Guest Post By Blue National HVAC
One of the most challenging home systems to maintain in investment properties is the HVAC equipment. This is especially true in an area like South Carolina, where the high summer temperatures and the uncomfortably cool winter lows demand that your tenants use the equipment on a daily basis for most of the year. Staying ahead of HVAC outages and damages is one of the best ways to reduce your operating costs and maximize profits and tenant comfort.
Below, we’ll be discussing the common HVAC problems property managers in South Carolina face and some maintenance tips to prevent them from occurring. We’ll also discuss what to do if you find that replacement is needed in one of your properties.
Common HVAC Problems in South Carolina
HVAC equipment can malfunction and get damaged in any area, but investment properties in the Charleston area have unique issues. Below are the most common problems in the area, as well as some maintenance tips to try before calling an HVAC tech in Charleston or the surrounding area.
Many tenants in the Charleston area complain about inadequate cooling capacity, even with the thermostat turned down to a temperature that should be comfortable.
This issue is sometimes caused by clogged air filters. When pollen, dust, pet dander, pet hair, or other debris clogs the air filters, airflow is reduced, and your evaporator coils may get overworked trying to keep up with demand. They can freeze over and fail to cool the home if the problem persists for too long.
Pollen is one of the biggest contributing factors to clogged air filters in the Charleston area. South Carolina is the eighth-most tree-covered state in the country, with an incredible 67% of the entire state covered by tree canopy. The excessive amount of pollen, especially in the spring, can contribute to clogged air filters.
How to Avoid This Issue
While insufficient cooling is a prevalent issue in South Carolina, the solution is a simple one. Changing your air filters quarterly should help prevent this problem in your rental properties. Not only will the system be more likely to cool the living area properly, but it will also run more efficiently and cost you less on utility bills.
No Airflow Through the System
Another unfortunately common issue reported by tenants in the Charleston area is no air coming from the ducts at all. While an improperly set thermostat is sometimes the issue, this is usually indicative of a significant problem.
The most common cause of no airflow is a malfunctioning blower motor. The blower motor controls the airflow through your ducts, and if the motor fails, you’ll have no hot or cold air coming into the living area.
This type of issue is usually caused by constant use with improper maintenance. In an area like South Carolina, where your tenants will likely be using the system to cool in the summer and warm the property in the winter, the blower motor is constantly under extreme stress. Consistent use will make the motor more likely to fail.
How to Avoid This Issue
The best way to prevent your blower motor from getting damaged is to hire an HVAC tech to complete routine maintenance. They will lubricate moving parts, replace damaged or failing belts, and keep the system clean and efficient.
Between maintenance, make sure to replace air filters regularly and keep the condenser unit outside clear of debris and plant growth, as these will help reduce the stress on your system. Inspect outdoor units after the tropical cyclones and thunderstorms that are common in Charleston, as these can leave stray tree debris and garbage to block your condenser.
Leaking HVAC Equipment
Finally, minor leaks from your indoor HVAC equipment are common issues in South Carolina. These occur most often because of clogged condensate lines and drain pans, which are subject to build-up as the condensate captures pollen, dust, and other debris from the air. Once again, this issue is prevalent in South Carolina because your tenants will use the systems constantly.
Leaks can cause minor water damage to your property, promote hazardous mold growth, and cause the HVAC system to shut down to prevent additional leaking.
How to Avoid This Issue
When you head to your investment properties to replace the air filters and clear the outdoor unit of plant matter and debris, make it a point to clean the condensate line as well. Use a wet vac to remove any solid debris, and treat the drain pan and line with a bleach solution to kill any algae or mold spores.
What to Do If HVAC Replacement Is Required
If you find any issue in your system that demands a call to an HVAC repair company, the best thing you can do is call right away. Problems that are left without a solution will tend to get worse over time, so even seemingly minor issues can lead to severe damages.
If your HVAC professional advises that you need to replace a major part of the system, like the blower motor or condenser, you might benefit from replacing the entire system instead. This will cost you more money upfront, but it will increase the value of the investment property, show your tenants that you care about them and their comfort, and make your system much more efficient, thereby lowering your utility bills.
Wrapping Up: Why HVAC Maintenance Is So Important In South Carolina
Maintaining HVAC systems is important no matter where you live or own investment properties, but it’s especially crucial in South Carolina. The hot summers and cold winter temperatures mean your equipment will be under constant pressure to perform, which increases the risk of damage and system failures.
Carrying out even the most basic HVAC maintenance and calling in a professional once or twice a year for a tune-up can go a long way in preventing damage. It will also keep your system running smoothly, decrease heating and cooling bills, and keep your tenants comfortable so that they’re more inclined to stay and continue paying rent.
Blue National HVAC offers HVAC services in Charleston, SC. For more information, visit https://www.bluenationalhvac.com/sc/charleston/.