Rental Electric Bills

Discussion in 'Rentals - Vacation' started by AndrewG, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. AndrewG

    AndrewG Beach Fanatic

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    How much can you expect to pay when you have a renter that cranks up the air conditioning?

    I'm sure there are some good stories out there.

    I've noticed that we have to change the airfilter almost monthly to keep it operating "efficiently"

    My highest bill thus far was $349 in August for 1000 sq ft.
     
  2. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    It's not so much the cranking down of the thermostat (you can get ones that have preset limits to prevent abuse) as leaving the doors and windows open. Here's the check list I used when a renter called about a malfunctioning air conditioner:

    1. How long ago did you check in, the housekeepers generally set the thermostat to 78 degrees and to cool down will take some time.

    2. Are the doors and windows open, the a/c will not cool the neighborhood.

    3. Is there any air flow when hold your hand in front of a vent when the a/c is on?

    If yes, then you may have to wait no air conditioner will cool an entire condo, house, or any other structure in 10 minutes. Especially when you are unloading a car of it's contents and opening and closing the door.

    If no, then you have successfully frozen up the coil. This happens when the unit operates with heavy humidity this only happens when doors and windows are open. Eventually the layer of ice that forms on the coiling coils builds to a solid block of ice. Turn the a/c unit completely off and wait 4-6 hours for it to melt. Never explain to a renter that they can use a hair dryer or turn the unit to heat to speed up the process.

    Mills heating and air conditioning offers a spring maintenance check up every year and it's worth every penny. Basically they'll look over the unit and tell you if it needs additional freon, replacement parts, or full replacement. In addition I recommend them since they offer a 10 year additional warranty that covers parts and labor. Considering that the exterior unit of a condo or house a/c system will not last 10 years in our salt air it's basically a free replacement in 4-6 years. It's also invaluable when it breaks on July 4th as you pay nothing for the repairs.
     
  3. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    I also forgot to mention that on extremely hot days at or over 100 degrees that the a/c unit may simply stop functioning due to physics. I have seen this happen during some heat waves in July and August. Unfortunately at a point like this the only option is to close all drapes, blinds, or other window coverings during the day to help the condo or house stay cool.
     
  4. Philip_Atlanta

    Philip_Atlanta Beach Lover

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    My experience is renters can't really "crank up" as it'll freeze at anything below 70. That said, I've seen bills around 500 for a 1700 sq ft unit..
     
  5. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    Just did my taxes. My most expensive month for electric was $306 last summer for a cottage very similar to your place AndrewG in the same community, and it was booked that entire month. In my house in Michigan, keeping the house at 68 degrees at most in the winter, my most expensive month is about $500 for about 2000 square feet in a 1912 house. On the other hand, we don't use heat or airconditioning from May - mid-October at our house in Michigan. I'm sure we paid quite a bit more for heat at the cottages for our winter renters this winter.
     
  6. chanster

    chanster Banned

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    get a preset thermostat. mines set for downside of 68 on air and upside of 76 for heat
     
  7. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    Great idea.
     
  8. Em

    Em Beach Fanatic

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    I was saying the other day, that the person who develops the simple thermostat with passwords to allow different setting maximums, will be a millionaire quickly.

    Image onwers passwords which allow the setting to be whatever.
    renters without passwords are limited in there adjustments, without that darn cheap looking plastic box cover with the lock. Want to pay extra for power usage over a "normal" usage, by all means crank it down. With power companies going to electronic metering, there is no reason why someone couldn't charge renters for power more than typical usage.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2010

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