The Seasons of HVAC
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning repairs are often referred to as the acronym HVAC, and this term is usually tied to thoughts of exhaustion and expensive invoices due to the stress caused by the peak maintenance seasons.
Statistically, the months of October and May are when the influx of repair requests begins to increase with the steady decline or increase of the outdoor temperature. HVAC issues have two target seasons for tenants needing maintenance. Residents needing air conditioning repair in the hot summer months of June through August, and residents needing heating repairs in winter, primarily in November and December.
While it’s no surprise that the strain on HVAC service is dependent on the region, how large of an increase or decrease to expect can be determined by trends in the number of HVAC maintenance requests, vendor quality (availability/responsiveness), and resident satisfaction.
HVAC – A Tale of Two Regions
Our data has shown different results for the peak maintenance months dependent on if you’re in the northern or southern states.
- The maximum swing above the typical average repair requests is 61% for a given month
- The average number of HVAC requests shifts slightly from month to month compared to the larger shift in the southern states
- The highest average months are during the winter peak season due to the colder winter temperatures
- The maximum swing above the typical average repair requests is 123% for a given month
- HVAC requests shifts are significant from month to month, with nearly 50% of all HVAC service issues happening in 1/4 of the year.
- Summer is the incredibly busy season bringing in that 123% increase, with winter being drastically lower in average.
Key Performance Indicators, referred to as KPI’s, should not be considered as equal measurements in every region and HVAC requests represent this shift in ideology.
Factors that affect the service volume in your region can include the following:
- Portfolio age: how long a company has been managing properties in an area will result in better connections with vendors, and their ability to provide consistent service at the highest satisfaction for their tenants’ needs.
- Property type: single-family homes on average come with different repairs than multi-family buildings such as apartments or duplex/townhouses. A portfolio with only single-family homes might also have different procedures for assisting their tenants than a portfolio of many units in a few buildings.
- Class: ideally the value of the properties wouldn’t affect the value of service given, but the value could affect how routine maintenance is needed when older appliances are more likely to break down.
KPI’s we’re measuring are the levels of resident satisfaction, the time for repairs, and the quality of the vendor or technician dispatched.
The majority of negative reviews for HVAC repairs happen after 3 days. It’s common knowledge that the sooner a repair is fixed the better, but when tenants are sweating or freezing in the units they’re renting, results show negative reviews come in at a faster rate.
One step towards a more successful (and less stressful) peak maintenance season, is to have an appropriate amount of staff available. Third-party vendors will be equally occupied installing maintenance for other properties around your area, but if you have an internal maintenance crew you won’t have to carry the stress of scheduling around the vendors’ schedules. Consider hiring seasonal workers in addition to your staff to balance the increase in repairs in the summer and winter months.
Don’t let the seasonal wave of HVAC issues slow you down. This big and expensive issue can be intimidating and seem to halt many property managers from other tasks in the winter and summer. Take the right precautional steps such as hiring seasonal technicians and automating your maintenance to tackle HVAC professionally.
Written by Kyle Graves