Spring is Here – Is Your Tenants’ A/C Ready?

With spring upon us, it won’t be long before the air conditioning in all your units will be running at full tilt. More importantly, your tenants expect their air conditioning to stay running, keeping their homes cool and comfortable all summer long. Sounds good so far, right? But what have you done to help make this desire become a reality? Can you remember the last time any of the units had an annual checkup?

An Annual Checkup?

Exactly, just like you take your car to the shop for an annual inspection and service, every air conditioner in each of your rental homes needs the same treatment. Much as you might like to think air conditioning systems can’t possibly need servicing, they either work or they don’t, this simply isn’t true. But, it does lead to the fork in the path. If you leave the air conditioners running year after year without service, at some point one of them is going to break down, if not several of them.

Of course, this never happens during business hours – see where I’m going with this. If you are counting in dollars, you should already be well into the thousands if you have several units go down. Not a very pretty picture, is it? Especially when you look at your maintenance costs compared to your income. Any way you look at it, emergency after hours repairs are going to be very costly, but your tenants count on you to keep their A/C running and you have to do so.

Keeping Repairs and Costs Under Control

Now let’s take a look at the alternative. But, before we do, you should know that the cost of an annual maintenance checkup and services will always be less than the cost of an emergency call out. Air conditioning systems are in many ways like a car engine, you have a motor, belt drive, bearings, and more, all of which must move in harmony. Over the years, bearings that are not lubricated fail, belts that are not properly adjusted slip and wear more quickly, and of course that electric motor needs to be blown out.

These are among the most common failure points, they are also the easiest to prevent. By setting up an annual maintenance inspection and service using your own people or with a professional air conditioning service provider can catch these problems in their earliest stages of failure. Bearings can be lubricated or replace, a new belt installed and properly adjust, and of course,let’s not forget that all the filters need to be changed.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound cure, so they say. Think of in terms of dollars, if you have 20 units and have to spend $200 on each one for an annual service contract, this would add up to $4,000. Now think about having an after hours break down that requires 6 hours of service work to make the necessary repairs. Again, we are just throwing numbers around here. Six hours of labor @200. 00 per hour = $1,200 new compressor $1,000, 5 lbs. Freon @ $150.00 per pound $750.00, new condenser $650.00, incidentals $500.00 and we are at $3,400.

This is for just one breakdown, suddenly shelling out for those annual maintenance inspections and service doesn’t seem so expensive, does it?  Something for you to think about.