The Benefits of Amana Heat Pumps

March 20th, 2015

Heat pumps are popular choices for many homeowners for good reasons: they are very energy efficient, can provide your home with both heating and cooling and have an average lifespan of 20-25 years, which is longer than traditional heating and cooling systems. There are a number of companies that produce heat pumps, and the heat pumps we have chosen to offer our Estacada, OR customers is the Amana line of heat pumps. Amana has been a leader in the heating and cooling industry since 1934, and their wide product range can meet the needs of every kind of household. And as Amana experts, you can rest assured that when you need any kind of services for your Amana heat pump, including installation, repair, replacement or bi-annual maintenance, the expert technicians at Clean Air Act have the training and expertise needed to get the job done.

Benefits

One of the first benefits of the Amana line of heat pump products is the range they offer to homeowners. Whether you want a heat pump that is budget friendly or top-of-the-line, Amana has a heat pump that will fit with your needs. Additionally, there are standard benefits that come with every Amana heat pump, no matter which model you choose. These benefits are:

  • Factory-installed filter drier – these help protect the heat pump from outside debris and excess moisture.
  • Compressor sound blanket – Amana’s engineered sound-reduction cover for the compressor, made of high-density foam and a specially designed sound-control top that significantly reduces operational noise.
  • 10-year parts limited warranty – one of the best warranties available for heat pumps.
  • Environmentally-friendly refrigerant – all Amana heat pumps use R-410A, a chlorine-free refrigerant that is friendlier to the environment.
  • High SEER ratings – the SEER rating for Amana heat pumps range from 14 to 18; the mandated law requires a minimum SEER rating of 13.

Hire an Expert for Your Amana Heat Pump

Gaining the benefit of any heat pump requires hiring an expert for all work to be done, and the Amana experts from Clean Air Act are here and ready to help.

Interested to see what an Amana heat pump can do for your Estacada, OR home? Call us today and schedule an appointment.

Why Is Visual Aid Equipment Used in Duct Cleaning?

March 13th, 2015

Most people think of duct cleaning as a quick vacuuming. But professional duct cleaning involves a whole lot more than simply cleaning your registers and removing the visible dust and dirt in your ducts. Your ductwork can run long and deep, and it is in these deeper areas where dust and dirt can really accumulate and cause problems for you, your family members and your home. However, when you hire the trained experts at Clean Air Act for professional duct cleaning in Gresham, OR, you can rest assured that your duct cleaning will have great results. Why? We’ll explore this more below.

Tools of the Trade

One of the reasons professional duct cleaning has excellent results is because of the kinds of tools that are utilized in the service. Not only are professional-grade and HEPA vacuums used, but so are pneumatic tools and visual aid devices. You may be asking yourself, why use visual aid equipment? The answer is because while there are access points in your ductwork, it isn’t possible to see everything all at once – unless you have video equipment. Video equipment allows the technician to see every nook and cranny of your ductwork so that no area is missed during the cleaning process. The video also gives the technician the ability to see problem areas and handle them accordingly.

Why Schedule Duct Cleaning?

Duct cleaning isn’t just about removing dirt, dust and contaminants in your ductwork, although this is a big part of the process. It is also about helping to improve your indoor air quality and take excess stress off your HVAC system.

When you have too much dirt and dust in your ductwork, it can restrict air flow; this creates an imbalance in your HVAC system and can lead to operational issues, malfunction and possible breakdown. Excess dirt and dust can also lead to the development of mold, mildew, dust mites and fungi, all of which will blow directly into your living spaces. Professional duct cleaning removes the dirt and dust layer that can lead to these problems.

It’s recommended that your ducts are cleaned every 3-5 years, so if it’s time to clean your ductwork in Gresham, OR, call us today!

What Are My Choices with Amana Heat Pumps?

March 6th, 2015

If you have been looking for a heating and cooling system that can work effectively and without use of fossil fuels, you may want to consider the installation of a heat pump. Heat pumps can work with both ducted and ductless systems, and when properly installed, a heat pump can give you 20-25 years’ worth of service. At Clean Air Act, we are proud to carry the Amana line of heat pump products, and our technicians can install, repair, maintain and replace them at your Portland, OR, home. Why did we choose Amana? Here are some reasons:

  • All Amana heat pumps use R-410A refrigerant, which is an environmentally-friendly refrigerant
  • All the refrigerant is chlorine-free
  • Amana pays special attention to the quiet operation of their systems, so they operate at a very low noise volume
  • Each unit is equipped with a crankcase heater and filter dryer, allowing for optimal heating power during the winter months

Amana Series of Heat Pumps

Amana offers a range of heat pumps, from systems for large homes to systems for the budget-conscious homeowner:

  • ASZC series – this is Amana’s high-efficiency series of heat pumps, and there are two types: the SEER 18 heat pump and the SEER 16 heat pump. These heat pumps are typically for larger homes and/or those wanting the benefits of a high-efficiency heat pump system; they also come with a limited lifetime warranty.
  • ASZ series – for those looking for many of the benefits the ASZC series offers, but who don’t need all of them, the ASZ series is the one to look at. The ASZ heat pumps come in SEER 13, 14 and 16 ratings, giving you choices about the level of energy efficiency you’d like to be at. This series does not come with the limited lifetime warranty.
  • ANZ series – the ANZ series is great for smaller homes and those who are looking to stay within a certain budget range. The ANZ heat pump systems have SEER ratings of either 13 or 14, but they do not have the limited lifetime warranty.

For more information on how an Amana heat pump can fit in your Portland, OR, home, call the experts at Clean Air Act today!

Air Cleaner Guide: What Is a MERV Rating?

February 27th, 2015

It’s estimated that over 40 million people suffer from allergies in the US. Allergies aren’t just a problem in the outdoors; indoor allergies are also a serious problem, particularly for people who are specifically allergic to dust and pet dander. One of the best ways to clean your indoor air and alleviate a great deal of suffering from indoor allergies is to employ the use of a mechanical air filter, also known as an air cleaner. However, not all mechanical air filters work alike. How do you know which air cleaner will work best for your Oregon City home? A great first step is reviewing MERV ratings with an indoor air quality expert from Clean Air Act.

What Is MERV?

The acronym MERV stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value” and it acts as a scale. This scale was created in the 1940s, along with HEPA filters, as scientists tested nuclear bomb materials and needed high-grade filters to remove harmful particles from the air. The MERV scale runs from 1 to 20 and indicates how efficient a particular air cleaner will filter the air; the higher the MERV number, the better the air filter. However, just because the MERV scale reaches 20 doesn’t mean you should install a mechanical filter with the highest number. In fact, the highest-rated air filter a homeowner should purchase typically has a MERV of 12; this is because filters with ratings between 13-20 are HEPA filters, and these filters are so strong that they can restrict the air flow in your system, which is not a good thing. If you feel you need a HEPA filter for your home, consult with an expert first.

MERV Ranges

Wondering which MERV level may be right for your home? You should always work with a professional to pinpoint this, but here is a quick overview of the scale:

  • MERV 1-4 – these MERV ratings correlate to very low capture rate, and are typically the MERV rating of the standard air filter that comes with your HVAC system.
  • MERV 5-8 – at this MERV level, the filter can capture some mold and mildew spores, pet dander, a good amount of dust particles and some dust mite debris.
  • MERV 9-12 – this level MERV is excellent for allergy sufferers, as filters at this level can capture quite small particles of all the allergens listed above, and even some biological materials.

Adding an air cleaner to your home in Oregon City can be great for your indoor air quality, but always work with an expert for installation, repair, maintenance and replacement of an air filter. Need help? Call the IAQ professionals at Clean Air Act today!

What Is an Air Handler and Why Is It Important?

February 21st, 2015

Your HVAC system works by pushing cool or warm air, depending on the season, through your ductwork. Your HVAC is able to do this thanks to a unit called the air handler. Sometimes the air handler unit can wear out before other parts of your system, or you choose to upgrade your system and will need to install an air handler that matches the new unit. The experts at Clean Air Act bring years of air handler installation to every customer in Portland, so if you are having issues with your air handler, call us today!

What Is the Air Handler?

The air handler, also known as the blower, is the large indoor fan that blows the air generated by your furnace and/or air conditioner into your home’s ductwork for delivery into your home’s living spaces. There are two main components of the air handler, known as the blower assembly: the blower (fan), and the motor. Other important parts include the motor capacitors, the fan belt and the limit switch. Each plays an important role in the proper operation of your HVAC system.

Why Replace an Air Handler?

There are a couple of common reasons why you may need a new air handler installation. Sometimes the air handler unit can break down prematurely from aging or damage; with situations like these, it isn’t necessary to replace your entire HVAC system, just the blower assembly. In cases like these, your technician will match your new air handler as closely as possible to your current one. Other times, you may be upgrading your HVAC system, and it may be necessary to install an air handler that better matches your new system. Having an air handler that can properly handle the volume of air you need delivered to your living spaces is critical to the energy efficiency of your system and home and your personal comfort.

Not a DIY Kind of Job

Replacing your air handler is not a good choice for a DIY job. Poor installation of a new air handler can lead to numerous problems with both your air delivery and your HVAC system.

Call one of the experts from Clean Air Act and schedule an appointment for air handler installation for your Portland, OR, home.

Lupercalia: The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015

Many people may think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday essentially created by card and gift companies, but the truth is that the holiday has long-standing roots going back to the Roman Empire. The name “Lupercalia” has its origins in the word “lupus”, which means wolf, and the reason for this is that according to Roman pagan religion, the she-wolf Lupa nursed the two orphaned infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.

 

The Festival

The Festival of Lupercalia spanned two days each February, from February 13th to 15th. The festival was about fertility and was led by Luperci priests, known as “brothers of the wolf”. The festival was serious with intention (fertility) but was executed as quite a romp for both the priests and citizens of Rome. The process was this: two male goats and a dog were sacrificed at the beginning of the festival by the priests; two young Luperci were then anointed with the blood from the animals, and the hides of the animals were cut into straps. As food and drink flowed, the male priests would run around the city wearing nothing but thongs made from the animal skins, and they also carried a strap from one of the sacrificed animals. The strap was used to strike the palms of Roman women waiting for the priests in the city, as it was believed that being hit with the strap could help with infertility issues and a safe, healthy labor for women who were pregnant.

 

The Transition to St. Valentine’s Day

The Christian influence of the holiday came around the 5th century. The Roman Empire was still strong, but Christianity was rapidly taking hold throughout the world. It is believed that to try and remove the paganism from the holiday, the deaths of two men, supposedly both named Valentine, were added into the mix. During the 3rd and 4th centuries, a law created by Claudius II forbade young men eligible for military service to marry, because Rome wanted a strong army. The two men named Valentine were priests, and married young couples in secret. Both were found out and executed on February 14th, although in separate years. The Church made Valentine a saint (they chose one), and Lupercalia became St. Valentine’s Day.

 

Here’s wishing you and your loved one a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Reasons to Conduct Radon Testing

February 5th, 2015

Radon is one of those terms you hear in conjunction with homes, particularly when buying and selling, but you may not understand why. The reason you hear about radon in conjunction with homes is that radon can be a serious problem. The EPA estimates that 1 in 15 homes has unhealthy radon levels. Radon infiltration isn’t specific to a geographic area, type of home, or climate. So how do you know if your home is safe? Call Clean Air Act and make an appointment for radon testing in Troutdale.

What Is Radon?

Radon is a natural byproduct of uranium breakdown in soil, rocks and water. It is an invisible odorless and radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. In fact, radon is the number two reason why people contract lung cancer; cigarette smoking is number one. Radon is found mostly in air but it can also be found in water.

Where Is It Located?

Radon can be located just about everywhere: large buildings, small buildings, old buildings, new buildings – basically anywhere you can find rocks, water and/or soil. The problem with radon in buildings is that it can get trapped inside, and once it is trapped it can become concentrated. The good news is that there are safe levels and radon, and most people’s properties do fall into the safe category. Radon is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L), and to be considered safe, your home should not have a radon rating of more than 4 pCi/L. If it does, you will need to hire professionals to perform radon mitigation.

How Does Radon Get Into Homes?

These are the ways radon can enter your home:

  • Empty spaces in walls
  • Flooring cracks (in solid flooring)
  • Your water
  • Gaps between floors
  • Wall cracks
  • Joints

Mitigation

If radon is found in your home or in your water supply, the radon can be treated successfully. With water issues, point-of-use or point-of-entry devices can be used to filter out the radon from your water. Treatments for radon found in the air can vary, but one of the most common treatments is to use a vent pipe and a large fan, commonly known as a soil suction radon reduction system. This type of system pulls radon from beneath your home and expels it to the outside air. Other treatments include sealing cracks, creating better ventilation and using suction in other areas of your home.

Radon can be a serious problem. If you haven’t had a radon test, or have and need radon mitigation for your Troutdale home, call the trained professionals who can help: Clean Air Act.

Do I Need a Professional for Infrared Space Heating Installation

January 29th, 2015

Even if the majority of rooms in your home are heated by a central heating system such as a furnace or radiant heat source, there’s still a chance that some rooms are lacking the heating power necessary to take full advantage of them during the cold winter months. If you need to heat a small space like a detached garage, workshop, enclosed patio, or warehouse, connecting radiant heat piping or forced-air ductwork to the space can be costly, and since a lot of heat can escape from these often-uninsulated areas, you’ll end up paying a lot more every month as well.

Infrared heaters work by heating individual objects and people in the room. Invisible infrared light is absorbed into the skin. As long as the infrared rays can reach you, you’ll feel warm, which is why these heaters work best in small spaces. Infrared heaters can run on different heat sources; while most run on electricity, you may be able to purchase a natural gas model instead. Some use infrared light and heat exchangers to blow warm air into the room, while others just emit light into the room. In any case, it may seem as though installation would be fairly simple. So why would you choose a professional for infrared space heating installation in Beaverton?

The Professional Difference

One of the main reasons to choose a professional for installation is to ensure the proper size. Any heating system will suffer if it’s not sized properly for the space to be heated. An oversized heating system will draw more energy than it needs, resulting in higher energy bills. And an undersized space heater may never allow the room to reach the temperatures you desire. Professionals will take many factors into account when sizing your system, including the size of the room, the number of people who use it, and any irregularities in the shape of the room.

Another reason to select professionals is to get a thorough inspection of the system before it begins to run. Technicians can best assess whether the unit uses the proper amount of voltage or fuel, and if the space heater is located in an ideal space for maximum heat.

Call the professional heating technicians at Clean Air Act for your infrared space heating installation in Beaverton for quality service and to safeguard against any potential issues.

Why Is Duct Repair Important for Heating?

January 22nd, 2015

Ducts are one of the most unobtrusive, and vital, parts of your heating system. They serve the same function in your home that your lungs do in your body. Even though your home won’t die if the ducts aren’t working correctly, the quality of life inside will definitely suffer. Most homeowners ignore their ducts, not because of any intentional neglect but because they simply don’t think about them. It’s time to get rid of that kind of attitude and really be aware of the role that your ducts play in your home. Let’s take a look at why duct repair is so important for your heating system.

Duct Construction

The sad fact of the matter is this: ducts are often not very well constructed. The primary needs for a piece of duct to do its job properly are: be light enough to be easily secured in walls and ceilings, be cheap enough to be easily replaced if necessary, and be small enough as to be unobtrusive to the occupants of the home. When these three factors are added up, you get a part of your heating system that is not very sturdy or long lasting. At this point you may be thinking that your ducts work just fine, and they haven’t been touched in years. Well, it may surprise you to know just how in need of repair your ductwork is.

Ductwork Repair Issues

As previously mentioned, ducts are relatively flimsy and vulnerable to damage. Now, because of their location there isn’t much that can actually deal a lot of damage at once to your ducts. Unfortunately, there doesn’t have to be. As the ducts have warm air flowing through them, they expand and contract due to the temperature changes. This causes small leaks to form in the ducts, allowing heat to leak out of the ducts before reaching their destination. An average forced air system can actually lose up to 30% of its total heat output this way, according to the US Department of Energy. This is why duct repair is so important for the efficiency of your heating system.

If you haven’t had your ducts checked in a while, contact Clean Air Act. We provide duct repair throughout Beaverton.

What Are My Options for Heating Installation?

January 15th, 2015

With the massive variety of home heating systems on the market today, many homeowners find themselves at a loss when shopping for a new heater. There are so many different types, each substantially different from every other, that the scope of choice can be overwhelming. Luckily, we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at some of your options for a new home heater, along with the pros and cons of each.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are unique among heating systems, in that they move heat from one place to another instead of creating it. They are very energy efficient, as they don’t burn any kind of fuel to create heat. Instead, they use a unit on the outside of the house to siphon thermal energy from the surrounding air. This thermal energy is then sent inside to the rest of the heat pump, where it is released to warm the air being circulated through the house.

Heat pumps are great for people who want to save money on their heating bills every year. However, they do tend to suffer in very cold environments. This is because the air holds very little thermal energy at sub-freezing temperatures, making the heat pump less efficient.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps are just like air source heat pumps, with one big exception. Instead of siphoning thermal energy from the outside air, geothermal systems leech heat from the ground. Once you get around 15 feet underground, the temperature is always at 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. A geothermal system uses an underground refrigerant loop to harvest this heat from the ground, and use it to heat the house.

A geothermal system possesses all of the advantages of an air source heat pump, without the disadvantage of losing efficiency in very cold weather. The one disadvantage that geothermal heat pumps possess is that they have a much more involved installation process. For those willing to invest in the system, however, the geothermal heat pump provides a great return on investment.

If you’d like to know more, contact Clean Air Act. We provide heating installation services throughout Clackamas.