Tag Archives: energy bills

5 Common Energy Myths You Need to Know

5 Common Energy Myths You Need to KnowIf you’re looking for ways to lower your household operating costs, curbing your energy consumption is a good place to start. Before you implement any tips for reducing consumption, it’s good to recognize energy myths like these:

Myth 1: Run the Ceiling Fans to Make Your Home Cooler

Fans simply move air, they don’t cool it. The feeling of air moving across the skin makes a body feel cooler, but you can’t feel the effect unless you’re in the same room. So, running fans in unoccupied rooms wastes energy instead of saving it.

Myth 2: Dial Back the Thermostat Setting to Cool the House Faster

Your cooling system runs at a steady pace to reach the thermostat’s temperature setting, no matter how low it’s set. If you set it too low, you’ll only end up wasting energy and your home will feel uncomfortably chilly.

Myth 3: Shut the Registers in Seldom-Used Rooms to Save Conditioned Air

Your HVAC system relies on balanced airflow to operate efficiently, and shutting some registers can upset the balance and cause a pressure increase within the system. The equipment then has to work harder to compensate, so it consumes more energy instead of less.

Myth 4: Leave the Thermostat Temperature Setting Constant to Save Energy

There’s a misconception that raising the thermostat setting at night or when no one is home is inefficient because it takes a lot of energy to bring the temperature back down again. Regular temperature setbacks of eight hours or more during such periods are a proven way to save energy, and it’s easy to accomplish with a programmable thermostat.

Myth 5: Use Sleep Mode to Reduce Your Computers’ Energy Consumption

If your computers are set to go into sleep mode whenever they’re not in use, you’re wasting energy. Sleep mode is fine for short periods, but you should put your computers on power strips and shut them down completely during longer periods while you’re at work and overnight while you’re sleeping.

For help debunking energy myths and advice on ways to reduce consumption in your Portland-area home, contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling today.

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

Condensation On My Air Conditioner Unit: Should I Be Worried?

Condensation On My Air Conditioner Unit: Should I Be Worried?When something is wrong with your air conditioner, it will let you know in a number of different ways. Maybe you have a gut feeling your energy bills are too high, and you certainly know when your home is uncomfortable. Another sign your air conditioner is failing is condensation collecting on and/or around it. Switch the thermostat and your panic buttons off, and keep reading before you make your next call.

What Harm is a Little Water?

Water condensation on your air conditioner’s evaporator coil is normal. However, as you’ve realized, water leaking from your air conditioner onto your floor is not acceptable. Depending on where your indoor A/C unit is located, condensate leaks may cause damage to your ceiling, walls, flooring and/or other building materials and property.

What to Do?

In order to know what to do about a leaky A/C, it’s helpful to know how condensation forms and the most common reasons why it’s leaking. Condensation forms as a result of water vapor in warm airflow being pulled across the cold evaporator coil. Under normal conditions, the condensate drips into a pan, flows down the drain and through a tube away from your home. End of story — unless your A/C unit is experiencing these problems:

  • A blockage in the drain tube is causing an overflow. Your HVAC technician uses either a powerful blower or heavy-duty vacuum to push or pull the blockage through. Then, the line is chemically treated.
  • The float switch has malfunctioned. Some air conditioners have a float switch that turns off the unit when water fills the drip pan too high. If your A/C is equipped with such a device, but it’s not working, it needs to be repaired or replaced.
  • The drip pan has rusted through or it has broken. Your technician can simply replace the drip pan.

Ask your HVAC technician or plumber if your A/C has a float switch. If not, you’d be wise to have one installed in the drain trap. For assistance repairing air conditioner condensation problems in your Portland home, please contact the professionals at Roth Heating & Cooling today.

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: “geralt/Pixabay”

Lower Energy Bills are a Great Gift to Yourself

Lower Energy Bills are a Great Gift to YourselfAlthough it might take a small investment of money and time, it’s possible to lower energy bills quickly and easily before the heating season is in full swing. Besides cutting your overhead, these tips increase home comfort and enjoyment through the holidays and beyond.

  • Switch to LED holiday lights. These lights are widely available, affordable, and use a fraction of the electricity that older strings of lights use. The LED bulbs emit far less heat, which also makes them a safer alternative should you use them next to flammable trees or decorations.
  • Have your heating system serviced. Not only does professional cleaning and adjusting save energy dollars, it also promotes safety. Heat pumps also need maintenance for winter heating to maintain their efficiency.
  • Use a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat remembers to turn down the heat at night and when you’re away. You can set it to heat your home just before you return home or awaken.
  • Have a professional change the air filter for the furnace or heat pump regularly. Checking and changing the air filter cuts heating costs and extends the life of the furnace or heat pump.
  • Flush the water heater. This appliance uses nearly 20 percent of your home’s energy, and a clean tank heats water faster. Lowering the water temperature to 120 degrees F will also lower energy bills and prevents scalding injuries. Mineral solids are also less likely to form at the bottom, which increases the lifetime of a storage tank water heater.
  • Seal air leaks. Cracks, crevices, and gaps in your home’s envelope drive up energy costs and for the most part, are easy to seal. Check around the exterior window and door frames, look under sinks for gaps around pipes, and the exterior walls. Caulk seals small cracks effectively, and expanding foam will stop air infiltration around pipes. Fresh weatherstripping stops drafts around exterior doors.

Having lower energy bills not only benefits you financially, it also lightens the load on the environment and your home’s major appliances. If you’d like to learn more, contact Roth Heating & Plumbing, proudly serving 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: “Pexels/Pixabay”

What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Home Energy Audits

What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Home Energy AuditsHomeowners who take advantage of home energy audits learn about the overall energy efficiency of their homes and where to make improvements that cut energy costs year-round. Audits are performed by licensed HVAC contractors or energy auditors who identify all the factors that contribute to an inefficient and potentially unhealthy home.

What’s Involved in an Energy Audit

The HVAC professionals may start the audit by reviewing your energy bills over the past year and asking questions about how you use energy.

The central component of the audit is a blower door test that involves a large fan. The tech places the blower door in an exterior door frame. Once your home is ready, the professional will turn on the fan and watch how fast the air pressure falls using gauges on the blower door. If it falls quickly, it tells the auditors that your home has few air leaks. If it loses pressure slowly, it indicates you have air coming indoors from gaps, hole, or cracks to compensate for the air pressure your home is losing.

The auditors will use infrared cameras to pinpoint where the leaks are based on the thermal differences between the incoming air and your home’s surfaces. The cameras also tell the team where insulation may be lacking in the walls, foundation and attic of your home.

Additional Services

Home energy audits often include a ductwork inspection to evaluate possible leakage. Even the tightest home can have high energy bills if the conditioned air blows through leaking ducts, since the conditioned air is lost to places where it’s not needed.

Depending on the extent of your home energy audit, the professionals may evaluate your home for safe wiring and pinpoint any water leaks or plumbing problems.

If you’d like to learn more about home energy audits and their benefits, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided top-notch HVAC services for Portland area homeowners 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).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “new photo/Shutterstock”

A Guide To Duct Sealing For Your Portland-Area Home

A Guide To Duct Sealing For Your Portland-Area HomeAir and energy leaks in ductwork of your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system can account for a loss of as much as 20 percent or more of the air that should be heating or cooling your home. However, sealing your ductwork will reduce or eliminate this wasteful loss of energy, thereby increasing your home’s comfort level while also reducing your energy bills. Continue reading

Air Conditioner Conked Out? Use These Replacement Questions

If your air conditioner has recently died on you, you are faced with an important decision: should you do some repairs and hope it’s enough to keep your home cool, or should you consider air-conditioner replacement.  Use these replacement questions to determine which route makes most sense for you in the short- and long-term.

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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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Ductwork Design And Installation Creates Ideal Energy-Efficiency Conditions

When you think of good design, you might picture designer clothing, beautiful furniture, or slick advertising. But some remarkably important design is hidden out of sight right within your own home, and can help make or break your utility budget depending on how well it is done.

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