Are you thinking of replacing the boiler heating system in your rental property with a forced air system? Many landlords consider this option since forced air heating is often seen as more modern and "upscale." However, there are some downfalls and challenges associated with replacing boiler heating with forced air. Here's a look at some factors to consider before making the change.
You'll probably have to do major wall renovations.
The pipes used to carry hot water or steam from your boiler to the radiators are quite small. Ducts, comparatively, are quite large. If the rental home was built with a boiler system, the spaces between the walls may not be large enough to accommodate the ducts. If this is the case, you'll need to do major wall renovations for the new heating system installation, which is a hassle if the place is currently being rented – and will mean several months without rental income if you're between tenants, since you won't want to have renters while the renovations are being made.
Allergy sufferers won't enjoy the switch.
While there are some renters who prefer forced air heating, there are others who specifically look for boiler-style heating and will be less likely to rent from you if you switch. Allergy sufferers, in particular, tend to prefer boiler-style heating since it does not blow allergens like mold and dust around. If you have current renters, make sure you check with them to see what their preferences are before you decide to make the switch. You may be surprised – they might prefer to stick with boiler heating.
Boiler-style heating can actually be more comfortable.
If you have forced air heating yourself and have not spent a lot of time in the rental unit, you may not realize how comfortable boiler style heating actually makes the home. This is a radiant form of heat. It warms the home by passing heat from the radiators , through the floor, and through the walls rather than by just heating the air. In a home heated with radiators, the floors don't feel cold like they do in a home with forced air, so the entire place feels warmer and more comfortable. Plus, boiler-style heating is basically silent, whereas forced air heating makes a lot of blowing noises. Your tenants likely appreciate this comfort and quietness more than you realize.
Before you change your rental home's heating over to a forced air heating system, give this decision plenty of thought. Boiler-style heating has a lot of benefits that your tenants may enjoy – and you may accidentally make your unit less appealing by making the switch.