Author Archives: Brooke Strickland

Signs Your Furnace Needs Fixing

When the temperature drops, you need a furnace that’s reliable and ready to keep you warm and comfortable. But as with any machine, time and usage can cause wear and tear. That means your furnace may need repair. How do you know that it needs fixing? Here are some common signs.

#1: Weird odors or sounds.
Your heating system should never have any loud noises or odd odors coming from it. Don’t ignore any smells – especially a rotten egg odor or a smoke or burning scent. This could signal something dangerous. If you hear something banging or clanging, it could mean that there is something loose or broken inside. Screeching noises could indicate a belt issue.  Even if the sound or smell doesn’t happen all the time, it should be looked at immediately. Prolonging a repair can increase energy usage or put extra strain on the machine, which can cause even more damage to other parts of it.

#2: A spike in energy bill.
Did your last energy bill make your eyes go wide? Maybe the cost went up so much, you thought there was a mistake. If utility costs weren’t raised, but your bill increased a lot, you may have a problem with furnace efficiency. Our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling can look and determine what the issue is. Preventative maintenance appointments are one way to do that. We will diagnose the problem and get it fixed and make sure the system is running at peak efficiency before we leave. If you notice a spike in your utility costs, let us help get everything repaired and running well again so you can save money and reduce energy usage.

The sooner you catch furnace problems, the better it is for your home or office comfort. Not ignoring problems helps prolong the life of the system. Your comfort is our priority. So, contact us today to get your preventative maintenance or repair appointment scheduled.

Reasons Why to Go Ductless in 2021

It’s the truth: we love ductless systems at Specialty Heating and Cooling. Why? They are an affordable solution for our customers that help save energy and money in the long run. They are a great solution for homes that don’t have traditional HVAC ductwork in them. They’re also versatile, meaning they can be installed in new construction homes or offices, accessory dwelling units, shops, garages, or historic homes. Thinking about replacing your heating or cooling system in 2021? Let us help.

What’s a ductless system do?
The Pacific Northwest is blessed to have all four seasons. That means wintertime gets cold (and wet) and summers can get really hot! Tired of dealing with bulky window air conditioning units in the summer? Hate opening the heating bill during the winter to see prices increased? Ductless heat pumps can help! In just one system, you can have energy efficient heating AND cooling. Simply use your machine’s remote to reset the setting to heating or cooling and enjoy the comfort that it brings year-round.

One of the main benefits of installing a ductless system is the energy savings that it brings. You will notice an immediate difference in your energy bill after installation. In addition, you can feel confident that you’re doing your part to reduce excess energy usage and help save the environment.

These systems are affordably priced and can be mounted in the ceiling or on the wall. They have a sleek design and won’t clash with your home’s unique décor. Summer heat? No big deal! Cold winter weather? No problem. With a simple touch of a button, you can keep your home’s temperature exactly how you want it.

Want to learn more about ductless systems? We’ll answer your questions and help you determine which one is right for your home and it’s unique layout. Our experienced team of professionals at Specialty Heating and Cooling will work with your budget so you can find the best option for your home. The New Year has arrived and it’s a great time to get your home’s heating and cooling system secure and comfortable for years to come.

Winter Fire Safety Tips

House fires increase during the winter months. The reason: people are inside more often. Electricity is almost always on, furnaces, candles, and fireplaces are in use. Being a victim to a house fire is a very scary experience to go through. Do what you can to stay safe by following these winter fire safety tips.

#1: Don’t neglect maintenance and servicing on your furnace.
Brrr…winter weather means your furnace is working hard to keep you comfortable. To ensure there aren’t any unexpected furnace breakdowns or expensive repairs, make furnace maintenance a top priority. A tuned up system by our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling ensures its running at peak efficiency and that no issues will pop up that could create a safety hazard.

#2: Don’t cover vents.
Your heating vents provide the critical warm air that you want this winter. Make sure that no vents are blocked or covered. Blocking vents with furniture, curtains, or other fabrics and materials not only hinders air flow and causes unevenly heated rooms, but it could also cause the materials to get too hot, which could be a fire risk.

#3: Check smoke alarms.
Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors save lives. Unfortunately, many homeowners forget to test them. Many house fires can be prevented with regular testing and battery changes. Check them every month to make sure they are in good working order. That way, you can depend on them to alert you in a fire emergency.

#4: Don’t use space heaters.
They keep you warm, but portable heaters can be dangerous. If you do choose to use a space heater, never leave them plugged in while you leave and don’t put them near loose fabric or bedding. If children or pets are in the home, keep them away from the heater because they get hot to the touch and could burn.

Pacific Northwest winters are chilly, so get ready to cozy up inside. Remember that a reliable furnace is the key to staying comfortable this season. Contact us today for your maintenance or repair appointment, or to talk to us about furnace replacement options.

SHC Cares Food Drive

Did you know that in 2018 we launched our #SHCCares campaign? This community outreach campaign encourages our employees and customers to give back to the community that they live and work in. This year, the holidays look and feel a little bit different. But that didn’t stop us from finding ways to keep some our annual traditions alive. One of those is supporting the Good Neighbor Center in Tigard with our annual employee food drive. We have done this for more than a decade! In addition to this food drive, we adopted a family of five this year. 2020 has negatively impacted so many people. We are so thrilled to be able to do our part to help those that are struggling and need an extra hand.

“It’s wonderful to see our team members getting involved and donating to such a great cause this year. It brings so much joy to help others in need! We look forward to paying it forward again next year and for many years after that,” said Sarah Streeter, co-owner and general manager at Specialty Heating and Cooling.

The Good Neighbor Center is a non-profit organization in Tigard, OR that provides housing stabilization programs and schooling stabilization for children.   Each year over 1,400 volunteers help with the day-to-day operations and projects to help subsidize and support the Good Neighbor Center efforts.  The Good Neighbor Center was founded in 1999, serving 9 families at a time through their 36-bed facility.   To learn more about the Good Neighbor Center visit their website. Or to learn more their current needs list to see how you can donate, visit here.

It is an honor to know that we have done what we can to help individuals and families have a wonderful Christmas. To learn more about we have done previously in our SHCCares program, visit our website here.

3 Tips to Keep You Warm and Comfortable This Holiday Season

With winter on the horizon, we are finding ourselves inside more often because it’s getting colder and colder outside. With the pandemic adding to our time indoors, it’s important to find ways to stay warm, comfortable, and safe this holiday season. Follow these tips to keep your home’s heating system running reliably, no matter how cold the weather gets.

#1: Schedule your annual preventative maintenance appointment.
Your heating system is a machine that requires attention. Just like your vehicle needs a tune-up or an oil changes periodically, so does your furnace. This ensures that it’s running at peak efficiency and that everything is working as it should. Our experienced team of technicians at Specialty Heating and Cooling will run an energy check, thoroughly inspect the internal and external components of the machine, and let you know if we spot anything that needs to be adjusted or repaired. This gives you the peace of mind you need knowing that your heating system won’t break down unexpectedly on the coldest winter day.

#2: Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
When was the last time you changed the batteries in your smoke detectors? Have you tested your carbon monoxide detector lately? Now – at the change of the season – is the perfect time to check these important products in your home. They play a critical role in keeping you and your family safe.

#3: Change your air filters.
Air filter maintenance is a simple home maintenance task to-do that is easily forgotten about or neglected. Replace or clean your filters every 1 to 2 months. Clean air filters bring cleaner air into your home and they also help with your system’s overall efficiency. Changing your air filters also helps prolong the life of your system, so you can get the maximum life out of it and stay comfortable for years to come.

We understand how important it is for you to stay warm and comfortable during this cold winter season. So if your heating system isn’t up to the test of winter weather, contact our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling for help. We can assist with repairs, maintenance, or provide a free quote on a system replacement. Contact us today for details!

How You Can Keep Your Family Healthy & Safe This Season

This year has been incredibly devastating for millions of people. With COVID-19 continuing to wreak havoc and cases still increasing, restrictions on gatherings, indoor dining, and more have become the norm. Whether it’s the flu, the common cold, or the pandemic that may threaten to damper your fall and winter, it’s important to find ways to keep you and your family healthy this holiday season. Here, we have some tips on how to do that.

#1: Invest in a home duct purification system.
Knowing that your home has the cleanest air possible is a great feeling. We install the Reme Halo by RGF. This system been proven to kill up to 99% of bacteria, mold and viruses, including those that live on surfaces. A recent environmental group study also showed that the REME Halo inactivates COVID-19.  They are both easily integrated with your existing HVAC system. Having one of these in your home is one of the most effective ways to stay healthy all year long.

#2: Stay on top of preventative maintenance.
Staying warm and comfortable during the coldest days and nights of fall and winter will help keep you healthier. Preventative maintenance will ensure that your system is running reliably, so you won’t need to worry about a surprise system breakdown. These also help prolong the life of the system, so you don’t need to replace it prematurely.

#3: Clean or replace your filters.
Are your air filters clean? They need to be cleaned or replaced every other month. These filters capture dirt, dander, bacteria, dust, and other harmful substances that try to make their way into your home. If they get clogged in the filter and build up, the dirt and bacteria will continually recirculate back into your home.

Our commitment to health and safety:
Along with you, our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling will continue to navigate the many changes that the coronavirus has brought to our world. We continue to make the health and safety of our employees and our customers the highest priority through each and every interaction we have with one another. Our company continues to take the following precautions:

  • All service technicians, installers and consultants have been outfitted with gloves, masks, booties, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes
  • We keep our conversations and time limited with you, only providing essential services in your home
  • Both our office team and field teams will remain home if they are not feeling well or if someone in their home is not feeling well
  • We communicate with our teams consistently to ensure that they are healthy
  • We respect the 6-feet rule of social distance
  • We will not have you sign anything that is unnecessary & have protocols in place to limit interaction and signatures required on iPads

Contact us today with any questions you may have about our safety procedures that are in place, so you can feel confident having us in your home to get your furnace repair, maintained, or installed. We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you.

How to Get Your System Ready for Freezing Temps

It’s officially November and colder weather will be here soon. Freezing temperatures can be uncomfortable. So, is your heating system ready to keep you warm? Here are some tips on how to weatherize your home and get your system ready for freezing temps.

#1: Get your preventative maintenance appointment scheduled.
Annual preventative maintenance is very important. It helps prolong the life of your system and it also keeps things running efficiently. That translates to a more reliable system and less likelihood of a furnace system breakdown. During your appointment, we will make sure to clean your filters, look closely at all of the internal workings of the machine, and talk to you about issues that may become problematic later. We’ll make sure things are fixed and ready to go so you can rely on your system all season long.

#2: Get your ductwork cleaned.
Duct cleaning helps you breathe cleaner air. Indoor air quality is incredibly important – especially as you head into the winter months when viruses and sicknesses tend to peak. Our outstanding team of professionals at Specialty Heating and Cooling can clean the ductwork in your home thoroughly through our powerful HEPA level filtration machine. In 4 to 6 hours. This will leave the ductwork completely cleaned and you can take a deep breath knowing the air is cleaner.

#3: Consider a programmable thermostat installation.
Programmable thermostats are a fantastic way to stay comfortable and save energy in the long run. Program the furnace to turn down while you’re away or asleep and turn back up again before you get home or wake up. This simple programming adjustment can save a lot every year and will help you keep your home more evenly heated this winter. They work with any existing heating system and are affordably priced, too.

Winter can get chilly and you’ll need to rely on your heating system – no questions asked! Get your routine preventative maintenance appointment scheduled right away, then talk to us about programmable thermostat options. We can help ensure you can stay comfortable through the rest of the fall season and into the winter, so contact us today!

Reasons to Service Your Commercial Furnace This Fall

Fall is here and temperatures are cooler. Now is the ideal time to get your commercial furnace serviced. Why? Let us explain.

#1: Preventative maintenance reduces your chances of a system breakdown.
Fall and winter in the Pacific Northwest is chilly. Your commercial building must stay warm, no matter what the weather does outside. Yearly maintenance appointments with our experienced team of professionals at Specialty Heating and Cooling means you will save the hassle of a complete system malfunction or breakdown later. Unexpected costs like these can be expensive and stressful.

#2: Commercial tune-ups create a safer working environment.
Your employees and the products in your building are important. But if your furnace is not properly maintained, there could be leaks or broken wires that could allow harmful gas or burning to occur. That means you, your customers, your employees, and your products may be exposed to toxic chemicals or even building damage. Regular maintenance will ensure that problem spots will be pointed out before they become a bigger issue.

#3: Consider a replacement.
Do you know how old the furnace is inside your commercial building? Chances are, if you are not sure, it could be nearing the end of its life span. Or if you have needed to schedule multiple repairs on the same machine, you should consider a replacement system. Money on repairs could be spent investing in a new system that is reliable, energy efficient, and ready to keep you comfortable for a long time.

Specialty Heating & Cooling has served commercial customers for over three decades. Your employees and commercial building deserve maximum comfort, and we can help! So contact us today for information on scheduling your preventative maintenance appointment or to learn more about a commercial furnace replacement.

Top 5 questions to ask when buying a new heating & cooling system

Replacing your heating and cooling system is a big decision that requires some research and planning. Below, we discuss some of the most important questions to have answered before you invest in a new system.

1)    What size system is best for my home?
The size of your home and its duct work plays a key role in determining what size system you need. If it is too small, it will run constantly and if it’s too big, it may not run as often as you need it to. The best way to determine the appropriate system size is by talking to our professionals at Specialty Heating and Cooling. We will ensure that you have the right size so you can stay comfortable all year long.

2)      Does my duct work need to be clean and sealed?
If you have ductwork in your home, it’s important to have it cleaned and sealed. Dirty ductwork brings in contaminants and other airborne illnesses into the air you breathe. Cleaning ductwork will remove dust and debris buildup which translates to improved indoor air quality almost immediately. Our ductwork cleaning system involves using a powerful HEPA level filtration machine. In only 4 to 6 hours, the ducts are completely cleaned. Once the ductwork is cleaned, we can seal it, too. Duct sealing ensures that are no leaks in the ductwork, ultimately helping you reduce energy waste, reduce mold growth, and minimize harmful airborne particles from getting inside. We offer duct sealing with our Aeroseal® system. It uses small aeroseal particles that collide and stick to leaking areas. It has a 98% success rate!

3)      What type of thermostat?
Your thermostat works alongside your heating and cooling system to ensure maximum comfort. Select a thermostat that optimizes the overall efficiency of your system. Programmable thermostats are a great option. They work with your lifestyle and allow you to adjust the temperature of your home or office space from anywhere in the world. So talk to us about what thermostats would work best with your new system.

4)      What is the budget?
When looking at costs, factor in the quality of the system. For example, even though it might cost a little more, a higher end system could last longer and potentially save you more money in energy bills and repair costs. So, while it might be more money up front, you could save a lot more in the long run. Our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling recognizes your heating and cooling system is an investment. We will let you know if there are any rebates or incentives available to help offset the cost. And we also offer a variety of financing options available to make things even easier.

Do you have more questions about a potential heating and cooling system replacement? Let us help! We can answer your questions about what type of system is best for your space so you can get everything replaced before cooler fall and winter weather rolls in.

Which Air Filters Are Best for Smoke?

The Pacific Northwest is seeing record devastation due to wildfires. This has left thousands of people evacuated and the aftermath of the smoke has produced air quality that is the worst in the world. We have received a lot of calls in the last week asking about air filters and how air purification systems can provide clean air. Here are some important must knows.

What does an air filter do?
Air filters play a big role in the overall functionality of your home’s cooling and heating system. The filters essentially do what their name says: they filter the air. That means the air that’s coming from outside, travels through the machine and toxins, pollutants, and other harmful particles are filtered out. Your air filter traps these, and it collects on the filter.

You should clean or replace your filter every other month, or more often if you have pets or are experiencing a high level of pollution or smoke, like we currently are in the Northwest.  Furnace filters with a thickness of one inch, usually need to be changed more often. But, if it’s thicker – up to 4 inches, it will not need to be changed as much. That’s because it has more layers and surface area to collect debris.

What is a MERV rating?
The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating measures how much matter passes through your air filter. The ratings are from 1 to 16 – the higher the number, the better the filter.   The different values are very helpful when comparing performance of different filters.

See below or visit the EPA website here for more information.

  • 1 to 4 MERV rating: captures particles that are bigger than 10 micrometers, such as bugs dust mites, and other household debris
  • 5 to 8 MERV rating: catches particles bigger than 3 micrometers, such as mold and pet dander
  • 9 to 12 MERV rating: catches particles bigger than 1 micrometer, including dust and other common pollutants
  • 13 to 16 MERV rating: captures particles greater than 0.3 micrometers such as bacteria or smoke/pollution

*Particles of smoke are smaller; an air filter with a MERV rating of 11 or higher would be efficient enough to remove them.

We install a variety of air purification systems that can help you breathe cleaner air. One of our most popular products is the Carrier Infinity DGAPA Air Purifier. This has a MERV rating of 15. It works alongside your heating and cooling system, using Carrier’s unique Capture and Kills™ technology that traps up to 95% of particles, killing or inactivating them with an electrical charge.

Contact us today for questions about your air filters. We’ll help you select an air purification system that’s right for you.