Do you have an AC guy check your units twice a year?

10 Replies

Do you have an AC guy service your unit regularly? How often and what does he do? Does he catch/prevent repairs before they happen?

a/c check every spring and furnace check every fall. They change filters and make sure thebunit is running correctly. I've had them discover a furnace that was pumpin out too much carbon monoxide. We replaced it and the tenants were very greatful. Plus, it hopefully reduces the chances that we will get that emergency call in the middle of the night saying the furnace isn't working. 

My forced air furnaces don't have central AC, but once each year I open up the main compartment door and vacuum out any dust/debris. I also check the filters.

Definitely at least once per year, and preferably twice. If you are only going to do once, I would do it in the spring just before AC season. Most of our tenants run AC harder than heat, and it's harder for a dirty system to make cold air in high heat than it is to make warm air in cold weather - gas will just incinerate everything, and heat pumps have auxiliary coils. Most calls we get come from low or no AC. Yes, he catches problems early, and most problems are dirty units from not changing filters often enough. 

I have an HVAC technician come by one a year to inspect the system and perform the needed maintenance.

@Marian Smith
I have someone do a winter and summer checkup on my units

Worth the $ in my mind as it is preventative maintenance

The guy I use hoses down the outdoor coils and apparently takes pressure readings and/or freon readings. We used to do Spring checkups but twice we have had repairs a month later, bearings out in a fan motor and a compressor went out while we were on vacation. Ants fried in the contacts twice but that can't be predicted. Now I do it...I spray the outdoor units with a hose mounted soap (my guy just uses water) I get it at the hvac store, spray around the units with incecticide to keep fire ants out, change the air handler filter and drop off a supply of filters. I figure a sealed system shouldnt leak and if it does the tenants will say the air isnt cold or their bills are high. Maybe I will do the checkup every other year.

I do not hire a tech to come and clean or service my furnaces or C/A units. I change the furnace filters regularly myself and will also clean them periodically myself as well. I do not see any evidence that spending  $100+ a year on these cleanings will save me any money. I manage 24 units and have a combined total of 18 furnaces and C/A units. A new furnace install costs me $1,900 so at $100 a year per unit in servicing, I can replace a furnace each year instead. Has served me well over the last decade. Most of the issues I have had with furnaces are largely operator error and troubleshooting is quite easy 

I think you should. Do you have your own AC serviced regularly? Why would you not do the same for rental properties?

Having your AC serviced in the spring won't guarantee that you won't have problems later. But it will make sure that everything is running properly at that time. And you're less likely to have AC problems in the heat of summer if it's serviced regularly.

I am pretty adamant to my landlords about getting gas furnaces serviced in the fall. If you have an AC fail in the summer. you'll have an angry tenant. If you have a gas furnace fail you can have a dead tenant.

Yes, I do, twice a year. I have a local company with great techs come out an do the service. Also, since I have my 5 rentals plus my primary residence with them, they cut me a deal. Instead of $139/yr they charge me $110.

With a proper install and regular filter changes, a furnace/heat pump should last years without any further service. 20+ years ideally.

The annual or biannual checkups are pointless. You may need to occasionally clean leaves or snow off the outdoor unit, but the annual maintenance won't fix that "problem" if it happens season-long.

"Freon readings" are complete BS. An A/C system is fully sealed and should never need checking or charging, ever. If you must regularly "top-off" or "recharge" an A/C system, it is leaking and therefore needs professional repair. A recharge is not a repair. Would you live with a leaky bathtub if the plumber wiped up the leak once or twice a year?

The life of a central air system, if the filters are replaced regularly, depends entirely on initial install quality and component integrity. Annual maintenance will not extend that life.

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