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Top 5 questions to ask when buying a new heating & cooling system

Replacing your heating and cooling system is a big decision that requires some research and planning. Below, we discuss some of the most important questions to have answered before you invest in a new system.

1)    What size system is best for my home?
The size of your home and its duct work plays a key role in determining what size system you need. If it is too small, it will run constantly and if it’s too big, it may not run as often as you need it to. The best way to determine the appropriate system size is by talking to our professionals at Specialty Heating and Cooling. We will ensure that you have the right size so you can stay comfortable all year long.

2)      Does my duct work need to be clean and sealed?
If you have ductwork in your home, it’s important to have it cleaned and sealed. Dirty ductwork brings in contaminants and other airborne illnesses into the air you breathe. Cleaning ductwork will remove dust and debris buildup which translates to improved indoor air quality almost immediately. Our ductwork cleaning system involves using a powerful HEPA level filtration machine. In only 4 to 6 hours, the ducts are completely cleaned. Once the ductwork is cleaned, we can seal it, too. Duct sealing ensures that are no leaks in the ductwork, ultimately helping you reduce energy waste, reduce mold growth, and minimize harmful airborne particles from getting inside. We offer duct sealing with our Aeroseal® system. It uses small aeroseal particles that collide and stick to leaking areas. It has a 98% success rate!

3)      What type of thermostat?
Your thermostat works alongside your heating and cooling system to ensure maximum comfort. Select a thermostat that optimizes the overall efficiency of your system. Programmable thermostats are a great option. They work with your lifestyle and allow you to adjust the temperature of your home or office space from anywhere in the world. So talk to us about what thermostats would work best with your new system.

4)      What is the budget?
When looking at costs, factor in the quality of the system. For example, even though it might cost a little more, a higher end system could last longer and potentially save you more money in energy bills and repair costs. So, while it might be more money up front, you could save a lot more in the long run. Our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling recognizes your heating and cooling system is an investment. We will let you know if there are any rebates or incentives available to help offset the cost. And we also offer a variety of financing options available to make things even easier.

Do you have more questions about a potential heating and cooling system replacement? Let us help! We can answer your questions about what type of system is best for your space so you can get everything replaced before cooler fall and winter weather rolls in.

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!

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.

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.

 

Ways to Avoid AC System Breakdown

Summer is officially here, and we have already had some hot days on record. You have probably started using your air conditioning system to stay comfortable. Is it not running as well as it could be? Maybe it is making some unusual noises. Or maybe nothing is wrong, and you want to ensure that your AC works all summer long. Here are some ways that you can avoid unnecessary air conditioning breakdown.

#1: Schedule your preventative maintenance appointment.
Now that summer is here, it is important to get your system tuned up. Our team of experienced HVAC technicians will ensure that the internal components of the system are working well. We will also run an energy efficiency check, change or clean air filters, and recommend any repairs or replacements that helps keep the system working at its peak. We will also clean the inside, including the coils and blower motor. Servicing appointments are quick and efficient. They will give you the peace of mind you need, too.

#2: Change or clean air filters.
Air filters play a crucial part in the operation of your air conditioning system. When the filters get clogged, they will negatively impact your indoor air quality. And it causes the system to work harder than necessary. Over time, this creates unneeded wear and tear on the system, and it could cause premature breakdowns. Set a calendar reminder to clean and/or replace your air filters every other month, at the very least. Your system will last longer, and you won’t be surprised with an unexpected repair or full system replacement.

Unfortunately, your air conditioner won’t last forever. But if you take care of it well through the years, it will last for a long time. Regular cleaning and professional preventative maintenance appointments will ensure that the system is ready to go all summer long. Our schedule is booking up quickly with the warm weather here now, so contact us right away to get your appointment scheduled.

Maybe your current air conditioning system is not up to the task of keeping you cool for another summer. We’ll help you with affordable options on a new Carrier system! We offer variety of financing options available to help make your investment convenient and easy.

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!

What to Do If Your AC Is Not Blowing Cold Air

Warm weather is back this week! As we head into June and the rest of the summer months, the heat becomes a norm. Your air conditioner will become an important part of your day to day life, but what if it is not blowing cold air? This could be concerning. Here are some reasons why could be happening and what you can do.

#1: The thermostat is not set at the right temperature.
When you turn on your air conditioner, check your thermostat. Make sure that the fan is set on the ‘auto’ function. This saves money in the long run. That’s because the fan will only run when the air conditioner is cooling the air. If the fan runs non-stop at the ‘on’ position, it will run all day and night. That increases your energy usage and keeps your utility bill high.

#2: The AC filters are clogged.
Do you remember the last time you cleaned or replaced your air conditioner air filters? These filters are a critical part in the overall system functionality. If it has been more than two months, chances are, the filters will have dirt, debris, and other buildup in them. Air flow is restricted if that is the case, and cold air simply can’t get into your home as it should. As we enter in the warm summer months, be sure your air filters are replaced every other month.

#3: The vents are obstructed.
Look around your home and make sure that the return air vents are not blocked. It’s easy to inadvertently have drapes or furniture in front or on top of them. But, if that’s the case, the return intake of air will weaken how much air will come out of the supply vents. That means your home will not be efficiently cooled.

Summer is right around the corner and you will need to rely on your air conditioning system to keep you cool and comfortable. If your system is not working properly, don’t delay in getting it looked at. Our team of experienced professionals at Specialty Heating and Cooling will get it up and running at peak efficiency. We can diagnose the issue and get it fixed so you can be on your way. Contact us today for a repair appointment or to discuss getting a new air conditioning system installed in time for summer weather.