Tag Archives: HVAC problems

When to Call Your Technician: HVAC Problems

When to Call Your Technician: HVAC ProblemsYour home’s HVAC system contains complicated equipment, so it can be difficult to know for sure if a developing issue is worth a phone call to your HVAC pro. Here’s a look at some common HVAC problems that deserve the attention of an experienced technician.

Unfamiliar Sounds

Some noise is expected when your HVAC equipment is running, like a hum from the outdoor compressor, a whir from the blower fan, or a pop and whoosh as air moves through the ductwork. New or startling sounds like banging, rattling, hissing or high-pitched screeching can be warning signs of serious problems, so they should be investigated immediately.

Elevated Energy Bills

Your energy bills are bound to rise if your household usage increases, or there’s a rate increase by the utility company. If your bills are climbing for no obvious reason, however, there may be a problem with your HVAC system. Some common issues that a pro should check for are an age-related drop in efficiency, dirty cooling coils, ductwork deterioration, and a low refrigerant level.

Water Leaks

During the cooling process, it’s normal for A/Cs and heat pumps to condense water from the air, but it should be sent straight outdoors through the built-in condensate drain. If you discover a puddle under your air handler, a technician needs to inspect the drainage system for obstructions or inadequate slope on the line.

Excessive Humidity

If your home always seems too warm and sticky, and you’re seeing more mold growth in moisture-prone areas like the bathrooms, your HVAC technician needs to find out why. It may be due to short-cycling oversized equipment, or undersized equipment that can’t dehumidify the space effectively.

Unpleasant Smells

Normally, you shouldn’t notice any odor in the air coming from your HVAC registers. If you’re getting a “dirty sock,” acetone-like or acrid burnt smell, call your HVAC pro to identify and correct the underlying cause. Odors like these can be related to mold/mildew growth, a refrigerant leak, or hazardous overheating/arcing of an electrical component.

Contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling for expert help solving HVAC problems in your Portland-area home.

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

What are the Most Common HVAC Problems in Spring?

What are the Most Common HVAC Problems in Spring?Now that winter is waning, It won’t be long before you’ll make the change from heating to cooling your home. Since this portion of your HVAC system has been shut off for several months, you might experience a few issues when you make that switch. Here are some common spring HVAC problems and why they occur, along with some advice on solving them quickly:

Too Little Conditioned Air Output

If you’ve put in a fresh air filter and your system comes on but there’s not enough airflow from the registers, it’s wise to have your HVAC pro investigate why. It may be that the evaporator or condenser coil needs cleaning to remove accumulated dust and debris that’s interfering with the heat transfer process, or a leak has developed somewhere in the refrigerant lines. If there’s airflow at the registers, but it doesn’t feel as cool as expected, the outdoor unit may not be cycling on due to a faulty contactor or other problem.

Inconsistent or Uneven Cooling

Does your air conditioner or heat pump start up and run but you find that some rooms stay too warm, while others cool down too much? Uneven cooling in different areas of a home can have several possible causes, including flaws in the ductwork design, unbalanced system airflow, a poorly-placed thermostat, or under- or over-sized equipment. An experienced HVAC technician can determine exactly what’s going on with your system, and then offer effective solutions to improve comfort throughout your home.

Non-Responsive Cooling System

If you’re met with a blank thermostat screen when you go to change from heating to cooling mode, simply replacing the batteries may solve the problem. If the thermostat is working, but you don’t hear or feel a response from your cooling equipment, head to your main electrical panel and reset the system’s breakers by switching them off and back on. If these two fixes don’t work, call your HVAC contractor to thoroughly inspect the system’s various controls and components to determine why.

For expert help solving spring HVAC problems in your Portland-area home, contact us 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). 

Common Plumbing Problems: How To

Common Plumbing Problems: How ToDid you know a dripping faucet wastes enough water in one year to fill the average water heater tank 50 times? That’s nearly one tank a week! If common plumbing problems have you puzzled or fearful you’ll make matters worse, read these tips on how to solve basic problems with your home’s plumbing and fixtures. You’ll help conserve a precious resource and save money.

Running Toilets

If you’re tired of jiggling the toilet handle, it’s time to fix it. The problem of running toilets is usually with the chain or the flapper and seat. If it’s the chain, bring in the slack so it doesn’t get caught in the flapper. When it’s a flapper and seat problem, try cleaning these parts. If that doesn’t work, pick up a new assembly at your home store.

Water Pressure

Low water pressure is often due to blockages in aging pipes, fixtures and appliances. If low water pressure is isolated to one outlet or fixture, such as a shower head, you’re in luck. Simply clean or replace the fixture.

High water pressure throughout your home usually requires adjusting the water pressure regulator. This device is typically located at the connection of the main water line to your home’s plumbing. This is actually a job for your plumbing professional.

Slow Or Clogged Drains

If there ever was a common plumbing problem, it’s slow or clogged drains. Like water pressure problems, the problem may not be as severe if it’s isolated to one drain. If slow draining is occurring throughout your home, you have a problem in the main drain line or the vent line.

For isolated problems, such as a clogged kitchen or bathroom sink, turn off the water. Next, place a bucket under the trap. Remove the trap. Be ready in case a lot of dirty water flushes out, but that’s what you want. Clean the trap out and re-install it.

If you need help with common plumbing problems, contact Roth Heating & Cooling today. Proudly serving the Portland metro area for over 40 years!

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: “Tumisu/Pixabay”

Here Are 3 Reasons Why Your Furnace is Blowing Cold Air

Here Are 3 Reasons Why Your Furnace is Blowing Cold AirYour furnace helps ensure that your Portland home stays warm and toasty in winter, but what happens if it’s only blowing cold air? When you have a furnace cold air problem, it’s important to determine what might be causing it, so you can get heated air flowing again. These are a few possible causes of this heating system issue.

Thermostat Problems

A simple problem with your thermostat could be causing cold air to blow out of your vents when your furnace is on. Check the setting on your thermostat to see if it is set to the “auto” position instead of the “on” position. The “on” position causes the fan to run constantly, but this won’t produce heated air.

Pilot Light

Gas furnaces have a small flame that burns all the time and helps them ignite. If you have a gas furnace, check the pilot light to see if it is lit. When the pilot light goes out, your furnace isn’t able to blow heated air. Instead, you’ll just feel cold air coming out of your vents. If the pilot light went out, carefully relight it so you’ll be able to heat your home again.

Dirty Air Filter

The air filter in your furnace helps trap dust and other particles, which allows it to heat your home efficiently. When this filter becomes covered in debris, it makes it harder for air to flow through to your furnace. This can end up putting your furnace in danger of overheating, which can result in the burners automatically shutting off for safety reasons. Check your air filter, and replace it with a new one if it’s coated with dust and debris.

If none of these are causing your furnace cold air problem, it’s time to call in professional HVAC technicians to check it. These HVAC experts can determine the cause of this problem and take steps to fix it.

If you have a furnace cold air problem this winter or if your heating system needs other repairs, please contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We offer dependable heating and cooling services in the 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: “ElisaRiva/Pixabay”

During Cold Spells, Don’t Forget to Bundle Up Your Water Heater

During Cold Spells, Don't Forget to Bundle Up Your Water HeaterThe costs of water heating ranges from 14 to 20 percent of the average household’s energy budget. That’s plenty of incentive to keep your water heater in good working order — especially during cooler weather. Use these tips to keep a tight lid on your hot water bill this winter, help your system run better and to enjoy uninterrupted hot water service.

Signs of Wear

Take a look at the storage tank. Do you see any rust spots or water stains? These are signs of leaky gaskets. Ask your service provider to inspect the unit.

Another sign that your water heater needs professional maintenance is fluctuating hot water temperatures. Common causes for this are a failing heating element, sediment buildup inside the tank, a broken dip tube or faulty thermostat.

Temperature Check

If your water heater is heating up water greater than 120 degrees, you’re wasting energy. Use a thermometer to check hot water temperature at a faucet. Turn back the temperature dial a notch and wait a few hours before checking water temperature again.

Insulation

Inefficient water heaters lose more heat energy through the sides, top and bottom of the tank. This is called standby heat loss, and makes your system work harder — use more energy — to keep stored water at a consistent temperature. Insulation jackets and sleeves for the storage tank help reduce standby heat loss, reduce wear, and save you money.

You should also insulate the pipes at the storage tank, under sinks and at your clothes washer. Insulating pipe sleeves increase water temperature, reduce waiting time and save you money, too.

Drain the Tank

If you don’t flush out your storage tank once a year, you are flushing money down the drain. Mineral and sediment buildup inside the tank reduce heating efficiency and shorten the lifespan of your water heater. Your service provider should flush the tank during preventive service. However, you should drain a gallon of water at the temperature pressure and relief valve every couple of months.

For professional water heater assistance, contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve served Portland-area residents 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: “geralt/Pixabay”