Owning a rental property offers many rewards, but you also have to deal with the constant concern that something could go wrong. Establishing a positive relationship with your tenants begins with keeping communication open, and your tenants should know that they can call you when it seems a major repair is on the horizon. Since most HVAC problems are preventable or at least less costly when they are caught early, ask your renters to contact you as soon as they notice these three signs of a failing heater.
Unexpectedly High Utility Bill
It is normal for utilities such as gas and electricity to go up slightly as the temperatures fluctuate. However, your tenants should be able to expect a fairly consistent bill from year to year. If your tenants are new, let them know what an average bill is during the winter and summer seasons. Then, have them call you if their utility costs seem to skyrocket overnight. This is because a heater that is working inefficiently will draw more energy as it keeps cycling off and on.
Other than the sounds of the heater coming on, heating and air systems should run relatively quietly. For this reason, a sudden loud pop upon start up or a screeching noise while the unit is running is a reason to call the repair person. While it is common or the ducts to occasionally make a slight pop as the mental contracts and expands, anything more than that indicates a potentially failing heater part or soot buildup on the burners.
There are several things that can happen with temperature control in the house that lead to a need for heating repair. For example, having a weak air stream into one room could indicate a problem in the duct work, or it could be a failing blower. Cool air blowing from the vents could be as simple as an issue with the thermostat, or you may need to have a component within your heater replaced.
Communicating with your tenants is important for ensuring the safety of your property as well as their comfort. Remember to have your heater serviced at the beginning of every season, and let your tenants know that you'd rather repair the HVAC system before it leaves them caught in the winter cold. By making sure that your heater is receiving regular maintenance and that anyone in your home will call at the first sign of trouble, you can rest easy that your heating and air system is in good condition throughout every season.