Tag Archives: hvac contractor

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.

Spring is here: get your system tuned-up

Spring is here! The beauty of blooming flowers and greenery surrounds us once again. Springtime in the Pacific Northwest is unlike any other! So, when it comes time to start working through your springtime home maintenance to-do list, don’t forget your HVAC system! Scheduling your preventative maintenance appointment is important. Here’s why.

Maintenance helps keep your system running longer.
When you purchase an HVAC system for your home, you want it to last as long as possible. There’s no better way to prolong the life of your system than by taking care of it with professional maintenance. During the cold winter months, your system works hard to keep you warm and comfortable. That can cause wear and tear over the years. So, before you shift into the new season, be sure it is checked out so it’s running at peak efficiency throughout the spring.

Maintenance keeps things running with maximum efficiency.
Want to save money on your utility bill? Most of us do! During your maintenance appointment, we’ll run an energy efficiency check to make sure it’s running at optimal efficiency. If there need to be any adjustments made, we’ll let you know what they are so you can get things fixed and ready to go.

Having an unexpected system breakdown is a headache. Not to mention, it can be expensive. Staying on top of annual maintenance helps reduce your risk of problems and keep you comfortable, no matter what the weather decides to do.

Spring is right around the corner, so call us today for your appointment. Or, if your system is outdated and unreliable, spring is the perfect time to replace it. Contact our experts at Specialty Heating and Cooling today to get your appointment on the books.

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!

Signs Your Furnace Needs Fixing

When the temperature drops, you need a furnace that’s reliable and ready to keep you warm and comfortable. But as with any machine, time and usage can cause wear and tear. That means your furnace may need repair. How do you know that it needs fixing? Here are some common signs.

#1: Weird odors or sounds.
Your heating system should never have any loud noises or odd odors coming from it. Don’t ignore any smells – especially a rotten egg odor or a smoke or burning scent. This could signal something dangerous. If you hear something banging or clanging, it could mean that there is something loose or broken inside. Screeching noises could indicate a belt issue.  Even if the sound or smell doesn’t happen all the time, it should be looked at immediately. Prolonging a repair can increase energy usage or put extra strain on the machine, which can cause even more damage to other parts of it.

#2: A spike in energy bill.
Did your last energy bill make your eyes go wide? Maybe the cost went up so much, you thought there was a mistake. If utility costs weren’t raised, but your bill increased a lot, you may have a problem with furnace efficiency. Our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling can look and determine what the issue is. Preventative maintenance appointments are one way to do that. We will diagnose the problem and get it fixed and make sure the system is running at peak efficiency before we leave. If you notice a spike in your utility costs, let us help get everything repaired and running well again so you can save money and reduce energy usage.

The sooner you catch furnace problems, the better it is for your home or office comfort. Not ignoring problems helps prolong the life of the system. Your comfort is our priority. So, contact us today to get your preventative maintenance or repair appointment scheduled.

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.

Reasons to Service Your Commercial Furnace This Fall

Fall is here and temperatures are cooler. Now is the ideal time to get your commercial furnace serviced. Why? Let us explain.

#1: Preventative maintenance reduces your chances of a system breakdown.
Fall and winter in the Pacific Northwest is chilly. Your commercial building must stay warm, no matter what the weather does outside. Yearly maintenance appointments with our experienced team of professionals at Specialty Heating and Cooling means you will save the hassle of a complete system malfunction or breakdown later. Unexpected costs like these can be expensive and stressful.

#2: Commercial tune-ups create a safer working environment.
Your employees and the products in your building are important. But if your furnace is not properly maintained, there could be leaks or broken wires that could allow harmful gas or burning to occur. That means you, your customers, your employees, and your products may be exposed to toxic chemicals or even building damage. Regular maintenance will ensure that problem spots will be pointed out before they become a bigger issue.

#3: Consider a replacement.
Do you know how old the furnace is inside your commercial building? Chances are, if you are not sure, it could be nearing the end of its life span. Or if you have needed to schedule multiple repairs on the same machine, you should consider a replacement system. Money on repairs could be spent investing in a new system that is reliable, energy efficient, and ready to keep you comfortable for a long time.

Specialty Heating & Cooling has served commercial customers for over three decades. Your employees and commercial building deserve maximum comfort, and we can help! So contact us today for information on scheduling your preventative maintenance appointment or to learn more about a commercial furnace replacement.

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.

Should you repair or replace your AC unit?

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is here, and hot days will stick around for a while. Is your air conditioning having a hard time keeping you cool? If you have an AC unit that is 10 to 15 years old, are you wondering if it is worth repairing or not?

Repair or replace: which one is better?
Our team of experts at Specialty Heating and Cooling diagnose your air conditioning issues quickly. We talk to you about what the issue is and how it needs to be repaired. If the system is less than 10 years old, it is worth fixing, especially if the cost of the repair is reasonably priced. However, if you have invested in continuous repairs over the years – especially on a machine that is 10-15 years old or older, it’s likely futile. Don’t throw away hard earned money on an air conditioning unit that will likely break down soon. It makes more sense to invest in a new, energy efficient air conditioning system that gives you the peace of mind you need for the next several years of hot, summer weather.

A new air conditioning system has many benefits to you as the homeowner!

New air conditioning systems are incredibly energy efficient! They’ll help with utility savings during the heat of summer. They also work in tandem with your furnace to clean and filter the air. That means you’ll breathe cleaner air inside and reduce annoying summer allergy or asthma symptoms. We proudly carry and install Carrier products that work with your home and your budget. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Comfort Series
  • Infinity Series
  • Performance Series
  • Central Air Conditioning Systems
  • Ductless Heat Pumps

The early fall season is usually warm, too, and this is a great time to get a system installed. Waiting until the beginning of the year could mean you pay more. And, you may not be able to take advantage of current deals and promotions that are happening. Don’t delay in contacting our team of experienced heating and cooling specialists! We commit to helping our customers stay comfortable all year long, so contact us today for information on your replacement or repair.

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.

 

How To Improve Airflow in Your Home This Summer

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.