HVAC Annual Maintenance

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Why in the world would I spend between $59 to $200+ to do preventative service on our HVAC equipment on an annual basis? Why would I spend my money on a rental for cleaning? Isn’t the tenant going to take care of the furnace and AC?

Well, I went right to the source for the answer for this blog.  We had Marcus Fauth with Great Guys Heating and Cooling (www.GreatGuysHVAC.com) out to one of our properties and caught him just as he was wrapping up a Tune and Clean.

We asked him why it was so important to do annual HVAC maintenance and why does PMI Elevation have this done at each of their properties each year.  Marcus shares with us that everybody wins with HVAC annual maintenance.  The tenants get better performance from both energy and smooth operation with the added benefits of higher indoor quality.  They have less system down time during the hottest and coldest parts of the year. And they get a more consistent and reliable performance when they press that thermostat button on.

The owners benefit because it reduces the wear and tear on the most vulnerable parts of the furnace (which happen to be some of the most expensive too). The last thing we want is a call out for a non-functioning unit.  A simple clean and inspection can reduce or even possibly eliminate a late night call that could cost an owner WAY more than just changing out some components or cleaning.

On top of the PMI Elevation furnace filter program which sends a new filter to the rental property every 2-3 months, depending on the program, this annual maintenance fits directly into our philosophy that regular and routine maintenance will continue to add value to your property and in the long run give you a better return on investment, which is one of our ultimate goals of owning rental properties. Maintenance issues continue to be one of the top complaints from tenants about rental owners and property managers, second only to the fact they think you are charging too much rent. Preventative maintenance programs reduce these tenant callouts and complaints and that means more money in your pocket.  Or don’t believe it and don’t spend any money on maintenance and see how long it takes for emergency calls and tenant vacancies to have a WAY deeper impact on your bottom line.

We have come across some NASTY furnaces and AC systems that were on the brink of complete failure when we took over management of a property…then we called in Great Guys Heating and Cooling to help us identify potential issues and take care of them during a planned visit (way cheaper than a Christmas emergency callout – but that story is for another blog). Their team can come through and notify us of concerns about work from other shoddy contractors and how and, most importantly, WHY they need to fix it.

As Marcus Fauth points out in the video, there are times when the venting may be corroded (something we found at one of our properties we picked up from another manager recently) where the venting could just be pumping carbon monoxide into the living space (that same unit did not even have a Carbon Monoxide Detector on that level of the home).  They check for corrosion. This is scary stuff that you need your property manager and HVAC contractor partner to be on the same page. Lives can definitely be impacted.  We have seen furnace filters with dates written on them from three years ago (kudos to that manager for dating it…but failing to follow up on inspections for a few years…ooopps).  Everything from Carbon Monoxide poisoning, poor air quality, house fires, costly repairs, shorter lifespan, frozen pipes when your furnace stops in 5 degree weather or just complete breakdown of the system.

So as the old saying goes…an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  That applies to annual and recurring maintenance on one of your most expensive and important systems for life, safety, health and well-being as well as worth having a licensed, professional, experienced HVAC partner come out and inspect and clean your system.  PMI Elevation continues to work with our partners to improve these types of programs and do it with the best contractors in the business…and we think you should too.

I hoped this article has helped you make some important decisions about your rental property. The next time you opt to skip the annual maintenance and say NO to the cost of annual maintenance, consider all the alternative costs that you may unknowingly may be saying YES to.  When all the perks to having this done outweigh the nominal cost of having this service completed, it has been an easy decision for us and now it may be for you too!