Tag Archives: HVAC system

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.

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!

Is Your AC Ready for Warmer Weather?

The weather is beautiful lately! Warmer weather will be here to stay, starting soon. Summer will be here before we know it and now is the time to get your air conditioning ready. Here are some reasons why you should act now to get your AC tuned up and functioning well before hot days become the norm.

#1: AC tune-ups improve your energy efficiency.
Saving money is something that many families are really focusing on right now. That means determining how you can save energy around your home. Did you know that regular maintenance on your air conditioner will reduce excess energy use? Our experienced team at Specialty Heating and Cooling will clean coils, blades, and other internal components. We will run an energy efficiency check, make sure that the filters are cleaned, and ensure that everything is operating at peak efficiency. Clean systems will move and operate as they were intended to and that means you won’t see spikes in your energy bill.

#2: AC tune-ups make your system last longer.
Nothing is built to last forever, unfortunately. However, a quality air conditioning system installed by our experienced team will last you for many years if you take care of it. Just like a car needs oil changes and regular tune-ups, so does your air conditioner! We often see systems that have not been taken care of and unfortunately, these service calls usually require expensive repairs and sometimes even full system replacements. Basic maintenance keeps your system functioning well and ultimately, will make it last longer.

#3: Tune-ups ensure that the system is working to bring in clean air.
Outdoor air quality is something we hear a lot about. But did you know that indoor air quality is often worse than the outdoors? A clean, tuned-up air conditioning system helps cool the air, but it also will help eliminate harmful particles from entering the air you breathe. Sometimes debris, dirt, dust, pollen, and other pollutants can make their way into your home via your system. A tuned-up system will greatly improve your air quality.

Don’t wait until the summer heat is here to get your appointment schedule. Now is the time to act & get your system maintained. Keeping your air conditioning in the best shape possible is the key to surviving the upcoming warm months. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to talk to us about a full system replacement.

What Are REME® Halo and REME® LED Air Purifiers?

Today, there is a lot of discussion about air quality and breathing clean air. In the Pacific Northwest especially, we spend a lot of our winter and early spring days inside because the weather is cold and rainy. Did you know that indoor air is often 10 times more polluted than the air outside? Your indoor air quality matters and finding ways to keep the air purified and clean is critical to your health. The REME® Halo and REME® LED air purifiers can help! Here are some details about why these systems are great in helping you take control of your indoor air quality.

REME HALOTM Whole Home In-Duct Air Purifier
Say goodbye to bacteria and other pollutants that cause sickness with this system. The dual ionizers reduce airborne particles including mold spores, dust, dander, and pollen and it can kill up to 99% of bacteria, viruses and mold. The REME® reduces sneeze germs by 99% within three feet. In addition, it can kill 99% of viruses that live on your home’s surfaces. This system is easily installed to work with your existing HVAC system to offer clean air to your entire home – not just one room.

HALO-LED™ Whole Home In-Duct Air Purifier
This air purification system is the only LED in-duct, whole home system that is mercury-free and zero ozone compliant. It reduces airborne pollutants and contaminants that cause sickness due to bacteria, viruses and mold. It also reduces smoke, odors, VOCs, dust, and allergens. The replaceable LED cell module has a 2.5x longer life than other UV lamp technologies and includes automatic self-cleaning ionizers to help harmful particles from getting in the air you breathe.

Learn more about this system here:

Your home should have the cleanest air possible and we are committed to helping you with that. We are qualified installers of these systems! So, contact our team at Specialty Heating & Cooling to learn more about these incredible systems and schedule your appointment for an install.

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!

 

Why You Should Schedule Maintenance for Your Heating System Now

Fall in the Northwest is stunning – beautiful leaves turning colors, sunny days, crisp and cool mornings. It’s something to behold! But with the change of season, you may be reaching more for your jacket or sweater, because the temperatures are dropping! With autumn beginning next week and winter returning shortly after that, it’s important to think about your heating system and how it needs to be prepared. Scheduling maintenance now on your system will save you the hassle of worrying about it when you need your system to keep you warm!

Why preventative maintenance is important:
There is no better way to prolong the life of your HVAC system than with regular preventative maintenance appointments! Regardless of what your system’s make or model is, it will go through significant wear and tear during the cold seasons year after year. This is why you should take care of it beforehand, so the system is less prone to break down when you are relying on it most.

What does a maintenance appointment include?
Our experienced HVAC technicians will clean and/or replace your air filters, run an efficiency check, inspect all of the components inside your HVAC system to ensure they’re working as they’re supposed to, and we’ll talk to you about any potential issues we find that need to be fixed. Having an unexpected system breakdown can be a significant headache and not to mention, it can be expensive. Preventative maintenance appointments can help eliminate that prospective problem and keep you comfortable all season long.

Contact us right away for information on getting a preventative maintenance appointment set up before fall weather kicks in. Or, if your system is outdated and unreliable, autumn is a great time to get it replaced, especially now with our special offers happening through November 15th  that can save you thousands of dollars. We can help find a system that works perfectly for your home’s specific layout and most importantly, we will work with your budget.

How Duct Cleaning Can Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms

Allergies: sneezing, watery eyes, itchy throat. It can get miserable during the spring and summer months, but autumn is usually no relief for people living with asthma and seasonal allergies. But did you know that there can be a link to your allergy symptoms and the ducts in your home? Here’s how.

When your HVAC system blows air through your ducts and the ductwork is coated with dust, you will inevitably have dust circulating throughout the air in your home. This will impact your air quality and increase allergy symptoms. Poor air quality could also cause your allergy symptoms to ramp up, which means you’ll probably start noticing your allergy symptoms continuing. Other contaminants can spread through the ductwork including dust mites, pollen, pet dander, smog, mold, mildew, and bacteria that cause sickness.

However, you don’t need to live with nasty ductwork. You can eliminate odors in your ducts, remove dust completely, and improve indoor air quality by cleaning the ductwork thoroughly. Our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling works to clean the ductwork as thoroughly as possible with a powerful HEPA level filtration machine. In 4 to 6 hours, you’ll have clean ducts and you’ll be able to breathe the air in your home knowing that it is clean.

Ductwork can also have leaks in it that can allow dust, dirt, pollen, and other harmful chemicals into the air of your home. Sealing your home’s ductwork through the patented Aeroseal® system means you’ll keep toxins out. It fixes leaks from the inside out by using small aerosol particles that collide and stick to the leaks. With a 98% success rate, you can’t go wrong.

When it comes time to start thinking about the season changing to fall, don’t forget about cleaning the air you breathe! Contact us today for information on indoor air quality and how to reduce your allergy symptoms, and we’ll help you find the best solution for your home.

 

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.

 

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.

How Dust Impacts Your HVAC System

No matter how often you clean your home, dust accumulates quickly. Does it feel like it’s piling up almost immediately? Constant dust build-up can be an issue for every homeowner, but did you know that dust can impact your heating and cooling system, too? Here’s how.

Dust and ducts:
How’s the ductwork in your home? Do you know if it has leaks or cracks? If there are cracks or areas where air can leak in or out, you’re not only losing money in wasted clean air, but you’re also allowing dirty, untreated air into your home. Untreated air is full of dust, pollutants, pollen, and other harmful particles that impact the air quality of your home. Be sure to have your ductwork sealed properly. If you do, you’ll save money and you’ll likely notice a difference in the amount of dust that is building up around your home. We are proud to use Aeroseal technology to help seal leaky ductwork. Talk to us about how it can work to seal any gaps, leaks, or cracks in your home’s ductwork.

Dust and air filters:
Your heating and cooling system is made up of many different components, but the air filters are one of the primary ways that your system traps dust, dirt, and other debris. However, if you neglect regularly cleaning and/or replacing of your filters, dust will build up and be automatically re-circulated throughout the air in your home. That means that your home will not only be dusty, but you’ll be breathing dusty air! Avoid unnecessary build-up and clean your filters on a consistent basis.

Dust and preventative maintenance:
Spring is here and for many homeowners, that means spring cleaning is in full swing. This is a great time to schedule a preventative maintenance appointment with our team of experienced HVAC technicians. We will clean the inside of your system and ensure that everything is in good working order. A clean system on the inside will keep air flowing properly and bolster overall efficiency. It can also help prolong the system’s lifespan and you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that the air being circulated into your home is clean!

Need to schedule a maintenance appointment? Contact us today to get on the schedule. Or, perhaps your system is old and inefficient, or it consistently breaks down. Now is the perfect time to get it replaced. We offer financing and there are several price savings deals happening that can save you money. Let us help you find the right system for your home and contact us today for details on which system is right for you.