HVAC Blog | Home Comfort Inc.

HVAC Blog

Air Conditioner and Heat pump on a blue and red background

We get asked all of the time, what is the difference between an air conditioner and a heat pump? In many ways, the two systems function the same (They even look the same in most cases). Read on to learn more about the differences and which type is right for you.

Wood stove and fireplace safety; Image of a fire burning in a fireplace.

As the seasons change to fall and winter, many people are drawn back to the coziest gathering spot in their homes, the fireplace or woodstove. Beyond being cozy, fireplaces and woodstoves can provide a fantastic heat source for your home. 

No matter what type of fireplace or woodstove you have, there are a few key safety considerations to keep in mind. 

Water droplets on a window

Winter is on its way to us here in the Pacific Northwest, but we still have the fall season to get through first.

The weather and temperatures in the fall are hard to predict in the Northwest.  Some years are warm and mild, and you can wear shorts until late October.  Others years you are bundled up by a fire in September.

While it may seem like no big deal, these dramatic temperature differences can wreak havoc on your furnace, especially if you expect to run it at full blast during the very first cold spell after sitting all summer. 

To help us all out here’s some helpful advice that we got from our Grandparents: 

  1. Be prepared
  2. Never put off until tomorrow what you can still get done today
  3. Always wear clean underwear :)

To get yourself prepared below are six quick tips:

Air flow & Filters

The easiest thing for most homeowners to do is to replace your air filter. Replacing the filter removes the dirt, dust, pollen, and molds that had accumulated in your system all summer long (longer if you can't remember when your filter was replaced last). 

If you are not sure which filter to use give us a call and we can help you out. Good airflow is not only crucial to your home's comfort it is critical for your HVAC system to stay healthy to help with this be sure to keep all your vents open so heat and air can circulate properly throughout your home when running your system.

Vents

Remove, dust, and wash the vents in your home. If you have forced air system, then be sure to clean the intake vent as well.

While your vents are removed, take a look at the duct work. If it has hair, dust, legos, loose change, it is time to clean those as well. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment but be delicate. You don't want to damage the duct work. If you would prefer to have your entire home's duct system cleaned, you can schedule this with us here. {Link to form with duct cleaning as subject}

Outside

If you have a heat pump or A/C unit, you should visually inspect them for damage like bent cooling fins, leaks, and excessive dirt. To clean the unit, start by turning them off. Then using a garden hose without the spray nozzle; rinse out all the dirt, leaves, and twigs that have accumulated over the spring and summer. During your clean up if you find any signs of damage, contact us.

Safety

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous, odorless gas.  If you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, check to make sure that the batteries are working at the start of each season. If you don't have one, they are inexpensive and easy to install. Do your household a favor and install one.

Home Maintenance

In addition to HVAC maintenance now's the perfect time to check the windows and doors around your home. Seal any air leaks and eliminate drafts that enter your home. Caulking and weather stripping are inexpensive and easy to install materials that will help you reduce your energy bills and assist your furnace with keeping your home cozy.

Call in the Professionals

We can perform almost all the above system checks and an extensive list of others tasks to ensure that your HVAC system is running at its peak performance this fall and winter. Contact us today.

 

In 2017 Home Comfort received a call from the owner of Stayton Heating and Air Conditioning. They were calling to ask the owner, Joe Flande if he would once again like to take care of the families in Stayton? More specifically, Joe was asked if Home Comfort would like to purchase and run the well respected Stayton HVAC service company, to which he responded with an enthusiastic, YES!

Ductless air conditionerImagine you wanted to add-on to your house with an expanded master bedroom or new living room. Adding additional air ducts and demands to your existing forced-air system, might not be possible. For a situation like this, adding a mini-split or ductless heating and cooling system could be the perfect solution. 

"The main advantages of mini splits are their small size and flexibility for zoning or heating and cooling individual rooms." energy.com

Retrofits and expansions are where these ductless systems are the most common in the United States. However, while still relatively uncommon, some new construction and total home remodel projects are opting to use the ductless systems. 

It seems like there is a day, week or month dedicated to just about everything. Did you know that recently it was Air Quality Awareness week? It occurred between May 2 – 6 and in fact, there was a lot about air quality in the news.

Get your Air Conditioner ready for Summer now before you need it. - Flip flops in the sand

Check out these simple DIY steps you can do to get your HVAC system ready for summer.

Spring is just around the corner, and this usually means that it is time to start organizing closets, washing winter clothes, and cleaning all the major household items. We have prepared a list of important household items that need to be cleaned so that you will be prepared for the summer. 

1. Keep Surfaces Clean 

A simple way to improve the air quality in your home is to keep surfaces clean. 

An HVAC maintenance plan is an easy, important and often overlooked a way to ensure your home is as comfortable as possible. Regular maintenance can help you save money and extend the life of your HVAC equipment.

 
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