Tag Archives: preventative maintenance

Tips for Preparing Your Home’s HVAC for Winter

Tips for Preparing Your Home's HVAC for WinterWhen the air turns cold and you switch on your heating equipment for the first time in nearly a year, the last thing you want is for it to not be operating properly. To keep you from being unprepared, here are a few quick winter prep tips that’ll allow your household to continue running smoothly:

Call a Technician

Annual maintenance of your heating equipment will keep it operating at peak performance for many years. A professional HVAC technician will ascertain any potential problems that might arise and make suggestions that will improve its energy efficiency. This means a more robust system that saves you money.

Test the Thermostat

If your thermostat isn’t working properly, your entire household – and its energy bill – will suffer. Before the winter season kicks into full gear, we suggest that you switch on your heating equipment to test it out. If it takes longer than expected to warm up your home, then it may be time to invest in a new thermostat, preferably a wi-fi or other advanced model.

Fix Ductwork Leaks

When air leaks occur due to holes and tears in your ductwork, the heating equipment is forced to work harder to deliver the same amount of comfort throughout your home. You can choose to either fix these problems yourself or contact a professional technician for assistance. Either way, tend to this immediately.

Check the Vents

You’d be surprised how many heating and cooling issues come down to blocked or clogged vents. It isn’t uncommon for vents to become clogged by dirt and debris, which is an easy solution to fix in a matter of minutes by removing the vents, wiping them down, and cleaning out the debris. It’s also possible that vents in certain locations may be blocked by boxes and similar items that can be removed.

For more expert advice on the winter prep needs for your HVAC system, or if you have any other questions related to home comfort, please contact the professionals at Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving the HVAC needs of Portland and the surrounding area 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).

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Why it Pays to Invest in Preventive Maintenance

Why it Pays to Invest in Preventive MaintenanceOf all the appliances in your home, your HVAC system is probably the most complicated and expensive. It also requires periodic preventive maintenance to run efficiently and dependably.

The benefits of professional attention far outweigh its cost, like:

  • Lower energy bills. Cooling and heating your home use about half your energy budget, and having your equipment professionally serviced helps lower energy use. When a system is cleaned, adjusted and lubricated, it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home comfortable. The goal of the HVAC tuneup is to bring the system back as closely as the technician can to its original factory settings.
  • Longer system lifetime. Everything mechanical wears with use, but keeping the parts clean goes a long way toward increasing their useful life. Over time, electrical parts corrode and when they do, the flow of electricity slows and heat builds. Dust on the components inside heating and cooling systems slows the heat exchange process. Your system has to run longer, which wears the parts prematurely.
  • Greater dependability. When a HVAC pro goes through your system during a preventive maintenance visit, he or she may find a part that’s not functioning as well as it should. Replacing a small part before it fails keeps your system running dependably especially during weather extremes.
  • Fewer repair costs. A failing part can have a damaging ripple effect throughout the system, and instead of needing to replace just one part, you may need to replace several others.
  • Maintain a valid warranty. Some manufacturers require periodic maintenance performed by an HVAC pro to keep the warranty active. Considering the cost of parts and labor, losing this protection could cost a good deal.

The best way to achieve the highest performance your system can provide is through routine preventive maintenance. For more information, 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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A Timeline for HVAC Maintenance and Replacement

A Timeline for HVAC Maintenance and ReplacementEstablishing an HVAC maintenance timeline helps you keep your system running dependably and efficiently for the many years they’re designed to last. These systems use many mechanical and electrical parts that need cleaning and adjusting to perform at their best. Without attention from you and an HVAC pro, efficiency and durability decline.

How Long They Last

A well-maintained air conditioner or heat pump should last between 10–16 years, and a furnace between 15–20 years. Exceptions to these parameters do occur, primarily based on usage and maintenance.

Scheduling Maintenance Tasks

Check the air filter monthly when the system runs frequently. Neglecting filter changes is the most frequent cause of high energy costs and premature system failure. Dirt slows the air flowing through the air handler, and it takes the system longer to condition your home. The longer running cycle wears the parts and drives up energy costs.

Keep the outdoor condenser clean. A clean condenser loses the heat from the refrigerant faster and keeps cooling bills lower. Hose the coils off periodically and remove any vegetation that blocks the air flow through it.

Scheduling Professional Maintenance

An HVAC pro should clean, adjust, and inspect your cooling and heating system at least once a year, preferably in the spring or fall before its season starts. These systems create vibrations as they run, use oil, and collect dust, all of which interferes with their efficiency and performance.

The goal of professional maintenance is to bring the equipment back to its original settings as much as possible. The technician will check the refrigerant level, clean and lubricate motors, and verify that all the electrical and safety components work properly.

Improper refrigerant levels drive up cooling costs and contribute to compressor wear and early failure. Gas furnaces need professional servicing once a year for greatest efficiency and safe operation.

Sticking to the HVAC maintenance timeline helps you get the most from your system monthly and prolong its lifetime. To learn more, contact Roth Heating and 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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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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Tighter Ducts Do a Better Job of Keeping the Heat In

Tighter Ducts Do a Better Job of Keeping the Heat InYou would not pay for a full tank of gasoline and then deliberately punch a hole in your car’s fuel line. But if your Portland area home’s ducts are not tightly sealed, you are doing almost the same thing with expensively heated air. No matter how efficiently your furnace operates, poorly sealed ducts rob you of energy dollars. Continue reading

Insulation Tips for the Cooler Times Ahead

Insulation Tips for the Cooler Times AheadAs the seasons change, it’s time to prepare for the colder weather ahead, scheduling annual maintenance for your heating equipment and ensuring adequate insulation. The same material that keeps your home cool in the summer will help prevent heat from escaping in the winter, increasing comfort and reducing energy bills. Read on to find out more about insulating your Portland area home. Continue reading

Programmable Thermostats: They DO Save Money if They’re Used Right

Programmable Thermostats: They DO Save Money if They're Used RightProgrammable thermostats are designed to help homeowners save energy dollars by providing convenient temperature programming changes automatically. Make sure you use the thermostat’s features wisely and consistently, and you can see nice energy savings month after month. Continue reading

A/C Maintenance That’s Important to Complete Before the End of the Summer Season

A/C Maintenance That's Important to Complete Before the End of the Summer SeasonThe summer season is winding down in Portland, autumn is approaching, and with it comes the changing temperatures. Air conditioning is used less and less, which makes it the perfect time for end-of-summer A/C maintenance. As a homeowner, you’ll want to attend to some important areas to prepare your air conditioner for the winter. Continue reading

Fall Isn’t That Far Away — Have You Scheduled Your Precision Tune-up?

Because we use them so regularly, we often take our HVAC systems for granted. Only when they break down do we realize how vital they are to our everyday comfort. That’s why, before the cooler fall temperatures arrive, it is important to get a tune-up for your HVAC system. This will help ensure you make it through the summer with no problems as well as the upcoming winter.

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