How to Avoid a Heating System Emergency

The threat of snow and ice may be gone for now in our area. But, chances are, you’re still likely relying on your heating system to do its job in keeping you warm. When a heating system emergency or a complete breakdown happens, it won’t be fun! It is definitely not something you want to experience as a homeowner. This can be stressful! You might be forced to come up with a hefty amount for a repair or full furnace replacement. Not to mention, you’ll be cold! Thankfully, you can avoid this scenario.

#1: Keep your system professionally maintained.
Preventative maintenance is important! Just like your car needs regular oil changes and your teeth need routine cleanings at the dentist, so does your furnace system need to be tuned up. Lack of professional preventative maintenance is actually one of the most common reasons for emergency heating system service calls, too. During these appointments, our experienced team of professionals at Specialty Heating & Cooling will check the internal components of your machine, clean or replace filters, and make sure there are no outstanding issues that could pose a problem in the future. Preventative maintenance helps with improved comfort, better air quality, energy savings, and peace of mind knowing that we have taken a close look at everything.

#2: Don’t try to repair the system yourself.
Heating systems are complex machines.  They need professional servicing! No matter how handy you are with other machines, heating system work can be dangerous. Especially if you don’t have the proper training. If something is repaired incorrectly, it could end up costing you more down the road to be fixed.

#3: Don’t put off a heating system replacement.
Is your system more than 15 years old? If so, it’s probably on its way out. An old, outdated system is not energy efficient and will be more prone to breakdowns. Not sure if your system has more life in it or not? Our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling will help you determine how long you have and what new replacement options are available within your budget. We know this is a big investment and requires some planning and research. Let us help you find which one is right for you!

Contact us today for information on schedule your maintenance appointment or to talk to us about replacement options!

 

How to Keep Your Heating System Working in Cold Weather

We have seen some wet and cold days already this winter, but the coldest parts of winter are likely on their way soon. That means we will be relying on our heating systems to keep our homes warm. Unfortunately, many people will experience some performance problems with their furnace when the temperatures start dropping. In order to avoid any issues or a full furnace breakdown, here are some ways that can help you keep your system working well in the cold weather.

#1: Keep your filters cleaned and changed.
Your furnace needs all the help it can get to keep it functioning at peak efficiency. Clean air filters can help with this, keeping the system from working harder than necessary. In addition, they will also help keep the air you breathe cleaner. Air filters help capture dirt, dust, debris, and other particles that make their way into your home.

#2: Use a programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat allows you to set your home’s temperature to what is comfortable, even if you’re away from home. For example, if you know you will be gone for most of the day at work, don’t heat your home like you would when you’re there. Instead, program the thermostat to turn down a couple degrees, then program it to turn back on before you get home so it’s at your desired temperature. Programmable thermostats save homeowners hundreds of dollars each year in energy and can help keep your furnace from working overtime when it’s not necessary.

#3: Keep vents clear.
Sure, your new recliner might look great on that one wall in your living room, but if it’s covering up a vent, it could cause an issue. It will not only cause the room to be unevenly heated, but it also puts pressure on your furnace to heat an area that is closed off. Be sure your vents are clear from furniture, drapes, rugs, or other household items that could prevent airflow.

Your home is your place of rest and relaxation and keeping it at a comfortable temperature during the winter is key. Instead of stressing about the upcoming forecast of possible colder temperatures and snow, call our experienced team at Specialty Heating and Cooling for a preventative maintenance appointment. We will ensure your system is working at its best and we will talk to you about any issues that may need to be addressed. We’re not comfortable until you are!

How Your Heating System Can Keep You Healthy

Cold winter days are here and unfortunately, that means there are more viruses going around. A lot of people are sick and looking for ways to stay healthy for the rest of the season. Did you know that your heating system and the overall indoor air quality in your home can impact your health? Indoor air is often dirtier than outdoor air. Our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling can help you with indoor air quality solutions that can help keep you healthier.

Air Scrubber:
Ahhhh…clean air. There’s nothing like it! Purified air in your home means you’re breathing healthier air. The Air Scrubber uses ActivePure™ technology, which is proven to purify the air by its germicidal UV light wave system. This process uses molecules of oxygen and hydrogen that travel through the unit, as to freshen and clean the air molecules that enter the air at home. It can eliminate 90% of the contaminants in only 30 minutes.

Duct Cleaning:
Many people don’t think twice about the ductwork in their home. But, if you neglect cleaning them, you may be blowing dirty, contaminated air right back into your home’s heating system. Ductwork can harbor bacteria, fungi, dust mites, and more. These all contribute to health issues! But never fear, we can help! We can clean your ductwork through our powerful HEPA level filtration machine. In 4 to 6 hours, the ducts in your home will be clean and you can breathe confidently knowing there aren’t contaminants in the air.

Advanced Filtration:
Air purification systems are a reliable way to keep the air in your home clean all year long. These systems clean 99% of germs, viruses, mold, and bacteria. In addition, they capture pollen, pet dander, smoke, and other pollutants that contribute to dirty air. We offer several top-notch systems that will work in tandem with your HVAC system.

So, say goodbye to sickness this winter with these indoor air quality solutions! Contact us today for more information on what option will work best for you!

Heat Pump Myths Debunked

Cold weather is here, and your heating system is being put to good use. If your system is not up for the task of keeping you comfortable this year, a new ducted heat pump system is a great replacement option. However, there are several misconceptions about these systems out there. We’re here to debunk them.

Myth #1: Gas furnaces provide higher level of comfort.
Gas furnaces are great machines that offer higher temperature air from the heat vents. However, ducted heat pumps close the gap and can offer a better, well-rounded heating solution that works with your existing gas furnace. They can help with energy efficiency, too! They can help save you significant money on your utility bill.

Myth #2: Gas furnaces are more efficient.
During mild winters, like we are having in the Pacific Northwest so far this year, a ducted heat pump is a very efficient option. Heat pumps also allow for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer, too! So, you can save money even in the summer months, when you don’t have to rely on bulky, energy inefficient window air conditioner units.

Myth #3: Ducted heat pumps can’t keep up with cold winters.
Even on the coldest of winter days, a ducted heat pump can keep you and your family warm. The newest technology in these systems, including the Carrier Infinity® heat pumps with Greenspeed® intelligence can effectively keep homes evenly and reliably heated. So, it doesn’t matter if the temperatures drop well below freezing — you’ll be comfortable!

Myth #4: Heat pumps only heat.
Like we mentioned above, heat pumps offer both heating and cooling capability! One system can provide year-round comfort with just a touch of a button.

Myth #5: Heat pumps are loud.
Early models of the heat pump were noisy. But with today’s new and improved technology, you can hardly hear them. We offer a variety of Carrier® variable-speed systems that have sound ratings as low as 55 decibels.

Not sure if a ducted heat pump is the right option for your home? We know there are a lot of options out there! Our qualified and experienced team at Specialty Heating & Cooling can help. Contact us today for information on how a ducted heat pump could provide you the comfort and energy efficiency you need in your home.

 

How Duct Cleaning Can Help Your Health

Now that we are into the colder weather months, we see people come down with more cold and flu viruses. When was the last time you thought about the ductwork in your home? Dirt, mold, and other contaminants in your home’s heating system can bring in viruses and also aggravate existing health symptoms like asthma and allergies, especially those living with respiratory issues. Did you know that indoor air is oftentimes significantly dirtier than outdoor air? Ductwork that is dirty can bring contaminants and other airborne illnesses inside the air you breathe. However, duct cleaning can help! Here’s how.

Duct cleaning:
Cleaning your ductwork can help eliminate nasty odors and remove dust buildup. This translates to improved indoor air quality almost immediately! Our experienced team 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, the ductwork will be completely cleaned.

Duct sealing:
This can help reduce mold growth and minimize bad airborne particles from entering your home. Not to mention, duct sealing helps reduce energy waste, because no air will be leaked in or out. We are proud to offer a unique patented solution: ductwork that is cracked or has small leaks can be sealed through our Aeroseal® system that ensures toxins are kept out. This system fixes leaks from the inside out by using small aeroseal particles to collide and stick to the leaks. It has a 98% success rate, so homeowners simply can’t go wrong!

Winter is right around the corner and it’s the perfect time to get everything sealed, cleaned, and ready to go for the change of season. Contact us today for more information on how you can improve your indoor air quality this season. We have worked with residential customers for the last three decades and know how to efficiently clean and seal your ductwork! The result: clean air that keeps you healthier.

How to Get Your Furnace Prepped for Cold Weather

Autumn is here and freezing temperatures have already arrived. Chilly days and nights that are close to freezing temperatures are when you rely on your heating system the most. Is your system ready to keep you comfortable? Brace yourself for more months of cold weather and plan now to get your furnace ready. Here are some helpful tips on how to get your heating system prepped for cold weather.

Tip #1: Change or clean your air filters.
Your air filters might be small, but they have a huge job. They help keep allergens, dirt, and dust out of the air you breathe, and they also help prolong the life of the system. By the time they start looking dirty, they are starting to block the airflow of your furnace system. That means your system is working harder to do its job. That means the system’s lifespan could be shortened and damage could occur to the machine.

Tip #2: Get your ductwork sealed.
Most of the time, you won’t know if your duct work is sealed or not. However, a lot of times, ducts in the home have cracks, holes, or leaks that cause air to leak out. That means you’re wasting hundreds of dollars in energy each year! Leaky duct work also allows harmful particles into the air you breathe. Wondering how can you determine if your duct work is leaky? Our team at Specialty Heating & Cooling will help! We are Aeroseal Duct Sealing specialists. This patented solution fixes leaks from the inside out. It uses an injected sealant to the ducts, so when the air enters the ducts, the particles collide and stick with leak edges. This seals them and allows the air to move into your home!

Tip #3: Don’t ignore weird noises.
Just like you wouldn’t ignore a strange noise on your car, you should also not ignore sounds coming from your heating system! If you ignore these, the system could malfunction and cause serious damage to the internal components. That could mean you’ll have to pay for a costly repair. So, call right away so one of our experienced technicians can take a look more closely at what could be going on.

#4: Schedule maintenance on the system.
Need a professional to examine your system? Fall is the perfect time to schedule a furnace tune-up. We will clean the internal parts, run an energy efficiency check, clean the air filters, and make sure all the components are working at their peak. If we see any issues, we will address them.

With the right maintenance and inspection of your heating system, you will be able to rely on your heating system to keep you warm, no matter how chilly those Pacific Northwest nights are.  So, whether it’s preventative maintenance, a furnace repair, or a complete system replacement, Specialty Heating and Cooling has the experience that you can count on to get the job done right. Contact us today for your appointment!

Top Reasons You Should Replace Your Water Heater

The availability of warm, running water is necessary for households around the country. Whether it’s a warm bath or hot water to clean your dishes in, people rely on hot water to complete day to day tasks. That means your water heater is put to good use each day and over time, it may start showing signs that it needs replacing. Here are some of the main signs that your water heater needs to be replaced.

#1: Time.
No product will last forever, unfortunately. Water heaters will generally last for about a decade before they need to be replaced. If it’s not heating water like it should or it’s starting to leak, it may be showing signs of its age. If you have lived in your home at least that long and the water heater hasn’t been replaced, then you will need to plan on replacing it.

#2: Noise.
Is the water heater making a lot of noise at the tank? As it ages, it can start to rumble as it starts to heat up the water. This could be because it’s inefficient and it’s taking more energy and strain to heat the water. If your water heater is making noises, don’t ignore it. It could be a sign that something is wrong, and damage could occur if you don’t pay attention.

#3: Leaking.
Sometimes an old water heater will start to leak, leaving water on the floor around the tank. Leaks are never a good thing to have, as it could cause damage to your property that could be expensive and inconvenient. Leaks are usually caused by expansion of metal in the tank and as the water heater gets older, a fracture can happen. Small amounts of water will start leaking through these gaps as the water continues to heat each cycle. Over time, this could cause ruined carpeting or hardwood flooring, saturated belongings in the area, or even mold build up.

#4: Not heating.
One of the most obvious signs of an old water heater is water that simply isn’t warm. This could be caused by a broken heating element, a mis-adjusted thermostat, or simply that the water heater is not working as it should anymore.

Water is probably the most necessary item in your household, so if it fails, you are left without hot water, you’re looking at things becoming very inconvenient for a while. We can help! Our experienced team at Specialty Heating and Cooling can help get you a new water heater installed and running efficiently. We will talk to you about what tank size is most appropriate for your home and make sure it is within your budget. Watch our YouTube video about water heaters here, then contact us to talk to us about our new water heater program! Let us help you get your new one installed!

 

Tips for Getting Your Home Ready for Fall

Fall surely feels like it has arrived this week with cold mornings and sunny afternoons! Now is a great time to work around your home to get things prepared for the fall and winter seasons ahead. Wondering what you should prioritize to get your home ready for fall? Let us help.

Tip #1: Check your thermostat.
How old is your thermostat? Fall is a great time to upgrade to a new programmable thermostat. These regulate temperatures day and night in your home, even when you’re not there! Simply set your desired temperature based on your schedule and let it do the rest of the work. For example, if you’re gone during the day, don’t heat the house. Program the thermostat to reduce the temperature while you’re away. Then, schedule it to turn up right before you get home. Easy! Programmable thermostats will help save up to 20% on your utility bill yearly.

Tip #2: Schedule preventative maintenance on your heating system.
Regular professional maintenance on your heating system means it will use energy with greater efficiency. This translates to saved money each month. Not to mention, tune-ups will help increase the lifespan of the unit. Unfortunately, our service team sees many heating systems that require expensive repairs. Sometimes we even those that are totally non-functional because basic maintenance has been neglected.  Fall is the best time to get your system serviced. You will head into fall and winter knowing that your system is reliable and ready to go.

Tip #3: Install a reliable carbon monoxide alarm.
If you don’t already have one of these, it’s important to get one right away. These alarms work a lot like smoke detectors but will detect unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide. If it senses something, it alerts you immediately. To avoid carbon monoxide leaks,  never heat your home with a gas stove and if you need to use a space heater, never leave it unattended. Ensure that your heating system’s mechanical parts are working well too, as breakdowns in your system could mean carbon monoxide could leak into the air you breathe.

Fall is a beautiful time of year in the Pacific Northwest! Schedule your preventative maintenance appointment with our experienced team at Specialty Heating and Cooling so you can enjoy the autumn. If you need a programmable thermostat, we’ll help with that too! Contact us today – we’re standing by to help keep you comfortable all year long!

Furnace Repair: 3 common furnace problems

Your furnace is a complex system that has a lot of internal components. Unfortunately, sometimes parts break down and the system shows signs of not running efficiently. We can help! Here are three common furnace problems and ways you can get them fixed.

Problem #1: Poor air flow.
Have you noticed that you’re not getting good air flow from the system to your vents? This is a common issue. Your first step is to check to see if there are blockages around any of the vents. Make sure the vents are all opened, even in the rooms that you don’t use regularly, and ensure that there are no curtains or furniture blocking airflow. Once you’ve done this, check to make sure there is no debris or dirt buildup that is on the outside of the HVAC unit. This can also contribute to bad air flow.

Problem #2: Unusual odors.
Any smell coming your furnace is not a good sign. You should first rule out that there are no gas leaks, then check your air filters. If your air filters are dirty and clogged with dust, dirt, or pet hair, this can contribute to the smell. In addition, if you do not clean your air filters regularly, mildew can develop and add to nasty odors.

Problem #3: Leaky ductwork.
Most homeowners don’t know if the ductwork in their home is properly sealed. Unfortunately, sometimes ducts have cracks, holes, or other tiny leaks in them which leaks air and causes you to waste significant amounts of money over the years! Wasted energy is one thing, but leaky ductwork also allows harmful particles in the air to be brought right inside your home to the air you breathe. To combat this issue, we are proud Aeroseal Duct Sealing specialists. This unique, highly effective patented process will fix leaky ducts from the inside out. It has a 98% success rate in sealing the ducts.

Your heating and cooling system needs to be reliable. So, if you’re noticing problems with it, it’s important to not put off a tune-up appointment. Our team of specialists at Specialty Heating and Cooling will take a close look at your system and provide solutions on how to get it running as it should. And, if there simply isn’t a way to get it running at peak efficiency, we will talk to you on what new system options could work. Right now, we are offering incredible incentives with Carrier Cool Cash, which can save customers up to $1650 on select systems! That means you can have a new, reliable system, just in time for the switch to autumn weather. Contact us today for details!

What to Look for When Hiring a Heating & Cooling Company

When your heating or cooling system needs a repair or replacement, there are lots of different companies to choose from. Once you start researching options, you might feel overwhelmed. Which one is the best choice.? Here’s what you should look for when hiring a heating and cooling company.

#1: Their overall experience.
As with any job, the more experience there is, the better. This is especially true when it comes to heating and cooling installations and repairs. When you’re looking for companies, look at how long they’ve been in business in the local area, and determine if they do work on commercial or just residential jobs. Ask them about their technician team and what kind of experience and training they undergo.

#2:  Their reviews.
Positive reviews speak volumes. Research online reviews for the company, looking closely at Google, Facebook, and Angie’s List. If there are negative reviews, read through them and do some comparison. Are there recurring themes? If so, this could be a red flag. Weigh the positives and negative reviews. Reviews go a long way in seeing what priorities the company has – are they in it just for the business or are they in it to really serve their customers well with quality workmanship?

#3: Their service offerings.
What kind of services does the company provide? Do they offer preventative maintenance service, as well as repairs and replacements? Having a new system installed in your home is one of the larger home investments that homeowners make, so it’s important to find a company that can handle everything in regard to your home comfort system. That way, you can call them for anything that may come up in the future.

We are proud of our experienced team of professionals at Specialty Heating & Cooling and have been in business for more than three decades. We are also 10-time award winners of the President’s Award from Carrier. This prestigious award is given to companies that have been recognized for quality customer service and outstanding workmanship. We believe our core values and our company tag line of We’re Not Comfortable Until You Are is what makes us unique. We work with customers of all kinds and look forward to talking to you about the heating and cooling system in your home or commercial building. Contact us today to get started!