Category Archives: Facts and Tips

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.

Maximize Your Furnace Performance with Spring Maintenance

Spring is officially here! Before you know it, you will be turning your thermostat down instead of up! Once warmer weather begins, you will need to plan ahead a bit and be sure that you schedule a spring preventative maintenance appointment for your heating and cooling system. By doing this, you will maximize its performance and you will be ready to head into spring and summer, confident that your system can do its job with no problems. Here’s how you can be sure your system functions at its peak.

#1: Clean air filters regularly.
If you like breathing clean air and you want to help keep your system functioning at maximum efficiency, clean and/or replace your system’s air filter regularly. The filter catches debris and dust so it doesn’t build up on the inside components of the machine. Be sure to replace or clean it at least every other month, especially when dirt is visible.

#2: Schedule a maintenance appointment.
Let the professionals at Specialty Heating & Cooling work their magic and make sure that your system is functioning at peak condition. We will clean filters, run an energy efficiency check, check the inside mechanisms, and be sure that there are no red flags. If there are repairs or adjustments to be made, we will share our recommendations so you can decide the next course of action. Our goal is for you to have a heating and cooling system that runs more efficiently, all year long so you can save money and stay comfortable!

#3: Get ductwork inspected.
Springtime brings lots of allergies. Did you know that your ductwork can have leaks in it that can allow dust, dirt, pollen, and other harmful chemicals into the air of your home? That is not a good thing for people that live with seasonal allergies! Sealing your home’s ductwork through the patented Aeroseal® system means you’ll keep toxins out. It fixes leaks from the inside out by using small aerosol particles that collide and stick to the leaks. With a 98% success rate, you can’t go wrong! Ask us for all the details!

Our experienced team at Specialty Heating & Cooling is ready to help you get your system ready for spring! Contact us today for a preventative maintenance appointment or to talk to us about a full system replacement. We want you to stay comfortable all season long, no matter what the weather is doing outside!

Steps To Get Your System Ready For Spring

It might not quite feel like spring is only a couple of weeks away, but it will be here before you know it. With the change of season, it’s a great time to start working around your home to get things prepped. Spring is the right time to get your heating and cooling system maintained and ready for the upcoming warmer months. Here are some ways that you should get your system ready for the changeover to spring.

Step #1: Make sure the outside unit is cleaned.
Winter brings rain, snow, ice, and wind. That means that there is likely some debris built up around the outside of your heating and cooling unit. Make sure that this is cleaned up so there is no restricted airflow. In addition, make sure the top of the system is free of dirt and debris, as this could hinder the machine’s performance and could even cause damage to the inside components. If this happens, your machine will work harder to do its job and you could see a spike in your energy bill. It could also cause an unnecessary breakdown.

Step #2: Check your air filters.
This is a home maintenance item that many homeowners forget about. However, it’s one of the most important things to do! Dirty air filters mean you’re breathing dirty, dusty air, and your machine simply won’t be working as efficiently as it could be. Make sure your air filters are cleaned and/or replaced every couple of months. This will help reduce the flow of dust, debris, pollen, mold, or other bacteria that can cause you to feel unwell.

Step #3:  Examine your thermostat.
Is your thermostat old and out of date? Spring is the perfect time to get a new programmable thermostat installed. These will help regulate temperature day and night, even when you’re not home. You can set your desired temperature based on your unique schedule, which translates to saved money! For example, if you work during the day and are gone, don’t heat the house. Program it to turn down a bit while you’re gone, then turn back up when you are home. We are glad to talk to you about what programmable thermostat options are out there for you. The best part: you can save up to 20% in your utility bill year-round.

Spring is a great time of year around the Northwest! Schedule a preventative maintenance appointment with our experienced team of professionals at Specialty Heating and Cooling so you can enjoy the springtime weather this year!  If a full system replacement is in order, we can help with that too. Contact us today for options on what system is right for your home and your budget – we’re standing by!

Got a tax return? Replace your furnace!

It’s tax season and that means many people are getting refunds. If you’re getting a refund, you might be thinking about ways to use that money, including what home improvements need to be made. If you have put off getting an updated heating and cooling system installed in your home, take some of that tax return money and invest in a new system. Here are some of the benefits of doing that!

#1: Energy savings.
When you have a new heating and cooling system installed in your home, you’ll automatically be saving energy! The systems created today are made to be incredibly energy efficient and are great for the environment. That translates to not only being a good citizen of the Earth, but you’ll also have more money in your pocket when your utility bill arrives.

#2: Clean air:
Did you know that the air inside your home is oftentimes dirtier than the air outside? New furnaces effectively clean and filter the air that is circulated through it, and that means you’ll have improved indoor air quality inside your home! You and your family deserve to breathe clean air and old, outdated furnaces simply don’t have the air filtering options that new machines have. Filtered air can help reduce allergy and asthma symptoms and can remove pollutants and germs that may be circulating.

Our experienced heating and cooling specialists at Specialty Heating & Cooling understand the importance of having a reliable furnace set up for the remaining weeks of winter and into spring. It will not only keep you comfortable now, but for years to come! We are happy to work with you to find the right system for your budget and we can even help you save money with current rebates and other promotions. Contact us today for options.  

Is Your Home Unevenly Heated?

It may be more of a mild winter this year in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s still cold enough to be using your furnace regularly. If you have noticed that your furnace isn’t heating your entire home well, or that the temperatures are inconsistent from room to room, this can be frustrating, leaving you to bundle up and wear an extra layer. If this sounds familiar, here are some issues that might be causing the problem of uneven temperatures throughout your home.

#1: Not enough insulation
If you do not have enough insulation, or if the insulation in your windows, attic, basement, or walls is old and inefficient, the warm air that your furnace is putting out could be escaping and allowing cold air to seep in. Take a close look at the insulation around your home and analyze which areas need to be insulated for the first time or which areas could have more added. This is an affordable way to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. 

#2: Neglecting preventative maintenance
If you don’t stay on top of regular maintenance appointments for your furnace or heat pump, your system could be prone to unexpected breakdowns or problems. Dirty coils or blower motors, clogged filters, and unsecured belts are just some of the things that could be wrong with your system that could play a part in the system’s efficiency in heating your home. If you don’t have a professional regularly check your system, you could be risking a machine breakdown that could have been preventable.

#3: Faulty thermostat
Your thermostat is key to the efficient functioning of your furnace or heat pump. If you regularly keep the furnace set to “auto”, try changing it to the “on” setting to see if the temperatures are more evenly distributed to your home. If that doesn’t work, make sure the batteries are working right and that your thermostat doesn’t have any issues with faulty wiring or sensors that could be causing it to set the wrong temperature. If your thermostat is out of date, consider installing a new programmable thermostat that allows you to program the temperature to be what you want, when you want it. Talk to us about some of our favorite programmable thermostat options.

#4: Leaky ducts.
If there are ducts around the home that are being blocked by furniture, be sure to remove those so the air can flow freely inside the room. In addition, if there is ductwork inside the home that has holes or cracks in it, it could not only be allowing in dust, debris, and allergens to your home, but it could also be causing warm air to leak out. Our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling will clean the ductwork as thoroughly as possible with a powerful HEPA level filtration machine. In 4 to 6 hours, you’ll have clean ducts and you’ll be able to breathe the air in your home knowing that it is clean. Sealing your home’s ductwork through the patented Aeroseal® system means you’ll keep toxins out. It fixes leaks from the inside out by using small aerosol particles that collide and stick to the leaks. With a 98% success rate, you can’t go wrong.

If you are tired of having a home that is unevenly heated, let us help you find a solution! Contact us today!

Top Reasons to Upgrade Your Air Conditioning During Winter

The new year has officially started, and we are surprisingly experiencing warmer temperatures than in years past.  We have customers that are already thinking about spring and summer weather and getting their air conditioners installed and ready to go. Here are some top reasons to upgrade your air conditioning during the winter months.

#1: You can choose a time that’s convenient for you to have it installed.
If you have ever needed to make an appointment for air conditioning repairs or installations during the peak of the summer heat, you know that it may take a little patience to get on the books! In the winter, however, our team of technicians have more flexibility in their air conditioning installations. We are happy to work with your schedule to find a time that is convenient for you. If your air conditioner had to undergo several repairs in the last year or two, it is likely a sign that the system is in its last days. Replacing it now means you won’t need to worry about an unexpected breakdown when you need it most.

#2: You can do your research and ask questions.
We understand that installing a new heating or cooling system is a big investment for your home. It requires researching and asking questions about which system is right for your home’s layout and your budget. If your system has not been replaced in a decade or more, the technology is likely out of date and it simply is not as energy efficient as it could be. If you upgrade now, you can take the time you need to talk to our experts at Specialty Heating & Cooling so you can be sure you understand your options completely. We will talk to you about what energy efficient updates have been made to new systems in the last several years, what smart thermostat options are out there now, and will offer options that fit within your price range. Replacing your AC system now rather than when you are forced to, gives you more opportunity to relax and do your research rather than having to make a decision when you’re pressed for time.

Your AC system is key to stay comfortable once the summer weather hits, but you certainly don’t have to wait until the summer to start thinking about adding or replacing your air conditioner. Our team has been helping customers find the right heating and cooling systems, in both the residential and commercial sectors for the last three decades. We’re standing by to talk to you about what options could work for you, so contact us today!

13 ways you can rate your heating and cooling company

When you are shopping around for a new heating and cooling company, you will find that there are a lot of different options out there to choose from. It is important to do your research, get a few different quotes, and make sure you ask all the questions you need in order to make an informed decision. But, where should you start? What are some of the basics that you should take into consideration? Here, we have outlined 13 questions you should ask potential heating and cooling companies.

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Does the company have HVAC specific software that allows for detailed home analyses?
  • Does the company take time to ask you questions regarding your whole home comfort and design choices based on your answers?
  • Does the company have a ‘no lemons guarantee’ that ensures that new, faulty equipment can be replaced at no charge?
  • Does the company have NATE (North American Trade Excellence) certified technicians?
  • Does the company perform a call after the system is installed to ensure happiness and see if all is working well?
  • Does the company send its installers, technicians, and home solutions advisors to regular training and education?
  • Does the company track customer feedback and have an interest in hearing about customer satisfaction?
  • Does the company have ‘trust certified’ employees that are put through drug, criminal and background testing?
  • Does the company offer more than just furnaces and air conditioners?
  • Does the company have technical training meetings on a regular basis?
  • Does the company send out regular educational newsletters?

Once you review these questions, take them into the meetings you have with potential heating and cooling companies. We confidently answer “yes” to all of these questions and have been serving residential and commercial customers for the last 33 years in the Portland Metro area. Our positive reputation is something we are very proud of and we have the online reviews to prove our commitment to quality customer service. We are happy to answer any questions you have and will work with you to provide a whole home comfort solution that considers your home’s layout as well as your budget.

Contact us today to get your heating and cooling project started. We look forward to serving you and adding you to our list of already loyal customers.