For homeowners associations, keeping up-to-date with the general management duties, upkeep, and maintenance of the building is extremely important. Therefore, having a basic understanding of the major mechanical systems such as the hot water tank or a boiler heating system in your building is crucial, especially if you’re serving on the board.
Keep in mind that proactively replacing these systems when it’s time is much better than waiting for them to fail and cause unnecessary stress, headache, and expenses for both the board and homeowners. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to replace your building’s hot water tank or boiler heating system.
If your building doesn’t have a common hot water tank or a heating system, these tips also apply to other types of important equipment and HVAC systems.
Step one: Determine how old your system is
Most hot water heating systems last for about 10 to 20 years. The manufactured or installed date of the system should be written on it somewhere. You may have to remove a grill or cover to find this information.
Step two: Check the condition of your system
Have a quick look at the system to see if there are any obvious problems and wear and tear, such as leaks or rust on the bottom. Note any emerging complaints from residents as well.
Step three: Check your reserve study
Check your last reserve study, when it was completed, and any mention of the system in it. If you don’t have one, strongly consider putting one together, as many projects that impact common areas are large and costly and require years of planning.
Step four: Get a quote for replacement
If your system is or older than 10 years, it might be time to call a professional and get a full quote for replacement. First, do some research and determine which system and configuration is best for your association. While your reserve study may already have a quote, it’s best to get an up-to-date and current price from a local vendor.
Step five: Find funding
Once you have a quote, your board will have to decide how to pay for the replacement of the system. You can use your reserves, a special assessment, or even a bank loan. Just be sure to leave a good amount in the reserves for other upcoming projects. Once you have funding, you’re good to go.
When it comes to major maintenance projects like this, one thing to note is that it’s always best to proactively replace an old system rather than waiting for it to fail and then rapidly rushing to replace it on an emergency basis that usually ends up costing the association stress and more money.
If your HOA is unsure about important questions like these, a management company can help and assist your board in important matters. If you have any questions, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help you start better managing your building. Request a proposal today!