As a landlord or property manager, you know how important it is to keep your rental units in good condition and provide a comfortable living environment for your tenants. However, you also know how frustrating and costly it can be when appliances break down or malfunction. Appliances are essential for everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry, and they can also affect your energy bills and tenant satisfaction. Therefore, it is in your best interest to prevent common appliance problems and avoid unnecessary repairs or replacements.
In this article, we will share some tips and tricks on how to prevent common appliance problems in your rental units, such as leaks, clogs, overheating, and power issues. We will also provide some resources on how to fix simple appliance problems yourself or when to call a professional service.
Tip #1: Clean the coils of your refrigerator and freezer
One of the most common appliance problems is a refrigerator or freezer that is not cooling properly or conks out. This can lead to spoiled food, wasted energy, and unhappy tenants. One of the main causes of this problem is clogged coils. The coils are the black tube-and-wire grid that cools the fluid in the compressor. A buildup of dust, dirt, pet hair, or other debris can reduce the airflow and efficiency of the coils, causing the compressor to overheat and trigger the overload switch.
To prevent this problem, you should clean the coils of your refrigerator and freezer at least twice a year. You can do this by unplugging the appliance, removing the grille at the bottom or the back of the unit, and using a coil cleaning brush (sold at home centers) or a vacuum cleaner to remove the dust and dirt from the coils. This will help your refrigerator and freezer run more smoothly and save you money on your utility bill.
Tip #2: Use a garbage disposal properly
A garbage disposal is a convenient appliance that can help you dispose of food waste easily and hygienically. However, if you or your tenants misuse it or neglect it, it can cause clogs, leaks, odors, and damage to the plumbing system. Some of the items that you should never put in a garbage disposal include grease and oil, fruit pits and peelings, paper, plastic, metal, pasta, rice, coffee grounds, bones, eggshells, and fibrous vegetables.
To prevent these problems, you should educate your tenants on how to use a garbage disposal properly. You should also provide them with a list of dos and don’ts for using a garbage disposal. Some of the dos include running cold water before, during, and after using the disposal; cutting large items into smaller pieces; and grinding ice cubes or citrus peels once in a while to clean and freshen the blades. Some of the don’ts include turning off the water or the power too soon; overloading the disposal; and using bleach, drain cleaners, or other harsh chemicals.
Tip #3: Protect your appliances from brownouts and power surges
Another common cause of appliance problems is fluctuations in the power supply. Brownouts are when the voltage drops below normal levels, either intentionally or unintentionally. Power surges are when the voltage spikes above normal levels due to lightning strikes, faulty wiring, or other factors. Both brownouts and power surges can damage your appliances by overheating them, burning out their components, or causing them to malfunction.
To protect your appliances from brownouts and power surges, you should invest in some devices that can regulate the voltage and provide backup power. One of these devices is an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which delivers emergency power when the voltage is low or interrupted. It can give you enough time to safely shut down your appliances or switch them to generator power. Another device is a surge protector, which blocks excess voltage from reaching your appliances and prevents them from frying. You should plug your sensitive electronics such as computers, TVs, microwaves, and refrigerators into surge protectors.
Tip #4: Maintain your washer and dryer regularly
Your washer and dryer are among the most used appliances in your rental units. They are also among the most prone to problems such as leaks, clogs, noises, vibrations, and inefficiency. These problems can affect your water bills, energy bills, laundry quality, and tenant satisfaction. Therefore, you should maintain your washer and dryer regularly to prevent these problems.
Some of the maintenance tasks that you should perform on your washer and dryer include:
- Cleaning the lint filter after every load
- Checking the hoses for cracks or leaks
- Replacing worn-out belts or pulleys
- Leveling the machines to prevent vibrations
- Cleaning the drum with vinegar or bleach
- Running an empty cycle with hot water once in a while
- Avoiding overloading the machines
- Using the right amount and type of detergent
Tip #5: Call a professional service when needed
While some appliance problems can be fixed by yourself or your handyman, some problems require the expertise and tools of a professional service. Trying to fix these problems yourself can be dangerous, ineffective, or even illegal. For example, you should never attempt to repair gas appliances, electrical appliances, or refrigerant systems without proper training and certification. You should also avoid repairing appliances that are under warranty, as this can void the warranty and make you liable for any damages.
To avoid these risks, you should call a professional service when you encounter any of the following appliance problems:
- Gas leaks or smells
- Sparks or flames
- Water leaks or floods
- Electrical shocks or shorts
- Loud or unusual noises
- Error codes or flashing lights
- Failure to start or stop
- Inconsistent or poor performance
By calling a professional service, you can ensure that your appliances are repaired safely, correctly, and efficiently. You can also save money in the long run by avoiding further damage, repeat repairs, or replacements.
Appliances are valuable assets for your rental units. They can enhance the comfort, convenience, and quality of life of your tenants. They can also increase the value, appeal, and profitability of your properties. However, appliances can also cause headaches and expenses when they break down or malfunction. Therefore, it is wise to prevent common appliance problems and avoid unnecessary repairs or replacements.
By following the tips and tricks in this article, you can prevent common appliance problems in your rental units such as leaks, clogs, overheating, and power issues. You can also fix simple appliance problems yourself or call a professional service when needed. By doing so, you can keep your appliances in good condition and extend their lifespan. You can also save money on your utility bills and maintenance costs. Most importantly, you can keep your tenants happy and loyal.
If you need more help or advice on how to prevent common appliance problems in your rental units, feel free to contact us at Peach State Property Management Pros. We are a full-service property management company that specializes in managing single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and apartments in Georgia. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources to help you with all your property management needs, including appliance maintenance and repair. We can also help you find qualified tenants, collect rent, handle maintenance requests, conduct inspections, and more.