Category Archives: Our Blog

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!

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!

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!  

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.

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.  

Ways To Finance Your Heating & Cooling Purchase

Your heating and cooling system is a large investment for your home and if you’re not expecting to replace it and it breaks down, many homeowners feel overwhelmed at the cost and what it will take to get a new one installed. With the holidays right around the corner, expenses add up quickly, but with a new heating and cooling system installation, you won’t need to worry about how to get it paid for. Specialty Heating & Cooling is committed to making this an investment as easy as possible for you and we offer a variety of financing options that make it easy. Here are some of our most popular choices.

Option #1: Deferred no interest, no payment loan*:
Defer your payments and don’t pay a thing until after the holidays or longer! We offer 3, 6, and 12 month deferred no interest, no payment loans on approved credit.

Option #2: Low monthly payment fixed rate programs*:
Looking to replace your furnace but don’t have the bulk amount in the bank to pay for it? Finance it with a fixed rate and simply pay a low monthly fee. Our APR is currently 7.49% on approved credit for 144 months. Call us for more details on this loan option!

Option #3: 0% interest*
We partner with competitive financial institutions to provide beneficial financing options, including 0% interest for 36 months, 48 months, 60 months, and 72 months. Select systems are included with each loan option and are outlined below:

36 Months*:

  • Carrier Performance equipment heating and cooling systems
  • Ductless Heating and cooling systems
  • Infinity single piece equipment
  • Equal monthly payments

48 months*:

  • Carrier Infinity with Performance equipment heating and cooling systems only
  • Equal monthly payments

60 Months*:

  • Full Carrier Infinity Systems only
  • Equal monthly payments

72 Months*:

  • Full Infinity Systems only
  • Equal monthly payments

A new heating and cooling system will add value to your home and allow you to stay comfortable all season long – especially during the holidays when things get busy and your house is full of guests! Not to mention, a new energy-efficient system will help you save energy and help reduce your utility bills because of their increased efficiency. Our experienced team of professionals at Specialty Heating & Cooling can help inform you on the different options and provide ideas on which one will work best for your home or business and its specific layout. Contact us today for more details!

*All financing is on approved credit

 

“Specialty Heating & Cooling is located in Tigard, OR and services Portland, OR; Beaverton, OR; Aloha, OR; Hillsboro, OR; Tualatin, OR; Lake Oswego, OR; Milwaukie, OR; Oregon City, OR; West Linn, OR; Newberg, OR; Sherwood, OR”

SHC Cares Stuffed Animal Drive

In 2018, we launched our new #SHCCares campaign, which is a community outreach campaign that encourages employees and customers to give back to the area we live in and serve. Our employees are given opportunities to volunteer or give in certain ways and our most recent initiative was the “Stuffed Animal Drive” that benefited children undergoing treatment or care at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

This year, we were able to collect 305 stuffed animals for kids at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital! We accomplished this by receiving donations of stuffed animals and monetary donations from our customers that we matched dollar-for-dollar.  We want to say THANK YOU to everyone who was involved in making this stuffed animal drive a success. We know that the stuffed animals will bring smiles and comfort to many children that are facing a difficult time in the hospital as they are away from home.

“We originally had a goal of 100 stuffed animals and after the first week knew we would surpass that goal and just decided to get as many as we could.  It was wonderful to see the SHC team members getting involved, donations from our clients and other community partners.  We really appreciate all the donations and taking them up to Doernbecher’s was an amazing experience.”

Check out the final result in our video:

It’s important for us to be an active part of the local community and giving back is one way we show our support and love for our community and customers.  To learn more about our SHCCares program, visit our website here.

Benefits of a Heat Pump

Fall weather has arrived and that calls for some chilly mornings and more and more people in Oregon are using their heating system to stay warm now! Is your heating system up to the task? Or maybe it’s time to think about getting a new system in place for the upcoming fall and winter months of bitterly cold days. A heat pump is a great solution. Here’s how a heat pump can help you stay warm this season.

What’s a heat pump?
A ducted heat pump uses an outdoor unit that pulls heat from outside air and moves it inside. Even thought it might seem unlikely, when the temperature is cold, there is still heat in the air! The fans deliver warm air through your ducts and your home will stay warm and comfortable. If the weather is warm outside, it unit will also provide air conditioning – pulling the cool air inside during the hot summer days. One unit can provide year-round comfort with the use of your existing duct work!   A heat pump works in conjunction with your gas or electric furnace as back up heat.

What are the benefits of a heat pump?
There are many benefits to installing a heat pump in your home.

  • Continual comfort: no matter what the weather is doing outside, a heat pump will provide year-round heating or cooling
  • Noise reduction: heat pumps are very quiet, and you can hardly tell they’re running
  • Better indoor air quality: heat pumps will filter the air, making it cleaner and better to breathe
  • Energy savings: heat pumps are incredibly energy efficient and can save users significantly on heating and cooling bills when compared to standard electric furnaces
  • Environmentally friendly: heat pumps use less fossil fuels and they will lower carbon dioxide emissions

A ducted heat pump offers comfort with a simple touch of a button. Not sure if a heat pump system is right for you? We can help! Our knowledgeable team at Specialty Heating & Cooling can provide options on which heat pump is right for your budget and your home. Contact us today for more information so we can share your options and let you know about what financing and incentives are available.

It’s Not Too Late to Replace or Get a New Air Conditioning System!

 

We saw record high temperatures in July throughout the Portland Metro area this year, and August is already shaping up to be hot, with consecutive days in the 90s. Your conditioner plays a key role in keeping you comfortable this summer, but what if your air conditioner isn’t keeping up with the summer heat? There could be several reasons why this is happening, and it could mean that it’s showing signs that you need to replace your AC system.

Is your outdoor unit cleaned well?
Many times, outdoor HVAC units that collect debris or dirt over the year can get inside the system and the coil could be affected. A dirty coil means that the it won’t be able to cool the refrigerant by releasing the heat. Your air conditioner should undergo regular maintenance at least once a year to make sure that the equipment is clean on the inside and out, and to ensure that the system is working at its peak.

When was the air filter replaced or cleaned?
Filters that are not cleaned or changed regularly means that dust and debris will build up. If this happens for long, airflow will be affected, and it could also cause damage to the system if it’s left unattended. We recommend that homeowners change or clean their air filters on a regular basis to ensure that it’s clean and functioning well.

Is the system losing refrigerant?
Refrigerant will need to stay at the same level to keep your air conditioner working well. If you notice any leaking, the unit will not be able to cool your home with efficiency. In addition, if the system is low on refrigerant levels, it could cause damage to the internal components, which could mean a costly repair for you.

Temperatures are continuing to rise, so if you’re having issues with your air conditioner, it’s important to get it looked at soon. If your cooling system is more than 10 or 15 years old and it has been repaired numerous times, it may be time to consider an AC replacement. Throwing money into repairs time after time could end up being a waste of money if the system is out of date.  It’s not too late to get a new system this summer! You can count on us to install a system that fits your needs and most importantly, fits your budget! Call us today for advice on having a repair versus a replacement.