PORTLAND, Ore. – It’s hard to believe that it’s fall again in Portland Oregon but with the start of fall, it’s also a good time to take a look at the HVAC systems at your rental properties because your tenants are going to start using their HVAC units right now and you want to make sure they are running great.
In this article, we will provide you with a checklist of 7 things you should do right now to guarantee that the HVAC unit at your rental property is running in tip top shape during the winter.
#1 – Inspect Rooftop Units
This is the first thing to do on our list because it’s also the most important since leaves, branches and dirt can easily accumulate on the roof during the year and can easily get into your rooftop HAVAC unit causing damages.
When inspecting the rooftop of your rental property you should also remove any debris from gutters too since you want to make sure that the gutters in your rental are draining properly just in time for rain and winter snow.
#2 – Create a Zone around Outdoor Units
Although it’s common to have an outdoor HVAC unit you should also create a zone around it that’s free of debris, bushes, trees, trash cans or other items because this will ensure that the HVAC system continues running properly when used during the cold winter months.
#3 – Purchase a New Air Filter
Another important thing to do to your HVAC unit regardless if it’s on the roof or outdoors is to purchase a new air filter because over the course of one year HVAC air filters become clogged with dust, dirt and mold so it’s best to replace the filter during the start of winter because this is when your tenant will be using their HVAC unit more often.
#4 – Turn On the HVAC Unit
If your tenant hasn’t used the HVAC unit in some time, you should turn it on immediately because this will be the best way for you to resolve any problems that the unit might have right now instead of waiting for the first freeze or snow that we have in Portland.
Besides being the smart thing to do, turning on your HVAC right now will also save you the hassle of dealing with unhappy tenants who waited to turn on their heater during the winter and realized that it didn’t work.
#5 – Verify the Efficiency of Your HVAC Unit
Once you’ve gone through the steps mentioned in this article you should next hire an HVAC technician who will test the efficiency and combustion of your HVAC. This test normally takes a few minutes but it should be considered an essential step of HVAC maintenance especially if problems are found that need to be resolved.
#6 – Review the Refrigerant Line
This step should really be part of your monthly HVAC maintenance but it’s especially important to review during the fall because you will be able to see if the refrigerant line is leaking and get it fixed now rather than waiting and fixing your HVAC system later.
#7 – Check Your Heat Exchanger
After checking the refrigerant line you should also check your heat exchanger to make sure that it’s not leaking water.
The tips in this article will provide you with a comprehensive HVAC maintenance list but you should also consider doing the following:
Check thermostat settings to ensure the cooling and heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.
Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
Lubricate all moving parts.Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increases the amount of electricity you use.
Check and inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels.
Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.
Preventative Maintenance Pays Off
Besides the preventative HVAC maintenance tips in this article, you should also resolve any insulation issues at your rental property right now because quality insulation will keep your tenants warmer and ensure that the HVAC system doesn’t have to work harder to keep your tenants warm during the winter months.
After inspecting the insulation in your Portland Rental Property you should also make sure that your rental is properly sealed including all doors, windows.
During this time of year, your pipes should also be wrapped or insulated and if your rental property has a chimney you should hire someone to clean it as well.
Remind Tenants to Keep Rentals Ventilated during the winter
One common problem that arises during the winter months in many cities across the United States, especially in Portland Oregon is mold growth.
During this time of year, you should remind all of your tenants to keep their rental properties ventilated during the winter months because it’s common for anyone to leave a home closed up when it’s cold outside but what they don’t realize is that lack of air in the home encourages the growth of mold.
Avoiding mold growth is as simple as leaving fans on in the home during the day or leaving a window open in the home to circulate fresh air from outside.
Inspect All Alarms in Your Rental Property
Last of all, but most important, besides checking your HVAC units during the fall, and talking with your tenants about mold, you should also inspect all alarms in your rental property including smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Batteries should be changed at least twice during the year since winter is one of the most common seasons where fires and smoke inhalation deaths occur.
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