Tag Archives: HVAC tips

3 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your HVAC System

3 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your HVAC SystemWhile Portland might not have the most challenging climate, you can still run up high heating and cooling bills if you don’t plan ahead. With a few simple steps, though, you can help your HVAC system perform more effectively and efficiently.

Invest in an Energy Audit

Your furnace and air conditioner will have a hard time keeping you comfortable if all the warmth or cooling they provide is quickly lost through your walls and ceilings. Areas with insufficient insulation and air leaks around the windows, doors, utility line penetrations, and other areas waste energy, forcing your system to work harder and use more energy to maintain the temperatures you want.

During an energy audit, your technician will bring in equipment to zero in on points of energy loss so you’ll know where to invest in improvements. For example, using an infrared camera, your technician may discover you’re losing energy through the roof. You’ll then know to air seal the attic and add more insulation.

Keep up on Maintenance

During just one season, your furnace or air condition sustain minor wear and tear issues that have a major effect on their efficiency. Loose wires and corroded contacts increase electrical resistance, dust on the indoor evaporator coil makes it harder for the coil to cool passing air, and incorrect motor voltage and amp draw can cause excessive energy use.

As part of an annual maintenance inspection, your technician will find and correct problems like these to keep your HVAC system at maximum efficiency and prevent sudden breakdowns.

Upgrade Your System

If your furnace or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it’s nearing the end of its life expectancy. With each passing year, HVAC equipment drops in efficiency and newly manufactured models are more efficient that older models were even when they were new. Upgrading to new, Energy Star-qualified models could cut your heating and cooling bills by up to 20 percent, assuming the system is correctly sized and installed.

To learn more, 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).

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Tips for Simple Summer HVAC Maintenance

Tips for Simple Summer HVAC MaintenanceIn Lake Oswego, we are blessed with one of the most moderate summer climates in the country. That said, we do have our scorchers when temperatures climb. Warmer weather, coupled with our omnipresent humidity, means it’s time to turn the air conditioner on. That’s why even in the warmer times, it’s a good idea to practice a bit of heating and cooling maintenance.

Here are some tasks that should be on your maintenance list every year:

  1. Schedule your air conditioner preventative maintenance inspection. Even if you don’t use the air conditioner that much, it’s always good to have it looked at once a year. Over time, Have your Heating and Cooling technician check refrigerant levels, inspect the condensate drain for leaks. Check the controls and thermostat, inspect the wiring and look at the coils. You’ll be ahead of the game if you fix small problems before they become big problems.
  2. Before you turn on your A/C, have a look around the outdoor condenser to ensure it’s free and clear of weeds, branches and anything else that might obstruct air flow. Trim grass and weeds, prune crowding shrubs to two feet away and remove any limbs that might fall on the unit. Indoors, check supply and return vents to ensure furniture, drapes and carpet are not blocking air flow.
  3. Change the air filter. Start the cooling season with a clean filter. A dirty filter will impede air flow, causing your A/C to slow down and work harder to cool your home. Not only does that cost you more, but you also will feel less comfortable. Keeping a clean air filter is important to maintaining good air quality.
  4. Monitor the humidity in your home. Buy an inexpensive hygrometer to check humidity levels. In summer, humidity should ideally be no more than 40 percent. We know that’s a challenge in our climate, but you can help your A/C do its job of dehumidifying by taking shorter showers, fixing leaks and installing exhaust ventilation in the bathroom.

To learn more about summer HVAC maintenance, contact Roth Heating and Cooling of Lake Oswego.

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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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).

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Back-to-School HVAC Tips

Back-to-School HVAC TipsWith the turning of the year in Portland, it’s a good time to make sure that your home will be cozy through the Pacific Northwest’s rainy winter. Now is the time to check over your home HVAC system and make sure that everything is in tip-top shape for the winter months ahead. Here are some of the tasks that should be on your to-do list:

  • Schedule seasonal maintenance. Before you switch your furnace on for the first time, have an HVAC technician come out and have a look at it. Seasonal maintenance can ensure that your system works at its peak efficiency throughout the heating season, and it can also help to detect and head off any potential larger issues.
  • Clean the coils of your air conditioner or heat pump. The indoor an outdoor coils of your A/C or heat pump transfer heat energy from (or into) your home. If they’re dusty, they can’t do so as efficiently, which means that you’ll spend more money on the same amount of cooling or heating.
  • Seal air leaks in your ductwork. Air leaks and insufficient insulation in home air ducts accounts for a 30 percent energy loss in many homes: conditioned air simply never reaches the living areas it’s intended for. Save money and energy by sealing any leaks, and making sure ducts are adequately insulated.
  • Change the air filters for your HVAC system. Clean air filters allow air to flow freely through your system, while clogged filters slow airflow and put strain on your system’s fan motor. That strain can lead to total system failure.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier. High humidity can encourage the growth of mold, mildew, bacteria, and fungus, which can threaten your health and the health of your home. A dehumidifier will help you manage indoor moisture through the rainy months.

If you want to know how you can prepare your home HVAC system for the winter ahead, give us a call 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: “geralt/Pixabay”