Now What: Next Steps When Your Rental Home's A/C Goes OutIt’s a hot summer day in an apartment or rented house and the rental A/C is on the blink. Just what you don’t need, today of all days. If you were the property owner, you’d make a quick call to a HVAC contractor and get a qualified service technician out here to handle the problem pronto. But what to do when you’re the tenant and the rental A/C blows hot air? Here are some quick suggestions to help keep a cool head and get comfort restored ASAP.

Check a few basics yourself.

Verify that the thermostat is “On” and set to “Cool” mode. Also make sure the desired temperature setting is correct. If it’s a window unit, make sure it’s plugged in. If these things checks out, you’re done. Further do-it-yourself efforts could result in liability for whatever’s already wrong with the unit.

Contact the owner.

If there’s an on-site manager, that’s your first contact. If it’s a rental house, you’ll have to get in touch with the property owner. Keep a record of the date and time of contact and name of the person you informed.

Stay as cool as you can.

Run fans to circulate air. Close blinds and drapes to keep sunlight out of the house. If temperatures are extreme and home occupants include infants, elderly persons or anybody with health issues that might be worsened by exposure to heat, you may want to temporarily relocate somewhere cooler. If so, inform the property owner that you plan to do so and record all associated costs.

Know your rights.

Ohio law requires landlords to properly maintain “all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning fixtures and appliances.” However, this generally applies only to existing units already installed in the property at the time it was rented. If a tenant opts to purchase and install an extra A/C unit themselves, for example, the property owner is not responsible for maintenance and repair of that unit.

For prompt professional service on a rental A/C unit or other cooling system, contact Detmer and Sons.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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