Fall is approaching quickly, and the last thing you may think about is the status of your HVAC system. However, despite the excitement of cool weather and falling leaves, completing some essential maintenance at your rental property is important. HVAC preventative maintenance in the fall can help keep tenants and their guests comfortable all year round. Just keep reading if you want to learn all the reasons to service your HVAC and some preventative maintenance tips.
10 Reasons to Service Your HVAC
Maintenance is an inevitable part of owning a rental property. Typical maintenance procedures include landscaping, repairs, testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and checking for leaks or damages. However, you may not always think of servicing your HVAC. Here are 10 reasons to service your HVAC this fall season.
- Lower Energy Bills
- Improve Air Quality
- Consume Less Energy
- Prevent Costly Repairs
- Help the Environment
- Keep Your Rental Safe
- Extend the Life of Your HVAC System
- Maintain Warranty Eligibility
- Tenant Safety
- Consistent Heating and Cooling
Lower Energy Bills
One of the greatest benefits of an effective HVAC system is lower energy bills. After all, when your unit works correctly, it doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your rental. As a result, your HVAC can get the same level of cooling in a shorter amount of time. Ultimately, when you achieve maximum efficiency, your energy bills may drop as a result.
Improve Air Quality
Your HVAC works to filter out pollutants before they are distributed throughout your rental home. Unfortunately, indoor air quality can be worse than outdoor air quality, especially if your HVAC unit isn’t filtering the air properly. That said, an HVAC system that works correctly can improve the level of air quality throughout your rental unit so your tenants and their guests can breathe better and avoid harmful pollutants.
Consume Less Energy
When you take care of your HVAC, it can work more efficiently. Seasonal HVAC preventative maintenance is essential to keeping your system fine-tuned and your rental home safe and healthy. As such, it’s crucial to clear out any debris, check the unit for old parts, and look for issues that cause your system to work harder than necessary. After all, the harder the system works, the more electricity it will consume.
Prevent Costly Repairs
Seasonal routine maintenance on your HVAC unit is crucial to prolong the life and efficiency of the unit. Even if there aren’t any noticeable issues, it’s important to check up on the unit and ensure everything runs smoothly. When small issues are left unnoticed, they can become much larger, more expensive ones to solve.
Help the Environment
Having an effective and efficient HVAC system is better for the environment in several ways. For one, it takes less energy to run, meaning less carbon in the atmosphere and fewer resources necessary. Additionally, when you extend the life of your HVAC system with routine maintenance, you can keep its parts out of the landfill for longer.
Keep Your Rental Safe
Your HVAC system distributes air into every space in your rental property. That said, if harmful contaminants are present, they can easily make their way into your home. So, if there’s a leak in your HVAC system, it’s crucial to identify and fix it immediately to keep your tenants safe. Carbon monoxide is just one of the harmful contaminants technicians look for during maintenance.
Extend the Life of Your HVAC System
Your HVAC unit is a major investment in any home or rental property. As such, landlords and property managers should do their part to extend the life of the investment. HVAC preventative maintenance can prolong the life of your system because it catches small issues early, increases efficiency, and reduces wear and tear.
Maintain Warranty Eligibility
If you have a manufacturer’s warranty on your HVAC system, you’ll want to ensure you do all you can to maintain eligibility. Most warranties require the homeowner to regularly inspect their HVAC system to maintain the warranty. However, if something malfunctioned during the warranty period but you haven’t had a recent inspection, the manufacturer could invalidate the warranty.
Diagnose and Fix Issues Early
When you perform maintenance on your HVAC, it includes more than just cleaning the unit. Your maintenance professionals can also inspect every unit part to ensure it’s working properly. Additionally, they can look for signs of damage or parts that might fail soon. With that, you can solve any issues immediately and avoid further damage to your HVAC unit.
Consistent Heating and Cooling
One of the most considerable downsides to a poorly functioning HVAC system is inconsistent temperatures throughout a rental home. Not only is it inconvenient to your tenants, but it could also mean more significant issues for a landlord. If your tenants complain about inconsistent cooling during the summer, inspect the HVAC system to ensure it’s working correctly. After all, your tenant’s comfort is important.
Essential HVAC Preventative Maintenance Procedures
Regarding HVAC maintenance procedures, fall is the best time for a seasonal check-up. With the summer months fading and colder weather approaching, ensuring your HVAC works properly is vital.
That said, there are some tasks landlords can complete on their own. However, hiring a licensed technician for at least one tune-up per year can be highly beneficial. Here’s a list of essential HVAC preventative maintenance tasks to help you understand what to look for.
- Change or Clean the Air Filter
- Clean Air Vents and Ducts
- Check for Air Leaks
- Remove Outdoor Debris
- Inspect the Furnace
Change or Clean the Air Filter
Depending on the type of system you have in your rental, you must regularly replace or clean the air filters. Generally, you should change them every three months, but even more frequently if you have several occupants or pets in the rental.
Clean Air Vents and Ducts
It’s crucial to keep air vents clean by periodically vacuuming or wiping away dust in a rental unit. After all, dust can collect around air ducts, causing blockages that decrease efficiency and airflow. Furthermore, ensure tenants aren’t covering vents with furniture or items that may inhibit airflow.
Check for Air Leaks
The property’s condition can affect an HVAC unit’s energy efficiency. For instance, if there are drafty areas or cracks around windows or doors, they can cause the system to work harder. So, take the time to seal any cracks and install weatherstripping around doorways.
Remove Outdoor Debris
During summer and early fall, leaves and debris can collect around an outdoor HVAC unit. Unfortunately, debris can decrease efficiency and may hide potential damage to the unit. As such, it’s important to remove any debris that has collected around the unit and thoroughly inspect it to ensure no damages occurred over the summer season.
Inspect the Furnace
Switching from summer to fall means switching from cool air to heat. Before these changes occur, HVAC maintenance is necessary. It’s essential to test that all HVAC system components work correctly to ensure tenant safety. Additionally, it’s best to start setting the temperature to heat before temperatures drop too low, allowing the unit to adjust.
How to Schedule Maintenance in Tenant-Occupied Properties
Maintenance is essential whether your rental unit is empty or you have tenants currently living there. When you have tenants, it’s essential to inform them of the necessary maintenance procedures, like seasonal HVAC preventative maintenance.
To schedule maintenance in a tenant-occupied property, you must deliver a written notice to your tenants that you will be entering the property. Generally, you should give 24 to 48 hours before performing unit maintenance. It’s also crucial to keep time in mind. Your right to enter is usually limited to normal business hours–between 8 am and 5 pm.
Luckily, if you have professional rental property management in Washington DC, you don’t have to worry about performing maintenance for your property. Instead, your property management company will communicate with tenants and ensure routine maintenance is completed each season.
Maintain Your Property with Professional Management
When you own several properties, it’s not ideal for visiting each one to perform maintenance throughout the year. Luckily, you don’t have to perform HVAC preventative maintenance on your own. When you hire rental property management professionals, you don’t have to stress about maintenance in each rental.
Bay Property Management Group offers comprehensive rental management services, including tenant screening, maintenance, rent collection, and more. Contact BMG today if you need rental management services in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, and Washington DC.