Should We Install Central Heat & Air?

5 Replies

We are buying a property in a C neighborhood in Garland, TX where most of the houses do not have central heating and air. However, of the 3 houses for rent in the area, 2 of them had central ac. Our property has only window units and gas heater with floor vents. 

So I am wondering if we should consider installing central ac in our rent property. How much more rent income should we expect to get if we did install one? 

One thing to note is we are considering section 8 as an option. I was told that window units may not qualify for their standards. Is this true?

I don't mess with section 8. We looked into it. They said that one of our properties would only qualify for 380.00. I rented it out 3 weeks later for 660. (This is a small C class home) That particular tenant has been my model tenant. 

Don't get impatient and compromise. 

If your market doesn't demand it you don't need to. But if you can increase your ROI/reliability in the long run I would consider it. I know personally my tenants prefer central as it's cheaper on their monthly bill.

With my Section 8 properties I try to keep them as hardened as possible. This means adding as little as moving parts as possible. If I acquire the properties with parts I will keep them but I rarely add anything that I can see myself getting a call to fix. With that said I don't even have A/C in some of my units, but that may be unbearable for someone in Texas. You can use window units for section 8, I will note A/C is not required only heating.

Coming from an AC guy... Check with the local power company, some give rebates to replace (upgrade) window units with central AC. If you do decide to add it, stay with a "simple" unit. Ask the company for the average price to fix something. High SEER units are expensive to fix.