Heating & Air Tips For Property Managers & Investors
If you have homes you rent out, or you are responsible for managing them, there are things about the air conditioner and heater in the home that you will want to know. We’ve helped property owners and managers with rental home heating & a/c repairs over the years, so we thought we would give you a few tips to help you prevent some problems.
The HVAC system in rental homes can go through some heavy use along with plenty of neglect. Most people know that they need to keep the air filters clean or replaced, but many times a renter will never replace one filter even when in the home for years. Some people don’t treat the home as their own, and therefore don’t care if anything goes wrong with the equipment they don’t have to pay to repair. It’s unfortunate, but this would be our first tip for you…keep the air filters replaced monthly.
Another thing you need to be considering is having some regular maintenance done on the unit, or at least having a tune up done twice a year. This is the best way to prevent breakdowns or the need for repairs. A professional tune up involves checking hundreds of moving parts, lubricating where needed, and cleaning certain areas of the air conditioner.
In our climate, most of us have a heat pump type of heating & air unit. There will be an outdoor unit that needs to be kept protected from impacts or pet/child damages. The outdoor unit, or condenser, has fins on it that are very delicate. These fins draw the heat from the coils and release it to the outdoor air. They are made of thin aluminum and act to draw air away from the parts inside that create a lot of heat. The fins are easy to damage. In fact, just touching them gently will bend them. When too many of the fins are damaged, the entire condenser unit will stay hot and eventually break down.
One home had a renter that had a large dog fenced in the back yard. The air condenser was unprotected in the back yard and was unfortunately chewed to bits on the corners and sides. The dog must have been teething or was annoyed with the sound coming from the unit. It wasn’t long before a new renter moved in and called for repairs.
Regular maintenance or a tune up done by the landlord would have taken care of the problem right away because the technician would have alerted the owner when inspecting the system. Had the landlord or owner inspected the unit before, they may have caught the problem when the previous tenant was living there and recouped some of the cost.
Preventative maintenance keeps the HVAC system in good shape, prevents breakdowns, and makes the unit last longer. Many heating and air conditioning companies will provide you with significant repair discounts when you agree to a maintenance plan, so it really is something you may want to look into.
If you ever have a need for air conditioning or heating repairs, maintenance, installations, or tune ups, you can give us a call and we’ll be glad to work with you!