Gas Furnaces and You
If you live in SoCal, summer has been great to us. We experienced a spike in temperature here and there, but nothing as bad as the 110°F heatwave back in 2018. We are still in perfect beach weather, which we here at Beach Front are particularly fond of. Still, despite the great weather we have at the moment, we are preparing for when the weather eventually cools down. We encourage property managers help their tenants do the same. It is best to prepare by checking your heating sources for your apartment units. Especially if your units uses a gas heating system as opposed to electric.
Gas furnaces and its pilot lights burn gas around the clock regardless of whether you are actively using it. It is best to have turned both your pilot light and gas supply off in the summer. According to Bell Bros HVAC from our neighbors in NorCal, shutting down both during late spring and throughout the summer helps save energy and helps save as much as $50 a year, and would only be on if you have a central air conditioning system.
If you do shut down your furnace, you and your tenants need to prepare for turning it back on properly, as letting it sit dormant for a few months after being consistently running can create a few problems. Parts may have worn down from non-use and may malfunction when starting up again. Mechanical issues can also occur due to dust. These issues can slip the mind after not using heating for several months. They can especially throw off recent tenants who moved in during the summer. These tenants most likely will not think of the furnace until it is already cold and they need heating immediately.
As a property manager and/or landlord of a multi-unit dwelling, it is typical for you to be fully responsible for controlling and maintaining any HVAC systems for your tenants, and is most likely reflected in the leasing agreement about standard maintenance hours. However, there is also merit in involving your tenants. Inform them of what kind of procedures they need to do when relighting their pilot lights. Whether they are at will to call the gas company themselves or need to let you know to do so, it is important to have professional HVAC technicians inspect the furnaces before relighting. Not only does it insure proper procedures, it can help identify other problems that need addressing. This includes air filter changes or possible carbon monoxide problems. Always keep records of any HVAC maintenance and adjustments filed away for each apartment unit’s furnace.