Landlords: Complete This Checklist Before Having That New Air Conditioning System Installed

21 July 2015
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If you've decided to have a new air conditioning replacement system installed in your apartment building, you want to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible for your tenants and your business. Completing this checklist before installation day arrives will ensure everyone gets the most out of the new air conditioning system and has a pleasant experience.

1. Give your tenants plenty of notice about the upcoming work.

Depending on the placement of your current air conditioning unit and the way your existing system is set up, installing the new unit may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Have the HVAC team give you an estimate of how long the work will take, and then pass this news on to your tenants in the form of an email or letter. Let them know when the work will start (date and time) and approximately how long it will take.

Let your residents know that the power may go out for a short time during this work period, and that there may be loud noises. This way, they can plan any activities that require electricity or a quiet atmosphere outside of this time. If the HVAC team will need access to any individual apartment units to do the installation, make sure you give the residents of those units proper notice that you'll be entering their units. In most jurisdictions, you're required to give tenants 24 hours' notice before entering their unit for such repairs, but giving more notice than this is always polite.

2. Ask tenants to tell you about their AC conundrums now, so they can be fixed during the new installation.

Send out a quick email, or if you only have a few tenants, give them phone calls. Ask whether anyone has any current complaints about the air conditioning system. For instance, are there rooms that don't cool property? Is there a thermostat that seems to run hot? Identifying these problems before the new air conditioning installation will save you time, since the HVAC team can address them while they're on site.

3. Have your ducts cleaned.

Dirty ducts can sabotage your new air conditioning system, flooding it with dust and other debris, and decreasing its efficiency. Have your ducts cleaned a week or two before the installation is scheduled, so your new system can start off with clean ducts from the get-go. You may have to enter residents' apartment units to have the ducts cleaned, so be sure to give proper notice, as explained above. Explain to tenants that having the ducts cleaned will leave the air throughout the building a lot cleaner and healthier; they'll likely be glad you're taking such good care of their needs and won't mind having workers around.

4. Check the window seals in every unit.

It's no secret that well-sealed windows keep energy costs down when the air conditioning is on. While you're in the apartments for the duct cleaning or to check out other related issues, take a quick look at the windows and make sure they're sealing well. Ask tenants if any of the windows feel drafty. If you do find a drafty window or two, you can easily seal it with some rope caulk. It's best to do this before the new air conditioner is installed, so residents start off with as low of energy bills as possible with the new system.

Keep in mind that keeping air conditioning bills as low as possible does not just benefit your tenants. It benefits your business as well. Tenants with lower energy bills will be happier with their units and more likely to renew their leases.

By having your ducts cleaned, identifying and solving other AC issues ahead of time, and giving your tenants proper warning, you make the process of installing a new air conditioner in your apartment building much smoother and more effective.