

What HVAC Parts Can You Still Purchase?

While the restrictions may limit your ability to purchase certain HVAC parts and supplies, there are still many products that you can buy at your local home improvement store without any certification.

These include items like filters, thermostats, ductwork, insulation, and tools.

HVAC filters are fairly simple to repair and you can usually get them from your local home improvement store. Since HVAC air filters should be replaced at least once every three months, this is usually a repair you can and should do yourself.

Dirty filters circulate indoor allergens, dust and dirt if they aren’t changed regularly.

When Should You Go Through an HVAC Contractor?

For repairs that require more restricted or complex (since you can’t buy HVAC parts and supplies), it’s often best to stick with an HVAC contractor for purchase and installation. Installing an HVAC unit incorrectly can increase energy costs by as much as 30%, so you might end up spending more if you do the work yourself, even if it seems like you’re saving money.

Contact an HVAC contractor in your area to get access to the parts and knowledge you need to fix your system. They can also help you determine if it’s time to replace your HVAC unit, which is something that should be done every 10-15 years.

hvac contractor repairing an air conditioning unit with parts and supplies you can't buy at a home improvement store

Navigating HVAC Regulations

While you can’t buy HVAC parts and supplies due to these regulations and it may seem inconvenient at first, they ultimately serve an important purpose in protecting the environment. However, there are still many products available for purchase at home improvement stores that can help with your HVAC maintenance and repairs.

If you’re local to us here in Alabama, give Thomas Service Company a call today for all of your HVAC and plumbing needs.