Tag Archives: preventative maintenance

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

How to Keep Your Heating System Working in Cold Weather

We have seen some wet and cold days already this winter, but the coldest parts of winter are likely on their way soon. That means we will be relying on our heating systems to keep our homes warm. Unfortunately, many people will experience some performance problems with their furnace when the temperatures start dropping. In order to avoid any issues or a full furnace breakdown, here are some ways that can help you keep your system working well in the cold weather.

#1: Keep your filters cleaned and changed.
Your furnace needs all the help it can get to keep it functioning at peak efficiency. Clean air filters can help with this, keeping the system from working harder than necessary. In addition, they will also help keep the air you breathe cleaner. Air filters help capture dirt, dust, debris, and other particles that make their way into your home.

#2: Use a programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat allows you to set your home’s temperature to what is comfortable, even if you’re away from home. For example, if you know you will be gone for most of the day at work, don’t heat your home like you would when you’re there. Instead, program the thermostat to turn down a couple degrees, then program it to turn back on before you get home so it’s at your desired temperature. Programmable thermostats save homeowners hundreds of dollars each year in energy and can help keep your furnace from working overtime when it’s not necessary.

#3: Keep vents clear.
Sure, your new recliner might look great on that one wall in your living room, but if it’s covering up a vent, it could cause an issue. It will not only cause the room to be unevenly heated, but it also puts pressure on your furnace to heat an area that is closed off. Be sure your vents are clear from furniture, drapes, rugs, or other household items that could prevent airflow.

Your home is your place of rest and relaxation and keeping it at a comfortable temperature during the winter is key. Instead of stressing about the upcoming forecast of possible colder temperatures and snow, call our experienced team at Specialty Heating and Cooling for a preventative maintenance appointment. We will ensure your system is working at its best and we will talk to you about any issues that may need to be addressed. We’re not comfortable until you are!

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!