Category Archives: Preventive Maintenance

The Importance of an Annual Electrical Safety Check

The Importance of an Annual Electrical Safety CheckAn electrical safety check might prevent serious damage to your home or any of its major appliances. The electrical system is easy to ignore since it’s out of sight and silent. But doing so could be risky because electricity is a powerful force. A periodic inspection will assure you that it’s working as it should and meets all safety codes.

Scheduling an Electrical Safety Check

Home safety professionals recommend that a licensed electrician look it over once a year to keep minor issues from becoming catastrophic problems. If your electrical system shows any of these signs of electrical problems, schedule an inspection promptly:

  • Frequent circuit breakers trips
  • Lights flicker, which could indicate a short in the wiring in the walls or the cord
  • Humming noises from the breaker box. This is never a good sign, and usually means that the breaker is bad and won’t trip even if it’s overloaded. Heat will build and it has the potential to start a fire.
  • The home is more than 25 years old. The wiring insulation may have disintegrated or the outlets have aged.
  • The wiring is aluminum. Over time, aluminum wiring oxidizes, which increases the resistance on the wiring, causing it to overheat.

What to Expect During an Electrical Safety Check

During an electrical safety check, the electrician will test the circuit breakers and visually inspect the switches and outlets. Outward signs of problems include switches that don’t work and discolored outlets.

Excessive use of power strips or multi-outlets usually indicates you need more outlets or receptacles. If your circuit breaker box is full, you may need a new, larger box to handle your present power demand and provide room for future expansion.

Other issues might include shorts when using certain switches, outlets or appliances. The electrician will pinpoint the problem, whether it’s in the wall, a fixture, or an appliance.

It makes sense to have an electrical safety check to avoid preventable damage to your home, appliances, or devices. If you’d like to learn more, contact Roth Heating & Cooling, providing licensed HVAC and electrical services for Portland-area homeowners.

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

How to Avoid Common Winter HVAC Concerns

How to Avoid Common Winter HVAC ConcernsIn the winter, you rely on your HVAC system to keep your home comfortably warm. However, your home comfort can be jeopardized by a variety of wintertime heating system problems. Here are some common winter HVAC concerns and what you should do to resolve them:

Inconsistent Heating

If some rooms are too warm while others feel too chilly when your heating system is running, check that the louvers are open on all your registers first. Then, examine the furnace filter because a clogged filter can reduce the amount of warm air that’s delivered to each room. Other possible causes that will require a professional diagnosis are leaky, damaged ducts or unbalanced airflow through the HVAC system.

Not Enough Heat

If the heating system doesn’t seem to stay running long enough to adequately heat your home, you have a situation known as “short cycling.” Your HVAC technician can do some detective work to find out why it’s happening, which could be a poorly-located or faulty thermostat, under- or over-sized equipment, or a corroded flame sensor.

Sudden Loss of Heat

If your furnace or heat pump suddenly stops cycling on, it may just need a simple fix like replacing dead thermostat batteries or a badly-clogged air filter, which can severely reduce airflow so the furnace overheats and triggers the high limit safety switch. Your heat pump can shut down similarly if the outdoor unit is covered with ice or snow and can’t defrost on its own. If none of these issues seem to be the cause, call your HVAC pro to check for more serious problems.

Combustion Fume or Gas Odors

Both of these issues pose serious safety hazards, so contact your home heating contractor immediately, and head over to a neighbor’s house until the problem is solved. Backdrafting combustion fumes from an obstructed vent system can pump deadly carbon monoxide gas through your home, while leaking gas lines can cause dizziness, vomiting and even asphyxiation, or an explosion or house fire.

If you need expert help solving winter HVAC concerns in your Portland home, contact us today 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: “Name”

Tips for Preparing Your Home’s HVAC for Winter

Tips for Preparing Your Home's HVAC for WinterWhen the air turns cold and you switch on your heating equipment for the first time in nearly a year, the last thing you want is for it to not be operating properly. To keep you from being unprepared, here are a few quick winter prep tips that’ll allow your household to continue running smoothly:

Call a Technician

Annual maintenance of your heating equipment will keep it operating at peak performance for many years. A professional HVAC technician will ascertain any potential problems that might arise and make suggestions that will improve its energy efficiency. This means a more robust system that saves you money.

Test the Thermostat

If your thermostat isn’t working properly, your entire household – and its energy bill – will suffer. Before the winter season kicks into full gear, we suggest that you switch on your heating equipment to test it out. If it takes longer than expected to warm up your home, then it may be time to invest in a new thermostat, preferably a wi-fi or other advanced model.

Fix Ductwork Leaks

When air leaks occur due to holes and tears in your ductwork, the heating equipment is forced to work harder to deliver the same amount of comfort throughout your home. You can choose to either fix these problems yourself or contact a professional technician for assistance. Either way, tend to this immediately.

Check the Vents

You’d be surprised how many heating and cooling issues come down to blocked or clogged vents. It isn’t uncommon for vents to become clogged by dirt and debris, which is an easy solution to fix in a matter of minutes by removing the vents, wiping them down, and cleaning out the debris. It’s also possible that vents in certain locations may be blocked by boxes and similar items that can be removed.

For more expert advice on the winter prep needs for your HVAC system, or if you have any other questions related to home comfort, please contact the professionals at Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving the HVAC needs of Portland and the surrounding area since 1976.

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: “Name”

Here’s Back-to-School Maintenance Tips for Your Home

Here's Back-to-School Maintenance Tips for Your HomeIt’s that time of year again — back-to-school! Which means every homeowner out there needs to conduct a little maintenance on his or her home if they hope to keep costs under control. Here are a few quick tips that we suggest:

Replace Your Air Filter

Typically, an air filter needs to be replaced every 1-3 months. If you’ve been neglecting it a little over the summer because you’ve been too busy soaking up the sun, now’s the time to get it switched out for a new one. This will ensure that your heating and air conditioning equipment continues to work at an optimal level.

Seal the Ducts

Cooler temperatures are just around the corner, soon you’ll need to switch from air conditioning to heating. Before that happens, it’s essential that your ducts be checked for leaks and tears. This will keep the air circulating throughout your home without wasting energy.

Pick Up Around the Outdoor Unit

Over the summer, leaves and dirt can collect around your system’s outdoor unit. This can create a clogging situation, which can be a detriment to your heating and cooling efforts. This is an easy fix. All you have to do is remove any debris around the unit. Using a water hose is even more effective.

Perform Annual Maintenance

Once a year, it’s important that you enlist the help of a professional to make sure that your heating system is running properly. An annual maintenance (Precision Tune-up) will not only keep your equipment efficient, but can also prolong its operational life.

Clean the Condensate Drain

Your HVAC unit’s condensate drain can quickly become clogged with mold, algae, and other foreign substances. This can be cleaned by a water and bleach mixture two or three times a year to prevent any bigger issues from developing.

For more expert advice on back-to-school maintenance tips or any other home comfort questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the friendly professionals at Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical. We’ve been serving the Sherwood area since 1976.

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: “Wokandapix_Pixabay”

Why it Pays to Invest in Preventive Maintenance

Why it Pays to Invest in Preventive MaintenanceOf all the appliances in your home, your HVAC system is probably the most complicated and expensive. It also requires periodic preventive maintenance to run efficiently and dependably.

The benefits of professional attention far outweigh its cost, like:

  • Lower energy bills. Cooling and heating your home use about half your energy budget, and having your equipment professionally serviced helps lower energy use. When a system is cleaned, adjusted and lubricated, it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home comfortable. The goal of the HVAC tuneup is to bring the system back as closely as the technician can to its original factory settings.
  • Longer system lifetime. Everything mechanical wears with use, but keeping the parts clean goes a long way toward increasing their useful life. Over time, electrical parts corrode and when they do, the flow of electricity slows and heat builds. Dust on the components inside heating and cooling systems slows the heat exchange process. Your system has to run longer, which wears the parts prematurely.
  • Greater dependability. When a HVAC pro goes through your system during a preventive maintenance visit, he or she may find a part that’s not functioning as well as it should. Replacing a small part before it fails keeps your system running dependably especially during weather extremes.
  • Fewer repair costs. A failing part can have a damaging ripple effect throughout the system, and instead of needing to replace just one part, you may need to replace several others.
  • Maintain a valid warranty. Some manufacturers require periodic maintenance performed by an HVAC pro to keep the warranty active. Considering the cost of parts and labor, losing this protection could cost a good deal.

The best way to achieve the highest performance your system can provide is through routine preventive maintenance. For more information, contact Roth Heating & Cooling, providing trusted HVAC services for Portland-area homeowners.

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: “PeteLinforth/Pixabay”

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”

HVAC 101: Maintenance Contracts

HVAC 101: Maintenance ContractsMany HVAC contractors offer maintenance contracts that offer advantages to some homeowners. All HVAC equipment requires routine maintenance, some of which requires a professional, and some that you need to do, like air filter changes. In many cases, maintenance agreements provide the assurance that your system will run dependably and at top efficiency.

  • Many homeowners enjoy the convenience of biannual routine maintenance provided by one contractor. Not only will the contractor keep detailed records of when the work was performed, but also what the work entailed. Such thorough records are beneficial to both you and the contractor when troubleshooting a malfunctioning system,
  • Fewer breakdowns occur with professionally maintained systems. HVAC equipment contains many components that need to be adjusted and cleaned regularly to avoid premature breakdowns, many of which are caused by excessive dust on parts you may not be able to access without professional tools and knowledge.

    A dirty evaporator coil inside the air handler can drive up energy consumption and even burn out the compressor, resulting in an expensive repair. Dirt on the motors will overheat them, and shorten their lifetimes.

  • Thorough record keeping also provides evidence of work previously performed for warranty purposes. If the manufacturer of your HVAC equipment requires professional maintenance, these records can guarantee your claim.
  • Prospective homebuyers also like knowing that they’re buying a home with an HVAC system that’s been professionally tended on a routine basis.
  • Discounts on parts and labor are typical benefits with maintenance contracts.
  • Priority service can be a lifesaver when your system goes down in extreme weather. Exceptionally hot or cold weather stresses HVAC equipment, and it’s also a time when contractors receive the highest demand for system checks and repairs. In many cases, you won’t have to pay overtime or holiday charges that could increase a repair bill.

Maintenance contracts for your HVAC system provide solid benefits for many homeowners, because the conveniences and benefits of these plans provide tangible value. To learn more, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We provide trusted HVAC services for homeowners in the Greater Portland area.

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: “prapass/Shutterstock”

You Need to Invest in Preventive HVAC Maintenance. Here’s Why

You Need to Invest in Preventive HVAC Maintenance. Here’s WhyPreventive HVAC maintenance is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a comfortable home, and doing so with the most efficiency and lowest costs. HVAC systems contain many mechanical, electrical and moving parts that need to work together precisely. With routine maintenance performed both by you and your trusted HVAC professional, your equipment will:

  • Use less energy.
  • Run more safely.
  • Have lower repair costs.
  • Last longer.

What’s Involved

  • Homeowner maintenance — The best thing you can do for your HVAC system is to check the air filter monthly when it’s running routinely and change it when it’s dirty. A dirty filter contributes to higher energy bills, increased chance of system breakdowns, and a shorter lifetime.

    Keeping the outdoor condenser clean and free from dust and debris also improves performance. If you use a heat pump for wintertime heating, it’s important to maintain the condenser throughout the year.

  • Professional maintenance — When HVAC professionals perform preventive HVAC maintenance, they clean, lubricate and adjust all the system’s components to bring the equipment back to its original condition as much as possible. They spot small problems that could develop into serious issues if left unattended, which saves money on repair costs and part replacements.

    Checking the refrigerant level is particularly important for a heat pump, since low refrigerant increases energy costs and taxes the vital parts of the system. If you have a gas furnace, they’ll also inspect the gas lines, venting, and the quality of the flame inside the burner. They’ll make adjustments to the gas to air ratio, which helps the furnace burn fuel efficiently and safely.

If your system has a warranty, the underwriter may require proof of professional maintenance to keep the coverage active, especially if the mechanical failure is largely preventable through regular cleaning, adjustments and filter changes.

When you want the most from your HVAC equipment, it’s essential to perform filter changes and regular cleaning. Preventive HVAC maintenance from a licensed contractor pays off lower operating costs and an increased lifespan. For more information, contact Roth Heating & Cooling, providing trusted HVAC services for Portland-area homeowners.

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: “Tashatuvango/Shutterstock”

Preparing Your Home for Fall by Using these Maintenance Tips

Preparing Your Home for Fall by Using these Maintenance TipsAs you get your home ready for the fall season, take time to perform a few essential home maintenance tasks that will help your HVAC equipment work better. In a well-maintained home, heating equipment will operate more efficiently and economically while keeping your living spaces more comfortable. Here’s a brief list of some of the home maintenance projects you should consider.

  • Find and seal air leaks: Air leaks in your home’s structure can let hundreds of dollars worth of heated air escape unused. Worse yet, you’ll have to pay more to heat enough air to make up for the loss. Locate air leaks and seal them appropriately. Most cracks, holes and gaps can be sealed with caulking. Check for leaks in common areas, such as around door and window frames, at points where pipes or wires penetrate the walls, and in areas where the foundation and attic floor connect with the house frame. Contact your HVAC professional for information about a home energy audit that can locate hard-to-find leaks.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts: Make sure your home’s gutters are clean and free of debris and blockages, such as leaves, sticks, and mud. This will reduce the possibility of water leaks during rainstorms or when ice and snow melts off your roof.
  • Check and repair roofs: Inspect your ceiling carefully for any damage that could create holes or openings in the roof. Look for loose or missing shingles, damage to flashing or seals around chimneys or roof penetrations, and obvious holes in the roof’s surface. This type of damage can lead to water leaks and can allow substantial amounts of energy and heated air to escape. Contact a roofing professional to correct these problems.

For nearly 40 years, Roth Heating & Cooling has served Portland, Hillsboro, Canby and the nearby Oregon communities with high-quality HVAC sales, maintenance, and service. Contact us today for more information on fall home maintenance and what you can do to ensure your home and HVAC system are ready for the cooler months.

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: “tomertu/Shutterstock”

3 Ways You Can Take Care of Your Air Conditioner this Fall

3 Ways You Can Take Care of Your Air Conditioner this FallPortland enjoys moderately warm, sunny weather during summer with mild, rainy winters. Despite the area’s temperate climate, it is still critical that your air conditioner unit be maintained after the summer ends. Here are three ways you can keep your A/C maintained this autumn:

  • Clear any overgrown plants away from the condenser unit’s coils. Any accumulation of debris, such as matted grasses or dead leaves, can cause the A/C to work inefficiently, failing to keep your home cool and increasing your power bill. Clearing away the plants may not require professional help, but a HVAC technician coming for an annual service visit can take care of it for you if you prefer.
  • Once the coils are accessible, examine the condenser and evaporator coils for any accumulated dirt. These will also make the system run inefficiently. Generally, coils should be cleaned once a year. Our comprehensive service club agreements give homeowners peace of mind and make it easy to let us come and take care of it.
  • Look at the air filters to see if they need to be cleaned or replaced. Some systems need new filters as frequently as six times a year.

These three simple tips can help you keep your air conditioner running at peak performance and save you money. For additional suggestions about keeping your Portland home comfortable year-round, contact Roth Heating & Cooling today. We have been taking care of Portland residents for more than four decades and look forward to being able to help you.

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: “Gonzalo-Aragon/Shutterstock”