Archive for March, 2012

Celebrate Spring With 50% Off an Aprilaire Filtration System!

Friday, March 30th, 2012

There is no better time than right now to take care of the air quality in your home. Clean Air Act is offering 50% Off a new Aprilaire Filtration System! This offer ends April 30th, so call us today to take advantage of this outstanding deal!


Benefits of Getting a Home Energy Audit

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

You may have heard of home energy audits, in which you inspect your home to find ways to improve its energy efficiency. What you might not know is all the ways an audit can help you save energy and be more environmentally friendly for your next heating installation in Portland. Here are the four main benefits of getting a home energy audit:

Learn About Loss

The main idea behind getting a home energy audit is to figure out the heat loss (or gain) of your home. That is, how much heat are you losing to the outside world? Heat that doesn’t stay in your home obviously does little to benefit you in terms of keeping your house warm, and can be costly in terms of increased utility bills and repair costs over time.

Identify Weak Spots

Aside from determining how much heat your home is losing, a home audit can also point you in the direction of weak or thin spots in your home’s insulation. By identifying areas that are letting out the most heat, you can prioritize your strategy to prevent heat loss. Most often, this starts with doors and windows.

Opportunity to Upgrade

A good home energy auditor will present you with solutions for your heat loss problems, creating an opportunity for you to upgrade the equipment or materials in your home. This can solve your heat loss problems in one fell swoop. Such solutions include energy efficient glass, new sealant around doors and windows or upgraded insulation, especially in upper floors.

Save Money

Preventing heat loss increases the efficiency of your heating system, which saves you money. Your heating bills are reduced, and your furnace has to run less, which means fewer repairs and a longer life for an expensive piece of equipment. In short, spending money on a home energy audit and heat loss solutions are sound investments.

The benefits of a home energy audit are numerous, which is all the more reason to take advantage of having one done in your home. It is also a good thing to do for the environment!  So call The Clean Air Act today to have yours scheduled.

Three Tiered Maintenance Plan

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Maintenance is essential to keep your system in the best condition to ensure optimal performance and comfort. Call us today to find our more about our Three Tiered Maintenance Plan! 503-632-1563

How Tightly Should You Seal Your Home?

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

More and more products, like high velocity heating systems, and solutions are available to Welches residents these days to help seal our homes off from the outside world. The idea is that by keeping outside air out, our homes are more energy efficient and healthier, because all pollutants and pathogens are barred from entry.

This is a good idea in theory, but it can have its drawbacks. Most notably, sealing your home up too much can be bad for your family’s health. If your home is sealed too tightly such that there is not enough air flow from within the home to the outside and vice versa, then the indoor air just…stays indoors.

That means that all the sneezes, coughs, dust, dander, smoke and carbon dioxide stay inside with it. All that stuff can make you sick, completely flying in the face of your efforts to stay healthy by sealing your home.

Now, that’s not to say that sealing your home is a bad thing. Using LEED glass in your windows does keep heat in and increase heating efficiency. Air cleaners do help eliminate pollutants and pathogens from the outside than can make you sick. Good insulation and intact ductwork do help keep your home comfortable and efficient in both the cold and hot months.

So, sealing your home is not a bad idea. The trick is to not go overboard and seal it up so tightly that you are crossing the threshold from having a healthy home to having a giant Petri dish. You want to have a home that is insulated, but not vacuum sealed. You want a home with filtered air, but still plenty of air exchange with the outside world.  Thankfully, mechanical ventilation is a way to both keep your home energy efficient and keep your indoor air from getting stale.

To help you with this endeavor, there are guides available online, such as at the ENERGY STAR website. In addition, it is a good idea to call The Clean Air Act and ask plenty of questions when building a new home or making improvements to your current one. A qualified technician will know how to insulate and ventilate your home properly to protect your family’s health.

The Danger of Refrigerant Leaks

Friday, March 16th, 2012

In Heath your air conditioning system is filled with a chemical compound called refrigerant. This substance is what allows your air conditioner to remove heat from and dehumidify your home. It is a necessity, but it is also a dangerous chemical that, if released, can cause damage to the environment and pose health risks to your family.

Why Refrigerant Is Dangerous

There are many types of refrigerant but most air conditioners use either R-22 or Freon coolant – depending on their age. If you have received an air conditioner installation recently you may be using R410-A refrigerant, an environmentally safer, but still dangerous alternative.

All of these refrigerant types are chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs. These chemicals are controlled substances by the Environmental Protection Agency, meaning they must be properly removed and disposed of. Because your air conditioner does not consume any of coolant in operation, it should never need to be refilled unless there is a leak. Such a leak should be stopped immediately due to the immense damage CFCs can do to the environment.

If refrigerant leaks into your home it will evaporate as a gas and is harmful to inhale, causing a variety of health problems, including nausea, headache and in extreme cases asphyxiation. This is not a common occurrence but if you suspect a leak, you should call a professional immediately to inspect your air conditioner.

Damage to Your Air Conditioner

Beyond the environmental and health issues posed by a refrigerant leak, the biggest problem you will face is damage such leaks can cause to your air conditioner. Low refrigerant levels put undue stress on your compressor and can lead to damage in almost every part of the device.

Not only that but the air conditioner won’t work as efficiently. A 10% loss in refrigerant volume can result in up to a 20% increase in electricity cost to run your air conditioner.

What to Do in the Event of a Refrigerant Leak

If you suspect a refrigerant leak in your air conditioner, take action immediately. If you are in Portland, OR call Clean Air Act and they can recapture the escaped gasses and seal the leak fast. It is important not just for your safety but for the well-being of the environment.

Heat Pump Refrigeration Problems

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Heat pumps in Damascus are very complicated pieces of equipment that use a number of moving parts to compress and circulate refrigerant, and extract heat from one environment and place it in another. So, if your heat pump has refrigeration problems, it will almost certainly cause problems for the heating or cooling of your home.

Common Refrigeration Problems

There are a number of potential problems your heat pump might face, especially as it begins to age and components become worn. Some common issues include:

  • Compressor Issues – The compressor is a component in your heat pump that compresses the refrigerant gas into a liquid. This liquid is what circulates through the device and extracts heat from the outside air (or inside your home when in cooling mode). If the heat pump doesn’t turn on properly, isn’t producing enough heat or is using a large amount of electricity suddenly, it may be a compressor problem.
  • Refrigerant Leaks – Your heat pump doesn’t consume any refrigerant during operation. So, if it starts to leak refrigerant, there is likely another problem your heat pump needs to be repaired immediately (for health and environmental reasons). Common signs of a leak include suddenly higher electrical bills, inefficient heating and possibly even a faint odor near the device.
  • Freezing Up – If your heat pump freezes, you should check for any blocked air vents or registers, check the condensate line and check your filter for blockage. Most often, a freezing problem is directly related to something being clogged and is a relatively easy fix. The only way to know for sure is to call a professional to investigate, however.

A heat pump is a very complex piece of machinery with a number of moving parts that can all cause issues if not properly maintained. If your heat pump stops heating or cooling effectively and it is not a simple fix such as a filter or belt, you should call Clean Air Act to inspect for more significant problems such as the compressor or refrigerant.