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Your Tenants Are Hot! 4 Common AC Problems in CA Rental Properties

Your Tenants Are Hot: 4 Common AC Problems in CA Rental Properties


Whether you live in Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, San Diego or LA, California summers can be brutal. Beautiful, but hot nonetheless. The high temperatures can mean AC units are working much harder than they are used to, and sweating tenants have been known to crank down the AC so low that it causes even more problems.


Air conditioners aren’t cheap to fix, but they’re also not optional. Owners and property managers fear the dreaded 2 am phone call that a family is baking in their home because the AC isn’t working. But it happens. Here are four common AC problems in CA rental properties that you’ll hopefully never have to deal with, what causes them and how to solve them.

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A Hot House Can Lead To An Unhappy Tenant


The Problem: Certain areas of the home aren’t cooling


The Cause: For some reason or another, airflow isn’t getting to certain parts of the house. This could be caused by something as simple as the air vent is not open in a particular part of the home, or window or door being left open. If these things have been checked and there is an imbalance in the cooling, it could be leaking ducts.


The Solution: For the easier fixes, you or your renter could easily shut open windows or open the air vents. If it seems to be more of a technical problem, your next step should be to a licensed technician who can inspect the ducts.


The Problem: The AC won’t kick on. At all


The Cause: A lot of things could cause the AC to suddenly decide to take a break. When this happens in the middle of a Temecula summer, it’s important to identify the problem as fast as possible. Hopefully, it’s something easy like a tripped breaker or user error, but if not, chances are it’s because of faulty parts or a problem with the contactor. (The contactor is the link between the thermostat and the actual unit)


The Solution: If you’ve checked the breakers and can rule out user error, it’s time to make some phone calls. If it is the contactor, an AC tech can usually diagnose the problem and order new parts relatively inexpensively. If you’re feeling a confident and want to attempt to fix the contactor yourself, there are many helpful YouTube videos that’ll walk you through the process

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When the AC is running properly your tenant can enjoy time in their rental home.

The Problem: It’s icy inside the unit

The Cause: Again, this issue can have a lot to do with the contractor. Refrigerant leaks can also be the culprit. In the summer its common for the unit to run non-stop at very low temps. This could cause the inside of the unit to freeze. Try turning off the unit using the thermostat. If that’s not successful, it’s probably a contactor problem. Bubbling noises could mean a refrigerant leak, so pay attention to that as well.

The Solution: This is something you need a pro to look at. When you notice ice, call a tech immediately so he/she can address the problem before even more damage is done. You can remind renters when they arrive that if they drop the temps in the house down, it will freeze the pipes and they will be out of an AC. Supply portable fans if possible to keep circulation going in the home and prevent renters from turning the home into an arctic tundra.


The Problem: There’s hot air coming out


The Cause: The only thing worse than an AC not working at all is an AC that thinks it’s a furnace. A unit that is blowing warm or hot air is usually either a refrigerant leak or a worn out compressor.


The Solution: Take a second and listen to your AC. If you hear a knocking sound, it’s a sign that the compressor isn’t working correctly. If it sounds more like hissing or bubbling, you’re looking at a refrigerant leak. Check for ice build up on the refrigerant line. Cross your fingers (and toes) that it’s the refrigerant because if it’s the compressor, it’s going to cost you. When the compressor goes, it’s time to decide whether you get a whole new unit or replace the compressor.

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The best way to avoid hot, cranky, tenants is to make sure your AC units are working efficiently way before the heat of the summer. Besides having a professional property management company like Benefit National Property Management, having your air conditioners serviced regularly is one of the smartest decisions you can make to ensure your AC troubles are limited. Property Management pricing can be very reasonable and well worth it!

Benefit National Provides Full Service Property Management Services In Murrieta | Temecula | Lake Elsinore | Menifee | Wildomar | Sun City | & Winchester

29995 Technology Dr. 105A | Murrieta CA 92563 | 951.473.8177