Author Archives: Brooke Strickland

Creative Ways to Disguise Your Outdoor AC Unit

Your outdoor air conditioning unit has a big job to do: it has to keep you cool and comfortable during the hottest days of summer. Unfortunately, these systems are oftentimes big and bulky, and they are not the most attractive things to look at. Here are some creative ways to disguise it, while adding some unique aesthetic appeal to your yard.

#1: Greenery.
This is a beautifully natural way to keep your AC unit out of sigh! Plant some shrubs or small trees around the unit. This can not only add some nice landscaping to your exterior space, but it will also help act as natural shade to keep the system out of the hot sun. When you’re planting, be sure to keep it trimmed and leave plenty of accessible space to the unit itself, in case you need to get to the unit to clean it, repair it, or perform an annual tune-up on it.

#2: Fencing.
This is a common way that people disguise their outdoor AC unit, but it’s important to know how to correctly do this. Make sure to leave space around the unit so the air can properly circulate. Never fully enclose the unit, but instead, keep it open and free of obstacles.

#3: Structure.
Some homeowners enjoy building structures for their AC unit to match well with their existing home. This often looks like an outdoor closet that has a removable top. In addition, keep in mind that you should never fully wrap the AC system, as this will obstruct airflow and could cause an issue with the system’s functionality. 

So, with a little creativity, your AC unit won’t be a distraction to your yard, but it will instead help add some curb appeal! If your current AC system is old and out of date, chances are, it’s not as energy efficient and effective as it used to be. Contact us today to talk about what options you have for a full replacement. We will work with your home’s layout and most importantly, your budget! 

Why is my AC not blowing cold air?

Summer weather is heating up and that means that your air conditioner is working hard. But if your system is not blowing cold air, that could raise a red flag that something isn’t right. Here are some reasons why your AC might not be blowing out cold air.

#1: Your thermostat is not set correctly.
The first thing you should check is your thermostat. Set your fan to “auto.” This will not only save money, but it will also ensure that the fan also runs only when the AC is cooling the air. If the fan is always set to the “on” position, it will run 24/7, whether the air is being cooled or not.

#2: The air filter is dirty.
Air filters play a big role in the overall function of your air conditioning system. If your air filter is not cleaned or replaced regularly, it will likely have a lot of dirt, debris and other buildup that will hinder proper airflow. That means the system simply won’t be able to work as it’s intended to, and your home will feel warmer than necessary. Make it a habit to check your air filter often, and clean or replace it every 1-2 months.

#3: Leaky ductwork.
Cool air will travel through ducts in your home before it gets to the vents. So, if the duct work is not sealed properly or has cracks in it, the cool air will leak out and warm air will get in. This escaping of air means that your home will not be at the temperature you designate. You may even see a steep increase in your utility bill. To help remedy this issue, we proudly offer Aeroseal Duct Sealing, which is an outstanding patented solution that fixes leaks from the inside out. The process has a 98% success rate and will ensure that leaks are fixed, and only clean air can be distributed through the vents. The Aeroseal process involves injecting a sealant into the ducts and as the air enters the lakes, the aerosol particles collide and stick to the leak edges to seal them.

If your AC system is not functioning at peak performance, don’t wait any longer to contact us! Our team at Specialty Heating & Cooling will diagnose the problem and get it fixed so you can stay comfortable for the rest of the summer.

Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Summertime brings lots of home maintenance tasks. The weather is nice, and homeowners are out and about working on their home getting caught up on things that were left undone during the cooler spring and winter months. When you are working through your maintenance checklist, don’t neglect your heating and cooling system. Here are some important must-dos.

#1:  Schedule your preventative maintenance appointment.
When was the last time you’ve had a professional come and look in depth at your heating and cooling system? Preventative maintenance appointments are critical to maintaining the system and enhancing the life of it. You should have a once yearly preventative maintenance appointment scheduled and summertime is a great time to do this. Our team of experienced technicians will look at your system and ensure it is running at peak efficiency. We will also point t

#2: Change your air filters.
Dirty air filters translates to poor indoor air quality and dirty air. The air you breathe matters greatly, so make sure you change or clean your air filters every 1 to 2 months. This ensures the air circulated through your home is clean. In addition, clean air filters help prolong the life of your system and can prevent unnecessary breakdowns.

#3: Seal your windows and doors.
When was the last time you have checked the seal around your windows and doors? Poor sealing can mean leaked air and wasted energy. Keep cool air-conditioned air inside where it belongs.

#4: Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans.
Ensure that your ceiling fans are rotating counterclockwise. This pushes the air down so your home stays cool.

While the summer season is full of longer days, trips, and outside adventures, it’s important to take some time to stay on top of your heating and cooling system’s maintenance. Maybe your system has seen better days and it is simply outdated and not energy efficient. Our experienced team at Specialty Heating & Cooling can help you get the right system picked out that works well with your home’s layout and most importantly, your budget. Contact us today!

Why Is My AC Not Keeping Up With The Heat?

Many people in our area think that the official start of summer happens after the 4th of July, but as a matter of fact, it started last week on June 21! Now that summer is here, we are going to be experiencing more and more days of heat. Is your air conditioner not keeping up with the heat? Here are some reasons why this could be and what you can do to fix it.

#1: Closed vents.
Did you close vents in some of the areas of your home that are not used as often? Open all the vents up when you run your cooling system. This not only helps airflow circulate better, but it also means your system isn’t working harder than it must. A system that is working harder than necessary will cause extra strain on it and it will also increase your energy bill.

#2: Clogged filters.
This is one of the most common causes of air conditioner breakdowns. Your filter should be cleaned or replaced every 1 to 2 months to ensure debris, dust, and other dander is removed. Clean air filters mean you’re breathing clean air, too!

#3: Outside condenser.
The outside condenser is one of the main things that keeps your air conditioner running. During the spring when yard work is happening and grass clippings are around more often, it’s normal for debris or other dirt to get inside of the casing. Or, grass could be growing around the bottom and could be causing an airflow blockage. Be sure to keep debris cleared far away from the condenser and if you have any tree branches or other leaves that are located near the unit, ensure there is a way to keep them from falling inside.

#4: Poor insulation.
Do you have one area of the home that simply doesn’t feel the same as the rest of the house? You could have an insulation issue, if so. Check to see if your ductwork is insulated properly in those areas or if there is an issue with attic or basement insulation in that spot, too. Poor insulation means you’re not as comfortable, and it could cause for a lot of wasted energy.

Once the heat has arrived, you want your air conditioner to be working at its peak to provide you the cool comfort you deserve. If you have tried to figure out your system’s problem on your own, but nothing is working, we can help! Our experienced technicians at Specialty Heating & Cooling will be able to diagnose the issue and get it fixed so you can enjoy the rest of your summer. Contact us today for information on getting your AC repair or preventative maintenance appointment scheduled, or to talk to us about full system replacements.

How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Summertime weather has arrived and with the official start of summer this week, we are seeing a lot of pollen in the area. Very high pollen counts mean many people are dealing with asthma and allergies. Here’s how you can keep those allergens away, even while we are facing the highest pollen counts in the country.

Tip #1: Clean and/or replace furnace filters.
Dirty filters in your cooling system translate to dirty air that is full of allergens, pollutants, and other debris. The filters in your system should be cleaned or replaced often, at least every 1 to 2 months depending on use and the type of filter in your home.  This ensures that your system operates efficiently and brings in air that is clean. Don’t neglect this simple task, because it makes a huge difference in the quality of air that you breathe in your home.

#2: Stay on top of regular system servicing.
Regular preventative maintenance appointments for your cooling system is key and should not be neglected.  Not only will regular servicing help point out any potential problem spots, but it will also ensure that your system is running at peak efficiency. Annual maintenance will help keep your system running for years to come and will ensure that the internal components are clean and free of dust and other debris that can contribute to poor indoor air quality.

#3: Sealed ductwork.
Did you know that leaky ductwork can cost you hundreds, even thousands of dollars each year in wasted energy? Not to mention, they can leak harmful pollutants and other allergens into the air you breathe. We proudly offer Aeroseal Duct Sealing, which is an outstanding patented solution that fixes leaks from the inside out. The process has a 98% success rate and will ensure that leaks are fixed, and only clean air can be distributed through the vents. The Aeroseal process involves injecting a sealant into the ducts and as the air enters the lakes, the aerosol particles collide and stick to the leak edges to seal them.

The air you breathe makes a difference and this summer. You can take control of it and breathe clean air, too! Our experienced team at Specialty Heating and Cooling will help put you on the path toward breathing healthy, allergen-free air this season. Contact us for a routine maintenance appointment or to ask us about our Aeroseal process. We can also help get a new cooling system in place for you to enjoy this summer and will work with your home’s layout and your budget. We’re standing by to help, so call us today!

Why You Need to Schedule an AC Tune-up

June is right around the corner and we have already had some hot days on the books. Summer is fast approaching and now is the time to get your air conditioning system tuned up. Here’s why.

Reason #1: Tune-ups improve energy efficiency.
Regular preventative maintenance on your air conditioning system means it will use energy with greater efficiency. This will save you money on your utility bill each month. Our experienced team of heating and cooling specialists will clean the coils, blades, and other internal machine components. Clean systems that can move and operate how they are intended will help generate clean and cool air with maximum efficiency.

Reason #2: Tune-ups help increase the lifespan of the unit.
A quality air conditioning system is an investment that will last you many years and if you take care of it, it can increase the lifespan even more. Just like a car needs regular oil changes and tune-ups, so does your air conditioner! Unfortunately, our service team sees many systems need expensive repairs or even see those that are completely broken down because they have neglected to take care of basic maintenance.

Reason #3: Tune-ups will help you breathe cleaner air.
Did you know that indoor air quality is oftentimes worse than outside air? The air you breathe matters and sometimes you won’t even know that you’re breathing dirt, dust, and debris that is transferred from your system into your home. A new system can greatly improve your indoor air quality and ensure that no harmful particles pollute the air that you and your family and friends breathe.

Summer heat is on its way: is your cooling system ready to do its job? When was the last time you’ve had a tune-up on your AC system? Keeping your air conditioner in tip top shape this season is key to making it through the upcoming warm months. Call us today to get an appointment scheduled or to talk to us about a full system replacement.

Should I Repair or Replace My Older Air Conditioning Unit?

We have already had a series of hot days here in Oregon and summer hasn’t even officially started yet. Is your air conditioning ready to tackle the rest of the warm weather this season? If it is older or is already showing signs of issues, you may be wondering if you should repair or replace it.

When should you repair it?
In most cases, air conditioning problems can be diagnosed quickly, and our experienced team of licensed heating and cooling technicians can repair it. If your system is less than 10 years old, it’s worth fixing, especially if the cost of repair is affordable. However, if you are investing in continued repairs on an air conditioner that is 10, 15, or 20 years old, you’re likely throwing away hard-earned money. Repairing an air conditioner that is on its way out is usually a futile effort and it makes more sense financially to invest in a new air conditioning system that gives you the peace of mind you need before you head into the upcoming warm months. 

Benefits of replacing your air conditioning system:
A new air conditioner is energy efficient and can save you significant money each summer. In addition, a new AC system will work in tandem with your furnace to help clean and filter the air that enters your home, helping improve indoor air quality and reduce spring and summer allergy symptoms. We are a proud Carrier dealer and have a variety of air conditioning models that will work for your home’s layout and your budget. Some of these options include:

  • Infinity Series
  • Performance Series
  • Comfort Series
  • Central Air Conditioners
  • Ductless Heat Pumps

Our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling understands the importance of having a reliable, working air conditioning system installed in time for summer. Now is the time to get your appointment on the books, too, as our schedule fills up quickly! We are happy to work with you to find the right system and will walk you through current rebates and promotions, including Carrier Cash will help save you thousands of dollars on a new system. Contact us today for information!  

Why You Should Get Your Commercial System Serviced for Spring

Spring weather has arrived, and the days are warming up! The change of weather is the perfect time to get your commercial system serviced. Here are some key reasons why your commercial system should be looked at this season.

#1: Regular preventative maintenance reduces your chances of a system breakdown.
Pacific Northwest spring days can be warm one day and cool the next. That means your system will need to be ready to handle whatever the weather throws our way. Regular system maintenance can save you the hassle of having your system break down, right when you need it most. In addition, equipment that isn’t maintained can waste energy dollars. This will add up to be an additional expense that can dip into your business profits, so stay ahead of the game and schedule your routine maintenance right away.

#2: It will help keep your employees comfortable and safe.
If your heating and cooling system is not properly maintained, there could be leaks or other electrical damage happening to the machine. This could cause an unsafe work environment for your employees and potentially your customers. If there are broken wires or other damaged parts in the system, it could be a fire hazard. Our experienced team of technicians at Specialty Heating and Cooling will look closely at the system and spot any issues before they become a safety or comfort issue.

#3: It can help keep the system working longer.
Regular preventative maintenance is kind of like getting your oil changed on your car. It helps keep it running smoothly, but it also prolongs the life of the system. In addition, it will help ensure that you are up to date on your warranties. New commercial systems can be expensive to repair or replace, so ensuring that it works as long as possible is important as a business owner or manager.

Specialty Heating & Cooling has been working with commercial customers of all kinds for over 30 years. We service and repair all brands and will leave you with a written report after every service appointment! Contact us today to get an appointment set up or to get an estimate on a full system replacement.

Top Uses for a Ductless Heating and Cooling System

Not every home is able to have a traditional heating and cooling system for many reasons.  That’s when a ductless heating and cooling system could be a perfect answer! We love the invention of the ductless heating and cooling system and install many of these products each year for clients of all kinds. Here are some of the many applications that a ductless heating and cooling system can be effective.

Homes with electric heating:

Ditch the baseboards and Cadet heaters! A new ductless heating and cooling system can save homeowners with electric heat huge amounts of money. Not to mention, you will be doing your part in helping the environment because you will not be consuming as much energy.

Homes that are being remodeled:

Adding a room onto your home or remodeling a portion of your house? A ductless a heating and cooling system is a great solution to provide both heat and cool air to that part of your home without adding any ductwork.  Ductless heating and cooling systems are installed by our team of experts in usually 1-2 days, so it is convenient for your remodeling schedule. Contact us today to talk about your home remodel and how a new ductless heat pump system can fit in with the new layout.

Master bedrooms or bonus rooms:

Bonus spaces or spacious master bedrooms are meant to be an oasis – a place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of regular life. And, how better to do that with a perfectly controlled temperature year-round? Ductless heat pumps offer energy efficient heat in the winter and cool air conditioning during the summer months.  

Garages or workshops:

Many people use their garage or workshops to do different home projects and no one likes being stuck out in an area with too much heat or too much cold air. A ductless heat pump unit offers heads in various areas of your home, including your garage. 

Accessory dwelling units and tiny homes:

Tiny homes or accessory dwelling units (ADUs) have become very popular in recent years because they are affordable and allow people to have their own space. Ductless heat pump systems are the “go-to” heating and cooling solutions for these because of their size and efficiency.

So, are you ready to see if your home could benefit from a new ductless heating and cooling system? We are offering a wide variety of low financing options and Cool Cash incentives are happening until June 30, 2019.  That means you can save up to $1,300 on a new ductless heat pump system. Contact our team of experienced heating and cooling specialists to set up a time to talk about what ductless could do for you.

What You Should Know About Replacing Your AC

Warmer weather is already starting to make its way back into our weather forecasts here in the Pacific Northwest, so it may have you thinking about getting your air conditioner ready. Now is the perfect time to get your air conditioner replaced, so you can have it installed and ready to go before the hot weather returns. Wondering what you should know about replacing your air conditioning? We can help.

#1: Know an air conditioner’s life span.
Heating and cooling systems generally have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years. After a decade, it will start showing signs of its age and may need repair services more than it used to. If you have a unit that is more than a decade old and you’ve already started spending money on expensive repairs, there will be a time where you will have to determine if it is more cost effective to replace the whole machine.

#2: Know the importance of energy efficiency.
Systems today are the more energy efficient than ever, and that means that you will be saving money on utility costs each year. Our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling is well-versed in what each air conditioning model has to offer and will explain which ones are the most efficient for your space. This will not only keep money in your wallet, but you’ll be doing your part in going green for the environment!

#3: Know what it takes to maintain the system.
Knowing what it takes to upkeep the life of the air conditioner is key. Annual preventative maintenance is an important part of making sure the system is running at peak efficiency. During these appointments, the unit will be cleaned, and an energy efficiency check will be run to determine if there are any issues or things to be adjusted. Regular maintenance ensures that you get the longest lifespan out of your air conditioning investment. Spring is the perfect time to upgrade your air conditioning system. Our professional team at Specialty Heating and Cooling is standing by to answer questions about which models are right for your home and which will align with your budget guidelines. Contact us today to get started so you can stay cool all season long.