Why isn’t my furnace keeping up with the cold?

Winter in the Pacific Northwest this year has gotten off to a cold start. Snow has already fallen and school has already been cancelled for several days! If the cold has hit your home hard and your furnace just isn’t producing enough heat to keep up with the cold days of winter, don’t panic. Here are some reasons why your furnace system might not be working at maximum efficiency.

#1: There’s a thermostat problem.
If your home is cold, it very well could be that there is a problem with your thermostat that is causing the problem. First of all, check your power source. Next, be sure that the area around the thermostat is clean. Clean up any dirt, dust, or cobwebs that may have formed around the inside of the thermostat. If there is debris buildup, this could contribute to the electrical or mechanical malfunctions. When you’re cleaning it, do not get it wet, just simply use a soft and clean brush to clean it. If your thermostat is old, it could mean that it’s time to replace it completely. Old thermostats not only break down, but they also waste energy. There are a variety of programmable thermostats that are available now and they’re easily connected to your HVAC system.

#2: The filters need replacement.
Be sure that your filters are replaced regularly. Old, dirty filters can cause your system to slow down and sometimes, malfunction completely. New filters will allow your furnace to work at its peak and provide maximum airflow to your home whenever you need it.

#3: Inside components are dirty.
It’s a good idea to inspect the inside components of your system for any dust, dirt, or other debris build up. Over time, this build up can contribute to decreased efficiency and sometimes it can cause the system to break down prematurely.

#4: The system has not been tuned up.
Regular HVAC tune ups are key to maintaining an HVAC system that works well for many years. You should have your system checked and tuned up by HVAC professionals once a year at least. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to get your system checked out and ready to tackle the rest of the seasons in 2017.

If you want our experienced service team to take a look at your system and determine why it’s not keeping up with the cold weather, contact us today for an appointment. Or, if you know your system is old and simply not cut out to keep you and your family warm this winter and you’ve decided that this is the year to install a new heating system, our friendly and non-pushy sales team is happy to find a great system that will fit your home and your budget.

#SHCJingleContest voting is now open!

This autumn, Specialty Heating & Cooling began their first jingle contest, calling schools and local youth organizations for participation by asking them to create their own version of the Specialty Heating & Cooling song. We waited for the creativity to start flowing and we got some amazing entries from some talented young people around The Portland metro area!

Entry #1: Oregon City High School Choir
Led by teacher Julia Voorhies, this award-winning choir came in strong with their entry. Not only were the vocals on point, but the videography was impressive, too! This well-known vocal program has performed in front of various audiences and has even traveled to Ireland to perform! The school has a rich history in Oregon, having been founded in 1885 and has been recognized with an outstanding AYP (adequate yearly progress) rating for the last three years by the Oregon Department of Education.
Check out their entry here.

Entry #2: Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls:
This one of a kind entry came from a talented group of girls that rocked it…literally! This is a non-profit organization headquartered in Portland that gives girls of various ages the chance to build their self-esteem through creating and performing music. The organization started in 2001 by a Portland State University student as a summer day camp and today, it’s going strong, working with dozens of girls every year. Check out their entry here.

Entry #3: Oregon Youth Chorale:
The Oregon Youth Chorale came in ready to showcase their creativity with their “cool hot cool hot” sound! Sandra Miller is the founder and artistic director of the program and has put her outstanding experience and education in music to work in teaching this choir. The choral group tours around Oregon and they have even presented concerts in Austria, Italy, and France. Check out their entry here.

Voting is open, so you can head over to our page and VOTE NOW for your favorite rendition of our jingle! The 1st place winner will receive $5,000 and a chance to appear in a major television ad campaign. The 2nd place winner will receive $2,500 and 3rd place will take home $1,000! The winner is selected January 4th!

How to Know If Your Home Needs Duct Sealing

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The ductwork in your home plays a crucial role in the indoor air quality and overall comfort level throughout the home from room to room.  Often times the air inside your home is more contaminated than the outside air.  Professional duct sealing with Aeroseal is a very good investment for any homeowner and it can save money in the long run too, simply because the hot or cold air that is going through the duct work is not being leaked out of the ductwork.  We’re proud to be a licensed heating and cooling company that offers duct sealing with Aeroseal to clients around the area. Here’s how to know if your home needs duct sealing.

Sign #1: You have hot or cold spots throughout the house.
Some rooms are warm and others aren’t…sound familiar? These warm or cold spots in the home could mean that you have leaks in your air ducts.

Sign #2: You have a lot of dust accumulation around the home.
Do you feel like you’re always dusting? Excess dust accumulation could be a sign that you have damaged or leaky ducts. Excess dust can come from your attic or crawl space areas and when the heating system pulls the dust from those spaces into your home, it will be circulated throughout the area.

Sign #3: You see a spike in utility costs.
Normally homeowners in the winter see a bit of an increase in their utility bills over the winter because their furnaces are running for longer periods of time. But if you see a dramatic spike in the utility bills and there hasn’t been an increase in utility rates, leaky air ducts could be one of the issues. Leaky ducts let cold air in and leak the warm air out, which means your furnace is working a lot harder to do its job and this means you could see some expensive utility bills. Sealed ductwork allows you to keep cold air out and warm air in and you’ll be able to avoid astronomically priced energy bills.

How Aeroseal works:
Aeroseal Duct Sealing is a patented solution that has a 98% success rate. A sealant is injected into the ductwork of the home and as the air stream makes exists through the leak, the tiny aerosol particles collide and attach to the areas where the leaks are present. During the process, we will provide a computer analysis of your home’s generated leakage, and then once the Aeroseal process is complete, we’ll provide a report showing that the process was successful.

Leaky ductwork can cost homeowners hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars every year in wasted energy. Aeroseal is an affordable solution that can fix leaks from the inside out! Contact us today for more information on how Aeroseal can help you home stay warm and comfortable this winter and all year long!

How to Avoid Furnace Hazards

 

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The temperatures are dropping and the official winter season will be here in just a few weeks. When this happens, most homeowners crank up the heat inside their homes to stay comfortable. However, if your furnace isn’t maintained the right way, you could be putting yourself and your loved ones at risk. It’s important to educate yourself on proper furnace maintenance as well as what the potential hazards are so you can be safe and operate your furnace the safest way possible.

Tip #1: Beware of faulty or broken furnace parts.
Furnace hazards oftentimes are a result of malfunctioning or faulty parts. This could be manufacturer errors in the furnace, or older furnaces sometimes have parts that break or wear down over time, which could pose a safety risk. In addition, if you don’t follow directions properly on how to operate the furnace, you could be creating the potential accident to happen.

Tip #2: Have your furnace inspected on a regular basis.
You should always inspect your furnace regularly to make sure there isn’t something obvious wrong with it, but you should also have a certified HVAC specialist come out and look at the machine regularly, especially before the start of winter. That way, you could be sure that any potential issues are identified and fixed before they become hazardous or potentially dangerous.

Tip #3: Always complete repairs in a timely manner.
If something breaks down on your furnace – even a small part – get it repaired right away. The longer you let repairs sit undone, the greater chance you have for a potential hazardous issue to arise. In addition, don’t attempt to repair anything by yourself. A trained professional should always take care of any furnace repairs in order to avoid personal injury or greater damage to your furnace or the surrounding property.

Safe indoor heating is important during the winter, so understanding how your furnace operates and taking the time to be sure that it’s working at its maximum efficiency is key. Contact us today for a furnace tune-up or repair so you can be ready to tackle the cold winter air with warmth inside your home!