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.
Does the air inside your home feel muggy or stuffy? Poor indoor air quality can make you uncomfortable – especially during the warm summer months. It can even contribute to feelings of sluggishness, which isn’t fun when all you want to do is get outside and soak up the sun. Here are some tips on how to improve air flow in your home.
#1: Check for airflow blockages. Are all of the vents inside of your home clear? Closed or blocked air registers or vents will obstruct air flow. This can cause your system to work harder than necessary and create unneeded wear and tear on it. Be sure to keep your air registers open and move any furniture, rugs, or drapes that are blocking them.
#2: Stay on top of air filter replacement and cleaning. This is a home maintenance to-do item that many people forget about. But regular cleaning or replacing of your air filters is essential to maintaining a long lifespan for your system. In addition, dirty air filters bring in dirty air to your home, which can be especially harmful for those living with summer allergies or yearlong asthma. Clogged air filters also keep air from flowing freely into your home. We recommend cleaning and/or replacing your filters every other month or longer depending on the type of air filtration system you may have.
#3: Keep your outdoor HVAC unit clear. Springtime brings plenty of wind and rain. Now that the warm summer weather is here, it’s a great time to get outside and clean the outdoor unit of your heating and cooling system. This can easily accumulate debris or dirt over time, so keep it cleaned off so there is unobstructed airflow.
Following these simple tips will improve air flow and provide a solution for stuffy, dirty air. Perhaps your old, outdated heating and cooling system just simply isn’t up to the task of keeping you comfortable any longer. We can help! We’ve been serving customers in Oregon for more than three decades! Contact our experienced team of HVAC professionals at Specialty Heating and Cooling today.
Our experienced team of technicians at Specialty Heating & Cooling regularly works on homes with multiple levels. We often hear that homeowners are finding it difficult to obtain comfortable temperatures that are the same from room to room. Have you noticed that the upstairs is warmer than the downstairs, or some rooms are not as cool as the others? Inconsistent temperatures are frustrating. That is why we offer zoning systems to help.
What is a zoning system? Zoned temperature control is a great way to keep your home efficiently cooled or heated. There are several thermostats placed throughout the home that are wired to one on control panel that pumps air through your home’s forced air system via the ductwork. The thermostats recognize the specific zone temperature and will open and close dampers accordingly to make sure the temperature is correct for the specific area.
The benefits of zoning:
#1: Money savings Zoning is a great way to save money on utility costs! You can simply adjust temperatures according to usage. You will not overheat or overcool your home and use energy that increases your utility bill. At the end of the year, this could help you with save big. Each zone will heat or cool independently from other areas of your home. It is a concept that translates to real savings at the end of the year.
#2: Reduced wear and tear Your system works hard to keep you comfortable all year long. If it doesn’t need to work as hard to cool or heat your home, you’ll help prolong the life of the system. Because you will only be providing air conditioning or heat to the spaces that you designate, your system will last longer & it will function at peak efficiency.
A zoning system can benefit almost any home, but especially homes with two levels or more – even those with sunrooms or garage apartments. Utilizing a zoning system will give you the technology you need to be comfortable from room to room, no matter what the weather is doing outside.
So, contact us today to talk about zoning system options! We’ll work with you to determine what system is right for your home based on its unique layout. Most of all, we will work with your budget! Contact us today to ask questions about zoning systems or to schedule an appointment!
This week, Governor Kate Brown issued a stay-at-home order for all of Oregon. Our team at Specialty Heating & Cooling is committed to serving you safely.
As a company, we continue to strive for the highest level of caution – from our first meeting with you to the very end of clean up after a product installation. Fortunately, most of your heating and cooling equipment is located outside of your living environment. Please be assured that we are taking all the steps necessary to do our part in stopping the spread of coronavirus.
We are taking the following precautions to better serve Oregon customers:
All service technicians, installers and consultants are outfitted with gloves, masks, booties, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes
We will keep our conversations and time limited with you, only providing essential services in your home
Both our office 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
We are working hard to ensure our team and clients are safe, and we ask the same of you. Please alert us if someone in your home is experienced flu-like symptoms prior to us entering your home or has traveled outside the United States within the last 14 days.
Many of us will be spending more time indoors in the next several weeks. Now is a great time to prepare your system so you can stay comfortable. Here’s how:
Change your HVAC filters: We sell filters if you need one! You can pay for the filter over the phone and will leave outside for pick up in our covered area or we can deliver to your home.
Schedule your annual tune-up if you feel comfortable; many times, we do not need to enter your home.
Schedule repair for your HVAC system that is not running at its peak or if you don’t have reliable heat.
Invest in a whole home duct purification system. We are currently offering the Reme Halo by RGF or the Air Scrubber by Aerus, while supplies last. Contact us for more details.
We also offer water heater replacement! Visit our website for our NO appointment process.
Currently, Carrier is offering Cool Cash rebates or low payment 0% financing for equipment replacement or for air conditioner installations.
We value our clients and their safety, and we will continue to send updates as we navigate the information that is sent out.
We’re Not Comfortable Until You Are!
Cory & Sarah Streeter, and the Specialty Heating & Cooling Team
Today, there is a lot of discussion about air quality and breathing clean air. In the Pacific Northwest especially, we spend a lot of our winter and early spring days inside because the weather is cold and rainy. Did you know that indoor air is often 10 times more polluted than the air outside? Your indoor air quality matters and finding ways to keep the air purified and clean is critical to your health. The REME® Halo and REME® LED air purifiers can help! Here are some details about why these systems are great in helping you take control of your indoor air quality.
REME HALOTM Whole Home In-Duct Air Purifier Say goodbye to bacteria and other pollutants that cause sickness with this system. The dual ionizers reduce airborne particles including mold spores, dust, dander, and pollen and it can kill up to 99% of bacteria, viruses and mold. The REME® reduces sneeze germs by 99% within three feet. In addition, it can kill 99% of viruses that live on your home’s surfaces. This system is easily installed to work with your existing HVAC system to offer clean air to your entire home – not just one room.
HALO-LED™ Whole Home In-Duct Air Purifier This air purification system is the only LED in-duct, whole home system that is mercury-free and zero ozone compliant. It reduces airborne pollutants and contaminants that cause sickness due to bacteria, viruses and mold. It also reduces smoke, odors, VOCs, dust, and allergens. The replaceable LED cell module has a 2.5x longer life than other UV lamp technologies and includes automatic self-cleaning ionizers to help harmful particles from getting in the air you breathe.
Learn more about this system here:
Your home should have the cleanest air possible and we are committed to helping you with that. We are qualified installers of these systems! So, contact our team at Specialty Heating & Cooling to learn more about these incredible systems and schedule your appointment for an install.
Spring is right around the corner. That means it’s time to start thinking about how to get your heating and cooling system ready to go for the change of season. Here are some tips on how to get your system ready for springtime.
Tip #1: Ensure the outside unit is clean and clear. The cold winter months bring lots of wind, rain, and ice. That means your outside unit likely has some debris that has accumulated around the outside unit. When the sunshine comes out, head outside to clean and clear the unit so there is no restricted airflow. That includes cleaning the top of the system of dirt and debris. If this isn’t cleaned off, it could hinder the system’s performance and the internal components could even be impacted. A system that is working unnecessarily hard could cause your utility bill to increase and it could mean your system is prone to needless breakdown.
Tip #2: Clean or replace air filters. It’s easy to forget about the filters in your furnace or AC unit. But this is a simple thing to do and it makes a big impact on how your system performs. Dirty air filters mean you’re breathing dusty, dirty air. Not to mention, your system won’t be working at peak efficiency. Be sure you clean or replace your filters every other month or as needed. This helps reduce the flow of pollen, dust, dander, or other bacteria that makes its way into the air you breathe.
Tip #3: Upgrade your thermostat. How old is your thermostat? Spring is a great time to get a new programmable thermostat installed in your home. These regulate the temperature of your home night and day, even when you’re away. Set your desired temperature based on your schedule and let it do the work for you! If you are at work during the day and don’t need to heat or cool your home, program it to turn down a bit, then turn back up before you get home. Programmable thermostats are a great investment for your home and can save up to 20% a year on your energy bill.
Spring is a beautiful time of year in the Northwest. This is a time that our experienced team at Specialty Heating and Cooling gets very busy, too! So, plan ahead and get your springtime preventative maintenance appointment scheduled. Or, if a new system is required for your home, we can help with that too! We’ll find the perfect system for your home’s layout and your budget. Contact us today for more details!
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!
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!
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.
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!