Tag Archives: thermostat

Why You Should Replace Your Thermostat When You Get a New HVAC System

Why You Should Replace Your Thermostat When You Get a New HVAC SystemIf you need a new air conditioner this summer, think beyond replacing your system. You might also want to consider getting a new thermostat while you’re at it. When you replace thermostat, you’ll have a better chance to make sure your new air conditioning system is running as efficiently as possible.

The Connection Between Thermostats and Air Conditioners

Your thermostat plays an important role in helping your air conditioner run when it should. Any problems with your thermostat can lead to your air conditioning running more often than it should or not running enough. Having your new air conditioner run more often than it needs to leads to more wear and tear on it, which can shorten its life span. You can also expect to have higher energy bills when this happens, since your system is using more energy. If your air conditioning doesn’t run enough because your thermostat says it’s cooler in your home than it really is, you might set it higher. This can also lead to your air conditioning running more often than normal, resulting in higher energy bills and an increased risk of having it break down.

Manual vs. Digital Thermostat

When you decide to replace thermostat with your air conditioner, keep in mind that you should make the switch to a digital thermostat. These thermostats have the settings needed to help newer air conditioners run efficiently. A manual thermostat might compromise your new air conditioner’s ability to cool your home while using less energy, since the settings aren’t as precise.

Greater Convenience

Another reason to replace thermostat with your air conditioning is that it’s easier to have both done at once rather than having them replaced at separate times. While you’re having your air conditioning replaced, technicians can take care of installing a brand new thermostat and making sure that it works correctly. This can give you peace of mind that your air conditioner will run smoothly all summer long.

If you need a new HVAC system and thermostat, please contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We offer dependable HVAC 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).

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).

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Signs It’s Time for Thermostat Replacement

Signs It's Time for Thermostat ReplacementIf it’s time for thermostat replacement, will you recognize the warning signs? Thermostat malfunctions may be very conspicuous or they may be quite subtle, like simply poor efficiency and diminished indoor comfort. While a few DIY fixes may remedy simple problems, thermostat replacement is usually the more cost-effective way to deal with major malfunctions. In many cases, it’s also an opportunity to upgrade to a more advanced, digital thermostat, as well.

Here are some common issues that may warrant thermostat replacement:

  • Thermostat actuates at wrong temperature. If your thermostat activates the A/C or furnace at some temperature other than the one it’s set for, the thermostat sensor is out of calibration or defective. Some units have an adjustment that allows you to adjust thermostat calibration by plus or minus 5 degrees. However, if the difference between the thermostat setting and the temperature where it actuates is more than 5 degrees, replacing the thermostat is the only option.
  • Rapid on/off cycling. Temperature changes caused by a nearby exterior door opening and closing, or exposure to direct sunlight, may turn the HVAC system on and off too frequently. Relocating the thermostat may help. An over-sized furnace or A/C may cycle frequently, as well. If neither of these explanations applies, the issue is almost certainly thermostat-related and replacement is indicated.
  • Functions run nonstop. If the Heat or Cool functions stay on continuously without cycling off, first make sure the thermostat is set to Auto and the desired thermostat temperature setting is correct. If those check out, replacing the thermostat is probably the right call.
  • Thermostat is obsolete. An outmoded manual thermostat is a throwback to a bygone era of cheap energy and less convenience. The price of a new digital programmable thermostat will be compensated by lower monthly heating/cooling costs in the first year of operation. The user-friendly features offered by a digital model are also a vast improvement over the old-school manual model.

If your seeing signs that it’s time for thermostat replacement, contact the experts 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).

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New Features You Should Look for in an HVAC System

New Features You Should Look for in an HVAC SystemLike many products and services, high-tech digital features have been utilized in the HVAC industry to provide more efficient and lasting products. With so many new features introduced in recent years, it can be quite a chore to keep up with it all. Read on to see if the following HVAC components spark your high-tech interest!

Wi-Fi Thermostats

The latest thermostat technologies incorporate Wi-Fi and digital features that put home automation at your fingertips. If you are still using a standard digital thermostat or an antique manual box or dial type, take a look at some of the great features Wi-Fi thermostats offer:

  • Control your home’s HVAC system with your smartphone or computer.
  • Program four or more temperature changes to save energy.
  • Receive text or email alerts regarding HVAC maintenance and malfunctions.
  • Control multiple thermostats in a zoning system from one device.
  • Some Wi-Fi thermostats “learn” your preferred temperature and schedule habits and automatically adjust temperature for best energy savings and comfort.
  • Receive automatic software updates.
  • Receive weather reports.

Variable-speed Technology

Variable-speed technology gives you constant comfort by operating at the exact cooling and heating output needed to keep your home comfortable. Conventional air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces use fixed-speed blower motors that operate at 100 percent capacity.

Variable-speed blower motors adjust airflow speed up or down as needed in as little as one percent increments. The result is lower energy usage, quieter operation, and exceptional home comfort.

Air conditioner and heat pump compressors are also available with variable-speed digital features — producing less noise, less vibration, and lower energy bills!

Electronic Expansion Valve

The thermostatic expansion valve (TXV or TEV) on your air conditioner or heat pump is the device that controls the amount of refrigerant flowing into the evaporator coil. Many high-efficiency air conditioners and heat pumps use an electronic expansion valve (EEV) for greater accuracy, efficiency, and comfort.

To learn more about the best HVAC digital features and components for your needs, contact the experts at Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve helped Portland-area homeowners make great HVAC system decisions since we opened our doors in 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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On or Auto: Which is the Better Thermostat Setting for Your Canby Home?

On or Auto: Which is the Better Thermostat Setting for Your Canby Home?By understanding your thermostat’s fan settings, you will gain more control over your comfort and potential energy savings. The decision to use the “on” or the “auto” setting plays an important role in how your home feels, air quality and operating expenses. Here is how these settings compare to each other.

General Comfort

When you have set the fan control to “on,” it will run continuously even when the air conditioner has finished a cycle and is not actively cooling the air. This increases comfort because air temperature in the home remains more even. Instead of a sudden halt to cool air, you will notice a more gradual change. For instance, the ductwork will still be cool from the previous cycle and, unless something has gone amiss, air coming from the registers should still be relatively cool. In addition, the flow of air will have time to permeate the home’s rooms and diminish warm spots.

Air Quality

Setting the fan to “on” is also the better choice regarding indoor air quality. The constant flow of air prevents stagnation and since the air is moving through the air filter more often, the result is cleaner air.

Expense

The “auto” thermostat setting typically comes out ahead in a positive way regarding monthly energy costs. It uses less energy because the fan runs only a short amount of time and at a relatively slow speed.

However, the fan will experience more wear and tear at this setting. Like many types of mechanical devices, the strain of starting and stopping can be greater than if it were left continually running.

When you upgrade your air conditioner, you can get around the drawbacks of both settings by choosing one with a variable speed fan motor. Fan speed is automatically adjusted to meet the immediate climate needs of the home. Most of the time the fan runs at very low speeds, and this reduces the operating costs while offering more comfort and improved air quality.

For more about choosing the right thermostat setting and saving energy, please 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).

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The Benefits of a Wi-Fi Thermostat in Your Home

The Benefits of a Wi-Fi Thermostat in Your HomeEven in the mild Portland-area climate, it can be hard to maintain indoor temperatures that are both comfortable and energy efficient. A Wi-Fi thermostat helps you do this even when you’re not at home.

The Wi-Fi Thermostat Difference

A programmable thermostat allows you to select different temperatures for different time periods during the day. Once programmed, the thermostat automatically keeps your home at your preferred temperatures. This lets you run your system at the most efficient temperatures without the hassle of constantly fussing with the thermostat.

The downside is that you can change the thermostat temperatures only when you’re at home. If anything changes while you’re out, you have no way to adjust the thermostat in response. A Wi-Fi thermostat is synced with your home’s Wi-Fi router, allowing it to connect to the Internet. This lets you adjust the thermostat from anywhere through a computer or an app on your smartphone.

What a Wi-Fi Thermostat Can Do for You

Convenient monitoring — Your thermostat will send an alert to your smartphone if your home’s temperature rises or falls outside your selected range or if the system shuts off unexpectedly. This way you’ll be able to keep your home’s temperatures under control to avoid energy waste.

Comfort you can count on — If your plans change while you’re away from home, you can easily adjust your thermostat temperature as necessary from your office or anywhere else. When you find out you’ll be getting home earlier than expected, you can select a temperature that will ensure your home is comfortable when you get in. End up staying out late? Select a more energy-efficient temperature for that time.

Carefree travel — During your vacations and weekends away, you can rest assured your thermostat will let you know if a problems arises. If the weather changes suddenly, you can adjust your thermostat settings as necessary to protect your home from damage.

If you want to enjoy a thermostat like this in your home, get in touch with us at Roth Heating & Cooling 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).

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Looking to Save Money This Fall? Turn Down Your Water Heater Temperature

Looking to Save Money This Fall? Turn Down Your Water Heater TemperatureSaving energy saves money. It also reduces your Portland home’s carbon footprint, which helps the environment and preserves resources. If you haven’t considered that your water heater temperature can affect energy bills, you may want to reconsider. Read on for easy energy-saving tips for water heating.

Benefits of Lower Temperature

Water heater temperature from manufacturers is generally set to 140 degrees. The reason is to kill or neutralize germs and bacteria. Though, water temperature this hot can cause scalding, increase energy costs, and lend to corrosion of the water heater and pipes.

A hot water temperature of 120 to 122 degrees has been found effective at controlling germs and bacteria, and you can save as much as 10 percent on water-heating costs. Since water heating accounts for up to 20 percent of total household energy usage, you can keep more money in your wallet and prevent scalding with lower temperatures.

Turn Back the Thermostat Dial

Turning down the water heater temperature is a simple task. The thermostat for gas water heaters is on the gas valve. Turn it back toward the “low” indicator, wait a few hours, and test water temperature at the most distant faucet.

For electric water heaters, you’ll need to remove one or two panels on the bottom and top of the tank. Turn off the circuit breaker before you do this. Set both thermostat dials to the same setting. Wait a few hours and test the temperature with a thermometer at a faucet.

More Water Heater Savings

Water heaters offer more ways to save energy and keep more energy dollars in your pocket. Consider these tips:

  • Schedule water heater maintenance each year.
  • Use foam sleeves to insulate the inlet and outlet pipes to the water heater.
  • Continue on and insulate all hot water pipes in your home.
  • Drain one gallon of water from the drain bib every other month to reduce sediment and improve efficiency.
  • If you have an older system, wrap it with insulation designed for your model to reduce standby heat loss.

If you have questions about lowering water heater temperature, contact Roth Heating & Cooling today.

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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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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Setting Your Thermostat: Fan On or Auto?

Setting Your Thermostat: Fan On or Auto?Whether you have a standard digital or manual thermostat, or a more advanced programmable or WiFi thermostat, you may have wondered about the fan setting. The “cool” and “heat” settings are obvious, but deciding upon the best fan settings — “on” and “auto” — takes a little more thought. Read on to learn how setting your thermostat fan to “on” or “auto” affects comfort, efficiency and indoor air quality.

Fan “On” or “Auto”: What’s the Difference?

The thermostat settings “cool” and “heat” control the cooling and heating systems and home temperature. The fan settings “on” and “auto” control the operation of the blower after the cooling and heating systems turn off.

Setting the thermostat fan mode to “on” will make the blower run continuously after the cooling or heating system has turned off. “Auto” fan mode turns the blower on and off in time with the cooling and heating systems.

Better Comfort and Efficiency

Running the fan continuously in the “on” setting doesn’t affect comfort very much, unless you just like to hear the HVAC system running. Using ceiling fans in occupied rooms to promote airflow is more practical and uses less energy, so if you want to keep energy bills in check, setting the thermostat fan mode to “auto” is best.

Additionally, by running the blower continuously after the cooling cycle ends, water condensation on the evaporator coil evaporates and returns back to the living spaces to increase indoor humidity.

Better Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality is an important element of home comfort and health. Many homeowners don’t realize that the indoor air quality of the average home is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Using the “on” setting for continuous airflow helps boost indoor air quality by running airflow through the furnace filter more times.

However, you may still face higher energy bills. The best solution for saving energy and maintaining healthful indoor air quality is a whole-house air purifier.

For more tips on setting your thermostat for the best results, contact Roth Heating & Cooling today. We’ve helped Portland area homeowners with HVAC solutions 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).

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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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