Once I purchased my first home, I realized that I needed to do my part in caring for my home appliances. In addition to reading the user manuals for my kitchen appliances and state-of-the-art plumbing system, I realized that I also needed to do a little research about HVAC. Because I had no experience with HVAC systems, I called out a professional to teach me a thing or two. It was fascinating to talk with him, and I was able to take notes about all kinds of important topics, such as maintenance, troubleshooting, and even shopping for a new system. This blog is all about understanding HVAC guidelines.
HVAC repair and maintenance are unavoidable when managing a rental property. Even if you use only the highest quality equipment, parts will eventually wear out and fail. You'll also need to schedule routine maintenance to ensure that your high-quality heating and cooling systems continue to perform efficiently and reliably.
While choosing an HVAC contractor is never something you should take lightly, rental property owners face a few unique challenges. These three tips will help you find the right HVAC company to care for the equipment on your properties.
1. Research Their Credentials
Most people will tell you to look for "licensed and insured" contractors, but what does that mean? Licensing varies between states, and not every state requires HVAC contractors to pass state licensing requirements. It's an excellent idea to familiarize yourself with your state's laws and confirm that any company you work with meets these licensing requirements.
You'll also want to consider EPA regulations, as well as credentials from third-party certification organizations. You're trusting your contractor to work on properties that provide a source of income for you, so it's worth taking the time to ensure they have the proper credentials. If in doubt, never be afraid to ask an HVAC contractor about their training and qualifications.
2. Ask About Bonding and Insurance
If you haven't run a business before, you might not be familiar with the concept of surety bonds. All states require that contractors hold surety bonds, although the amount and types vary. A surety bond guarantees that your contractor will complete their work ethically and professionally, and that they can provide you with the ability to file a claim against the bond if they do not.
In addition to bonding, you'll want to ensure that any contractor operating on your property holds general liability insurance at a minimum. Although this insurance ostensibly protects the contractor, it also assures that you can recover damages if an accident affects your property. Many states require contractors to hold liability insurance.
3. Discuss Service Plans
Since you're not present to monitor the condition of your HVAC equipment, routine maintenance is arguably more critical for rental properties than for other residential structures. If you're considering an HVAC company to work on your rental units, it's an excellent idea to discuss annual service plans. Many companies offer discounts on annual plans that include maintenance and inspection jobs.
Although they add a relatively small expense to your yearly costs, these plans can help you save significant amounts of money over the long term. By working with a company that provides this service, you'll ensure that the HVAC systems on your properties stay well-maintained and efficient. Contact a few HVAC companies near you to learn more.