Are you looking to rent a home in Annapolis, Maryland? If so, it’s important to examine the climate control system before signing a deal. Rental properties are often kept to different standards than full-term residences, so it’s best to know everything you can about the climate control system ahead of time. Read on to learn which questions to ask when looking into a rental property.

How Old is the HVAC System?

This is the first question you should ask. Older systems have reduced efficiency compared to newer ones, which will impact your utility bills at the end of the month. While modern central HVAC systems require a SEER rating of above 14, older units don’t have that requirement and can have a much lower rating. This means they consume more fuel to achieve the same amount of cooling output when compared to better-rated systems.

In addition, older systems have a tendency to break down more often. They can also take longer to cool or heat your home, depending on the status of the mechanical and electrical components. Of course, there are many systems that are over 10 years old that work great. But it’s best to know ahead of time so you don’t have any surprises.

Is Regular Maintenance Included?

Regular maintenance won’t only extend the lifespan of your HVAC system. It’ll also catch any potential issues before they cause shutdowns.

Ask your rental company if they include regular HVAC maintenance or if the maintenance clause only covers repairs. If they include maintenance, be sure to coordinate which dates and times work best for you. If it isn’t, find out how quickly they take care of repairs, and ask if there’s an emergency maintenance number you can call during off hours if something happens with your system.

What Fuel Does the System Use?

Different fuel systems can provide different levels of efficiency and impact your home’s utility costs. Natural gas is the most efficient of all the available fuels for home climate control systems. But not every area has natural gas hookups.

Propane is next, followed by electricity, which can be up to three times more expensive than natural gas. Ask your rental company what kind of fuel the HVAC system uses so you can get a good idea of how much you should plan to spend on utilities. This also applies to your water heater. Like HVAC systems, natural gas water heaters are far more energy-efficient than electric water heaters.

The fuel type shouldn’t have much impact on how good your HVAC system is at adjusting your home’s temperature. Knowing the difference is most useful when budgeting out costs.

Where are the Components?

If you’re looking at renting a condo or townhome with the external portion of the HVAC system located outside, it’s a good idea to know which compressor is yours. Keeping the area around your compressor clear is important for improved efficiency and reduced breakdowns.

For single-family home rentals, knowing the location of your compressor is a little easier. Be sure to keep the area around it clear. Also, keep an eye out for puddled water. This could indicate a blockage somewhere or an issue with the drains.

Where is the Filter Located?

Changing your filter regularly is an important part of any home maintenance, whether you rent or own. Some rental companies will take care of this for you, but for the most part, changing out your filter is up to you.

Figure out the location of the filter. Discuss with your rental company what filter rating is recommended for the HVAC unit. Some units may not work well with highly rated filters, while others can handle the denser material just fine. Clean filters can help reduce lung-irritating debris from circulating within your home and may also increase the efficiency of your unit. As a result, you’ll save money on operational and repair costs.

The experts at Coastal Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc., are happy to help with all your rental climate control needs, whether you’re a renter or a property owner. Give us a call at 410-919-0110 today for more information!

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