Thinking of Upgrading Your Furnace? Here are Factors to Consider

Thinking of Upgrading Your Furnace? Here are Factors to ConsiderEven though a furnace is in working order, there are circumstances in which a working furnace should be replaced. After all, it’s better to be proactive than to make a decision on buying a new furnace while in a cold, panicked situation. If you feel that upgrading your furnace could be in your future, here are four factors to consider that will help you make your decision:

  1. Consider your furnace’s age. If you purchased your home with the current furnace already installed you may not know its age, but finding out when it was manufactured is as easy as copying down the serial number and calling the manufacturer. The average gas furnace has a life expectancy of 15 years – even if your furnace is a few years short of that mark, if it is causing you concern, you may want to start looking around in the hopes of upgrading your HVAC system.
  2. Consider the cost of upkeep. Once a furnace has reached the end of its life, parts will begin to fail – and the failure of one part is a portend of future failures. A good rule of thumb is that if the cost of upkeep, between parts and service charges, comes to 40 percent or more of the cost of upgrading your furnace, upgrading your unit is the smarter financial choice.
  3. Consider your furnace’s efficiency. Furnaces 15 years of age or older have an efficiency of 76 percent or less, while today’s high-efficiency furnaces have an annualized fuel utilization efficiency of 90 percent or more. While purchasing a new, high-efficiency model carries a higher price tag upfront, the higher efficiency can pay off in energy savings over time, depending on the climate and length of heating season.
  4. Consider your furnace’s safety. Gas furnaces combine open flame with high temperatures, and come with the potential of creating dangerous carbon monoxide. The older your unit, the greater the potential for it to pose a danger to your family.

For help with questions about your gas furnace, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. Since 1976 we’ve been keeping Portland customers safe and comfortable in their homes.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Electrical Safety Tips to Teach Children of Any Age

Electrical Safety Tips to Teach Children of Any AgeWe all want to keep our children safe. With this in mind, it’s important to teach them the potential dangers of electricity at a young age. Here are 10 electrical safety tips to teach children of any age:

  1. Don’t plug too many things into one outlet or extension cord. It could damage your home’s electrical system or even cause a fire.
  2. Make sure all electric cords are tucked away and not laying out where people can trip on them or pets can find and chew on them.
  3. Never climb the fence around an electrical substation. No matter what gets over the fence, whether it’s a ball, toy or pet, ask an adult to call the electric company to get it out for you.
  4. Remove plugs from outlets carefully – don’t yank them out. This can cause damage to the appliance, to the plug and to the outlet.
  5. When you’re flying a kite, never fly it around substations or power lines. The kite and the string will conduct electricity and send it through you and into the ground.
  6. If you need to use something that uses electricity to run, ask a grown-up for help.
  7. Before you climb a tree, look up and make sure there are no power lines around the tree. The tree’s branches can conduct electricity and send it through you.
  8. Remind grown-ups to put safety caps on all unused electrical outlets. This will keep you safe, and also help to save energy by stopping drafts.
  9. If your mom or dad is using outdoor equipment, like a ladder or chainsaw, remind them to watch out for electrical wires.
  10. Keep all electrical appliances and other things far away from water. Water and electricity are very dangerous together.

Contact Roth Heating and Cooling for help with questions about electrical safety, and to learn more electrical safety tips to use in your Portland home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Building a New Home? Map a Blueprint for Your HVAC System

Building a New Home? Map a Blueprint for Your HVAC SystemHeating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems (HVAC) are an integral part of modern-day homes.When building a new home, consider the layout before installing an HVAC system. A system with well planned ductwork and strategic system placement will ensure years of comfort throughout the seasons. Here are a few areas to include in planning:

Consider the Whole

Your HVAC system doesn’t only effect your family’s comfort, but also the efficiency. Evaluate where sunlight will shine in your home, whether the lot has trees or is bare, and the type of roofing that your home will have. These and other architectural elements play a part in deciding the best HVAC system for your home.

Size the System Correctly

Another important element is purchasing the right sized HVAC system for your home. An oversized system costs more and will be less efficient. On the other end of the spectrum, a system that doesn’t effectively carry the heating and cooling load of your home is also inefficient and will cost you more in heating and cooling bills.

Plan for Expansion or Upgrades

Leave extra room in your utility closet or room for the expansion of your HVAC system if you add to your home in the future or if you want to upgrade your unit.

For more information on planning the HVAC system for your new home, please contact Roth Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Do You Know What Your Thermostat Fan Should Be Set To?

Do You Know What Your Thermostat Fan Should Be Set To?Normally, you set the thermostat to heat when it’s too cold and you’d want a little more heat within your rooms, and set it to cool especially in the summer when the interiors are a bit too hot for your comfort. And during the periods of the year when you need neither the heating nor the air conditioning, you simply set the thermostat to “off.” It’s that simple.

What about the thermostat fan? Typically, you can set the fan to “on” or “auto” but which is which and when should you apply which control?

The Thermostat Fan in an “On” State

Setting the thermostat fan “on” keeps it running all day, every day, regardless of the cooling or heating setting.

Advantages

  • Better distribution of air resulting in increased comfort.
  • Longer working life due to less stops and starts.
  • Filters the air in your home.

Disadvantage

  • Running the fan all day is very expensive.
  • Filters clog up quickly. Maintenance and frequent replacement can be quite expensive.
  • In colder seasons, a running fan leaves us with a “colder” feeling though in reality there is never a difference in room and space temperatures.

Setting the Thermostat Fan to “Auto”

In this setting, the fan will only turn on when it receives a signal from the furnace.

Advantages

  • You save energy because fans run for shorter times and at comparably lower speeds.
  • Filters last longer because of reduced usage.

Disadvantages

  • Air isn’t as evenly distributed as when the fan is in an On state.
  • Due to more starts and stops your fans wear out much faster.

Summary

Roth Heating and Cooling is a Portland, Oregon based heating and cooling company. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services or request a free quote and take advantage of our unbeatable prices.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Your Heat Exchanger Could Be Cracked — 4 Clues for You to Examine

Your Heat Exchanger Could Be Cracked -- 4 Clues for You to ExamineOperating a boiler or furnace with a cracked heat exchanger can be a serious risk. While regular HVAC maintenance from a qualified contractor will catch cracks and other problems with your heating and cooling every 6 months or year, problems can still develop between that time. That’s why it’s important for you to be able to spot signs of cracking throughout the year. We’ve listed 4 main signs that your heat exchanger might be cracked:

  1. Sediment or soot buildup. Foreign material in your boiler or furnace can prevent the proper combustion of fuel, causing major damage to the unit or the production of carbon monoxide. This kind of buildup can be the result of a significant crack, so hiring a HVAC professional to fix the problem if you spot soot in your unit is crucial.
  2. Abnormal carbon monoxide levels. First, ensure that your home has properly placed carbon monoxide detectors in all necessary areas. If the detector ever goes off, your local fire department needs to be called right away. One of the most common culprits of excess carbon monoxide is a crack in the heat exchanger.
  3. A clean and blue flame. The flame on a boiler or furnace should burn consistently. A dancing or intermittent flame can be a serious sign of cracking in the heat exchanger. A yellow or orange color to the flame can mean the fuel is dirty which is also the sign of cracking.
  4. Rusty surfaces and components. Metal exposed to oxygen and water can lead to rusting and cracking. This can happen to the outside of your variable-speed furnace and boiler as well as the internal components. If you notice rusting, you’ll need a reliable HVAC contractor to tell if your unit can be fixed or needs replacing.

For more information about your heating system or other components of your HVAC system, contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling today. We’ve been helping clients in and around the Portland area with their HVAC needs since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Were You Colder Than You Needed to Be Last Winter? Consider a Furnace Replacement

Were You Colder Than You Needed to Be Last Winter? Consider a Furnace ReplacementIf your furnace has been around for awhile and is not performing like it did when it was brand new, it may be time to consider getting a new one. Furnace replacement must be carefully considered because you will need expert advice before you can make an intelligent decision about getting a new furnace or keeping the one you have. But there are things to look for which might mean that a furnace replacement may be the best option to keep you and your family heated and warm in the coming winter.

  • The 15 year old rule. If your furnace is 15 years or older, it may be time to have it replaced. Modern furnaces made within the past 5 years are up to 30 percent more efficient than older furnaces, and the amount of energy that you’ll save by upgrading to a new furnace, may well cover the cost by itself over a few years.
  • Frequent breakdowns. If you are spending repair money every year to keep your furnace up and running, it may be time to consider taking the plunge and going for a new one. The hundreds of dollars you spend on repair bills each year can be saved by investing into a brand new furnace and saving on both repair bills and greater efficiency.
  • Key components. Then two key components in a furnace are the heat exchanger and the control module. If one or the other malfunctions and needs to be replaced, in most cases it is always better to get a brand new furnace than to absorb the cost of parts and repair.

When you decide to get a new furnace, the best course of action is to call in a certified professional to calculate the correct type of furnace you need, and the one that will keep your home heated effectively and efficiently all season long.

For the best in expert advice about replacing your furnace, call in the pros at Roth Heating and Cooling. We’ve been serving the Portland, Oregon, area for over 35 years. For all of your HVAC needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Keep Options Open with a Dual Fuel Heat Pump

Keep Options Open with a Dual Fuel Heat PumpWhile temperatures in Portland don’t go below freezing as often as they do in other parts of the country, the occasional cold winter night can push heating systems in the area to the limit. Electrical heat pumps can handle the job most of the time, but they have serious shortcomings when the temperatures really drop. Fortunately, a dual fuel heat pump offers all the advantages of electrical systems while adding the flexibility of gas. Here are 3 great reasons why owning a dual fuel heat pump, along with preventing heat loss, may be the perfect solution for your Portland area home:

  1. Quiet and environmentally friendly. In a duel fuel system, the air condenser is located outside, meaning most noise produced by your pump will be inaudible to people inside. Since electricity will be used most of the time, a minimal amount of noise pollution will be created to keep you and your family comfortable.
  2. Versatility and convenience. Having a purely electrical pump for most of the year isn’t a problem, but when it gets really cold, you’ll want the flexibility of a pump that can use gas. When temperatures get below freezing, your dual fuel heat pump will automatically switch fuel sources, allowing you to maximize effectiveness and efficiency at any time.
  3. Energy savings. The initial investment for a dual fuel heat pump might seem a little high, but the long-term savings on your energy bills can be significant. This heat pump is designed to run at optimal efficiency throughout the year, meaning you’ll save money no matter what the weather brings. You can also save money on HVAC maintenance by having only one pump instead of two.

If you ever have a problem with your system you can follow our heat pump trouble tips or call us for expert HVAC service. For more professional advice about heat pumps or other issues related to the heating or cooling of your home, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve been proudly serving the Portland community since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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There’s No Time Like the Present to Begin Winterizing Your Home

There's No Time Like the Present to Begin Winterizing Your HomeSome people don’t give much thought to the inspections and changes they should make to their homes for the cold seasons. But checking for leaks and maintaining your heating, you can not only make your home safer and more comfortable, but you could save some dollars, too. With winter just around the corner, now is a great time to begin winterizing your home. Here are a few things you can do to accomplish just that:

Check for Leaks

When checking for leaks, you’re looking for anywhere that air can get in or out. The worst offenders are doors and windows, so look for cracks or gaps in or around both for places where air can get in or out. A simple silicone sealant placed in these cracks can effectively seal them. Make sure to also check your foundation for any cracks.

Also, if you have storm windows, now is a good time to ready them.

Have Your Furnace and Water Heater Serviced

Many people have yearly maintenance plans with their heating and cooling companies, and now is the time to put in an appointment to have yours serviced. The furnace and all of it’s joints, fixtures and vents will be checked as well as air filters and ductwork.

Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Where there is heat, there is sometimes fire, so make sure your family is protected by adding smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, especially if you use a fireplace or wood burning stove.

Winterize Your Equipment

Make sure your leaf and snow blowers are in working condition and also let the gas drain out of lawn mowers and weed eaters. The gas sitting in them just over the winter could go bad.

Contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling, we’re more than happy to help you with any issues you might have with winterizing your home. Our friendly experts are knowledgeable and we’ve been serving Vancouver to Salem, Hillsboro to Bend, Oregon since 1976. We’ve got you covered!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Carbon Monoxide Exposure is Serious — Find Where it Hides Immediately

Carbon Monoxide Exposure is Serious -- Find Where it Hides ImmediatelyCarbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas that invades thousands of homes every year, and many homeowners don’t even know they have this common indoor air pollutant. This gas is completely colorless and odorless, and is a natural by-product of combustion. It’s always a good idea to have CO detectors in your home to protect against carbon monoxide exposure, and then tackle these common CO hiding places.

Gas Appliances and Heating

Your gas range, dryer, furnace and water heater are all top culprits for carbon monoxide emissions. While these are designed to burn clean with little or no off-gassing, poorly maintained gas appliances may have a “dirty flame” that constantly gives off toxins. It’s critical to get these serviced regularly and replaced whenever necessary to minimize the risk of carbon monoxide exposure.

Fireplaces are beautiful and offer an excellent source of heat, but they don’t burn clean. Instead, the chimney and other ventilation apparatus are designed to move toxins out of your house to produce only clean, warm air. This only works as long as your chimney is well-maintained and clean, flues work properly, and filters and screens are in good working condition.

Vehicles and Lawn Equipment

The garage is a top source of carbon monoxide exposure, especially if you have an attached garage that has a door leading into your home. Never warm up your car in the garage with the door closed; exhaust fumes quickly build to a dangerous level. Gas-powered equipment such as lawn mowers and string trimmers also emit carbon monoxide, so never work on them indoors without adequate ventilation.

Diesel Generators

Generators are wonderful for protecting against power outages, but they are not intended to be anywhere inside a home. Have a professional install your generator, and then get regular air quality tests to ensure that diesel fumes aren’t seeping into the house.

If you have additional concerns about carbon monoxide in your home, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling for expert advice that could save your life. We have been serving the Portland, Oregon area since 1976 for all heating and cooling needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Fall’s Here in Canby: Time for a Furnace Inspection

Fall's Here in Canby: Time for a Furnace InspectionThe chilly temperatures are rapidly approaching Canby. Before fall gets into full swing and winter bites down, be sure that your furnace is in tip-top operational shape by having it thoroughly inspected. Here are some of the steps that a professional takes when performing a furnace inspection.

Combustion Chamber
Air and fuel combine in the ignition process to create heat for your home. During this process natural byproducts such as soot and water vapor can begin to build up over time. During a furnace inspection your HVAC specialist will clean all of the build-up from the chamber and inspect it to insure that there is no corrosion or undo build-up in the chamber.

Exhaust Flute
The excess heat and harmful gasses that are released during the combustion process are vented through the exhaust flute. Starting where the piping exits the furnace and inspecting all the way to where it exists your home is vital. Any holes or cracks in the piping could lead to carbon monoxide leaks or other harmful circumstances. Also remember to inspect carbon monoxide detectors.

Oil and Air Filters
During your furnace inspection the air and oil filters should also be replaced. Clean oil allows for smoother operation of the system and insures that dirty oil deposits and debris do not clog up the burners and lead to system shutdowns or failures. The air quality in your home is more vital in the fall and winter months when more time is spent indoors. A clean air filter helps increase your homes indoor air quality.

Adjustments for Efficiency
The burners should be adjusted to insure that your system will run at optimal efficiency. This helps save money during operation as well as by abating costly system malfunctions. All burners should then emit about the same amount of flame and do so in an even pattern.

Contact Roth Heating and Cooling today to get your furnace inspection completed in time for the coming wintery months. You can only be glad you did! We are also here to help if you think it might be time to replace your furnace.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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