Category Archives: Money Savings

Consider These Things Before Adding a Home Addition

Consider These Things Before Adding a Home AdditionA home addition can give you the extra living space your family needs, increase your comfort and add to the enjoyment of your home. Whether you’re thinking of adding a new kitchen or family room, another bathroom or more bedrooms, there are a number of key factors to consider before you break ground.

Value, Budget and Financing

Building an addition is a costly undertaking, so make sure that the space you’re adding will truly serve your needs and that it’s a wise investment for where your home is located. Then, ensure that the proposed project fits within your budget, and plan how you’ll obtain financing if necessary.

Layout and Design

Work with an architect or designer to come up with a layout that makes the most of the added space and incorporates all your desired features and amenities. While the interior details are critically important, it’s also essential that the finished addition matches the style and aesthetic of your home’s exterior.

Heating and Cooling

Talk to an experienced HVAC contractor to determine the best way to heat and cool the living space you plan to add. A knowledgeable HVAC pro can assess your existing system and advise you if your current equipment has enough capacity, if the ductwork can be extended, or whether you’ll need to upgrade the components or install ductless units to serve the addition.

Electrical and Plumbing

You should consult licensed professionals about how the addition can be integrated into your home’s plumbing and electrical systems. You need to know whether there’s enough capacity to add extra breakers in your electrical panel, or how extending the plumbing system to serve new fixtures will impact water heating and water pressure throughout your home.

Choosing Contractors

Who you hire directly affects the success of your addition project, whether everything goes smoothly and if you experience future problems. Make sure that each contractor you choose is well-established with a good reputation, fully licensed and properly insured.

If you’re planning a new home addition and need expert plumbing, electrical and HVAC services, contact the Portland-area comfort pros at Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical.

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

Benefits of Having a Maintenance Agreement

Benefits of Having a Maintenance AgreementYou rely on your HVAC system to keep your home comfortable, but it’s easy to take it for granted and forget to schedule routine maintenance visits. Signing up for a yearly maintenance plan with a well-established HVAC contractor is a hassle-free way to ensure that your equipment gets the professional care it needs. Having a maintenance agreement not only gives you reminders when routine service is needed, it can benefit your entire HVAC system in a number of other ways as well:

  • You may not realize that without regular maintenance, your HVAC equipment can lose up to five percent of its original energy efficiency each year. The semi-annual inspection, cleaning and tuneup that your system receives with a maintenance plan can halt, and sometimes reverse this slow loss of energy efficiency and help keep your yearly heating and cooling costs in check.
  • A thorough, twice-a-year inspection of the HVAC system also allows your technician to catch and make you aware of any emerging issues while they’re still minor. This gives you the chance to have these issues taken care before they develop into serious, costly problems that require extensive repairs.
  • Taking a proactive approach to HVAC maintenance and fixing problems early on also improves the reliability of your system’s components. This gives you peace of mind that your equipment is less likely to fail or break down in the middle of the heating or cooling season when it’s under the greatest amount of strain.
  • As with other types of mechanical equipment, your HVAC system components are more likely to last longer if they’re well maintained. When your equipment gets the timely care it needs through a maintenance plan and stays running in optimal condition, it can reach (or even exceed) its expected lifespan.
  • Having a maintenance agreement in place gives you documented proof that you’ve complied with your equipment manufacturer’s warranty requirements if a component fails and you have to file a claim.

To learn more about the benefits of having an HVAC maintenance agreement, contact the Portland home comfort pros at Roth Heating & Cooling.

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

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “OpenClipart-Vectors/Pixabay”

Installing Water-Efficient Plumbing Fixtures Can Lower Your Water Bill


Installing Water-Efficient Plumbing Fixtures Can Lower Your Water Bill
Thanks in part to water-efficient plumbing fixtures, home water consumption in the U.S. is declining. However, if your home is more than 10 years old and hasn’t been upgraded, your monthly water bill may not be as low as it could be. The average household in this country still uses about 300 gallons of water every day — far more than most other developed nations. Experts report that this number could be cut by as much as 30 percent by updating to water-efficient plumbing fixtures.

Here are a few efficient options to cut home water costs:

Water-Saving Shower Heads

A standard shower head can use up to four gallons per minute (gpm). Since the average American spends eight minutes in the shower, that’s a substantial amount of water going down the drain. You can cut usage in half by installing a water-saving shower head that uses just two gallons per minute.

Low-Flow Faucets

If your bathroom and kitchen faucets are older, they may dispense up to seven gpm. Standards adopted since then have lowered faucet output to 2.2 gpm. However, current water-conserving faucets with certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program go even further, delivering 1.5 gpm.

Next-Generation Washing Machines

Washing machines manufactured 15 years ago consumed as much as 40 gallons of water to wash a single load of laundry. Today, next-generation washers with the highest efficiency ratings use only an average of 13 gallons per load. What’s more, they also consume about 25 percent less electricity.

High-Efficiency Toilets

Toilets are the biggest water users in most households. Toilet flushing alone accounts for 27 percent of total water consumption. Because they tend not to wear out, toilets in older homes are often original equipment, still delivering water consumption that belongs to a bygone era—as much as five gallons per flush (gpf). Post-1994 toilets reduced that figure to today’s standard maximum of 1.6 gpf. However, installing a high-efficiency toilet certified by WaterSense can bring that figure down even further to just 1.29 gpf.

Ask the professionals at Roth Heating & Cooling for more information about water-efficient plumbing fixtures.

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

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Sashkin/Shutterstock”

Whole-House Humidifiers Extend Comfort And Savings, Where Portable Units Fail

Dry winter air can wreak havoc on a home. While low humidity levels can cause a home’s floors, wood trim and furniture to dry and crack, the people in the home typically fare much worse. Dry, itchy skin and irritated nasal passages leave many homeowners feeling uncomfortable this time of year — and there are indications that low humidity levels can complicate issues like allergies and asthma. Continue reading