Tag Archives: hvac technician

The Importance of Having an HVAC Inspection by a Pro

The Importance of Having an HVAC Inspection by a ProBuying a home is a complicated process from the legal process to the mechanical aspects of the home. While you can turn over some of the details to the experts involved in the process, it’s a good idea to have an independent Heating and Cooling inspection from a contractor you trust.

Most lenders require a licensed home inspector go through the structure to evaluate the building’s integrity, along with its mechanical systems. The inspector will look over the Heating and Cooling system for obvious problems, but may accidentally overlook important indicators that affect its condition.

The most common claim homeowners make after moving into a home they’ve recently purchased covers the HVAC system. Of all the appliances in a home, the heating and cooling system is the most complicated and expensive to fix or replace.

By insisting that you have a licensed HVAC technician go through the home as part of your due diligence process, you can avoid these expensive and often uncomfortable breakdowns.

In addition to scheduling an HVAC inspection from a professional contractor, ask the seller to provide:

  • The brand and model number of the system, along with its age. You can do some online research to find out what kind of equipment it is and its energy efficiency ratings. Higher ratings are always better for air conditioners, furnaces and heat pumps.
  • Maintenance records. Under ideal conditions, the homeowner should have had the HVAC system maintained once or twice a year. Ask to see the receipts or paperwork the contractor provided.
  • Energy bills. While there’s no way to break out the electric and gas charges attributable solely to the HVAC system, it’s helpful to look at the seasonal swings in their energy costs. Most of the time, the HVAC system is responsible for 40 to 50 percent of the energy use during the winter and summer.

As the most important and expensive appliance in a home, requesting an HVAC inspection and understanding its result will help you make a decision or negotiate a price for the home. To learn more, contact Roth Heating & Cooling,Plumbing & Electrical providing trusted Heating and Cooling services for Lake Oswego 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).

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Insist Your HVAC Technician Check These Things During A/C Maintenance

Insist Your HVAC Technician Check These Things During A/C MaintenanceA/C maintenance plays an important role in keeping your home cool and comfortable throughout the summer. With this in mind, it pays for your HVAC technician to go over your system with a fine-tooth comb, as this can stop potential problems in their tracks.

However, it’s easy for your technician to miss a few critical things during the maintenance process. Here’s what you should insist your technician check during your next maintenance appointment.

Outdoor Condensing Unit

Make sure your HVAC technician takes a look at the outdoor condensing cabinet and all of the components within. This includes the condenser fan, compressor, condenser coil and refrigerant expansion valve. Also, any overgrowth surrounding the bottom of the condensing cabinet, such as tall weeds and grasses, should be removed.

Thermostat

Your HVAC technician should also check the thermostat to ensure it’s working properly. If you have a programmable thermostat, your technician may even be able to help you set it to cool your home efficiently at various times throughout the day.

Air Filter

A dirty air filter can easily drag down your A/C’s energy efficiency and cause other problems in the long run. Make sure your HVAC technician replaces the air filter as part of the A/C maintenance regimen. Most experts recommend the air filter be replaced at least every three months.

Access Panels

Last but not least, your HVAC technician should make sure that all access panels on the indoor evaporator cabinet are securely in place. In addition, all potential obstructions should be removed from around the outside of the unit.

For more information on A/C maintenance, contact the professionals at Roth Heating & 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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How to Handle an Air Conditioner That’s Blowing Hot Air

How to Handle an Air Conditioner That’s Blowing Hot AirIf your air conditioner is blowing hot air, it doesn’t necessarily point to a major system malfunction. The problem could be linked to dirty components, a clogged air filter or improper thermostat settings. Read on to see if you can resolve the issue with these tips before calling your HVAC technician.

Check For Evaporator Ice

Ice buildup on the evaporator coil is a common problem, with many potential causes, that essentially stops the cooling process. The evaporator needs free airflow to extract heat from the home. Ice buildup blocks heat exchange. Perform the following steps if there is ice buildup on the evaporator:

  • Turn off the A/C.
  • If the air filter is dirty, change or clean it by manufacturer specifications.
  • Run the A/C in “fan” mode to expedite ice melt.
  • When the ice has melted, check the evaporator to make sure it’s clean. If it’s dirty, use a foaming coil cleaner to clean it.
  • Turn the A/C on as normal. If the ice returns, there is a different problem which requires the expertise of your HVAC tech.

Dirty Condenser

A dirty condenser coil can restrict home cooling as well. Use a garden hose to spray the sides of the outdoor cabinet of the A/C system to remove dirt and grime. You may also try a foaming coil cleaner for cleaning purposes, followed by spraying with the garden hose.

Pressing Compressor Issues

The compressor is located in the outdoor cabinet with the condenser. When you’re cleaning the condenser, this should also help clean the compressor. A dirty compressor can overheat and stop working. If the compressor is making unusual noises, such as humming or rattling, call your HVAC tech.

Thermostat Mode

Check the thermostat one more time. The thermostat should be set to the “auto” or “cool” mode. If you’ve recently installed a new thermostat, check the wiring schematic again to ensure correct and secure terminal connections.

If your A/C is blowing hot air into your Portland area home after trying these troubleshooting tips, please contact Roth Heating & Cooling today for more information or to schedule an A/C tune-up.

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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Is Your A/C Acting Up? Here Are Some Basic Troubleshooting Tips

Is Your A/C Acting Up? Here Are Some Basic Troubleshooting TipsHas your home’s central air conditioning system been acting up? Perhaps it’s not cooling your home as quickly as it used to, or appears to be running constantly. Or maybe your monthly electric bills seem noticeably higher than last year’s, even though you haven’t otherwise changed your energy use at home. You can call a trusted A/C technician to look at your system, but before taking that step, try some A/C troubleshooting tips.

A/C Troubleshooting Tips

  • Check the air filter. A clogged filter can explain both decreased performance and increased energy use. When the filter is clean, it allows for smooth airflow through the A/C evaporator coil and the home’s ductwork system. When it’s dirty, your air conditioner has to work harder and longer to deliver the same amount of cool air. This wastes energy and stresses parts, leading to more repairs. Check the filter today, and then put your filter inspections on a monthly schedule. Change the filter when it looks clogged or dirty.
  • Clear debris away from the outside condenser/compressor. This unit also requires smooth airflow to allow for optimum heat exchange between the refrigerant in the coil and the outside air. Dirty coils, both inside and outside, also will impede heat exchange, though cleaning the coils is best left to a trained A/C technician.
  • Make sure the condensate drain isn’t clogged. The water – which is condensed out of the cooling air during the A/C process – can back up and damage walls, floors, fixtures and belongings. It also can promote mold and mildew growth.
  • Schedule annual preventative maintenance for your central A/C. This may not fit in with the other A/C troubleshooting tips, but it’s probably the most important. For your cooling system to run with its intended efficiency, and provide the comfort your family expects, it requires professional maintenance annually. During the tune-up, all of the other troubleshooting steps can be addressed as well.

For more A/C troubleshooting tips, or to schedule a spring preventative maintenance visit, please contact us today at Roth Heating & Cooling, providing quality HVAC and plumbing services to the greater 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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Important Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Home

Important Spring Maintenance Tips for Your HomeSpring is the customary time for home cleaning. It’s also a great time to complete some maintenance tasks around your home to keep your HVAC system working efficiently. Read through the following spring maintenance tips to help your Portland home recover from the winter season.

HVAC Maintenance

On average, your HVAC system accounts for roughly half of your home’s energy bill. As such, keeping your A/C, heat pump or furnace in good condition is very important. Make sure to check your system’s air filter. A clogged filter can increase cooling and heating bills up to 15 percent. Also, inspect your central unit outdoors, and remove any obstructions to airflow, such as leaves, weeds and debris.

If you have a whole-home humidifier that needs to be shut down, or a dehumidifier that needs to be prepped for the cooling months, be sure to ask your HVAC technician to check these systems in addition to tuning up your A/C. Your air ducts should also be inspected. If applicable, make sure to put fresh batteries in your smoke and CO2 detectors.

Sealing and Insulation

Sealing materials can dry out, letting attic insulation blow around. So, make sure to inspect your attic for adequate insulation of at least 12 inches (for fiberglass or cellulose). Then, look for moldy or wet spots, and replace the insulation if you find any. Lastly, make sure your attic door is insulated and sealed with foam weatherstripping.

Plumbing and Appliances

If you’ve noticed higher than normal water bills, look for signs of plumbing leaks, sweaty pipes and clogged drains. Since most plumbing is located in walls or outside your living space, you may need to give your home a good inspection.

Next, check your water heater temperature. It should be set at 120 degrees to produce efficient hot water without wearing your storage tank. Ask your HVAC technician or plumbing professional to flush out your tank and inspect other components.

For more spring home maintenance tips, please contact the experts at Roth Heating & Cooling in the Aurora 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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What Causes the A/C in Your Portland Home to Freeze Up?

What Causes the A/C in Your Portland Home to Freeze Up?If you are enjoying the cooling comfort of your air conditioning when it suddenly stops working, the first thing to do is turn it off. Then check to see if ice is coating the coils. If so, you need to do some trouble-shooting to determine what causes the A/C to freeze up. First, locate the drainage hole and make sure it is clear. Water should be running out of the drainpipe. If it is not, the condensation is going somewhere, and most likely doing some damage when it gets there. It may be draining back into the unit and causing a freeze-up. Continue reading

Vacations and Energy Savings Go Hand in Hand — Let Us Show You How

Vacations and Energy Savings Go Hand in Hand -- Let Us Show You HowWho doesn’t love to go on a well-deserved vacation, especially when summer arrives? What you might not realize is that vacations and energy savings can easily go hand-in-hand, as long as you know what to look for. Here are some of our favorite ways to save energy while you’re out of town during this heating season: Continue reading

Let it Flow: Tips to Unclogging a Drain

Let it Flow: Tips to Unclogging a DrainWhen your water stops going down due to a clogged drain in your bathroom or kitchen, it can be both annoying and disgusting. There are a number of easy fixes, however, and we’ve compiled our favorite tips to unclogging a drain in your Portland-area home: Continue reading

Water Heater Choices Can Be Dizzying: Do Your Homework

Water Heater Choices Can Be Dizzying: Do Your HomeworkHomeowners don’t have to wait for remodeling projects, or for old appliances to fail, before considering a new water heater for their home. Forward planning is a good idea, removing the potential to make rushed and costly mistakes. Water heater choices can be dizzying, so a little homework is a good idea. Continue reading

Balanced Humidity in Your Portland Home: Here’s How You Achieve It

Balanced Humidity in Your Portland Home: Here's How You Achieve ItHaving balanced humidity is important, especially for Portland area homeowners who experience extreme moisture during summer and excessive dryness during winter. When indoor environments have too much or too little humidity, it can cause potential health problems, damaged possessions, and overall discomfort indoors. Maintaining balanced humidity plays a major role keeping a healthy and comfortable home. Continue reading