How Property Managers Can Get In Front Of HVAC System Challenges in Atlanta
by BLUE NATIONAL HVAC | published SEP 28, 2021
Are you looking to save money on maintenance costs on properties in Atlanta? Here are a few techniques that will not only save you money, but they’ll also help tenants breathe easier and be more comfortable. (You’ll also be saving the world from excess greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.)
HVAC maintenance in Atlanta doesn’t have to be complicated. Use these tips and facts to help you become the most efficient property manager on the block:
Keep Windows Closed/Seal Windows
This simple technique could potentially save you substantial amounts of money on your energy costs. There are always those tenants who insist on having the windows open even though it causes the HVAC unit to stay on. Consequently, the heated/cooled air blows right out the window.
Luckily, there is a simple solution to open windows: bolt them shut or get stoppers so they can only open so far. If the tenant can’t open the window, the HVAC system will activate and deactivate efficiently as it should, and the monthly bill will drop in large percentages. (Just be sure to check local fire codes and leave the necessary egress windows unbolted.)
Yes, small windows aren’t as big of a problem, and people deserve to be able to peek out the window from time to time, but there’s really no reason for open windows in a polluted city. Besides, the air coming from the HVAC system is filtered, so inhabitants are better off with the windows being shut.
Inspect Air Ducts For Holes / Imperfections
According to The Refrigeration School, about 20% of heated/cooled air never makes it to its destination due to holes/leaks in the ductwork.
Stick your hand over the air vent when the fan is on, and determine whether or not enough air is blowing out. If the airflow is weak, you should consult a professional HVAC technician to inspect the air ducts in your unit.
Perform Inspections Before Hot And Cold Seasons
Always hire a professional HVAC technician to perform a complete inspection on your HVAC system before firing up the furnaces or AC units.
Keep Up-To-Date On Warranty Info
Most HVAC equipment comes with a warranty that lasts for a certain amount of years. Property managers should keep all warranty info on file after units are installed. Most warranties require that regular maintenance be performed to maintain validity, so reading the fine print on warranty information could potentially save thousands of dollars on unnecessary repairs/replacements.
Change Air Filters Frequently
Changing air filters is the simplest and best way to prevent HVAC system failures. When an air filter becomes dirty, it reduces air flow and causes a heap of other problems like frozen evaporator coils, dirty furnace units, etc. that could have been easily prevented by replacing the air filter every 30-60 days.
You should keep a stack of air filters on hand to avoid the chore of purchasing them every time you need them. Make sure that you are purchasing the correct size air filter. Filters that don’t fully cover the vent area will cause dust/dirt and pollution to enter the system.
Installing Smart Thermostats
Smart thermostats like Google Nest and Ecobee allow you to control the thermostat from your smartphone. With a smart thermostat, you don’t need to be on location to micromanage temperatures. Simply install the unit on the wall, and live your life carefree by managing things away from the office.
You could even go as far as installing smart vents that open and close on demand for isolating unused areas of a building.
Keep An Eye Out For Obvious Failures
Being able to recognize obvious failures is an intelligent characteristic of a property manager. Here are some common problems that occur in heating and air condition systems:
Frozen Evaporator Coils
Locate the coil box, and remove the cover for a quick inspection. Are the copper coils clean? Dust and dirt will inhibit evaporator coils ability to function properly. Property managers can easily clean evaporator coils by pouring some detergent and water into a spray bottle, and spraying it onto the coils.
Frozen coils are a bad sign, and there are multiple reasons why coils could freeze over, including a refrigerant leak, dirty air filter, damaged refrigerant lines, clogged condensate pump, etc.
Clogged Condensate Pipe/Failed Condensate Pump
Locate the condensate pipe and determine whether or not it is letting water out of the air conditioning system. If water can’t escape, the evaporator coils will freeze over, and the system will fail to work.
Low Air Flow/No Air Flow
Low air flow means either a clogged air filter or imperfections in the ductwork. If the air filter is clean but the air flow is still low, you may need an HVAC pro to perform duct cleaning/repair.
If the furnace/AC unit kicks on but no air comes out, this is a sign of either a failed blower motor or faulty thermostat.
System Not Blowing Out Correct Temperatures
If your system is blowing out air but it’s not heated/cooled it’s likely that there is a problem with the refrigerant (AC systems) or the flame igniters (furnace systems.
Remember, if the refrigerant levels are either too high or too low, then the AC system will blow out lukewarm air. That’s why a knowledgeable professional is needed to hook up gauges to the system.
Igniter coils can clog up and fail to function when a dirty/poorly installed air filter lets dirt into the system. Clogged coils could be the problem.
Whatever the problem may be, your professional HVAC service professional knows how to handle it.