State Tax Credits Are Ending Soon!

 

Oregon has always been forward-thinking when it comes to energy efficiency and helping homeowners work toward having energy efficient homes has been a priority. Even though state tax credits are ending at the end of the year, don’t worry! It’s not too late to purchase and take advantage of the various credits that are out there. Simply pay in full by the end of 2017 and have your system installed by April 2018. Here is some helpful information on some of the tax credits that are available now.

According to a report out of the Congressional Research Service, in 2014, 22% of total energy consumed in the United States came from the residential area, and it continues to increase year after year. (1) Because of this large percentage of energy use coming from homeowners around the country, the government has worked to explore ways that we can save energy – this is how the Residential Energy Tax Credit Program began.

Right now, homeowners that purchase gas furnaces, heat pumps, or ductless heat pumps may be eligible for tax credits on their purchase. In addition, tax credits are available for other products around the home that can assist in saving energy.

Oregon Residential State Credits that are available:
-Save up to $492 on high efficient gas furnaces
-Save up to $1125 on a high efficient heat pump

-Save up to $1300 on a ductless heat pump (mini-split)

*Offers end on December 31, 2017 and systems must be fully operational by April 1, 2018.  Check out our special offers page for all incentives available.

If you know you need a new system, now is the time to act so you can save money! And if you don’t have time to figure out what tax credits apply, let us help! Our experienced team of sales professionals can work with you to figure out which system is right for your home and one that fits in your budget. We’ll help you figure out the tax credit paperwork and help you with financing options if you need them.

Contact us today on information on what heat pumps, furnaces, and ductless heat pumps are eligible for tax credits so you can save money and stay comfortable as you go into 2018!

  1. Crandall-Hollic, Margot L., Sherlock, Molly F. “Residential Energy Tax Credits: Overview and Analysis.” Congressional Research Service. January 21, 2016. Accessed online December 7, 2017.

The Importance of Having a Low-Level Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide poisoning is surprisingly very common, so it’s very important to have a quality carbon monoxide detector that works reliably in your home. At Specialty Heating and Cooling, it’s important for us to see clients with a healthy home environment with good indoor air quality, and this is one of the reasons why we believe having a low-level carbon monoxide monitor is a must have in your home.

Carbon monoxide can enter your home in several ways. It is odorless and colorless and can leak from gas ranges, space heaters, vehicles inside your garage, or your water heater. And when the weather gets cold, people often have fires going inside to stay warm, but forget to open the door/vent to help with circulation. This mistake could cause carbon monoxide to leak. Poisoning that happens from carbon monoxide can often mimic flu symptoms. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, gastrointestinal issues, and other flu-like symptoms. However, if it enters your bloodstream for a long period of time, it could prevent oxygen from getting to your vital organs, including your brain and heart, and this can be deadly.

How can you protect yourself and your family?

A reliable carbon monoxide detector is key. We like the Defender Carbon Monoxide Alarm, which is a 10-year lithium battery powered hybrid monoxide alarm that can monitor current and peak monoxide levels as low as 10ppm. The batteries are not removable and are warranted to keep the detector powered effectively for 10 years.  Chronic low exposure to carbon monoxide (under 30ppm) can also cause serious health problems, especially for children, pregnant women, elderly citizens, or others that have health issues.

If you need a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home for enhanced safety, now is the time to act. Contact our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling for information on carbon monoxide detectors. We can get everything installed and running for you in time for the holidays, so you won’t need to worry about a thing.

5 Tips To Prepare Your Home for Freezing Temperatures

Our local news stations are reporting that this week, we will see our first big drop in temperatures around the Pacific Northwest. With the onset of winter, this is bound to happen, but is your home prepared for the upcoming cold weather? Here are five tips to help you prepare your home for freezing temperatures.

Tip #1: Keep your outside pipes covered and protected.
Water expands as it freezes, so if the water inside your pipes begin to freeze, so will your pipes. Over time, this can cause significant damage to your pipes, sometimes even causing them to crack and burst.  To avoid this, drain water from your outdoor faucets or sprinkling systems to keep pipes from freezing and be sure to disconnect your hoses. Then, cover outdoor faucets with foam insulators. If you have pipes that run through other unheated areas of your home like the garage or basement, be sure to protect them with some sort of insulation as well.

Tip #2: Check your furnace system.
Now is the time to schedule an annual maintenance appointment! There’s nothing worse than turning on your heat when you need it and having it not work properly! Maintenance appointments are beneficial because our experienced and knowledgeable team will clean the filters, while also ensuring that the entire inside components are secure and working properly. If there are any parts that look like they need to be replaced, we will let you know and get everything ready to go so you’re ready for the cold weather.

Tip #3: Install a programmable thermostat.
Programmable thermostats are amazing! They not only program your home’s temperature so it’s exactly how you want it, but you can save money too. Programming it to be cooler at night or when you’re not home can help reduce your utility bill and you can program it to be warmer for when you get back home or on those cold fall and winter mornings.

Tip #4: Clean out the gutters.
Clogged gutters can cause problems! Not only is it messy, but as we head into the icy season, it’s important to make sure that the gutters are clear. Ice dams can form when heat escapes through the roof and melts ice that has settled on the top. Clogged gutters and other downspouts are the leading cause of ice dams and in order for ice to melt and drain properly, the gutters need to be clear to keep the water flowing.

Tip #5: Seal your windows and doors.
A great heating system can be a great way to stay warm during those cold days and nights, but if you have drafty windows and doors, you’ll be wasting that precious warm air that’s inside. Start by locking the windows and doors tightly and sealing any gaps with quality weather stripping. If you have older windows and doors, consider replacing them for new, energy efficient ones that can add an extra level of insulation to your home.

If you need to schedule a maintenance appointment for your furnace or you want to talk to us about getting a new system replaced before winter, we can help! Contact our experienced, no-pressure sales team at Specialty Heating and Cooling today!

Pack The Vans!

Help Specialty Heating & Cooling Pack the Vans FULL of clothing and canned food for the Good Neighbor Center! Make a difference in families lives by dropping off these much needed items at Specialty Heating and Cooling’s office.

When:
November 1st – December 15th

Where:
Specialty Heating & Cooling
7500 SW Tech Center Drive, Suite 130
Tigard, OR 97223

What is needed most:

Clothing:

  • New underwear and bras for women
  • Men, Women and Childrens clothing (all sizes)
  • Shower shoes

Food:

  • Canned food (veggies and fruit)
  • Individually wrapped snacks (for kids after school)
  • Mayo

Click Here to learn about Good Neighbor Center

Why You Should Get Your System Tuned Up During The Fall

Don’t procrastinate getting your system tuned up before the cold weather hits. Fall is the perfect time to get your annual furnace tune-up appointment scheduled. For the sake of your safety, the longevity of your system, and your energy bills, it’s very important to get your system serviced before you have to use your heat on a daily basis. Here are some reasons why you should get your system tuned up during the fall.

Reason #1: Early intervention is key.
Getting your furnace tuned up means we’ll do a thorough inspection of the machine to make sure we can catch any small problems before they turn into large ones. Early intervention can help you avoid major breakdowns that can be expensive. In addition, we can help warn you if your system may be nearing the end of its lifespan so you can start planning ahead to replace it.

Reason #2: Safety.
If your furnace malfunctions, it could cause more than inconvenience or discomfort. Furnaces that break can often cause carbon monoxide leaks and sometimes can even be a fire hazard. Getting your furnace checked yearly is important because we will be able to detect any issues and make prompt repairs, so you don’t have to be left worrying about the safety of your family.

Reason #3: Cleanliness.
Furnaces collect dust, debris, and dirt throughout the year and if it’s not clean before you crank up the heat, you’re likely going to notice that smell inside your home for a while. This can contribute to poor air quality, which means you’re breathing dirty air and compromising your health and wellbeing. A tune-up will include a great cleaning of the system so you can be assured that things are clean and ready to operate the way they were intended to.

Reason #4: Tune-ups will extend the life of your system.
Do you want to get the most out of your furnace system for years to come? Annual tune-ups will help keep your system working well, year after year. Not to mention, you’ll be able to make sure it’s operating at is peak performance, which means you’ll save energy and likely notice a difference in your energy bill.

Your furnace is a vital component of your home and keeping it well taken care of will not only save you the inconvenience of a system breakdown right when you need your furnace most, but it will also help you prolong the life of the system, which can save you money in the long run. There are lots of reasons to take care of your heating system, so don’t delay in getting your annual maintenance appointment set up. Contact our experienced team of service technicians today to schedule this essential service!

Home Improvement Ideas for Fall

Fall has officially arrived and the weather will soon be getting cooler and cooler. Now is a great time to complete those home improvement projects around your home that may have been piling up. Before the winter weather sets in, start tackling your project list and don’t neglect taking care of your heating and cooling system, either. Our home improvement ideas for fall include many helpful items for your HVAC system.

#1: Replace your air filters.
This is a simple, but very important task related to home maintenance. Your indoor air quality is important and if your air filters haven’t been changed in a while, it’s likely not only making your HVAC system work harder, but it could be allowing in contaminated air into your home. Pollutants, bacteria, and other harmful airborne particles enter the air through your HVAC system and your air filters play an important role in filtering out the junk. A clean air filter will help block harmful air contaminants and keep the air you breathe clean. Change your air filters every one to two months. It you’re looking to take your air purification to a new level, consider adding an air purification system. We carry a variety of air purifiers that can kill up to 99% of harmful irritants that can circulate through the home.

#2: Upgrade your thermostat.
Your thermostat is a big part of the overall functioning of your HVAC system and if you choose to upgrade your thermostat, you’ll see some great benefits! One of the first benefits of a new thermostat is the ability for it to keep the temperature in your home accurate at all times. If your home is full of cold spots or rooms that are warmer or colder than other areas of the house, a new thermostat can help with that. Thermostats with digital displays and wi-fi control give you the control, so you can keep your home comfortable year-round. In addition, they’re energy efficient and could save you money on utility bills over the long run.

#3: Replace your system in time for fall and winter months.
If your furnace system is old and inefficient, or it’s been repaired more times than you can count, it’s probably a good idea to consider replacing it before the cold weather starts up. We can help you find a system that works well for your space as well as your budget. We carry a wide variety of gas furnaces, heat pumps, ductless systems, and more. No matter what your commercial or residential space requires, we can find one that’s right for you. A new system is an investment that is well worth it – it can bolster your quality of life and help add value to your property.

Our schedule for autumn is filling up fast, so call us today for an appointment so you can stay on top of your home improvement list!

Why should you install a ductless heating and cooling system?

Summer is over and autumn has officially started. If you’re thinking of getting a new heating system installed before the cooler weather hits, autumn is a great time to get this done. Ductless heating and cooling systems are wonderful options to meet your home comfort needs and the best part is, you can use one system all year long. This system will keep you warm in the winter months and cool during the hot summer days. Here are some reasons why you should consider putting a ductless heating and cooling system in your home this year.

Reason #1: They’re easy to install.
Our experienced team of professionals know how to get a ductless system installed quickly and efficiently, usually within just 1 to 2 days, depending on the scope of the specific job. To install the system, there will usually be a small hole in the wall to connect the indoor unit pipe to the outdoor compressor unit. You won’t need to worry about painting over anything or patching any sheetrock – it will look great once our team gets everything completed.

Reason #2: They will save energy.
Energy efficiency is very important for homeowners today. Ductless systems will not use excess energy and electricity like electric baseboard or wall heaters or other old heating systems. That means you’ll not only save energy, but you will see a savings on your utility bill each month.

Reason #3: They don’t require significant maintenance.
Don’t worry about complicated maintenance with a ductless system. Just make sure you clean the air filter on a regular basis, then call us to set up annual maintenance/tune-up appointments.  You won’t have to worry about a thing – we will check and tighten the electrical connections, make sure the parts are in good working order, and clean the air vents and humidifiers. With regular maintenance, you won’t need to worry about excessive break downs in the middle of the cold autumn and winter days.

Ductless systems can be used in a variety of different home styles and designs, no matter how big or small the space. They’re a great solution for homes because they can be configured easily, where as traditional HVAC systems can’t.

If you’re ready to make the jump and install a new ductless system, let us help with the selection and installation process. We’ll provide you with several options and go over what specific discounts or rebates are available. Our team will discuss how the system will be integrated into your home’s unique layout and we’ll work within your budget. We will also help you with the paperwork and answer any questions you might have so you are ready to go. Then, we’ll get the installation scheduled and before you know it, you’ll be ready to stay comfortable all year long!

The Cost of Replacing Your Furnace

The fall and winter seasons will be here before you know it and you’ll be relying on your furnace to stay warm, so if you’re thinking that it’s time to get your system replaced, we can help. You’ve likely spent time online doing your research on how much you will need to budget for a new system. We also get a lot of questions from people that are wondering about the total cost of replacing a furnace, so we’ve put together some helpful information that can help you determine what your final cost might be.

The first thing to consider is what type of system you’ll need. There are a lot of different heating systems on the market today, so you’ll need to do your research on which one will be right for your home. We can also help determine what is a good match for your home’s size and specific layout. Most furnaces will last between 15 and 20 years, so remember that no matter what, this is an investment for the long term.

  • Gas furnaces: Usually, a natural gas furnace can cost between $4500 and $7000.
  • Hybrid heat: This comfort system gives you the comfort of gas heat and the efficiency of a heat pump. You control the system to provide the comfort you need year-round – warmth in the winter and cool air in the summer. These systems range in price from: $13,000 to $18,000.
  • Ductless heat pumps: These are very energy efficient and have a great price point. Air-source heat pumps can sometimes be installed for less than $5,500 but can range up to $20,000 depending on the scope of work and space. Ductless heat pumps will provide heating AND air conditioning, so remember when you’re considering getting one of these, you’re getting dual comfort in one machine, making it a great investment for the long term.
  • Electric furnaces: These machines come with many features including variable speed blowers, humidity control, and so much more. They range in price from $3,000 to $5,000.

Once you’ve done your research on the different types of furnaces and types of systems that are available we can discuss with you the products that have the best ratings for efficiency. New furnace models are usually highly efficient and have ratings that are generally rated 90% or higher in energy efficiency. This translates to lower utility bills for you and overall comfort.

The final step in determining the overall price range for your new furnace system is to talk to your experienced sales team about what rebates and other money saving incentives are currently offered. Many furnaces come with warranties that could save you money down the road and others come with rebates that knock money off the price right away. There are oftentimes tax incentives and other promotions that are happening that can help offset the cost, too. By combining these deals, you can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

We’re happy to come out and look at your existing system and provide a free, no-pressure proposal on what a new system would cost. We’ll provide you with a variety of options and choices of equipment based on our assessment of your home and recommend which one we think could work best for your specific home’s needs. We also provide many financing options for our customers, too. We’ll help you determine which options you qualify for and assist in getting the paperwork filled out so you can get the ball rolling on the installation process. With our help, you’ll be able to get your new system set up just in time for the upcoming change in weather.  Contact us today for more information!

Take Advantage of Tax Credits!

If you’ve decided that now is the time to get a new heating/cooling system for your home, now is the time to act. State tax credits are ending this year and if you purchase now, you can save a significant amount of money.

Current offers:
-Up to $492 for furnaces
-Up to $1,200 for heat pumps
-Up to $1,300 for ductless

In addition, when you combine Cool Cash, Energy Trust of Oregon credits, and PGE credits, you can save a combined amount of up to:

-$3,700 for a heating and cooling system

-$2,800 for a ductless heat pump system

Offers end on December 31, 2017 and systems must be fully operational by April 1, 2018.

Not sure where to start when it comes to picking a system or how to go about qualifying for tax credits? Our experienced team of sales professionals can help you determine which system is right for your home and most importantly, your budget. We’ll help you figure out which credits are available and we’ll even help you figure out the paperwork, too!

Contact us today for information on what furnaces, heat pumps and ductless heat pumps are eligible and get ready to stay comfortable all year long!

Why should you check your heat exchanger for cracks?

Did you know that a cracked heat exchanger could be a very serious issue that could cause significant health issues? When we inspect furnaces, we sometimes find cracked heat exchangers or exchangers with holes in them. If this is the case, they need to be fixed right away.

What is a heat exchanger?
This is one of the most important parts of your furnace system. Simply put, the heat exchanger is the part that will heat the air. It consists of tubes and coils that are looped around. It uses fuel to combust the inside of it and creates heat to get very hot. Then, the fan/blower motor will blow the air over the heat exchanger and into your ductwork so it can be distributed around your home or office building.

If the heat exchanger is damaged – either with cracks or holes – heat exchangers could allow exhaust gas from the furnace to contaminate the air inside with carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is also known as a silent killer, because it doesn’t have an odor or anything else noticeable, until it’s too late and people inside start noticing that they feel sick.

Heat exchangers are subjected to extreme temperatures as they cool and heat up the air, so the metal will expand and contract. Over time, this could cause strain on the exchanger and make it prone to cracking. It’s very important to have a furnace inspection and the beginning of autumn is a great time to get it done!  Our senior Service Technicians at Specialty Heating and Cooling will inspect all parts of your furnace, then we will use a special tool called the Inspector™ Camera to look at the heat exchanger specifically. This is the only product on the market today that uses a high definition camera and monitor to spot small cracks, rust, corrosion, or holes in furnace heat exchangers.

Contact us today to make sure your furnace is in good working order just in time for the upcoming cooler months of fall and winter.