Tag Archives: energy efficiency

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!

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!

Why You Need to Schedule an AC Tune-up

June is right around the corner and we have already had some hot days on the books. Summer is fast approaching and now is the time to get your air conditioning system tuned up. Here’s why.

Reason #1: Tune-ups improve energy efficiency.
Regular preventative maintenance on your air conditioning system means it will use energy with greater efficiency. This will save you money on your utility bill each month. Our experienced team of heating and cooling specialists will clean the coils, blades, and other internal machine components. Clean systems that can move and operate how they are intended will help generate clean and cool air with maximum efficiency.

Reason #2: Tune-ups help increase the lifespan of the unit.
A quality air conditioning system is an investment that will last you many years and if you take care of it, it can increase the lifespan even more. Just like a car needs regular oil changes and tune-ups, so does your air conditioner! Unfortunately, our service team sees many systems need expensive repairs or even see those that are completely broken down because they have neglected to take care of basic maintenance.

Reason #3: Tune-ups will help you breathe cleaner air.
Did you know that indoor air quality is oftentimes worse than outside air? The air you breathe matters and sometimes you won’t even know that you’re breathing dirt, dust, and debris that is transferred from your system into your home. A new system can greatly improve your indoor air quality and ensure that no harmful particles pollute the air that you and your family and friends breathe.

Summer heat is on its way: is your cooling system ready to do its job? When was the last time you’ve had a tune-up on your AC system? Keeping your air conditioner in tip top shape this season is key to making it through the upcoming warm months. Call us today to get an appointment scheduled or to talk to us about a full system replacement.

Should You Repair or Replace Your Furnace?

Fall weather is here and that means the temperatures are dropping a bit and you may be turning on your furnace more often. But, if your system is older or having problems in any way, you may be wondering if it needs a simple repair or if a full replacement is in order.

When is repair best?
In most cases, furnace problems can be diagnosed quickly and repaired by our team of experienced, licensed HVAC technicians. If your furnace is less than 10 years old, chances are, things can be fixed through repair. When it comes to repairs, if the cost of the repair is less than a third of what it would cost to replace the furnace and if it’s in its first half or less of its lifetime, repair is usually a good option.

How many repairs has it had?
Trying to keep your old heating system alive with continual repairs? Repairs can be expensive and if it’s still unreliable and your energy bills are steadily increasing, it’s likely that you should consider doing a full furnace system replacement sooner rather than later. Repairs could end up being a waste of your hard-earned money, especially if your furnace is more than 15 years old. A new furnace can pay for itself because you won’t need to repair it all the time and your energy bill will remain low and that means for the next 15 to 20 years, you can rely on it.

Benefits of a replacement furnace:
New furnace systems are very energy efficient and can save you hundreds of dollars each cold fall and winter season. In addition, it will clean and effectively filter the air, which will improve the indoor air quality inside your home, making the air healthier and cleaner to breathe. Old furnaces simply don’t have the option to filter the air well, which means that pollutants are making their way inside your home and into the air you and your family breathes. Filtered air can also help reduce asthma and allergy symptoms!

Our experienced HVAC professionals at Specialty Heating & Cooling understand the importance of having a reliable working furnace set up for the fall and winter. 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!

 

What role do air filters play in your heating and cooling system?

Your heating and cooling system is something you rely on all year long to keep you comfortable. In order to keep it running at peak efficiency and as reliably as possible, you should not neglect the air filters inside the furnace.  They play a big role in how your system functions.

Dirty air filters are full of dust, dirt, debris, pet hair, and other allergens and pollutants that can cause you to breathe in dirty air. Dirty air filters contribute to poor air quality. And this isn’t the only important role they play. They also keep your heating and cooling system from developing other problems that are caused by buildup of dirt, debris, dust, or other harmful things that can get in and around the components that help the machine run.

Your air filters help in bolstering energy efficiency, too. If you have dirty air filters, chances are, you’ll see an increase in your monthly utility bill. This is because the system is required to work harder than it was intended to, in order to get clean air through the system. This causes a spike in energy usage and a spike in your bill. If you have noticed that your system is short cycling more often, this is causing unnecessary wear and tear over time. That means you may not have the system as long as you could have if you would have replaced or cleaned the filters more regularly.

If you aren’t sure how to go about cleaning or repairing your heating and cooling system air filters, we’re glad to help. We can provide tips on what to do. Better yet, call us for a preventative maintenance appointment. Serving your system once a year means that you’ll have our team of experts not only clean or replace the filters, but we’ll check out the rest of the unit too, making sure all the inside and outside components are working as they should, so you don’t risk unnecessary breakdowns or repairs.

Are you ready to get your heating and cooling system replaced in time for autumn? Now is the time! We will work with you to find a high-quality system that fits with your specific layout and most importantly, your budget. Contact us today for information!

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.

 

Why is my air conditioner not blowing cold air?

This week we are seeing record heat for what might seem like an unending stretch of days. With highs in the upper 90s, people are turning to their air conditioning system to provide comfort. But what if you turn on your air conditioner and it isn’t blowing cold air? Here are some of the most common reasons why your air conditioner might be doing this.

#1: Your filter is clogged.
Your air filter plays a very important role in the overall functioning of your cooling system. Not only does it filter the dirt and debris from the air to help provide you clean air to breathe, but it also affects how the system runs. Excess debris build up will impact airflow, which could cause your system to not do its job. Take out the filter every 1 to 2 months to check and make sure it is not dirty, and either replace it or clean it thoroughly. This will help prolong the life of your system too.

#2: Dirty coils.
Your evaporator coils will get dirty over time and if they are not cleaned well, it can affect the performance of your air conditioning system, making it more difficult to remove warm air from your home. If the coils are extremely dirty, more serious issues can occur like having the system completely overheat and shut off. Contact our team of experienced technicians at Specialty Heating and Cooling for a preventative maintenance appointment, where we will make sure that the evaporator coils are cleaned properly.

#3: Leaks.
Refrigerant is required for your air conditioner to do its job, but if there is a leak, then your home will stay warm and your system may not be blowing cold air. Refrigerant can be hazardous to handle, so make sure you contact our team of technicians to do the work if this is something you suspect as the problem. Another type of leak that can happen is an air duct leak. If there are leaks in your air ducts, the cool air may be escaping, instead of going into your home, where you need it most. Air duct leaks cause homeowners to lose hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars each year. We can help with that. We are proud to use Aeroseal technology for our customers that are experiencing duct leakage in their homes. Contact us today for information on how Aeroseal may be right for you.

If your air conditioner is not blowing cold air, don’t ignore it. Our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling is standing by to help get you on the path toward a cool and comfortable summertime. Contact us today for information on getting your AC repaired or replaced.

 

How to keep your pets cool during the summer heat

Summertime in Oregon means plenty of fun and relaxation in the sun, but for your pets, it only takes a little bit of exposure to the warmth before they feel overheated. We love our pets here at Specialty Heating and Cooling and want to remind our customers to don’t forget about keeping your pets out of the heat. Here’s how to keep your pets cool during the summer heat.

#1: Hydration is key.
Your pets can get dehydrated very quickly so it’s very important to keep cool water accessible to them all day long, especially when the temperatures really start to climb. Don’t forget about drinking plenty of water, too! Replenishing your electrolytes and the water you have lost throughout the day is very important to maintaining your overall health.

#2: Take walks early in the morning or later at night.
The pavement gets hot, hot, hot during the summer weather and that means that it can burn the pads of your dog’s paws very easily. In addition, walking in the heat will likely cause them to overheat. To avoid any issues with paw burns or overheating, change up your walking routine to go early in the morning or later in the evening. This will still allow you and your pet to get outside and enjoy the summertime and be active, but it will keep you from having to deal with a sick pet later.

#3: Be sure your AC system is tuned up and ready to handle the heat.
When was the last time your AC system was looked at from the inside out? Your cooling system plays a big role in the overall comfort for both you and your beloved pet. Scheduling a preventative maintenance appointment with our experienced team of technicians at Specialty Heating and Cooling means we will check out the inside of the system including the motor, clean your air filters, and let you know of any potential issues that we notice. Once your system is working at peak efficiency, we will be on the road and you can stay comfortable for the rest of the summer!

Not sure if your air conditioning will withstand the rest of the summer? Now is the time to fix that. Whether it’s a split ductless system, a traditional air conditioner, or a heat pump, we have a variety of cooling options that will fit your home’s unique layout and most importantly, fit your budget. Contact us today for more information today!

Benefits of Preventative Maintenance

May has already had record breaking temperatures into the 80s and 90s and people are starting to use their air conditioning systems a little bit earlier than normal. Summer is approaching fast, and now is the perfect time to get your annual air conditioning tune-up appointment scheduled so you can be ready to stay comfortable for the upcoming warm months.  Staying cool is important, but there are also additional benefits to staying on top of preventative maintenance for your air conditioning system.

Benefit #1: Improves Energy Efficiency.
System maintenance allows your system to use energy more efficiently, which in turn, saves you money. Tune-up appointments include cleaning blades, coils, and other inside components that you may not see. A clean unit generates clean, cool air in a more efficient way and that means it will cost you less to operate the unit, even when its being used a lot!

Benefit #2: Increases Life Span.
Your air conditioning system can run well and last longer throughout its lifecycle with regular preventative maintenance appointments.  We unfortunately see many systems break down or need regular repairs simply because they haven’t been taken care of and maintenance has been neglected. Just like your car needs tune-ups on a regular basis, so does your HVAC system and air conditioner!

Benefit #3: Improves Air Quality.
The air you breathe matters and oftentimes, you are breathing dirty air and don’t even know it. Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate around the unit’s components and cages and these particles can make their way into the air that your system blows into your home. Our HVAC technicians will clean your system and ensure that the dirt and other debris is removed, so there aren’t any harmful particles polluting the inside air of your home or office.

Keeping your air conditioner in top notch shape is important to surviving the upcoming spring and summer heat!  When was the last time you’ve had a tune-up on your air conditioning system? Does your current system need a repair to get it working well? Or, perhaps your current system is inefficient or unreliable. Now is the time to contact us for information on getting a new one installed and ready to go. We can work with you and your budget to find the right system. Call us today to get started.