Tag Archives: furnace

Why Changing Your Air Filter is Important

Your air filter is one of the most important parts of your heating system. And because it’s not easily seen, our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling often discovers that the filters are forgotten about. That’s why we’re here to remind you to clean and change your air filter regularly. Doing this will help prolong the life of your system and help you breathe cleaner air.

The importance of air filters:
Dust, debris, and other particles try to make their way into the ductwork of your home. If this debris gets into the actual heating system, it could wreak havoc and cause some big damage to it. The filter is essentially a layer of protection. It prevents dust and other harmful air particles from getting into the system, as well as the air you breathe inside your home or office.

Reasons to change or clean your filter regularly:

Reason #1: Clogged filters restrict airflow and decrease efficiency.
Restricted airflow means your system is working really hard to do its job. This makes the machine more inefficient, using more energy and ultimately increasing your utility bill. Clogged filters can also cause the system to short cycle, which puts additional strain on the machine.

Reason #2: Increased wear and tear.
Your heating system is a big investment for your home. By taking care of it and staying on top of regular maintenance, your system should last 10-15 years. But if you neglect it, it could break down in less than 10 years. That’s an expensive mistake and something that you can easily avoid. Simple air filter changes or cleaning is easy. But dipping into your savings for a costly repair or having to finance a new system before you were planning to, could be stressful.

At Specialty Heating and Cooling, we care about the quality of air you breathe and want to make sure that system you have in your home or commercial space lasts as long as possible. We are happy to help answer your air filter questions and can also help with repairs and free quotes for a new system. Contact us today!

Why is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air?

At this time of year in the Northwest, our furnaces are some of our closest friends. The last thing you want to have is a furnace that malfunctions – brrrr! But don’t panic. While it might seem alarming that your furnace is blowing cold air, there are a few common reasons why.

#1: The furnace isn’t fully warmed up.
When you first turn on the furnace, it’s common for it to blow a blast of cool air. It often takes a few minutes for the air to feel warm. That’s because the cooler air needs to come through the vents. Give the furnace some time to warm up. Think of it kind of like letting your faucet water warm up – you’ll get cold water at first, then it will gradually get warmer. If the furnace isn’t blowing warm air within a few minutes, there is likely something else going on and a service call to our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling may be in order.

#2: Your thermostat may be on the wrong setting.
Is the air from your furnace constantly cool? Check your thermostat to make sure that the fan is set to ‘auto.’ If it’s set to ‘on’ only, then it will run even when the furnace isn’t heating the air. Keeping it on ‘auto’ will ensure that the fan only runs when the furnace is heating the air and bringing that air inside.

#3: Your filter is clogged.
When was the last time you changed or cleaned your air filter? Dirty air filters create problems for your furnace. It restricts your airflow causing your furnace to run longer, using more energy. If this goes on for a long time, the furnace can overheat, and this brings only cold air in. We recommend replacing or cleaning your air filter on a consistent basis for the type of filter and the use within the home  This helps your system work more efficiently and prolongs the life of the system.

Are you still having problems after troubleshooting? There may be something more serious going on liked a broken circuit board, a faulty igniter, or something else. Our professionally licensed team of experts at Specialty Heating and Cooling will determine what the issue is and talk about what your options are. Maybe a simple repair is in order, or a furnace replacement might be the best choice. Contact us today for your questions or to schedule a service call. We’re standing by to help so you can stay comfortable all winter long!

Winter Fire Safety Tips

House fires increase during the winter months. The reason: people are inside more often. Electricity is almost always on, furnaces, candles, and fireplaces are in use. Being a victim to a house fire is a very scary experience to go through. Do what you can to stay safe by following these winter fire safety tips.

#1: Don’t neglect maintenance and servicing on your furnace.
Brrr…winter weather means your furnace is working hard to keep you comfortable. To ensure there aren’t any unexpected furnace breakdowns or expensive repairs, make furnace maintenance a top priority. A tuned up system by our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling ensures its running at peak efficiency and that no issues will pop up that could create a safety hazard.

#2: Don’t cover vents.
Your heating vents provide the critical warm air that you want this winter. Make sure that no vents are blocked or covered. Blocking vents with furniture, curtains, or other fabrics and materials not only hinders air flow and causes unevenly heated rooms, but it could also cause the materials to get too hot, which could be a fire risk.

#3: Check smoke alarms.
Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors save lives. Unfortunately, many homeowners forget to test them. Many house fires can be prevented with regular testing and battery changes. Check them every month to make sure they are in good working order. That way, you can depend on them to alert you in a fire emergency.

#4: Don’t use space heaters.
They keep you warm, but portable heaters can be dangerous. If you do choose to use a space heater, never leave them plugged in while you leave and don’t put them near loose fabric or bedding. If children or pets are in the home, keep them away from the heater because they get hot to the touch and could burn.

Pacific Northwest winters are chilly, so get ready to cozy up inside. Remember that a reliable furnace is the key to staying comfortable this season. Contact us today for your maintenance or repair appointment, or to talk to us about furnace replacement options.

SHC Cares Food Drive

Did you know that in 2018 we launched our #SHCCares campaign? This community outreach campaign encourages our employees and customers to give back to the community that they live and work in. This year, the holidays look and feel a little bit different. But that didn’t stop us from finding ways to keep some our annual traditions alive. One of those is supporting the Good Neighbor Center in Tigard with our annual employee food drive. We have done this for more than a decade! In addition to this food drive, we adopted a family of five this year. 2020 has negatively impacted so many people. We are so thrilled to be able to do our part to help those that are struggling and need an extra hand.

“It’s wonderful to see our team members getting involved and donating to such a great cause this year. It brings so much joy to help others in need! We look forward to paying it forward again next year and for many years after that,” said Sarah Streeter, co-owner and general manager at Specialty Heating and Cooling.

The Good Neighbor Center is a non-profit organization in Tigard, OR that provides housing stabilization programs and schooling stabilization for children.   Each year over 1,400 volunteers help with the day-to-day operations and projects to help subsidize and support the Good Neighbor Center efforts.  The Good Neighbor Center was founded in 1999, serving 9 families at a time through their 36-bed facility.   To learn more about the Good Neighbor Center visit their website. Or to learn more their current needs list to see how you can donate, visit here.

It is an honor to know that we have done what we can to help individuals and families have a wonderful Christmas. To learn more about we have done previously in our SHCCares program, visit our website here.

3 Tips to Keep You Warm and Comfortable This Holiday Season

With winter on the horizon, we are finding ourselves inside more often because it’s getting colder and colder outside. With the pandemic adding to our time indoors, it’s important to find ways to stay warm, comfortable, and safe this holiday season. Follow these tips to keep your home’s heating system running reliably, no matter how cold the weather gets.

#1: Schedule your annual preventative maintenance appointment.
Your heating system is a machine that requires attention. Just like your vehicle needs a tune-up or an oil changes periodically, so does your furnace. This ensures that it’s running at peak efficiency and that everything is working as it should. Our experienced team of technicians at Specialty Heating and Cooling will run an energy check, thoroughly inspect the internal and external components of the machine, and let you know if we spot anything that needs to be adjusted or repaired. This gives you the peace of mind you need knowing that your heating system won’t break down unexpectedly on the coldest winter day.

#2: Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
When was the last time you changed the batteries in your smoke detectors? Have you tested your carbon monoxide detector lately? Now – at the change of the season – is the perfect time to check these important products in your home. They play a critical role in keeping you and your family safe.

#3: Change your air filters.
Air filter maintenance is a simple home maintenance task to-do that is easily forgotten about or neglected. Replace or clean your filters every 1 to 2 months. Clean air filters bring cleaner air into your home and they also help with your system’s overall efficiency. Changing your air filters also helps prolong the life of your system, so you can get the maximum life out of it and stay comfortable for years to come.

We understand how important it is for you to stay warm and comfortable during this cold winter season. So if your heating system isn’t up to the test of winter weather, contact our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling for help. We can assist with repairs, maintenance, or provide a free quote on a system replacement. Contact us today for details!

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!

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!

How to Get Your Heating System Ready for Fall

It might not feel like autumn yet, but before you know it, the fall season will be here. Planning for the change of season is a good idea, especially when it comes to your heating system. Here is how to get your heating system ready for fall.

#1: Schedule an appointment for preventative maintenance.
When was the last time you had your heating system professionally tuned up? Regular maintenance appointments mean your system is ready to operate at peak efficiency, all season long. Unfortunately, many homeowners neglect this simple task and it translates to broken down systems or expensive repairs. Basic maintenance is the key to ensuring the longevity of your heating system and to making sure there are no internal components that need to be repaired or replaced. Fall is the best time of year to get your system serviced by our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling. Then, you’ll head into the cooler months of fall and winter knowing that your system will be ready to keep you warm, no matter what the weather is like outside.

#2: Take a close look at your thermostat.
Do you know how old your thermostat is? Upgrade to programmable thermostat! These devices regulate temperatures all day and night – even when you’re gone. Set your desired temperature, and let the thermostat do the adjusting as needed. Program the heat to turn up right before you get home from work. Then it will turn down after you leave. Programmable thermostats are inexpensive investments. And, they’ll help save up to 20% on your energy bill each year.

#3: Change your air filters.
Air filters are easy to replace or clean. Yet they are often one of the most neglected maintenance to-dos in the house! We recommend cleaning or replacing your system’s air filter every 1-2 months or as needed depending on the type of filter you have.  And, this helps better indoor air quality, with translates to cleaner and healthier air this fall.

#4: Ensure your carbon monoxide detector is up and running.
If you do not have a carbon monoxide detector, now is the time to install one. These are like smoke alarms. But they will detect unhealthy carbon monoxide levels right away. Carbon monoxide is odorless and can be deadly. To ensure you do not have a leak, never heat your home with a gas stove and don’t leave space heaters unattended. Also, ensure that all of the internal components of your heating system are working correctly, too. Breakdowns inside the system can cause a carbon monoxide leak somewhere.

We love autumn in the Northwest. And we love keeping our customers comfortable by providing heating and cooling solutions all year long. We’ll help with programmable thermostat installation, a simple repair, or a full heating system replacement. So, let us help answer your questions and get your appointment scheduled! Contact us today.

Reasons to Replace Your Furnace and AC Simultaneously

We have been getting a lot of calls recently from customers wondering if they should replace their furnace and air conditioner at the same time. Your heating and cooling equipment works together to form a full HVAC system. The furnace, blower, and evaporator coils are located inside the home and are connected to the ductwork. AC units will sit outside the home. Together, these systems work alongside each other to provide comfort all year long.

Replacing these together can have several advantages. Your heating and cooling system is an important investment in your home and will last for years to come. But making that decision requires some research. Here are some reasons to replace your furnace and air conditioner at the same time.

#1: The system(s) are old.
If your furnace and air conditioner are over 15 years old, it is time to consider upgrading. The older your system is, the more prone it is to expensive repairs or even a full system breakdown. These can be costly and come at unexpected times, which can cause added stress. Replacing both at the same time will help maximize your investment and provide you reliable comfort for a long time.

#2: Utility bills are rising.
Have you noticed that your energy bills are consistently going up? This could mean that your HVAC system is not functioning at its peak anymore. In fact, it could indicate that there is an internal problem. If your system is efficient, it is working harder than it has to, and that causes your utility bill to skyrocket, which is never a pleasant surprise.

While it often makes sense to replace the furnace and air conditioner at the same time, we do not usually recommend doing this if the furnace is less than 10 years old. In most instances, it makes more sense to repair the unit.

Not sure if your home needs both systems replaced? Our no-pressure team at Specialty Heating and Cooling is ready to help you make your final decision. We will provide information on what systems could work for your home and will work within your budget. And, if a full replacement is not needed quite yet, we will let you know. We will also help with any repairs that are necessary to help get things functioning in time for the warmer springtime weather. Contact us today for information!

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!