Posts Tagged ‘Clackamas’

Everything You Need to Know About Your Air Filter

Monday, September 3rd, 2018

man-holding-air-filterThe most overlooked and underappreciated part of your HVAC system is none other than… the air filter! The air filter is the silent defender in your HVAC system, blocking out dust and dirt and contaminants from causing a mess of problems for your system. In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about air filter types, how to change it, and what happens when you don’t change it.

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What Are My Options for Heating Installation?

Thursday, 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.

Where Are Air Cleaners Installed and How Do They Work?

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Just from reading the name, most people in Oregon City can figure out what whole home air filtration systems do. But what many people don’t know is where they are placed in your house and how they actually filter the air. There are many different kinds of home air filtration systems and each one cleans your air in a different way.

Mechanical Air Filters

Air filters are installed as part of your heating and air conditioning system. They are most commonly installed in the air handler that distributes clean air to the rest of your house. As the air passes through the filter, particulates, bacteria and viruses, pollen, pet dander and other contaminates are trapped and removed from your air supply. Depending upon your needs, the filters come in varying sizes: some are designed to filter very tiny contaminates like viruses, while others are made to trap larger particulates like dust. Ask the experts at Clean Air Act, Inc. which filter is right for your Oregon City home air filtration needs.

Electronic Air Filters

Electronic air cleaners differ from mechanical air filters in that they use an electronic charge to trap particles similar to the way static electricity works. There are several types of electronic air filters. Electrostatic precipitators are installed in your air handler where they draw air across an ionized section of the filter and attach a positive electrical charge to the particles in the air. These charged particles are attracted to, and accumulate on, negatively charged collector plates.

Ion generators, another type of electronic filter, work in a similar way but without the collector plates. These devices emit charged ions into the air where they attach to other particles and collect on objects like furniture, walls or the ground.

Oregon City Home Air Filtration Installation Experts

Your family deserves to breathe clean air. For people suffering from existing respiratory problems, air filtration can be a necessity. Whole home filtration systems can reduce allergy flare-ups that result from pollen, dust and other pollutants like pet dander. Many homes in the Oregon City area are well-insulated which can leave little room for ventilation of normal allergens. Clean Air Act, Inc. has a full range of products that can remove pollutants from your air and ensure that you and your family are comfortable all year long.

For more information about improving the air quality in your Oregon City home with products such as an Aprilaire Air Cleaning system, give Clean Air Act, Inc. a call today!

Troubleshooting Your Furnace’s Air Flow Problems

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Whenever you notice furnace air flow problems in your Mulino home, you can usually do a little troubleshooting and solve the issue on your own. Most air flow problems can be fixed easily and quickly. Here are a few guidelines to get you started, but if you need help or notice other problems with your furnace, call a qualifiedThe Clean Air Act Inc. heating technician.

Furnace Filters:
Checking the furnace filter is the first step you should take when there are any issues with your furnace, but especially with air flow problems. If a filter is dirty enough, the furnace will not come on at all. Ultimately, a clogged or dirty filter restricts the air flow, and this is the source of air flow problems ninety percent of the time.

Supply Registars and Cold Air Returns:
Once you’ve replaced or cleaned the filter, check your cold air returns, which are the vents that draw in the cold air in forced air systems. When a cold air return is blocked  by furniture or other obstructions, they cannot draw in enough air to allow the furnace to put out an adequate amount of hot air. Make sure they are open if nothing is blocking them.

Next, check your supply registers, which are the vents that supply the warm air, and make sure they are open as well. Whenever your heat is on, all of your supply registers should be open. Closing some vents will not increase the air flow in other vents in the house. Closing off one or two in areas where heat is not always needed will not hurt your system; however, when you close too many supply registers, it can cause problems with the ductwork and eventually damage the furnace if the air pressure is not correct.

Clean Your Vents:
You should have a qualified Mulino HVAC technician professionally clean your ducts and vents at least once a year, which is another reason it’s important to schedule annual maintenance visits. A professional cleaning is typically part of the yearly heating system inspection. You can help by vacuuming your vents regularly, particularly during the months the heating system is not in use, or at least before you turn it on in the fall. Simply cleaning your vents can help air flow and extend the life of your entire heating system.

If you continue to experience air flow problems, call a certified heating technician at The Clean Air Act Inc.. There could be a more serious issue, or if you have a newer furnace, your original ductwork could be the wrong size for that furnace model.

Heating Guide: Heat Pump Load Calculation

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

When purchasing a heat pump, the first thing you should do is determine what type of heat pump you want and how big it needs to be to provide ample heating and cooling to your Hillsboro home. If you’re unsure what you need, here are some tips to size a heat pump for your home’s particular needs.

The Importance of Sizing

Before buying anything, consider the cost of an oversized heat pump. A lot of homeowners opt for the biggest device on the market, but they don’t realize that they’re paying more than necessary for their device. An oversized device cycles on and off more often than is necessary and wears down much faster, resulting in an increased electric bill and faster wear on the device. It’s not good for your heat pump or your wallet.

How to Size

To correctly size a heat pump, the first step is to perform a load calculation. This is done by measuring the total volume of the rooms being heated (in cubic meters) and then determining the heating factor based on the type of insulation used.

There are different measurements depending on the type and R-rating of your insulation. For example, a single external wall without any additional insulation has a heating factor of 15. The number of external walls, the insulation in those walls and/or the ceiling and the rating of the insulation will determine the total heating factor for the room.

You will then divide the room volume by the heating factor to determine the number of KW (converted to BTUs) needed to heat that particular room.

Professional Sizing

The reason it is so important to call a professional is that certain things, like poorly insulated windows, cracks in the foundation, leaks in the ducts and other issues can have an impact on the overall heating factor measurement. Additionally, the type of heat pump you choose must be effective when connected to an air handler for your entire home. A professional can make these measurements and ensure the right sized device is selected.

If you’re unsure about anything related to sizing and selecting a new heat pump for your home, call a professional in. They will perform a full load calculation and present your options for a new heat pump based on those calculations.

Common Heat Pump Problems

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Heat pumps are great pieces of machinery to have in your Aurora home, but they are not perfect. They come with their own problems and issues. Usually these can be fixed pretty easily, but it’s good to know what you are looking for.

Below are some common problems encountered by heat pump owners, along with some brief troubleshooting and repair advice. However, for any serious repair job, it is recommended that you call in a professional to fix the problem. This is to ensure the best performance of your heat pump, as well as for your own safety.

  1. No Heat – Obviously, this is a problem. A heat pump should do two things—heat and cool. If it’s not heating at all, something is wrong. Sometimes, this is just a matter of the power supply being interrupted. Press the “Reset” button on the power supply. If that does not fix it, it could be that the power supply has failed or the motor is overloaded.
  2. Incorrect Temperature – For example, you set the thermostat at 72 degrees, but even after several hours, the temperature won’t get over 70 degrees. This can be a problem with the sensor in the thermostat or with the heat pump itself. However, it could also just be the result of very cold temperatures outside. Heat pumps have trouble keeping up when the weather is consistently below 30 degrees Fahrenheit or so, so it may just need help in the form of a supplemental heat supply.
  3. It’s Noisy – Heat pumps are generally designed to run very quietly, so if you notice a lot of noise, there is probably something going on. Common culprits for this type of issue include loose connections, like screws, nuts and bolts. Check for any loose fittings on the heat pump. Also, make sure the contractor who does your annual heat pump inspection tightens these fittings as part of his maintenance routine.
  4. Frozen – This can be indicative of a few underlying problems, but the most common is dirt in the air filter. When filters get clogged, the heat pump can get frosted, ultimately leading to freezing. Check the air filter and make sure to change all air filters regularly.

Heat pumps can experience other issues, but these are some of the more common ones. Generally, though, heat pumps are pretty headache-free machines. Be sure to call a professional repair person is you experience any issues with your heat pump.

Why Should I Clean My Air Ducts?

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Everyone in Hillsboro knows it’s important to keep your home’s air ducts clean, but why? Many people ask that question, and it’s important to understand why you are doing such a chore so that it has a purpose.

Actually, there is no one reason why your air ducts need to be kept clean—there are several, all of which are connected to one another. Here are five of them for you to consider:

  • Efficiency – Clean air ducts allow the air to flow through much easier and more readily, so your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump won’t have to work as hard to ventilate the house. This makes for more efficient operation and lower energy consumption.
  • Performance – When your HVAC system does not have to work as hard to push air through the ductwork, it will perform better. Your home will be more comfortable and better ventilated.
  • Longevity – Because your HVAC system is operating more efficiently, it will be able to perform at a high level for a longer period of time. Well-maintained systems last longer than those that are not taken care of, and cleaning the ducts is part of good HVAC maintenance.
  • Savings – Clean ducts can save you a lot of money over time. Your energy bills will be lower because of how efficiently the whole system is running. You will spend less on maintenance and repair costs, because the system is being well-maintained. And, as an added bonus, your ducts will last longer because of the decreased risk of corrosion and damage from being dirty.
  • Health – Last, but certainly not least, clean air ducts mean clean air, which is important for your health and your family’s health. Especially if you have pets, if you smoke or live with a smoker, or if anyone in the house has allergies or asthma, cleaning your air ducts is a must. You could even include the decreased frequency of doctor visits under the savings mentioned above!

Clean air ducts go a long way toward making your home a pleasant place to live, as well as making home ownerships as worry-free as possible. Yes, it entails some extra work and/or expense, but in the end the benefits far outweigh the cost.

What Is a Downflow vs. an Upflow Furnace?

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

When you go looking to buy a furnace in Clackamas, you may well be surprised by how many different elements go into making a good purchasing decision. There are simply so many different kinds of furnaces available now and they each are more appropriate for certain situations. That means that finding the one that’s right for you is less about finding the one best unit than it is about finding the one that is the best match for your particular circumstances.

This applies to the type of fuel the furnace uses, its energy efficiency, and whether it’s an upflow furnace or a downflow furnace. Energy efficiency and fuel types are probably things that you’re more or less familiar with. But what are we talking about when we classify a furnace as an upflow or downflow model?

Well, it’s pretty much what it sounds like. These terms refer to the direction the air flows as it is taken in and heated by the furnace. So in an upflow furnace, the cool air is taken in at the bottom, warmed, and then expelled at the top. A downflow furnace, on the other hand, takes in cool air at the top and expels heated air at the bottom.

While this is all very exciting, it may still not be obvious what impact this will have on your decision about what type of furnace to buy. The main thing you’ll have to think about when you’re deciding between an upflow and a downflow furnace is where the furnace will be placed in your house.

An upflow furnace is generally installed in the basement so that the heated air is directed towards the parts of the house you want cooled and so that the furnace can be appropriately vented outside of the house. On the other hand, a downflow furnace would be installed in your attic for the same reasons.

So where you want to have the furnace installed is probably the biggest thing to take into account as you’re comparing these two types of equipment. Of course, whether you pick an upflow or a downflow furnace, you’ll still have to select the appropriate AFUE, size and fuel source to best meet your needs. But making the choice between upflow and downflow can at least make it easier to narrow down your options.

How to Maximize Savings in Your Home

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

When you are thinking about different ways you might be able to save money around your Welches house, the tendency is to think big. Maybe you need to upgrade to a more energy efficient furnace, or it could be time to install a new central air conditioning system. Maybe it is even a good idea to switch to solar or geothermal power.

But before you do any of that, you may want to try some quick and easy ways to save money around the house with the equipment you already have. Here are 8 great ways to cut your power usage and keep those energy bills down without investing a lot in new equipment.

  1. Seal Up Your House – No matter how energy efficient the heating and cooling systems are in your house, you will be using more energy than necessary if your house is not tightly sealed. Make sure there are not cracks or places where drafts can get in and you will start saving money right away.
  2. The Right Thermostat Setting – Are you really going to notice the difference between 72°F and 69°F? Probably not, but you will save about 3% off of your monthly heating bill for every degree you turn the thermostat down. The same goes in the summer too, just backwards.
  3. Programmable Thermostats – And while we are on the subject of thermostats, it is a good idea to invest in a new one with programmable settings. That way you will be able to set your house to be warm when you will be there and you do not have to pay to keep it warm all day long if it is empty.
  4. Ceiling Fans – Ceiling fans can help keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Plus, they cost very little to run so they are a great investment.
  5. Light Bulbs – Switching to energy efficient fluorescent bulbs all over your house will save you a ton even though they cost a bit more to begin with.
  6. Lights Out – But energy efficient bulbs will only get you so far. You should also be sure to turn off the lights in any room you are not using.
  7. Power Strips – Many home appliances draw a small amount of power even when they are not turned on. Use a power strip to easily cut the power to them completely and eliminate that drain.
  8. Sealing Windows – Plenty of air can come and go through your windows as well. Upgrading to more energy efficient windows is certainly an option, but you can also help to seal up your home inexpensively by covering your windows with plastic.

What Features Should I Look for When Buying an Air Conditioner?

Friday, August 12th, 2011

There are so many different types and styles of air conditioners on the market these days in Gresham, it can be difficult to figure out what features are worth paying attention to when it comes time to buy one for yourself.

Of course, the most important thing to do is make sure you get an air conditioner that’s appropriately sized for the space you’re trying to cool. But what should you look for beyond that? Here are a few features you might like to have on the unit you purchase:

  • Energy Efficiency – The more energy efficient your air conditioner is, the less your cooling costs will be. It’s as simple as that. So when you’re evaluating devices, remember that it’s worth paying a little bit more up front for a more energy efficient unit. It will save you money in the long run and you’ll be doing your part to help the environment.
  • Dehumidification – Just about every air conditioner controls humidity to a certain extent in addition to cooling. But some do this better than others. There are also air conditioners with separate dehumidification settings for those days that are more humid than hot. Even when you need both cooling and dehumidification, it’s nice to have control of each of these independently.
  • Timer – Being able to program your air conditioner to switch on and off at different times of day is more than just convenient; it will save you money. You don’t want to leave your air conditioner running all day when you’re not home, but it sure is nice to come home to the comfort of an air conditioned space. If your air conditioner has a timer, you can have both. Just set the unit to come on a half hour or so before you get home and you’ll enjoy cool, refreshing indoor comfort right when you get home without paying through the nose to keep your home cool when no one is there.
  • Easy-to-Use Controls – As simple as this one seems, you might be surprised at how inconvenient the controls on some air conditioners can be. So when you’re evaluating your options, make sure you research how easy each unit is to operate. This can definitely save you from plenty of frustration in the long run.

Air conditioners come in many different shapes and sizes. To make sure your decision works best in your home, do your research well in advance. When the summer heat kicks in, you’ll be glad you did.