Keeping Heating/Air cost down?

When I bought my park, it had about 40 rental units. We are slowly converting them to NNN/Option, but we still have quite a few that are straight rentals. We also added a few lonnie deals along the way. One problem we have run into is very high Heating/Air repair bills.

We are just now starting to institute a proactive approach to replace all air filters on rentals on a quarterly basis. It’s too early to tell what different it will have, but it’s a small investment to make.

Park owners out there, how do you curb your Heating/Air repair costs? Do you have your own maintenance program or do you subcontract it out? What are the must dos? If you have a company to do regular maintenance on your units, what is the cost/unit and what do you have them do?

Thanks in advance for the help!



As an HVAC contractor, let me give my .02 cents worth. There are some handy men (maintenance guys) that can handle this type of problem. The most important thing for any HVAC system is keeping the coils clean. Your comments about keeping the filters changed regulary is the most important issue that gets overlooked. This is just as important as keeping the oil/air filters clean in your car. I would suggest finding a contractor that will come out and service all units initially. Make sure the service includes cleaning the coils on the air handler (inside unit or under home) and the condenser (outside unit). They should also check your freon levels. Dirty coils are the most common cause of “down the road” issues on an HVAC system. At this point you can turn the changing of filters over to your own maintenance guys. Spend a little extra on the pleated filters (approx $3.00 each) or go on to the high end route. Also, you may want to have the ducts inspected (both hard ductwork and flex ductwork) for missing insulation and/or holes. Animals will tear up the duct work, especially in winter, which can get more dirt in the system or at least make it operate inefficiently making the power bills go through the roof. Hope this helps.

rent without a used filter every month. He uses a marking pen and signs and dates filter and gets it back dirty in 30 days. We explain we are saving them dollars on electricity…works for us!

This is the single most important thing you can do to increase life of unit. We service units every Feb and they cost 35-55 per unit for coil cleaning, freon, check up. we do all 56 units in the same month…huge hit, but A/c’s are very expensive to replace.