Category Archives: Facts and Tips

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!

Your Fall Heating and Cooling Maintenance Checklist

Kids are heading back to school and fall will begin before you know it. Now is the perfect time to start prepping for the change to autumn weather. When you’re doing that, don’t forget to take care of your heating and cooling system! By ensuring that it’s maintained well, you won’t need to worry about unexpected breakdowns or a spike in energy usage. Here are some helpful tips on maintaining your heating and cooling system.

#1: Don’t neglect the air filters.
These little filters have two big jobs: they make sure the air circulated through your home is clean and they help prolong the life of your system. Dirty air filters translate to poor indoor air quality. Air filters should be cleaned or replaced every 1-2 months or longer depending on the type of filter you have and if you have pets.

#2: Get your preventative maintenance appointment on the books.
Do you remember the last time a professional checked out your heating and cooling system? If not, it’s time! Preventative maintenance appointments are crucial to keeping your system working well and getting the most out of its lifecycle. You should have annual appointments scheduled for your heating and cooling system and the end of summer is a great time to do that. Our team of experienced technicians at Specialty Heating and Cooling know what to do! We will inspect your system, clean the filters, run an energy efficiency check, and make sure we point out any issues that might cause problems down the road.

#3: Check airflow.
Walk around your home and make sure all of the vents and registers are clean and clear. Ensure that they aren’t blocked by furniture, rugs, drapes, and make sure they are not closed. This will help with more efficient airflow and will ensure that your system isn’t working harder than it has to.

#4: Consider a system replacement.
How old is your system? If it’s more than 10 to 15 years old, chances are, a full system replacement will need to happen soon. Systems that are this age are significantly less efficient and more prone to breakdowns. That means you could be left with a hefty utility bill or an expensive repair bill when you’re least expecting it. If your system is on its last leg, now is a great time to replace the whole thing. We have a variety of options within your budget and also help with financing to help.

Stay on top of your heating and cooling checklist this year by staying ahead of the game! Let us help with getting your system maintained or replaced. Contact us today for your appointment!

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.