Minneapolis Residential HVAC Installers- and the Value of AC

12 Replies

1) Does anyone have any recommendations for residential HVAC installers that do work in Minneapolis? We have a few furnaces to replace and AC's to install (possibly- see below).

2) What does everyone estimate the value of central air to be in a upper-medium-end rental in Minneapolis? Do you project $x more in monthly rent or see it as something that gets your more interest but not necessarily more rent? For perspective, the units are 2 BRs in a 1960's side-by-side duplex getting $1700/mo, so they're not cheap units from a rent perspective. We haven't had a problem getting tenants, but I'm wondering if it's worth it to get AC installed while we replace the furnaces.

Thanks for the input!

@Joseph Lee from everything I have seen Central AC does not increase rent, but from my experience, I do see it as important to pull the cream of the crop tenants, and I think it will add to your value vs your competition when we see a market shift.  Adding AC should cost about $2500/unit plus the cost of running the electrical which varies but is approximately $1500.

I agree with Tim. If the duplex has all the ductwork already (for furnace) then I would definitely add AC since it's not a very large expense. If the duplex was using boiler for example, adding AC is a lot more expensive, especially in an up/down duplex. Having central AC helps with vacancy and to separate you from rentals with no central AC. But as far as additional income - No. However, with $1700/mo it's already considered more than market rate ($1400-$1500 for 2 bedroom).

I think these guys are right that it might not increase your rent on the front end but it will help with tenant retention and we all know that limiting turnover costs is the name of the game in your buy and hold properties.

Hey guys, thanks for the input! Like you mentioned, @Jay Lohn , it seems like a reasonable investment in tenant retention.

Since we're currently owner occupying one of the units, there are some pretty attractive improvement loans that we could take advantage, so may now be the time to do it. @Pavel Ushakov or @Tim Swierczek (or Jay)- do either of you have a go-to contractor for furnance or AC install? The property is already forced air, so it's a pretty straight-forward job. The recommendations I've gotten from others have all been small shops that don't have license to work in Mpls. 

I live in Mpls and had Sedgwick Heating & Air Conditioning replace the AC in my home. They did a great job and I will use them again. Centerpoint can also do AC but I've had bad experiences with their techs and will not work with them anymore. 

Also, I am glad you asked this questions as I am considering adding AC at one of my rental properties. I don't expect a boost in rent but I know for re sale it will be a plus.  I also haven't had any expense this year at that one so a write off would be nice. lol 

I have a great one, he does furnaces, AC's and mini splits. He is not licensed in Minneapolis but is licensed in other parts of the state. If the furnace is already there then adding AC does not require a permit, and he does everything by code anyway. He is anal about quality, and best prices I've seen. If that works for you, send me PM and I'll share his contact. I've used him at least 40 times ;) 

I managed a larger class B apartment building that was newer, but had a boiler and only wall units for A/C.   As a regional property manager with over 800 units I heard a lot of complaints about not having central air from the tenants especially around lease renewals.  Initially tenants may not notice, but I do feel that it is more difficult to increase rates once they are in the unit.  Renters are comparing other units to yours, 

I would guess central air would account for $50-75/mo in lost income overall. 

$1700/mo x 12 x 20=$408,000 - $1000 for window A/C units= $407,000.  Does not include removing or installing and assumes one large unit would be adequate (most likely not for a 115v 14-15k unit)

$1750/mo x 12 x 20=$420,000 - $4000 for central A/C= $416,000.

So  about $37/50/month gain for Central A/C if you are able to get $15/month more you break even. Or if you charged the same price, but had fewer turns.  In your case unless you are able to do 24 hour turns you may lose a months rent plus painting cost could be 3k, so I less turn would pay for the central air.

You also need to consider the opportunity costs of not having $4000 to invest in another property.

Good luck to you either way.


@Joseph Lee I would recommend Metro Heating and Cooling. I received 4 bids all from licensed HVAC installers and they were the least expensive, did their work on time, pulled the permit and got it closed. They were easy to work with as well. I am doing the same exact thing as you, living in a side by side duplex except mine is from the 50s. 

@Pavel Ushakov if the furnace is there, adding AC still requires a permit in some cities such as the one I am in. You need an electrical and mechanical inspection for installation of AC even if you have a furnace and the ductwork in place already.

I used shurrail HVAC to purchase my A/C unit. It’s a scratch and dent place all brand new though. Was less than half of the quotes from other HVAC installers. I used one of their contractors. He was licensed for commercial but not residential. I used him anyway since it was for my primary home and not a rental.  Great place You buy a unit and they deliver for free. But maybe not the best contractors for use on a rental. 

Hey @Amber Gonion , thanks for the insight, I really do appreciate it. The reason it's attractive to do now is that there are some reasonable unsecured home improvement loan products from the MN CEE (Center for Energy and Environment) that I can use to finance the adds since we currently owner-occupy the property.

@Josh Cook - Metro is at the top of my list right now. Their quotes were the most competitive I've seen. I'm glad to hear you've had a good experiences with them. Anecdotal evidence is a crazy drug...