Tag Archives: thermostat

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!

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.

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.

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!

Top Reasons You Should Replace Your Water Heater

The availability of warm, running water is necessary for households around the country. Whether it’s a warm bath or hot water to clean your dishes in, people rely on hot water to complete day to day tasks. That means your water heater is put to good use each day and over time, it may start showing signs that it needs replacing. Here are some of the main signs that your water heater needs to be replaced.

#1: Time.
No product will last forever, unfortunately. Water heaters will generally last for about a decade before they need to be replaced. If it’s not heating water like it should or it’s starting to leak, it may be showing signs of its age. If you have lived in your home at least that long and the water heater hasn’t been replaced, then you will need to plan on replacing it.

#2: Noise.
Is the water heater making a lot of noise at the tank? As it ages, it can start to rumble as it starts to heat up the water. This could be because it’s inefficient and it’s taking more energy and strain to heat the water. If your water heater is making noises, don’t ignore it. It could be a sign that something is wrong, and damage could occur if you don’t pay attention.

#3: Leaking.
Sometimes an old water heater will start to leak, leaving water on the floor around the tank. Leaks are never a good thing to have, as it could cause damage to your property that could be expensive and inconvenient. Leaks are usually caused by expansion of metal in the tank and as the water heater gets older, a fracture can happen. Small amounts of water will start leaking through these gaps as the water continues to heat each cycle. Over time, this could cause ruined carpeting or hardwood flooring, saturated belongings in the area, or even mold build up.

#4: Not heating.
One of the most obvious signs of an old water heater is water that simply isn’t warm. This could be caused by a broken heating element, a mis-adjusted thermostat, or simply that the water heater is not working as it should anymore.

Water is probably the most necessary item in your household, so if it fails, you are left without hot water, you’re looking at things becoming very inconvenient for a while. We can help! Our experienced team at Specialty Heating and Cooling can help get you a new water heater installed and running efficiently. We will talk to you about what tank size is most appropriate for your home and make sure it is within your budget. Watch our YouTube video about water heaters here, then contact us to talk to us about our new water heater program! Let us help you get your new one installed!

 

3 Extreme Cold Furnace Tips

Winter has yet to officially arrive, but temperatures are starting to drop quickly and that means you are likely adding layers of clothing to yourself during the day and turning on your heater more and more often.  But is your heater up for the challenge of keeping you warm for the next few months? Here are some tips that are important for keeping your heating system maintained well and ready to tackle the extreme cold.

Tip #1: Replace and/or clean your air filters.
This is a home maintenance item that many people forget about because it’s out of sight and out of mind. However, this is one of the most important things you can do to prolong the life of your heating system and keep it running well. Clean and/or replace the system’s air filters every 1-2 months for maximum efficiency.

Tip #2: Get your furnace check-up scheduled.
Regular preventative maintenance appointments are very important! Regardless of what your system’s make or model is, it will go through significant wear and tear during the cold seasons each year. A maintenance appointment means we will clean the filters, and run an energy efficiency check, and we will also check all of the internal and external components of the machine to be sure there is nothing that could cause a problem later down the road. Furnace check-ups will help give you the peace of mind you need, knowing that the system is less prone to an expensive break down when you need it most.

Tip #3: Install programmable thermostat.
Programmable thermostats are one of the best inventions to hit the market in recent years. Wireless programmable thermostats can help homeowners save hundreds of dollars in heating and cooling bills, year round. They work with any make and model of your machine and allow you to program the temperature to be what you want, based on your unique schedule. If you plan to be gone all day, don’t heat your home unnecessarily. Just plan to program your thermostat to turn down a bit when you’re away, then program it to turn back up right before you get home, so you can come home to a comfortably cozy home. One of our most popular programmable thermostats is the Côr™ by Carrier. It has been proven to save homeowners up to 20% in their utility bill year-round and can work in tandem with most HVAC system brands.

Don’t be left out in the cold this winter season! The holidays are coming and it’s a great time to get your maintenance appointment scheduled so you and your guests can rely on a heating system that will work as it is intended. Contact us today for information!

“Specialty Heating & Cooling is located in Tigard, OR and services Portland, OR; Beaverton, OR; Aloha, OR; Hillsboro, OR; Tualatin, OR; Lake Oswego, OR; Milwaukie, OR; Oregon City, OR; West Linn, OR; Newberg, OR; Sherwood, OR”

Earth Day & Our Green Initiatives

Happy Earth Day! Being earth friendly and environmentally conscious goes beyond recycling.  Did you know that heating and cooling accounts for most of the energy use from your home? Cutting back in this area can make a great positive impact on the environment. Here are some heating and cooling tips for you to put into practice this Earth Day and for the rest of the year!

Tip #1: Get a new thermostat installed.
A new thermostat can make a huge difference in reducing energy waste and keeping you more comfortable all year long. Programmable thermostats are the wave of the future! They allow you to set your home to your desired temperature and change it as needed during the day. This means you can determine what you need and when you need to use it. For example, if you are gone at work for most of the day, why use the heater or air conditioner? Program your thermostat to turn down the temperature when you’re gone, then program it to turn back on shortly before you arrive back home so it’s comfortable when you walk in the door. A wireless thermostat can save you up to 20% on your energy bill and they can be used in tandem with almost any existing HVAC system.

Tip #2: Make sure you schedule a preventative maintenance appointment.
HVAC tune-ups are something that many homeowners forget about but staying on top of these appointments are critical to maintain the life of your system and can also help with reducing energy waste! Springtime brings warmer, longer days, and before you know it, summer temperatures will be here. Now is the perfect time to get your air conditioning unit serviced, so you know it will be up and running at peak efficiency when it comes time to hit the “on” button. Our team of experienced HVAC technicians will make sure the system is running well, we’ll clean the filters, and make sure there are no parts that need to be replaced. If a repair is needed, we will let you know and get it fixed right away so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

We’re committed to being green!

We regularly recycle significant amounts of refrigerant, oil and metal. Many consumers don’t realize that this is a big deal in the heating and cooling industry! In 2017, we recycled 187,251 pounds (93.6 tons) of scrap metals.  We also recycled 558 pounds of R22 refrigerant that is enough refrigerant for 117 air conditioners.  All the refrigerant we reclaim can be recycled and reused.  If it can be recycled, we will take every effort to do so. We take great pride in trying to conserve our Earth’s resources.

If you are looking for ways to focus on the Earth this Earth Day, look no further than your heating and cooling system! Contact us for a preventative maintenance appointment or call us to talk about options on upgrading your system to a new, energy efficient one. We are happy to work with you to find a system that is right for your home’s specific layout and will work within your budget!

Why We Love the Côr Thermostat

 

Did you know that a programmable thermostat for can help save you time and money? Many homeowners don’t think much about the thermostat in their home because it’s a small detail, but it’s more important than you might originally think. There are many programmable thermostat options out there to choose from today, but we have a favorite: the Côr™ by Carrier.

This is a wireless programmable thermostat that can help save homeowners up to 20% on heating and cooling bills all year long. It works in tandem with most HVAC system brands, making it a great option for people looking to ditch their outdated, inefficient thermostats.

We’re proud to carry several Côr thermostat models:

  • The Original Côr Wi-Fi thermostat
    • 7-day programmability with Guided Scheduling, Comfort Profiles, and Touch-N-Go® Feature
    • Heating/Cooling Smart Setback
    • Super Dehumidification, Cool to Dehumidify
    • Comfort Heat Pump System™ Feature
    • Auxiliary Heat During Defrost
    • Fan Optimization
    • Indoor humidity sense and display
    • Local 4-day weather forecast
  • The Côr 5 Wi-Fi Thermostat
    • 7-day, 5/2 day, and 1-day programmability
    • Internal memory will save settings for unlimited time
    • Clock will run during power loss for at least 12 hours
    • Can set schedule for up to 4 periods per day (wake, away, home, sleep)
    • OptiSave™ can help estimate how settings will save on monthly energy bills
    • Touch-N-Go® allows for easy temperature changes without changes to programming schedules

 

  • The Côr 7 Wi-Fi Thermostat
    • 7-day, 5/2 day, and 1-day programmability
    • Two-Wire Relay Module option can connect to a system with just two thermostat wires
    • No batteries needed
    • Wall mounted, low voltage control
    • Internal memory will save settings for unlimited time
    • Clock will run during power loss for at least 12 hours
    • Can set schedule for up to 4 periods per day (wake, away, home, sleep)
    • OptiSave™ can help estimate how settings will save on monthly energy bills
    • Touch-N-Go® allows for easy temperature changes without changes to programming schedules

Now is a great time to get your programmable thermostat installed! We still have some weeks of winter left and with the upcoming shift to spring weather, having your thermostat ready to go is a great plan. Contact us today for information on which thermostat is right for your space. Our experienced team of HVAC professionals will get it installed quickly and efficiently!

How a zone control system will save you money?

Our team at Specialty Heating & Cooling does a lot of work on 2-story homes. Oftentimes, it can be difficult to get comfortable, matching temperatures from room to room – the upstairs is warmer than the downstairs or vice versa. To combat inconsistent temperatures, we do a lot of zoning work for homes that have more than one level.

What is zoning?

Zoned temperature control can be a great way to heat and cool your home with incredible efficiency. This type of temperature control means that there are several thermostats placed throughout the home that are wired to one control panel that works within your home’s ductwork via the forced-air system. We use Carrier Infinity Zoning and Honeywell Red Link. The thermostats will read what the specific zone temperature is, then open and close dampers within the ductwork to adjust the temperature for that specific area.

What are the benefits of a zoning system?

When used properly, zoning can save homeowners money on utility costs. Why? Because it allows them to adjust temperatures according to usage. You’re not overheating or overcooling various parts of your home and wasting energy. For example, if you enjoy keeping your bedroom cool at night, but you want the rest of the home warm when you wake up, zoning can help make this happen easily! At the end of the year, this can translate to big savings!  Each zone will heat independently from other areas of the home – what an incredible concept that works!

In addition, zoning will reduce wear and tear on your system. It doesn’t need to work as hard to heat or cool your entire home, but instead, it will only provide heat or air conditioning to the spaces that you designate. That can help your system last longer while functioning at peak efficiency.

Almost any home can benefit from a zoning system, especially homes with multiple levels or homes that have additions like a garage apartment or sunroom. Installing a Carrier system that utilizes zoning gives you the technology you need to stay comfortable in every room of your home at any given time of the year. Learn more about zoning in this video. We’re happy to talk to you about how many zones your home would need according to it’s unique layout, and what type of system would work with your budget guidelines.  Contact us today for more information.

Specialty Heating & Cooling is located in Tigard, OR and services Portland, OR; Beaverton, OR; Aloha, OR; Hillsboro, OR; Tualatin, OR; Lake Oswego, OR; Milwaukie, OR; Oregon City, OR; West Linn, OR; Newberg, OR; Sherwood, OR

How to Improve Air Conditioning Efficiency

 Summer has officially arrived and that means your air conditioner will be put to good use. Did you know that heating and cooling bills make up at least half of your total utility expenses each month? Here are some helpful ways to improve air conditioning efficiency in your home this summer.

Tip #1: Keep blinds and curtains closed during the day.
When the sun is at its hottest, it will permeate into the windows of your home, heating up each room. To keep your air conditioner from working less, keep the blinds and curtains in your home closed during the heat of the day.

Tip #2: Keep the outdoor unit clean.
If you have a lot of debris, leaves, grass, or other buildup around the outside unit of your air conditioning system, this could cause debris to build up on the inside and clog the inner workings of the machine. Not only will this mean that the system has to work harder to keep you cool, but it could cause an unnecessary breakdown. Next time you’re out doing yardwork, make sure you make time to clear away any debris around the outside area of your air conditioning system.

Tip #3: Keep lamps and other heat producers away from your thermostat.
Lamps and other appliances produce heat, and if they are located near a thermostat, your thermostat will mistakenly tell the air conditioning unit that your home needs to be cooled more. This could cause unnecessary extra work for the air conditioner, so make sure you keep heat producing items clear of any thermostats.

Tip #4: Keep your filters cleaned.
The primary job of your air conditioning filters is to keep everything running at peak efficiency. In addition, keeping your filters cleaned means that you’ll be breathing cleaner air. Make sure you clean or replace your filters on a regular basis.

Tip #5: Keep your furnace maintained.
Don’t neglect scheduling an annual service appointment. If you don’t take care of your HVAC system over the long haul, it won’t last as long as it normally would and could break down, right when you need it most. What will the appointment include? We’ll do some simple preventative maintenance on it, which could include checking the inside components, cleaning/replacement of the air filters, and we will also double check that there are no repairs to be made or parts to be replaced.

Tip #6: Keep your ducts clean.
Dirty and dusty ductwork is known to restrict airflow. So, if your ducts are clogged with dust, debris, and other contaminants, your system is probably working harder than it needs to. This means you’re using more energy than you really need to and you’ll likely see an increase in your utility bill. The ductwork in your home plays a big role in home comfort. Here’s how we can help: we’re proud to be a licensed contractor that offers Aeroseal duct sealing. Aeroseal is a patented solution that has a 98% success rate. This is an affordable solution that can fix leaks from the inside out and the best part is: you will notice a difference right away!

When your system works hard, it can be tough on the machine and all of its parts, therefore shortening the overall lifespan of the unit. So, understanding how to keep your air conditioning running at its peak is one key to keeping it running efficiently for many years to come. We have a long stretch of heat coming to Oregon in the next week, so make sure you get your appointment scheduled soon so you can stay cool for the rest of the summer with no problems!