If you’ve spent any amount of time in the Cape Fear region, you’re surely aware of the heat and humidity that rule the area during the summer. And, if you have rental properties, you probably know you are required to provide air conditioning to tenants. For all parties involved, it is important that your air conditioning units are functioning adequately and efficiently.
By investing the appropriate time and resources to ensure the air conditioning systems at your rental properties are well maintained, you can save yourself a headache or two. When a cooling system malfunctions during the sweltering summer months, renters will immediately put in service requests that require prompt attention. Afterall, during some of these heat waves, not having access to proper cooling systems can get pretty serious.
One of the best ways to prevent problems with AC units is to keep them properly maintained and ready for the hottest time of the year.
First, start by cleaning air conditioning units thoroughly. This includes:
- Opening the unit
- Removing debris
- Spraying the fins
- Leveling the pad if it sits on one.
We recommend following these 10 steps for cleaning air conditioning units. If you don’t live near your investment property or don’t have the opportunity to take on this task yourself, most HVAC companies will be happy to provide regular preventative maintenance services. It is always a good idea to schedule these visits well in advance as HVAC companies get busy during extreme temperatures.
Second, make sure that the filters are clean. Filters for central and window units should be replaced monthly. Before purchasing a filter, you’ll want to know which kind your unit requires. Also keep in mind they do not have to be expensive filters. Most HVAC companies will tell you that the most important thing is just having a clean filter in place.
When you have tenants in your property, be sure that they understand it is their job to change the filters while they occupy the property and the importance of changing the filters monthly. By keeping up with this simple task, you can limit the amount of work the system has to do which will prolong the unit’s life span and allow it to operate more efficiently.
Third, look for any leaks. Studies show that ducts can lose up to 30 percent of airflow through leaks. Consider using the “smoke trick,” – this involves using a lighted incense stick to check for leaks.
- For window units: hold the lighted incense stick near where the unit and the frame meet
- For central units, hold the lighted incense stick near where ducts connect
In either instance, if the smoke blows around, you’ve got a leak. There are various ways to repair such leaks – you can read more about the smoke trick and leak repairs here.
Fourth, know when it is time to invest in a new system. If the air conditioning unit is continually needing repairs or performing below standards despite having received preventative maintenance service, it may be time for a new one. The good news is that a new air conditioning unit may be considered a tax deduction. Also, if you delay installing a new one and a tenant ends up without proper heating or air, you risk running into all sorts of problems that may have otherwise been avoided.
A well-performing air conditioning unit is critical for the long-term success and occupancy of your rental property. If you need help managing the condition of your cooling systems, let us know.
At Sweyer Property Management, our team of professionals has decades of experience and is happy to help you determine the best course of action for you and your property. Give us a call today to learn more about the wonderful services we offer our clients!