Property Management

Property Management: Thermostats

 

Common Property Management Issues: Thermostats

There are a lot of really great products on the market these days for saving energy. Sometimes they are easy to use, but with others they can be quite confusing. Thermostats are a piece of equipment that could greatly reduce or increase your efficiency, a knowledge of the best systems is an essential skill for the modern day property manager. Today, we will discuss some of the challenges for property managers in regard to the thermostat. Certain types of  thermostats could be a great tool in your own personal home but may not be effective in a rental or vacation home. Home Heating CostsIt can either be a tool to manage your air conditioning system well or it could also be misused to waste energy and put your system through extra wear and tear.

Firstly, as a homeowner you may be willing to take the time to program different temperatures for different times of the day on a thermostat. For a tenant or guest this programming option will often lead to confusion, temperature complaints and high power bills. These are often set incorrectly which adds to the issue. We regularly hear questions from property managers about features on thermostats that shut off an air conditioner when doors or windows are opened. While in theory this is a good idea, many times this results in unneeded service calls. Many times, this feature causes issues in the long-term health of the system and overall confusion about how it works.

With this feature, it’s very common for a  guest to call and complain that the house is warm and the manager asks if the doors and windows are closed. The guest says yes (which means they are closed now after being left open all day) and you dispatch a service technician only to find nothing wrong and no way to prove if it was the doors or windows were left open that causing the original the problem.

Honeywell Focus Pro Thermostats

thermostat

This brings us to our tip. We suggest a simple and reliable Honeywell Focus Pro thermostat for the rental properties you’re managing. Here’s some reasons:

  • 1. The internal settings can be programmed so that the temperature can only be set to a maximum setting in heating and a minimum setting in cooling. (We usually suggest setting them to 75° in heat and 72° in cooling.)
  • 2. The tenant now has the opportunity to have control over an easy to use system within a reasonable range of settings.
  • 3. This allows you to have a very reliable and energy efficient solution to prevent high power consumption, system failure (freezing) and reduce guest complaints.

As always any questions or comments can be posted below in the comments section, or you can call us directly at 352-243-7088 or visit us at KalosFlorida.com

We are happy to help you with questions or training at any time. Give us a call and we will try to connect you with someone who has the answer. We would also be happy to speak at any of your company / organizational meetings or give onsite classes on the subject of your choosing. It is our pleasure to help and we look forward to helping you succeed.

 

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Is Your Contractor Licensed?

Avoid Scams and Theft

In the State of Florida and around the country, you hear stories all the time about unsuspecting homeowners being the victims of theft or scams by unlicensed contractors that work, or say, they will do work on their homes.

Larry

It’s essential that when you let someone in your home or business, that you know they are a licensed professional. Hiring a licensed contractor offers many additional protections to the property owner, especially regarding residential property. First of all, a contractor can not obtain a license without possessing a minimum amount of experience and must pass a business management test. The applicant also may be subjected to a criminal history background check, and must not have any unresolved contracting complaints outstanding.

Five Minutes Can Save You One Huge Headache

So, here’s our Five Minute Process that could potentially protect you from a huge financial mistake.

*We will be using The State of Florida as our example. If you live in another state, laws will be similar, but check your government’s regulations and laws for differences.

For fastest results just follow this link to arrive at the search page.

This is part of the MyFlorida.com website, and can be navigated to by clicking on the large red italic font “Licensee Search”, near the top of the page. To some, the link will look like a heading, but it is clickable.

Find the type of Contractor you’re looking for and click that category. You’ll be be taken to a screen with various search options. If you are checking a particular company or a certain individual, click on Search by Name, but there are other options available as well. Click the Search button at right.

Now you can enter in the information you know to search for a particular person or company. Usually, you will be able to find who you are looking for with their name and correct city.

You’ll see a list of licenses on the screen, and in our particular case see the Air Conditioning, Electrical and General Contractors license we hold. (You can also click into the entry to further investigate the company – to ensure that everything is up to date with their Florida license and that you are looking at the right company.)

Contractor Check Complete

There you go! Though this won’t completely protect you from incompetence, it will at least protect you from scammers. This can be a great resource when you’re doing business with anyone that you have not properly vetted or without solid referrals. Check out website like Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau for some reviews on how that company does business and if their customers are pleased with them!

 

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Property Management: Pool Heaters

Common Property Management Issues: Repair for Pool Heaters

At Kalos Services we have worked with both short term and long term rental managers for over 8 years. We know how hard you work and how difficult your job can be. Over the years of doing Air Conditioning, Pool Heating and Electrical work, we have come up with some ides and guidelines that we hope will help you out.

Pool Heaters

High Quality AquaCal Heater: Super Quiet!

Today we will discuss the different types of pool heaters and some tips and ideas to try and make managing your equipment a bit easier.

For a short term vacation rental home, a pool is becoming a staple of what guest desire in a property they are considering. We’ve found that Pool Heaters can be a great added feature when your guest is closing a booking on a home. Conversely when there is an issue with the pool heating the issue will cause a lot of guest complaints. This information below will hopefully help you avoid that, keep your customers happy and get great reviews and repeat business from them!

Types of Pool Heaters

There are typically two types of pool heaters a short term property manager will want to look into. Gas pool heaters and Pool Heat Pumps.

Gas pool heaters make for very nice warm water which means you get fewer cold pool complaints. Unfortunately, gas pool heaters are more expensive to operate and they generally begin to have significant corrosion after only 5 year or so. Gas pool heaters do not cost as much to replace but they also do not come with very long warranties.

Pool Heat Pumps are much more cost effective to run but they do not get the water hot as quickly. Pool heat pumps also cost much more to install, but they usually have warranties of 5 years or more. Generally speaking pool heat pumps will last 8-12 years before they experience a major failure.

It is unlikely that most pool heat pumps (electric) will maintain the pools at 85+ degrees during days where the low temperatures drop near 40 or below, this is even made worse on days where the high temperature does not go above 60 degrees.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Heater

1. Turn them on several days in advance to make sure the pool is up to temperature before the cold snap. If you wait until it is cold outside to turn on a heater they may never catch up until the cold period ends. This is due to the way the heaters are sized and some heaters will do better than others.

2. Increase the pump run time before the cold weather – we recommend 8AM to 8PM

3. Have the guests cover the pool at night – If you can get them to do this it will GREATLY assist in the pool temperature and power usage.

4. Do not run a heat pump overnight on a cold night. Many pool heat pumps will ice over and require manual defrost if you do this.

As in everything, the temperature that a pool can maintain is directly related to the size of the pool and the capacity of the heater and every location will be different. Check out our pool heating page for more information!

We are happy to help you with questions or training at any time. Give us a call and we will try to connect you with someone who has the answer. We would also be happy to speak at any of your company / organizational meetings or give onsite classes on the subject of your choosing. It is our pleasure to help and we look forward to helping you succeed.

All the best,

Bryan Orr – Co-Founder Kalos Services Inc.

CFVRMA Associate Member

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