HVAC systems can often be a point of stress for rental property owners. While your tenants will be the primary users of these systems, you still need to pay for maintenance and repairs. However, usage is often one of the determining factors in how well a system performs and holds up over the long run. Incorrect usage or poor maintenance can even lead to expensive repairs.
Unfortunately, it's often hard to know how your tenants use your system or whether failures are due to misuse or other problems. While there's a limit to how much you can control, there are still steps you can take to reduce your overall air conditioning costs at your rental properties. These three tips will help you save money without sacrificing the comfort your tenants expect.
1. Avoid Sunk Cost Thinking
The sunk cost fallacy refers to the desire to justify future spending with past expenses. In other words, thinking that you should continue to maintain a deteriorating HVAC system because you've already spent a substantial amount of money on prior repairs. While it's tempting to want to maximize the value of previous work, old systems tend to degrade and cost increasing amounts of money to maintain.
If your rental property has an older HVAC system, it's often a poor idea to keep spending more money repairing it instead of replacing it with a newer model. Leaving the old system in place will mean additional repairs, more tenant complaints, and higher overall utility bills. While a replacement may be expensive, it will ultimately save you money in the long run.
2. Never Defer Maintenance
The key to keeping an air conditioning system running well is proper maintenance. This adage is true for a home you live in, but it's even more critical for rental properties. Since you can't directly control how your tenants will use the system, you must ensure that it can accommodate potentially heavy usage and long-duty cycles.
Fortunately, a routine annual visit from an HVAC professional is usually enough to keep most air conditioning systems in good working order. These visits will ensure that you won't have to worry about the system failing if a tenant cranks the thermostat down when temperatures start to rise.
3. Listen to Your Technicians
Any routine maintenance service involves inspecting your system and looking for signs of trouble. Trained HVAC technicians can usually spot trouble with an air conditioning system before it becomes too severe. It's always cheaper to catch these problems during a routine inspection since doing so allows you to deal with them on your schedule.
If your technician discovers a problem with your property's AC system, don't ignore their advice. Repairing the problem sooner rather than later will mean fewer tenant complaints and no need to call for a costly emergency HVAC visit in the middle of the night.
Contact a local air conditioning service to learn more.