As a renter, you might not think a lot about the inner workings of your HVAC system. But if your air conditioning isn't performing as it should, it might be either your responsibility or your landlord's responsibility to get the air conditioning repaired. Here are a few things that you might need to think about.
What Does Your Lease Say?
Usually, your lease will outline your responsibilities. If your lease says that you're supposed to get the filters changed, the ducts cleaned, and more, then you probably are responsible for these things. Filters are typically changed every few months, while ducts may need to be cleaned annually (or semiannually, if you have pets).
However, your landlord is likely responsible for making sure that the air conditioning is working, period; you may just be responsible for making sure that it's clean and maintained.
When Was the Air Conditioning Last Maintained?
If the air conditioning system isn't working well and it hasn't been maintained in the last year, it may be time to give your landlord a call. If you aren't responsible for the maintenance, they are. A failure to maintain the air conditioning system could lead to a complete failure, which means that your landlord would have to spend quite a bit to fix it regardless.
Is the Air Conditioning Broken?
Your state's landlord-tenant code will tell you what temperature your home or apartment has to be kept at. For instance, it may need to be kept between 60 and 80 degrees to be considered to be habitable. If your home is consistently warmer than the maximum temperature allowed, then your home has a habitability issue. Your landlord will need to repair and maintain the air conditioning if they are to continue renting out your home.
In some states, you can withhold rent and complete repairs on your own. You can check with your local tenant's association to find out more.
Air conditioning systems have to be maintained if they are going to work properly. If you've found that your home is steadily getting hotter, it is likely an issue with the HVAC system. Contacting your landlord can help, but you should check your lease first to make sure that you aren't responsible for any air conditioning system maintenance that hasn't been done.
When in doubt, call an air conditioning maintenance company, and they will be able to tell you what you should do.