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Filters, Batteries, and Water Heaters. Oh My!

Man Fixing a Water Heater in Raleigh Rental PropertyIn the whole year, fall would be the best season to perform regular maintenance on some of the hardest-working devices in your rental property. By taking advantage of this season to do important interior maintenance items, you’re really also preparing your property to run safely and smoothly all winter long. Some of the things you can do are check and clean your filters, batteries, and water heaters. And, depending on its condition, they may need to be replaced. These tasks should be done regularly to reduce the risks your tenants are exposed to, and to make sure your rental property is in great condition.

It’s critical that you regularly replace your Raleigh rental property’s air filters. These filters keep your property’s HVAC system clean and running efficiently. Because of this, changing the air filters in your rental home is considered an important part of seasonal maintenance. As the winter months draw near, and people choose to stay indoors more, they’d want to keep out the cold. They crank up the heat and the furnaces start working harder. This is why keeping your filters clean is crucial. There are multiple types of HVAC systems, and they don’t have the same type of filters. So, depending on which type of filter you need, you may need to change the filters as often as every 30 days, every three months, or even every six months. While you may think that having your tenants do these things would be a smart move, the truth is, many tenants would probably forget to do it or not change the filters often enough. This sort of neglect would cause undue strain on your HVAC system, reducing both its life and the efficiency of the unit.

Fall is also a great season to test and change the batteries in your rental property’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These devices need to be working well to make sure your tenants will be safe. Imagine if one of your smoke detectors stop functioning— say it ran out of batteries— and your property gets damaged in a fire and one of your tenants get hurt. You can be sure that you’re getting sued. In other words, it’s critical that these devices are kept working properly.

There are also different kinds of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Some of them need their batteries changed every six to twelve months while others— with lithium batteries— can last up to ten years. That’s amazing considering the useful life of a smoke or carbon monoxide detector is also ten years. Even so, no matter what kind of battery your devices have, you should still have your batteries tested on a regular basis, and replaced right away when necessary. Hundreds of people are injured or killed in house fires every year. Some of these tragedies could be attributed to the smoke detectors in their homes not going off when it should have. If you would have your tenants do this task, you cannot guarantee that they would actually do it. What’s worse, they may damage your property’s smoke detectors as they try and do the maintenance— especially if they weren’t properly trained. This would lead to additional replacement costs and the increased liability on your part.

Next, we have water heaters. Despite it being one of the most frequently used devices in a rental home, it’s often neglected when doing property maintenance tasks. It should not be neglected. It is important to clean your rental property’s water heater so it continues to work efficiently for a long time. Over time, sediment builds up in the tank of a water heater, making it less efficient and even leading to clogged water lines.

You can stay clear of these problems by simply flushing your water heater once every six months or so. It may take a bit of time to do it but it really is important. You have to do it to get the most out of your expensive water heater unit. This may be another task you’d want your tenants to be handling. However, there is no guarantee that they’ll clean out the water heater properly. Instead, they may just be doing more harm than good.

Neglecting these maintenance items can have serious consequences and you may end up paying a lot more on expensive repairs. But letting your tenant change or clean the filters, batteries, and water heater in your Raleigh rental property is not the best option. The other option would be to do it all by yourself— but that would leave little room to do more meaningful and important tasks. That’s also not so good. The best option would really be to get a company like Real Property Management Raleigh to handle all the property maintenance tasks for you. Our full range of maintenance services can do wonders for you. It can keep your property at peak shape and ensure the safety of your tenants. With us working for you, you would have more time to focus on growing your real estate investing business. For more information, contact us today.

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