Top Tips for Your Rental Property HVAC


As a landlord, it is important to provide a safe and comfortable rental home for your tenants. However, a poorly maintained HVAC system can be a real hindrance to that goal. In this article, we focus on top tips to improve efficiency and extend the life of your rental property’s HVAC unit. Also, if you need help caring for your rental HVAC system, check with your property manager maintenance team. Let’s review some helpful tips below.

Inspect the System before Purchase

Owners can save themselves a lot of hassle if they install a premium HVAC system. When all the components are in top condition, you’ll have an easier time maintaining them and have less cause for worry.

When looking to purchase an investment property, be sure to have the unit inspected by a home inspector or licensed technician. Be sure to double-check for any missing, broken, or rust-covered parts. If there are any issues, you may be able to use it as a bargaining tool to offer a lower price.

Educate Tenants on Proper Care

It’s reasonable to assume that your tenant will have more frequent access to the HVAC system. Thus, it’s standard that they pitch in to assist in some basic maintenance tasks.

The rental agreement should outline any tenant duties, such as changing the filter, cleaning the vents, and reporting any malfunctions immediately.

Since you’d essentially be entrusting the care of your HVAC system and property to your tenant, finding a responsible one is vital. That’s why you shouldn’t underestimate the aid of a great real estate agent and a thorough screening process.

Schedule Periodic Maintenance

Professional periodic maintenance of your HVAC system is absolutely essential to extending the life of the unit. Consider contracting a certified HVAC maintenance company like Magnolia Heating and Cooling to avoid unexpected complications in the future. As a rule of thumb, it would help if you had an expert inspect the unit at least once per year.

By keeping the HVAC well-tuned through preventative maintenance, owners can avoid the risk of costly breakdowns. After all, emergency repairs are not just expensive, they are a big inconvenience for tenants with solo stoves and minimal things.

Frequently Clean the Air Filters

Regularly cleaning or replacing the air filter is a good habit that improves both air quality and efficiency. Dust, pollen, and other debris can easily build up, leaving the system to recycle them into the room. That can trigger allergies and leave your rental smelling musty.

There are many factors that can contribute to how often a filter needs to be replaced. Typically, every 3 months is recommended. However, it doesn’t hurt to have tenants inspect the filter monthly, especially if the unit sees year-round use.

Clean the Exterior Unit

External dirt and debris can affect the functionality of your HVAC system. For instance, if your property’s surroundings are incredibly dusty, it can get into your unit. Thus, you have to keep the unit’s exterior clean and free of clutter. Also, if you have a flower bed or trees outside, note that some loose foliage can get into the system too.

Examine the Coils

Apart from the filter, the coils are another component of your HVAC system you have to keep clean. After a while, these tubes tend to collect dirt and dust that impair their function. In other words, they lose their ability to absorb heat effectively. In the process, your AC might try to compensate by drawing more power, increasing your electric bill. With a well-angled brush or rag, you can occasionally clean the grime off the coils for a boost of inefficiency.

Clear the Drain Channels

Another component that experiences build-up is the drain channels. Over time, debris can block the tubes, letting water accumulate inside. It can then spill over to the floors and walls.

While it might not be significant enough to cause water damage, it can leave a mess and backwash into the unit. Since water and electronics rarely mix, you could have more important issues with your HVAC system if the latter occurs. Luckily, cleaning out the drain channels isn’t that complicated. All you need is a stiff wire to pull out the debris. However, for safety, be sure to turn off power to the unit before doing any cleaning or repairs.


Most landlords try to avoid buying a new HVAC system because it is an expensive endeavor. However, since it is integral to guaranteeing your tenant’s comfort, you often have no choice when an old unit breaks down. Thus, it would be in your best interest to follow these top tips for your rental property HVAC.

Successful rental maintenance of any kind starts with prevention. Therefore, owners should schedule periodic inspections, annual tune-ups, and ensure tenants know how to perform simple maintenance tasks. Basic tasks such as changing the filter, cleaning coils, or removing debris from the exterior unit are critical to maintaining proper efficiency.

If you need an extra hand to oversee the servicing of your HVAC system, reach out to an expert property management company. With a property manager, you can ensure the longevity of your system and maximize your investment.

Leo Fletcher
With a Master’s in Engineering from Georgia Tech and a distinguished 25-year system design and analysis career, Leo Fletcher has been a vital part of various teams. His professional journey began as a systems engineer, where he developed a keen eye for technical details and system efficiencies. He has contributed to numerous technical journals and workshops, aiming to simplify complex concepts for a broader audience. He is a passionate woodworker outside the office, a hobby reflecting his love for precise, crafted outcomes.

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