Why Correct Sizing Is So Important for Your AC Installation

April 20th, 2015

Whether you are installing a whole home air conditioner for the first time or replacing an outdated system, it is imperative that you correctly size your system to avoid future problems. Many people will tell you that all you need know for correct sizing is the square footage of your home in Portland, OR, but this is simply not true. There are a number of factors that need to be calculated in what is known as a heat load calculation. The air conditioning experts at Clean Air Act can make this calculation for you, help you choose an excellent system for your home and then install it. Just give us a call today and schedule an appointment. Continue Reading

3 Ways Air Filters Help Your Home

April 13th, 2015

A big part of your indoor comfort is having clean, healthy air to breathe, but if you don’t have it, you could feel like you are fighting an uphill battle each day inside your own home. A great way to clean your air without having to manage an individual air filtration device on your own is to install a whole house mechanical filter into your existing HVAC. While this may sound like an added device, it really isn’t. This is because a mechanical filter can typically replace the standard filter of your HVAC system. Why not just use your standard filter? The standard air filter in your heating and cooling system isn’t designed to help with air quality; it’s only job is to prevent dust and debris from entering the system, not your home. So to achieve a higher quality of air, it’s best to use a more effective mechanical air filter. What kind of benefits can you and your home gain from an air filter? Let’s take a look. Continue Reading

What Are My Options for Air Conditioning Installation?

April 6th, 2015

It’s still cool in our part of the world, but it won’t be long before it’s time to switch the thermostat from heating to cooling. If you are in need of a new air conditioner for the coming summer season, whether for a brand new installation or to replace an aging one, you’ll want to take some time to consider your available choices. There are a number of options for homeowners when it comes to air conditioning, and taking some time to review them with a trained professional helps ensure that you’ll purchase and install an air conditioning system that will fit your needs and the needs of your home for a long time. The experts at Clean Air Act can help you every step of the way, so call us today and schedule an appointment.

AC Options

Here are the air conditioning choices available from Clean Air Act:

  • Traditional split systems – this type of whole home air conditioning has an outdoor unit that contains the compressor, condenser and condenser fan, and an indoor unit that contains the evaporator and air handler. Ductwork is necessary to deliver the air.
  • Heat pumps – heat pumps can heat and cool your home and do so by transferring heat from one location to another, using refrigerant to facilitate this process. Heat pumps do not use any fossil fuels, just a small amount of electricity, and they can be ducted or ductless systems.
  • Ductless air conditioning – ductless air conditioners can be AC-only or be part of a heat pump system and provide ductless heating and cooling. Ductless air conditioners have an outdoor unit very similar to that of a traditional split system AC, but use independent indoor blowers to deliver the cool (or warm) air.
  • Geothermal cooling – geothermal systems utilize heat pumps, so they offer both heating and cooling. When it comes to cooling, the heat pump of the geothermal system absorbs the heat inside your home and transfers it to the system’s ground loop, where it is released into the surrounding soil. In the winter, the ground loop absorbs the surrounding heat, transfers it to the heat pump where it is concentrated, and then the heat is dispersed throughout your home.

Not sure which system will fit best with your home in Portland, OR? Call us today and schedule an appointment!

Common Problems That Can Develop with Air Handlers

March 27th, 2015

If you have a forced air system for cooling and/or heating, then the air is blown into your home by a large fan called the blower. The blower doesn’t work alone, though; it is part of a group of components known as the blower assembly, and when one component in the assembly malfunctions, it is likely you will have problems with your blower. It’s important to call an expert any time you have an issue with your blower or its components, and the trained specialists at Clean Air Act are here to help. Need air handler repair for your Milwaukie, OR home? Call us today and schedule an appointment.

Problem 1: Issues with the fan blades

Fan blades can loosen, bend or break, causing problems with air flow as well as potential damage to surrounding components. Problems with fan blades are often denoted by loud banging sounds, so if you hear this sound coming from your HVAC system, call for an expert.

Problem 2: Electrical problems

Electrical problems in the blower assembly can develop with wiring, especially with wires that have corroded or frayed. Electrical issues can also develop with the motor, both with wiring and with the capacitors. Any repairs that involve electricity should always be handled by a trained expert, so if you suspect the problem with your air handler may be electrical in nature, call for a specialist.

Problem 3: Limit switch malfunction

Your blower has a switch that protects your heating system while also ensuring that only warm air blows into your home during the winter months. This component is called the limit switch and if it malfunctions, it can cause your blower to run continuously, intermittently or not at all.

A malfunctioning air handler can result in low air flow and stress on your HVAC system. If you are in need of air handler repair in Milwaukie, OR, call the experts at Clean Air Act today.

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!