For tenants to be kept cool and comfortable, landlords need to provide adequate air conditioning in their rental properties. However, if proper AC maintenance procedures aren’t followed, the property owner risks breakdowns and reduced efficiency (ergo higher utility payments). Therefore, failing to properly maintain air conditioning units on rental properties can end up being very costly for property owners. Unexpected repairs and replacements of HVAC systems are not only expensive but could end up disturbing cash flow.
Therefore, it is important for landlords to stay on top of proper air conditioner care. It ensures that they get the best value out of their investment and avoid unexpected surprises. Here are seven tips for AC maintenance in rental listings:
It’s always a good idea for landlords to set up a schedule with the tenant so that they can enter the property on specific days to provide upkeep to the air conditioning unit as necessary.
If there is one task to focus on when it comes to AC maintenance, this is it. Making a habit of regularly checking on, cleaning, or replacing the air filters will save on power and overhead costs (by ensuring that the unit is running at maximum efficiency). It will also ensure the general health of tenants by reducing allergens and dust in the air. Many landlords are surprised to learn how often air filters actually need to be replaced. Many units recommend changing the filter as frequently as once a month, but the best way to get an accurate estimate is to read the filter packaging.
Keep in mind that some types of filters are reusable. However, they will still need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
All replaceable air filters will have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. Higher MERV values indicate that the filter can hold more contaminants and does not need to be replaced as frequently, but may reduce air flow. As such, a MERV rating of six to eight can be good to look for when buying filters.
Keep in mind that while the package will provide helpful guidance as to changing filters if the tenants have pets or the unit is located in a particularly dusty environment, the filter may need to be changed more frequently than recommended to keep the unit functioning optimally.
It is important for landlords to make sure that the air conditioning unit in rental properties is kept free of dirt, dust, and debris that can reduce efficiency and block air flow. Be sure that any outdoor foliage near the unit is kept well trimmed and is not touching the unit. Also, ensure that tenants know to keep the area around the air conditioner free of clutter.
While changing the filter will go a long way toward keeping an air conditioner’s coils clean, they will eventually collect some dirt and grime build-up regardless. Once the coils become dirty, they will be less effective at absorbing heat. The unit will then run less efficiently. It is a good idea for landlords to check the coils every time they service the unit and clean them whenever necessary. Occasionally the aluminum fins will bend and obstruct airflow. A tool called a fin comb is used to keep fins in good condition.
When an air conditioner’s drain channels are clogged, water will build up around the unit. This will damage the surrounding floors or walls. Clogged drain channels can usually be cleared easily using a stiff wire like an unbent metal clothes hanger, for example.
It is reasonable for tenants to perform some basic AC maintenance like periodically dusting the vents and ensuring the unit is clean. Be sure to write any tenant responsibilities right into the lease to make sure that there is no confusion.
It’s important for the property owners to keep in mind that the tenants won’t be responsible for the repair cost unless they are negligent in the way they use the machine or cause damage outside of the scope of usual wear and tear.
As a general rule, it is a good idea to have a professional come in to maintain the units on rental properties every one or two years. Many property owners make the mistake of believing that professional service is too expensive. They end up getting a shorter lifespan out of their unit. They also have to pay more, to invest in a new one.
Every landlord wants their tenants to be satisfied and comfortable, but proper AC maintenance requires an investment of both time and money. When landlords choose to lease their property to Blueground, we will take care of all necessary repairs, maintenance, and service including air-conditioner upkeep. When property owners choose to collaborate with us, they get to enjoy all the perks of property ownership with none of the hassle. Guaranteed cash-flow and short flexible contracts that are easy to release means that everybody wins.