Repair or replacement costs of an HVAC system are major contributors to the maintenance budget of a landlord. With recent requirements on the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) imposed the the Department of Energy (Click Here for More Details) coupled with the conversion from R-22 to R-410A refrigerant dictated by the EPA (Click Here for More Details) costs to repair or replace an HVAC system are likely to catch landlords by surprise. In most cases, installation of a new system will cost over $5K. Any major repairs will also be costly as the may require a conversion kit/process or the capture/recovery of refrigerant.
We suggest that landlords be aware of the age of their HVAC system and its the projected life span. With the rising costs of system repairs and replacement refrigerant, we suggest landlords put an annual HVAC contract for spring and fall cleaning/check in place to prolong the life of their systems.
If an air conditioning unit stops functioning during the peak summer temperatures, tenants will be requesting (actually expecting/demanding) prompt action. It is important that owners understand and budget for the potential repair costs so that corrective action can be taken in a reasonable amount of time. While lack of AC may not always be considered an emergency, from our experience it is definitely gets tenants “heated up” and comes up as at “hot topic” at lease renewal time.