Residential & Commercial

Call Today!
360-771-2237
or
503-482-8208

Call Today to be Warm
(or Cool) Tonight!

HVAC Maintenance

What Maintenance Can I do Myself?

With the proper maintenance and care, your equipment will operate economically and dependably. There are a few simple, routine maintenance operations you can do to help ensure the best performance and comfort from your system.

Safety First
Before you perform any kind of maintenance, consider these important safety precautions.

  • Disconnect all electrical power to the unit before removing access panels to perform maintenance. Please note that there may be more than one power connection switch.
  • It’s best to be very careful when you handle parts or reach into units.

Routine Maintenance

Check the air filter in your furnace or fan coil every 3 to 4 weeks. A dirty filter will cause excessive strain on your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump. Replace your filter when necessary, or clean it if you have the reusable type. (If you have a reusable filter, make sure it’s completely dry before you re-install it.) The prefilter and collection cells of an electronic air cleaner should be cleaned at least two or three times per year.

Clean dust off of your indoor coil . With a vacuum cleaner and soft-brush attachment, you can remove any dust from the top and underside of the coil. Make sure you only do this when the coil is dry. If you can’t get the coil clean this way, call us for service.

Keep your outdoor condensing unit free of debris . If you keep grass clippings, leaves, shrubbery and debris away from your outdoor unit, it should only require minimal care to operate properly. Check the base pan (under the unit) occasionally and remove debris, to help the unit drain correctly. If the outdoor coil becomes dirty, use a brush or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to clean the surface. To clean dirt that is deep in the coil, contact a professional.

Take special care of outdoor condensing units in ocean environments. If your unit is located near a sea coast, you can help preserve its optimal condition with a little extra care. Ocean mist and sea breezes carry salt, which is corrosive to most metals. Although new units are made out of galvanized metal and are protected by top-grade paint, you can add life to your unit by washing all exposed surfaces and the coil approximately every three months. (Ask your installing contractor about the appropriate interval in your area.)

Make sure your outdoor unit stays in a level position . If the support for your split-system outdoor unit shifts or settles and the unit is no longer level, re-level it promptly to make sure moisture drains properly out of the unit. If you notice that water or ice collects beneath the unit, arrange for it to be drained away from the equipment.

Inspect your furnace’s combustion area and vent system before each heating season . If you find dirt, soot or rust, your system may not operate properly or at its peak efficiency. Call Heat NW and do not operate your furnace until it is professionally inspected and/or repaired.

Have oil-fired boilers inspected annually . Call Heat NW before each heating season to replace your oil filter cartridge and conduct a thorough inspection of the unit’s operation.

Clean your humidifier at the beginning of every heating season . Review your owner’s manual for the proper procedure to clean the external and internal components of your unit. The evaporator pad should also be replaced before each heating season. If the water in your area is hard or has high mineral content, you may need to clean or service your humidifier more frequently.

Clean the core and air filters on a ventilator at least every three months . You can vacuum the core of an energy recovery ventilator as long as it is dry and the outdoor temperature is between 60 F (16 C) and 75 F (24 C). Heat recovery ventilator cores can be soaked for three hours in a solution of warm water and mild soap and then rinsed. Ventilator air filters are washable: just use a vacuum to remove the heaviest accumulation of dust and then wash them in lukewarm water. Replace them after they are completely dry.

Maintaining Your Heating And Cooling System In The Northwest

Annual Maintenance Beats HVAC System Failure!

Warning! Always disconnect the power before removing access panels. There might be multiple power connections. Be cautious when handling parts or reaching into units. If you have any doubts about your abilities to perform any of these tasks, call a professional.

  1. Make certain that your outdoor equipment is level. If the footing for your split-system outdoor equipment has shifted or settled and the equipment is no longer level, re-level it immediately to make sure moisture drains properly. If you see water or ice collecting beneath the unit, find a solution for it to be drained away from the equipment.
  2. Inspect your furnace, both in the combustion area and vent system, before the heating season begins. Finding dirt, soot or rust, is an indication that your system may not be operating properly or at its peak efficiency. Call for service and do not operate your furnace until it is inspected and/or repaired by a professional technician.
  3. Call in a professional to inspect oil-fired boilers annually. Each heating season a technician should replace your oil filter cartridge and conduct a thorough inspection of the unit’s operation.
  4. At the beginning of every heating season, your humidifier should be cleaned. Review your equipment’s documentation for the proper procedure to clean the components of your unit, both internally and externally. This is a good time to replace your evaporator pad as it should be replaced annually. Depending on the water quality in your area you may need to clean your humidifier more frequently. Hard water and water with a high mineral content can create scale and build up in your equipment which leads to a decrease in efficiency and an increase of problems if left unchecked.
  5. Your ventilator should have its core and air filters cleaned at least every three months. This can easily be done by vacuuming the core of an energy recovery ventilator as long as it is free from moisture and the outdoor temperature is between 60 F (16 C) and 75 F (24 C). Soak your heat recovery ventilator cores in a solution of warm water and mild soap for up to three hours and then rinse. To wash your ventilator air filters vacuum off the heaviest accumulation of dust and then wash them in lukewarm water. Wait until they are completely dry before you reinstall them.

Your heating and cooling equipment is a machine, with proper care an maintenance it will last longer and save you money an the long run. And don’t forget about the health benefits of properly maintaining your equipment, you and your family breathe the air that this system pushes into your home.

This is a continuation of our article “5 Ways to Maintain Your Heating and Cooling System”.

5 Ways To Maintain Your HVAC System

Best Operation and Comfort from your Heating and Cooling System

Warning! Always disconnect the power before removing access panels. There might be multiple power connections.  Be cautious when handling parts or reaching into units.

  1. Check your filter once a month. Dirty filters will strain your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump. Your filter should be replaced or cleaned when necessary.  If you  have a reusable filter, dry thoroughly before re-installing it.
  2. Clean your pre filter and collection cells of an electronic air cleaner every 4 to 6 months.
  3. Dust your indoor coil with a vacuum cleaner and soft-brush attachment.  Be sure to remove any dust from the top and underside of the coil.  If you can’t get the coil clean this way, call a professional for service.
  4. Remove debris (leaves, sticks, dirt) from around your outdoor heat pump. This way it should only require minimal care to operate properly. Check the base pan under the unit occasionally to help the unit drain correctly. To clean a dirty coil, use a brush or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment for surface grime. To clean dirt that is deep in the coil, contact a professional for service.
  5. Coastal environments have their own challenges for outdoor condensing units, so your unit will require special care. Ocean spray and coastal winds carry salt, which is corrosive to most metals. Though newer equipment is made out of galvanized metal and protected by specially formulated paint, you can increase the life to your unit by washing all exposed surfaces and the coil every three months.

These 5 tips can start you on your journey of saving money through proper maintenance of your heating and cooling system.

Types Of Heating And Cooling Systems

What kind of system is right for me?

The system that is right for you will depend on a number of factors: your budget, your comfort expectations, physical factors such as what type of system currently exists in your home, the unique features of your home, and more. Below, you can explore the system options available and some of the key factors that affect your choice.

  • Types of systems
  • Key Accessories
  • System Control
  • Key factors that affect your choice

Types of systems

For the basics of heating or cooling temperature control, you typically will have four system options. Below is a list of those options followed by the approximate percentage of U.S. homes using that particular system.

  • Gas Furnace/Air Conditioner (60% of homes)
  • Heat Pump (25% of homes)
  • Small Packaged System (5% of homes)
  • Boiler

Key Accessories

Additional comfort comes from having clean, fresh air as well as proper humidity levels inside. These products will fine-tune your system to help improve your overall comfort and the efficiency of your indoor comfort system.

  • Air Cleaners
  • Ventilators
  • Humidifier

System Control

Most people are familiar with the basic thermostat. But, system control is more than picking a temperature and walking away. It includes being able to program a comfort schedule for different times of day, setting humidity levels, and even setting different temperatures for different areas of the home. Here’s how:

  • Humidifiers
  • Thermidistat TM Control
  • Zoning System

Key factors that affect your choice

Some of your home comfort decisions will be made for you based on some of the physical considerations involved, including:

  • Your home
  • Your existing system
  • Your geographical region
  • Energy sources available

Your home

Everybody’s home is different. Some are big, some are small. Older homes are not as tightly sealed as new ones, which means efficiency is reduced. The number and size of windows, what direction the home is facing, number of mature trees in the yard and many more factors can affect your comfort, and may play a part in deciding what type of system is best for you. Heat NW has the expertise to assess any unusual circumstances surrounding the specific needs of your home.

Your existing system

If you are replacing an existing system, there are physical and financial reasons to stay with the same type of system. For example, if you currently have a boiler, it will be very expensive and physically challenging to install the ductwork you need for a forced-air furnace or heat pump.

If you want a new type of system because you were dissatisfied with your comfort, remember that a new system will bring newer comfort technology and energy efficiency. Also, your comfort problem could be related to other issues, such as improper ductwork, system balance, cleanliness or freshness of air, humidity control and system control.

Your geographical region

Although there are exceptions to every rule, geography can play a role in what type of system will work best in your home. Here’s the general idea:

  • Colder regions – Furnace or Boiler/Air Conditioner combo
  • Warmer regions – Heat Pump or Air Conditioner w/ supplemental heat
  • Regions with land or space issues – Small Packaged Rooftop systems

Energy sources available

Some systems simply won’t work if the proper energy source isn’t available or too expensive to consider. The three most likely energy sources for your comfort system are electricity, gas or oil.

Electricity

If you have no gas or oil service, you will need to go with an all-electric system, which means a heat pump or air conditioner. You may be able to have a gas line installed at your home, but that could be an additional cost. In some areas, electrical rates are so low that an all-electric system can still be the best option even if gas or oil are available.

Gas

If natural gas is available, furnaces and boilers become options for you. You may still opt to have an all-electric system if that suits your home or your personal preference.

Oil

If natural gas is available, furnaces and boilers become options for you. You may still opt to have an all-electric system if that suits your home or your personal preference.

Home Efficiency

How Can I Save Money?

Shopping for bottom line price is easy. But, will the lowest priced system end up costing you money in the long run with higher operating costs or by needing to be replaced sooner? Will the lowest priced system provide the comfort you expect?

Comparing energy efficiency of different brands of heating and cooling equipment is relatively easy. Although the rating systems are standardized, allowing you to make a fair comparison, there are three different rating systems used. Each rating is used for a specific type of product (in other words, all furnaces use the same system, heat pumps use a different system, an so on). They are:

  • AFUE (gas heating)
  • SEER (cooling)
  • HSPF (heat pump heating)

AFUE (gas heating)

The efficiency of a furnace is measured in a rating known as AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). A lot like your car’s miles per gallon rating, AFUE tells you how efficiently the furnace converts fuel (gas or oil) into heat. An AFUE of 80% means that 80% of the fuel is used to heat your home, while the other 20% basically goes up the chimney.

The government mandated a minimum AFUE rating for furnaces installed in new homes is 78%. (In contrast, many furnaces manufactured before 1992 had AFUE ratings as low as 60% — so nearly half the fuel was being wasted.) Furnaces with AFUE ratings of 78% to 80% are considered “mid-efficiency”; those with ratings of 90% or higher are known as “high efficiency.” The maximum furnace efficiency available is around 96.6%.

In general, a higher efficiency furnace usually means two things:

  • higher price
  • lower monthly operating cost

If you have an older furnace (with an AFUE of about 60%), you could save up to 60% on your heating bills by replacing it with a new high-efficiency furnace. So the cost to replace your old, inefficient furnace is paid back through lower utility bills.

Energy Efficiency Payback

If you live in a cold climate, you could see a payback in a few short years. If you live in a moderate climate, it might make more sense to purchase a mid-efficiency furnace. Heat NW can use heating data from your area to help you determine about how long it would take you to recover the additional cost of a high-efficiency model in energy savings. (Of course, after the payback, you continue to save on your energy bills for the life of the system.)

SEER (cooling)

Cooling efficiency for air conditioners and heat pumps is indicated by a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating, which tells you how efficiently a unit uses electricity. The higher the number, the greater the efficiency.

The typical SEER rating of units manufactured prior to 1992 is about 6.0. Now, the government mandated minimum is 13.0 SEER. High-efficiency units have a SEER of at least 14.0; the maximum available is about 20.

HSPF (heat pump heating)

Heat pumps also have heating efficiency ratings, indicated as an HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor). In general, the higher the HSPF rating, the less electricity the unit will use to heat your home.

The government mandated minimum heating efficiency standards for new heat pumps is 7.7 HSPF. Most heat pumps manufactured before 1992 have HSPF ratings below 5.0. Today, an HSPF of 8.5 or higher is considered “high-efficiency”; the maximum available is approx. 10.0.

Energy Efficiency Payback

Higher efficiency in heat pumps and air conditioners usually means higher cost but lower utility bills. If you live in a warm and/or humid climate, you will probably see the higher cost of a high-efficiency air conditioner or heat pump paid back (through lower utility bills) in a few short years. Ask Heat NW, LLC to help you determine about how long it would take you to recover the additional cost in energy savings. Of course, after the payback, you continue to save on your energy bills.

Matching Your System for Optimum Efficiency

There’s one other factor that affects the efficiency of your air conditioning or heat pump system: the indoor coil. (Your heat pump or air conditioner is a “split system,” which means that there is an outdoor unit, or condenser, and an indoor unit, or evaporator coil.) If your condensing unit is not matched with the proper indoor coil, it may not give you the stated SEER and/or HSPF ratings and could even develop performance problems. (It’s kind of like putting two new tires on one side of your car and leaving the old, worn-out ones on the other side. You’d probably be disappointed with both the performance and the miles per gallon you get.) When you’re replacing an existing system, make sure you replace both units so your new condensing unit will give you optimal performance, efficiency and comfort.

Home Comfort

What makes my home comfortable?

The four biggest factors in your home’s comfort are:

  • Temperature
  • Cleanliness/Freshness of air
  • Humidity
  • System Control

Temperature

To most people, temperature is both the beginning and the end of any discussion involving comfort. To Heat NW, simple temperature management is only the beginning. To achieve superior indoor comfort, you’ve got to start with the basics — heating or cooling — as the foundation for your system. We offer four main product families for heating and cooling:

  • Furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Heat Pumps
  • Air Conditioners

Cleanliness/Freshness of Air

Dusty, dirty homes at any temperature can cause feelings of discomfort to many people, especially allergy sufferers.  The air in today’s tightly-sealed, well-insulated and energy-efficient homes can become stale as the same indoor air is circulated and re-circulated. The fact is with dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, skin flakes, chemical fumes, cigarette smoke, Radon gas and more, the air inside your home can be even more polluted than the air outside. Heat NW can alleviate these problems and therefore add another level of comfort with the following products:

  • Air Cleaners
  • Ventilators

Humidity

Humidity is a funny thing. In the winter, dry air can cause static electricity, itchy skin, damage to home furnishings and more. Adding humidity is a good thing because it makes the air feel warmer and more comfortable while minimizing damage to furnishings. In the summer, it is preferable to remove humidity so indoor air feels cooler and less sticky. Heat NW ‘s answer? Improved comfort through humidity control with:

  • Humidifiers
  • Thermidistat TM Control
  • ComfortHeat Technology

System Control

Some of the common comfort complaints from homeowners include: inconsistent temperatures from one room to the next, up and down temperature swings, constantly adjusting the thermostat, and more. System controls of varying degrees of sophistication can help with these issues, offering straight temperature control, programmable  allowing setting a “comfort schedule” , temperature and humidity control combined, and dividing the home into zones which can be controlled separately. Heat NW provides this kind of control with the following products:

  • Thermostats
  • Thermidistat TM Control
  • Zoning System

Outstanding Limited Warranty

Rheem supports its furnace equipment with strong limited warranties and dependable, professional service. All parts are covered by a ten-year limited parts warranty, and a limited lifetime Heat Exchanger Warranty is applicable on all models. In addition, a conditional Limited Lifetime Replacement Warranty applies to RGFG models for Rheem to provide a replacement RGFG Gas Furnace to the original purchaser if the heat exchanger fails during the lifetime of the unit.

Energy Star Compliant

Energy Saving HeatingFor energy conservation and clean air, choose a Rheem high-efficiency furnace. You could save between 15% and 40% on your utility bills (depending on the age of your existing equipment), and help the environment in the process. Utility companies may offer rebates when you purchase high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. Ask Heat NW for more information.

Superior Extended Warranty

Why Should You Choose Protection PlusProtection Plus Program


Superior Extended Warranty
  • Parts & labor coverage on mechanical and electrical failures.
  • One-call convenience that means you make one call to your participating Protection Plus contractor if your unit needs repairs and they will handle it all.
  • Transferability. Should you sell your home, your agreement may be transferred to the new homeowner for a nominal fee.
  • Trusted Service. You will enjoy the expertise and service of a professional contractor for the duration of your agreement.
  • Budget Protection. No deductibles, trip charges or service fees for covered repairs.

Contact Heat NW today and sign up for the peace of mind that comes with Protection Plus extended Service.


For non-pricing information specifically about the extended service agreement program, call Protection Plus at 877-276-4294.

Consumer Rewards Program

Consumer Rewards Program

Ask us about a Rheem Equipment Rebate.

Contact Heat NW

Find Us On The Net

Rated #1 in AC Reliability

Rated #1 in AC Reliability

The nation’s leading consumer products magazine recently reported
that tens of thousands of homeowners have found Rheem central air
conditioners are the most reliable on low incidence of repairs

We Service All Brands!

Mini Split Brands Serviced

Mini Split Brands Serviced