When adding amenities and upgrades to older properties, it’s important to think through each step of the project in advance. Not every owner does so, and this can lead to unintended consequences.
In-unit washer and dryer hookups, for example, appeal to a higher demographic and can be a great upgrade to an older property. However, care must be given to a variety of factors, in particular proper ventilation. The main question is:
How are you going to get that hot, damp, lint-filled dryer exhaust out of the building?
What Are the Risks of Bad Dryer Ventilation?
In this segment, we take a look at the washer and dryer hookups installed as an upgrade in a 1970s-built apartment property. We discover the previous owner answered the question posed above with, “Screw it, we won’t figure out how to get it out of the building at all!” Who can blame them for trying to save a few bucks, right? I mean, what could possibly go wrong pumping heat, moisture, and lint into the same closet that holds the AC air handler and the water heater? Glad you asked. For starters:
- Over time, the lint can collect and become a fire hazard.
- The lint can also quickly clog the filter on the AC unit.
- Regularly adding warm, moist air to a closet is just begging for a mold problem.
- Condensation can cause electrical issues.
- In the summer, the AC unit and dryer are in a fight to the death—one is working overtime to get heat out of the apartment, while the other is pumping heat and humidity into it.
- The added heat and humidity not only make for a less comfortable environment for the resident, but also drive up their utility bills.
Of course, you would never do something like this, but what if you were to buy a building where somebody already has? Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do to remedy this upgrade gone wrong. Watch this video for tips on how to spot a ventilation issue and a couple solutions for when you find it in one of your properties.
Have any of your rentals had ventilation issues? How did you solve them?
Leave your questions and comments below!