The air conditioner at your rental property could go down at any time. Just to have someone respond could be expensive. Some a/c issues could be fixed over the phone. Here are 4 things to ask your tenant before calling a Miami a/c repair company:
It gets so hot and humid in Miami, so, so hot. Air conditioning is a must-have in South Florida and often the a/c runs 24/7. If it breaks, people lose their minds! Everything stops. The house heats up in what feels like an instant and panic quickly sets in.
If you’re the owner of the house in this scenario, chances are the tenants are going to call you immediately. They won’t know what’s wrong, but they know that it needs to be fixed like yesterday. To Miamians, air conditioning is right up there with running water and oxygen.
As a property manager, I’ve received dozens of “the a/c isn’t cooling” calls. I could send a Miami a/c repair company out immediately, but it helps to find out what’s going on first. Asking a few simple questions will help in:
- Providing valuable information to the technician if one does need to be sent out
- Getting the air conditioner up and running until a technician can get there
- Fixing the problem and avoiding the cost all together!
When you get that inevitable call, ask your tenant the following questions before calling a Miami a/c repair company:
Can you hear the a/c running?
With the a/c running just about around the clock, it’s almost eerie when it’s completely off. Have your tenant check the breakers. If they’ve tripped, have them reset the breakers and monitor it. If it continues to happen, there could be an electrical issue and it should be looked at by a professional.
Have you replaced the batteries in the thermostat?
I love when this is the problem because it’s such an easy one to fix! If your thermostat is battery powered, have your tenant replace the batteries with new ones. The thermostats job is to tell the system when the temperature rises above the threshold so the system can start cooling again. If the batteries are low, the thermostat won’t be able to do its job and the system will remain on standby.
Is there ice buildup?
Have your tenant check for ice that has formed in the evaporator coil. This is located at the air-handler which is inside the house. Have them remove the a/c filter – which they should be replacing often – and either look for or feel for ice. If this is the case, have them set the thermostat so that only the fan is running. Cooling should be set to off. If there’s ice buildup, running the fan will melt the ice and the a/c can be turned back on in about an hour. Have them place a pan and towels below the air handler to catch the melting ice and water.
An a/c that freezes could be due to low coolant levels or dirty coils so it would be best to contact a Miami a/c repair company, but this will buy you some time.
Check if the condenser fan is on (outside unit)
Have your tenant check the condenser, which is the unit outside (and pictured above). Is the fan running?
When you hear the air conditioner turn on, this is what you typically hear, although newer systems are pretty quiet. If the fan is not turning on, the air-handler inside may still be on but the a/c will not cool. Have the tenant turn off the a/c completely and contact a Miami a/c repair company.
Although basic, these are the likeliest cases when an a/c isn’t cooling. Knowing what questions to ask will at least eliminate some easy fixes. It may save you some time and money. At the very least it will provide you with piece of mind knowing you did what you could for the tenant and your wallet. If you do call a Miami a/c repair company a good technician may try to get an idea of what’s going on so they can fix it on their first trip. An exceptional Miami a/c repair company will try to help you over the phone. If they help you without charging you a dime, wouldn’t you call them the next time? Happy renting!
Pedro Cedeño, Lic. Real Estate Agent, Real Property Management Dade – Miami, FL | My team and I are here to make it easy and profitable to own rental property in Miami by focusing on the people and not just the buildings. We love to see the positive effect good rental practices have on people. Sharing the knowledge we’ve gained over the years with current and aspiring landlords is part of our mission.