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HVAC Noises You Shouldn’t Ignore

Your heating and cooling system is a complex machine that has a lot of different parts to it. When everything is operating at peak efficiency, it should only make a quiet humming as it blows the air out. If you have any unusual sounds coming from the machine, this could be a sign that something is wrong. Don’t ignore any HVAC noises! This could be a costly mistake.

Looking to troubleshoot before you call our team of experts at Specialty Heating and Cooling? Here are some of the most common sounds and what they could be trying to tell you.

Clanking, screaming, or banging:
Over time, parts inside your machine can become loose, become disconnected, or fall off. This could cause a clank or banging sound. Screaming noises are sometimes caused by refrigerant leaks or too much pressure in the compressor.

Screeching:
Metal on metal is never a pleasant sound. This could also indicate something is wrong with a broken belt, or a motor part. These are things that you should have a professional look at.

Humming:
This might indicate a loose wire or something else that could be wrong with the electrical portion of the machine. If you suspect something wrong with the electrical components, don’t use the machine. This could not only damage the machine further, but it could also be a fire hazard.

If there are any odd sounds or smells coming from your HVAC machine, don’t ignore them. Pay attention to what they are trying to tell you and be proactive by contacting our team of professionals at Specialty Heating and Cooling. We can interpret what the sounds mean and make sure things are fixed so your machine is running reliably.

How to Get Your System Ready for Freezing Temps

It’s officially November and colder weather will be here soon. Freezing temperatures can be uncomfortable. So, is your heating system ready to keep you warm? Here are some tips on how to weatherize your home and get your system ready for freezing temps.

#1: Get your preventative maintenance appointment scheduled.
Annual preventative maintenance is very important. It helps prolong the life of your system and it also keeps things running efficiently. That translates to a more reliable system and less likelihood of a furnace system breakdown. During your appointment, we will make sure to clean your filters, look closely at all of the internal workings of the machine, and talk to you about issues that may become problematic later. We’ll make sure things are fixed and ready to go so you can rely on your system all season long.

#2: Get your ductwork cleaned.
Duct cleaning helps you breathe cleaner air. Indoor air quality is incredibly important – especially as you head into the winter months when viruses and sicknesses tend to peak. Our outstanding team of professionals 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. This will leave the ductwork completely cleaned and you can take a deep breath knowing the air is cleaner.

#3: Consider a programmable thermostat installation.
Programmable thermostats are a fantastic way to stay comfortable and save energy in the long run. Program the furnace to turn down while you’re away or asleep and turn back up again before you get home or wake up. This simple programming adjustment can save a lot every year and will help you keep your home more evenly heated this winter. They work with any existing heating system and are affordably priced, too.

Winter can get chilly and you’ll need to rely on your heating system – no questions asked! Get your routine preventative maintenance appointment scheduled right away, then talk to us about programmable thermostat options. We can help ensure you can stay comfortable through the rest of the fall season and into the winter, so contact us today!

Which Air Filters Are Best for Smoke?

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.

Why a Heat Pump Is a Good Solution for Heating and Cooling

It might not feel like autumn yet, but school is back in session and the change of season is right around the corner. That means fall weather will be here and cooler weather is on the way. If you’re tired of hauling the window air conditioner in every year for summer and out again for the fall, then switch to your furnace for heating in the winter, it might be time to replace everything. A heat pump is a great solution: one home comfort system that provides heating and cooling.

Heat pumps are very popular in the Pacific Northwest because of our milder temperatures. They are cost effective and energy efficient. We are a proud Carrier dealer and install Carrier Infinity® systems for customers around various cities in Oregon. Their newest system, the Carrier Infinity 24 Heat Pump is revolutionary and will provide comfort all year long, with a simple touch of a button. These systems are designed with comfort and maximum efficiency in mind. These systems feature the following:

  • Variable-speed compressors for peak performance
    • These systems use innovative subtle adaptable speed components that provide comfort and superior energy efficiency.
  • Up to 24.0 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) and 13.0 HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) ratings for maximum efficiency.
    • The higher the number, the greater the savings.
  • Silencer System for extreme quiet
    • Heat and cool your home quietly, with technology that reduces airflow and vibration noises. Infinity 24 models have sound levels as low as 51 DBA
  • Advanced humidity control
    • These models can remove up to 400% more moisture than other standard systems
  • 10-year parts and 10-year unit replacement warranties
    • The Carrier limited warranties can help with repairs and replacements if needed. Contact our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling for details.
  • Included with your purchase is an Infinity Air Purifier with patented Captures & Kills technology that can treat 100% the air flowing through your home comfort system.

Heat pumps are easily installed and can work with a variety of home or business layouts. They are environmentally friendly, using fewer fossil fuels, and they are also highly energy efficient. That means you can save money on your utility bill each month. Ready to see if a Carrier Infinity heat pump is right for your space? Contact our experienced team of professionals at Specialty Heating and Cooling for questions and to get your free quote!

Why Is My Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air?

On a hot summer day, the last thing you want to experience is an air conditioner that is blowing warm air into your space. If this has happened to you, it is easy to panic. Here are some of the most common reasons why your air conditioning system may not be providing cold air.

#1: Clogged or dirty filter.
Your air filter helps trap pollutants, debris and other dirt that can cause your system to malfunction. Cleaning or replacing it regularly will not only help with better indoor air quality, but it will also help keep your system functioning at peak efficiency. But, if it gets plugged, the airflow is restricted. There simply will not be enough air coming into the unit and the air conditioning system cannot cool the system like it’s meant to.

#2: Lack of professional maintenance.
Just like your dirty filters need to be cleaned, so does your air conditioning system need clean coils – both on the inside of the system and the outside. Air conditioning systems require annual maintenance to work properly. This also helps extend the life of the unit. That can give you peace of mind that there will not be an unexpected breakdown that requires costly repair.

#3: Waiting until your home is hot.
If you wait too long to start your air conditioning system, you will have to wait even longer for the cool down to happen. It can take hours on a hot day to cool down your home. Remember, you are not just cooling down the air, but you’re also cooling the entire structure – walls, ceilings, and floors.

#4: Leaks.
Our technicians often must repair systems that have failed due to leaks in the refrigerant system of the unit. This can be an avoidable issue! Simply schedule regular maintenance with our team at Specialty Heating & Cooling and we can diagnose any potential issues before they become real problems.

Summer in the Northwest is beautiful and staying cool and comfortable is key. Contact us today to get your maintenance, repair, or replacement scheduled with us.

 

When should I replace my air conditioner

June is in full swing and warm days are on the horizon. Is your air conditioning ready to keep you cool and comfortable all summer? Our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling is committed to ensuring your comfort this season. Here are some tips on when you should replace your air conditioner.

Most of the time, air conditioning issues can be diagnosed easily and quickly. If the system is less than 10 years old, we usually recommend repairing it – especially if the repair is a simple, affordable fix. However, if the system is continuing to need repairs, season after season, it may not be worth the investment. This is especially true if the machine is 10, 15, or 20 years old. Repairing an old, inefficient system is futile. It makes a lot more sense to invest in replacing the air conditioning system. This reliability gives you the peace of mind you need before summer weather hits. We will make sure to offer advice on what is best, and we won’t be pushy or try to sell you on something you don’t need!

A new air conditioning unit comes with many benefits. These machines are built with energy efficiency in mind, so that means you will save money and do your part in helping conserve the environment. In addition, a new machine will help improve the indoor air quality in your home. That means you may experience less allergy symptoms during the spring and summer when things bloom. We proudly carry Carrier products and offer a variety of air conditioning models to choose from. Some of these include:

  • Ductless Heat Pumps (heating and cooling in one system!)
  • Carrier Infinity Series
  • Carrier Performance Series
  • Comfort Series
  • Central Air Conditioners

Our technicians and sales team are committed to superior customer service, from start to finish. We understand how important it is to have a reliable AC system ready to go for the upcoming summer. So, call us today for an appointment! We will work with you to find the right system. We also help determine if your purchase is eligible for current promotions or rebates, including Carrier Cool Cash, which can save you thousands. Call us today to learn more!

COVID-19 Update from Specialty Heating & Cooling

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!

Warm Regards,

Cory & Sarah Streeter, and the Specialty Heating & Cooling Team

Tips for getting your system ready for springtime

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!

Why Going Ductless Is the Best Solution

Ductless systems are a great invention that offer an affordable heating and cooling solution for homes. For homes that do not have duct work that traditional HVAC systems require, ductless systems are especially helpful!  They can be installed in a variety of places including tiny homes, ADUs, garages, and in many different homes including new homes or historic ones.

Here, we list some of the main reasons why we think going ductless is the best solution.

Ductless system details:
Ductless systems use innovative technology that provide cold and warm air in one system. An outdoor unit connects to cables and a refrigerant line, which is at the ground level of your home. This connects to the indoor unit which has at least one head that shoots the warm or cold air out into the home. Depending on the size of the space that is being cooled or heated, there could be one head or multiple heads that are placed in central locations around the house. Each head is connected to a remote control that gives you the option to adjust the temperature as needed.

Why ductless systems are the best solution:

  • Energy efficiency
    • Say goodbye to bulky window air conditioner units in the summer! Your ductless system provides air conditioning all season long.
    • For homes that use electric or oil heat, a ductless system offers instant savings.
  • They are very quiet
    • Most homeowners hardly notice the machine when it’s running!
  • They help bring in clean air
    • Many ductless systems include air purification systems that help clean the air that is being pumped into the home and limit exposure to dust, pollen, dander, bacteria or germs. This makes them a great solution for people with chronic allergies or asthma.

A ductless system offers comfort all year long with just a touch of a button. Not sure if switching to ductless is right for your home? Our experienced team at Specialty Heating and Cooling will look at your home’s layout and provide recommendations on how a ductless system would function in the space. We’ll help you find something that’s right for your budget, too!

Contact us today for more information!

Heat Pump Myths Debunked

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

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

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

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

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

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

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