Tag Archives: ceiling fan

4 Ways to Change Seasons with Your HVAC

4 Ways to Change Seasons with Your HVACNow that the seasons are changing, it’s almost time to make the switch from cooling to heating your home. By transitioning seasons wisely, you can have your home and HVAC system primed for maximum comfort and efficiency throughout the fall and coming winter. Here are four ways to make the transition go smoothly:

1. Check Airflow at the Registers

Closed or obstructed registers can upset pressure balance within the HVAC system and cause a loss of efficiency or even an unexpected equipment shutdown due to overheating. To prevent these issues, make sure that your registers are open and not blocked by furniture, area rugs, long curtains or similar items.

2. Switch Ceiling Fan Direction

During the summer, you likely had your ceiling fan blades set to spin counter-clockwise and push cool air down. Now, you need put the fan speed on low and switch the blade direction button on the housing. This gets the blades turning clockwise, so cooler air at floor level gets drawn up, and warm air is sent back down along the walls.

3. Replace the Air Filter

Transitioning seasons is also the perfect time to check the air filter and replace it if it shows any visible dirt accumulation. Having a fresh filter in place ensures that air can flow freely through the HVAC system, which helps avert the problems caused by restricted airflow.

4. Schedule Heating System Service

A thorough furnace checkup by a certified technician can verify that key components including the blower motor, gas burner, heat exchanger and ventilation flue are working safely and reliably, so your home stays comfortable and there’s less risk of exposure to deadly carbon monoxide gas.

Allow Ample Time When Transitioning Back and Forth

If you need to switch between cooling and heating to match the fall weather, allow a five-minute break in between mode changes on the thermostat. This lets the system’s refrigerant pressure equalize and averts a sudden shutdown or compressor lockup that trips the breaker.

For help making sure that transitioning seasons goes smoothly 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).

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Keep Your Cool This Summer by Avoiding These Home Cooling Myths

Keep Your Cool This Summer by Avoiding These Home Cooling MythsKeeping your home comfortable during the summer in Portland can be costly, especially if you follow some of the commonly believed myths about more efficient cooling. Here are five of the most common home cooling myths, as well as the facts dispelling each.

A Larger Air Conditioner Improves Cooling

If the system in your home was sized properly at installation, but it’s not cooling effectively, it’s likely in need of maintenance, which includes cleaning the evaporator or condenser coils, replacing the air filter and checking the coolant levels. Upgrading to a larger model will result in a system that cycles off when it reaches the set temperature, then back on when more cooling is called for. This constant cycling is inefficient, costing you more money, and leading to frequent maintenance and premature failure.

Turning the A/C Off When Leaving Wastes Money

Many people believe that it takes more energy to cool a warm home than it does to leave the A/C on while you’re away. The truth is that anytime the system is running, it’s using large amounts of energy — far more than cooling down your home when you arrive. To save money and remain comfortable, install a programmable thermostat and have it lower the temperature about an hour before you’re due home so that it’s cool when you arrive.

Lowering the Temperature Cools Your Home Faster

Turning the thermostat all the way down won’t cool your home any faster, as the air conditioner has a set amount of cool air it can generate at any time. Additionally, if you forget to reset the thermostat, you may end up wasting money.

Air Conditioners Only Cool the Air

In addition to cooling air, air conditioners also remove humidity, which makes you feel comfortable at a higher temperature.

Fans Help Cool a Room

Fans only help to circulate the air, making you feel cooler by evaporating sweat faster via the wind chill effect. Using fans in an empty room wastes energy.

For more information about these common home cooling myths, talk to the HVAC experts at 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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Great Ways to Reduce Cooling Costs This Spring and Summer

Great Ways to Reduce Cooling Costs This Spring and SummerPortland’s springs and summers may not be brutally hot, but that doesn’t mean we’re willing to forgo air conditioning just to save money. By taking some simple steps to reduce cooling costs, you can enjoy your A/C and keep your electricity bills reasonable.

How to Reduce Cooling Costs

  • Use ceiling fans – A ceiling fan can make you feel 5 to 8 degrees cooler so you can raise the air conditioner’s thermostat temperature by an equal amount to use less energy. Every degree you set the thermostat above 78 degrees could save you up to 7 percent on cooling costs.
  • Don’t overcool your home – When you leave the house, set the thermostat to 85 degrees or higher. The A/C uses less energy to cool down a warm house than it does to maintain a low temperature for an eight-hour stretch. If you tend to forget to raise the thermostat, install a programmable thermostat.
  • Optimize your windows – Neutral-colored drapes with heat-reflective backings reduce cooling costs by lowering your home’s heat gain up to 33 percent. Using high-reflectivity blinds can cut heat gain even more. For year-round savings, consider replacing old windows with Energy Star-qualified models.
  • Weatherize the attic – Even on mild summer days, the attic temperature can rise past 100 degrees. Good attic air sealing and insulation keep that heat out of your rooms so it doesn’t make more work for your air conditioner. Air ducts running through the attic and other unconditioned spaces should have the joints sealed with mastic and be insulated to support your A/C’s efficiency.
  • Upgrade your equipment – If your home’s air conditioner is more than 10 years old or needs repairs more than once a year, it’s likely near the end of its life span. By upgrading to a higher-efficiency air conditioner now, you could cut your cooling expenses by 20 to 50 percent and save yourself from the headache of an unexpected breakdown.

For more information on how to reduce cooling costs in your Portland home, contact Roth Heating and 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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3 Ventilation Options That Can Help Cool Your Home

3 Ventilation Options That Can Help Cool Your HomeA good home ventilation system can greatly reduce or even eliminate your reliance on an air conditioner for cooling in your Portland home. This can dramatically lower utility bills. Here are three home ventilation options to consider to help keep your home cool without spending too much.

Natural Ventilation

By opening windows in your home during the cooler morning and evening hours, you can let the wind naturally cool your home. Open windows on the shady side of your home to draw in cool air and open windows on the opposite side to create a cross-breeze. In homes with multiple stories, open windows on each floor, allowing hot air to rise and exit out of the upper windows while cooler air is naturally drawn in from the lower windows to replace it. Close the windows during the heat of the day to retain the cool air.

Ceiling and Portable Fans

In combination with natural ventilation or even with air conditioning, fans can help you feel cooler at the same temperature. Install ceiling fans in common areas such as the living room, and use portable fans for individual cooling. To improve natural ventilation, use box fans in windows on the opposite sides of your home, with one exhausting air and one drawing air in, which will create a stronger cross-breeze. Because fans make you feel cooler by drawing away perspiration, not by actually cooling the air, you should turn off fans when you leave the room to save energy.

Whole-House Fans

Whole-house fans are typically installed in the floor of the attic and through the ceiling below, allowing them to draw hot air out of the home and exhaust it through the attic vents. Cool air is then drawn in through open windows to replace the exhausted air. Whole-house fans move large volumes of air and can sometimes replace an air conditioner in cooler areas while using less than 25 percent of the energy.

For more information about home ventilation options, talk to our HVAC experts at Roth Heating and Cooling. We proudly serve the Portland area.

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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Enjoy a Greener Home With These Spring Energy-Saving Tips

Enjoy a Greener Home With These Spring Energy-Saving TipsAs the weather warms up, tactics for keeping your home comfortable change drastically. With the new goal of keeping your home cooler, you can employ several spring energy-saving tips, many of which require little or no investment. Here’s how to enjoy a greener home without sacrificing comfort.

Use Windows to Your Advantage

During the day, keep the sun out with window coverings to shade and insulate the glass. At night, turn off the air conditioner and open the windows to let a cool breeze through. Trap this cool air inside by closing the windows and drawing the shades come morning.

Seal Air Leaks

The sun isn’t the only thing heating up your home. Keep hot air from leaking inside by sealing gaps and cracks in your home’s outer envelope. Windows and doors tend to leak, but you can tighten them up with weatherstripping and caulk.

Reduce Interior Heat Gain

Avoid using the oven on hot days. Wash dishes and laundry in the cooler morning or evening hours. Take short showers and run the bathroom exhaust fan to draw heat and humidity outside.

Run the Ceiling Fan

The wind chill effect created by air movement makes you feel about four degrees cooler. This means you can turn up the thermostat to 78 degrees but enjoy what feels like 74 degrees just by running a ceiling fan.

Remember to turn off the fan when you leave the room to save energy. Air movement cools people, but it doesn’t reduce the room’s temperature, meaning operating it in an empty room is pointless.

Maintain the Cooling Equipment

Trim foliage back at least 18 inches to prevent restricting airflow. Change the air filter regularly to keep air traveling through the ducts at the proper velocity.

For optimal performance, schedule annual preventive maintenance for the air conditioner every spring. You’ll save money on cooling bills in the coming months thanks to the performance-improving cleaning and inspection.

If you need help implementing these spring energy-saving tips, please contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve proudly serving Portland area residents 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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Can Ceiling Fan Direction Affect Your Home’s Cooling Efficiency?

Can Ceiling Fan Direction Affect Your Home's Cooling Efficiency?Without looking up, which direction is your ceiling fan rotating? If you answered counter-clockwise (as you’re looking up at the fan), you’re correct — most of the time. However, ceiling fans usually are equipped with a switch on the fan housing that allows you to change ceiling fan direction from the default factory setting, counter-clockwise, to clockwise. The first setting helps you feel cooler in warmer seasons, and the second aids in recirculating warm air during the heating season. Either strategy, used in the correct season, will help save energy and money in your Portland area home.

Ceiling Fan Heating

In most rooms, warmer air collects near the ceiling. In the winter, this can be a problem since people don’t spend time in the tops of rooms. They need that warm air down where they’re standing or sitting. A ceiling fan set to clockwise blade rotation will blow air upward, displacing the warm air near the ceiling, and force it toward the walls and then down into the room. When your thermostat senses the warmer air, it won’t kick the furnace on quite so soon, and you’ll save money on utility bills.

Ceiling Fan Cooling

When set to rotate counter-clockwise, a ceiling fan will blow air downward, creating a wind-chill effect for anyone who feels that air movement. This will make the room feel cooler, and allow you to turn up the thermostat as many as four degrees without starting to feel uncomfortable. During mild days, ceiling fans may allow you to keep the A/C off entirely. This provides energy savings, since it costs substantially less to operate a fan than it does an A/C or heat pump.

It’s important to remember that ceiling fans don’t actually cool a room; it’s all about the cooling “effect.” If no one is in the room to feel the air current, it’s not doing any good. Turn off ceiling fans in empty rooms.

Remember, the right ceiling fan direction can save you money in all seasons. For more helpful ideas for saving money on energy in your Portland area home, please contact us at 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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5 Tips to Help Oregon Homeowners Reduce the Need for Air Conditioning

5 Tips to Help Oregon Homeowners Reduce the Need for Air ConditioningIt’s normal for electricity costs to skyrocket in the summer as you pay to air condition your home. However, before you assume you’re stuck paying appalling cooling bills all summer long, consider these five ways you can reduce the need for air conditioning in your Oregon home. Continue reading

Roth Heating & Cooling’s Top Tips For Summer Energy Savings

Want to save up some money for a summer vacation? Then don’t let high energy bills cut into your summertime budget. Here at Roth Heating & Cooling, we suggest these energy savings tips to make your home more efficient this summer:

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Watch The Efficiency Of HVAC Systems Grow With Ceiling Fans

There are many things you can do to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system: increase insulation, have your ducts sealed, or upgrade to high-efficiency equipment. There is one piece of high-efficiency equipment, though, that many people overlook. A lot of Oregon residents even have them in their homes but don’t utilize them, not realizing that they can result in big energy savings and cut down on monthly utility bills. 

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