Are window a/c units so bad? - Posted by DJ

Posted by Eric C on September 26, 2003 at 11:09:24:

Hi -

I think it depends a lot on where the apartments are located. By that, I mean are they in a moderate climate where summer lasts for a month or two? Or are they in a place like West Texas which needs A/C about 10 months out of the year?

I’ve had about a zillion rental units over the years (and still have some) and every dam% one of them seemed to be situated in an extreme climate of one sort or another.

As for A/C’s, mine always breakdown on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, … you get my drift here?

In any case, after years of struggling through with window units - I made it a policy to install central units right from scratch – and I don’t regret it one bit.

The units rent better, bring a bit higher rate, and most of all, cost me less in repair bills. Much, Much less.

And the central units are surprisingly easy to repair and to maintain. I even have brand new spare parts in some of the more remote locations.

So, its something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Take care,

Eric C

PS - where the physical A/C units are located can also make a huge difference. In one 8 plex (that I still own), the original design was so poor (units on an enclosed rooftop)that the repair folks were there every month.

It took me almost two years to convince partners (members of the family)to remedy the situation. The units were pulled from the roof and placed on the ends of the building. Since that time (5 years ago), we’ve only had one repair call – big difference!

PPS - You need to understand that when General Sherman (of Union Army fame)was asked his opinion of Texas, he replied “If I had to choose between Hell and Texas, I’d rent out Texas and live in Hell.”

That may tell you a little something about the summer weather here – or something about Yankees. Maybe both.

Are window a/c units so bad? - Posted by DJ

Posted by DJ on September 26, 2003 at 10:36:20:

I am looking at a 12 plex that has a/c window units instead of HVAC. The numbers work as far as cash flow is concerned, but I’ve heard to steer clear of window units no matter what the numbers are. Should I automatically not consider a property just because it has a/c window units?
Thanks for any input.

Re: Are window a/c units so bad? - Posted by Annon

Posted by Annon on September 26, 2003 at 11:13:18:

Window units are not as effective at cooling an apartment unit as central air. However, when coupled with ceiling fans and window shades they do a tolerable job of cooling the unit and you can slide a new one in for approximately $300 if need be.

They are usually installed in units that attract the more economically challenged folks and the units are not usually the ones you take the prospective in-laws by to impress them with your holdings. However, as compared to the more ostentatious apartment complexes, these things usually cash flow like crazy.

So… if your aim is to impress the inlaws, then focus on the central air units with their 4 to 6 CAP rates. If your plan is to make some money, consider the units with A/C in the wall or window.

On the other hand if you happen upon some nice units with central air and all other things being equal, they cash flow as good or better than the wall A/C units down the street, by all means take the central air units and then drive your in-laws by them.