• How Your Commercial Refrigeration System Works

    You can save energy and money by working with a qualified HVAC contractor near Portland to install or upgrade your commercial refrigeration system . And when you watch the accompanying video, you’ll learn the basic principles of how your refrigeration system works. All refrigeration relies on the continuous movement of a cooler liquid through a tube that goes around the object that is to be cooled.

    Perhaps the most important component of an energy efficient refrigerator is the throttling device. Refrigerant liquid is elevated to a high pressure before being introduced to the throttling device. This device resists the refrigerant, which causes a significant drop in pressure. As the pressure drops, the boiling point of the liquid also drops, which causes it to begin evaporating. The heat required to evaporate the refrigerant comes from the liquid itself, which causes it to decrease its temperature.

  • The Whys and Hows of Tracking Your Energy Usage

    Perhaps the most compelling reason why homeowners decide to track their energy usage is to become informed about where their money is being spent. If your energy usage peaks during the winter months, it’s a good indicator that your furnace is working too hard or is inefficient. High electricity bills during the summer might mean it’s time to schedule an air conditioning maintenance visit, change the AC filter, or perhaps replace the air conditioner in your Portland-area home altogether. Another reason to track your energy usage is to evaluate your savings after you make upgrades, like getting a new furnace installed . Here’s how to get started.

    Getting Your Account Online

    While it isn’t strictly necessary, it can be easier to track your energy usage if you set up an online account with your utility company. These days, most service-oriented companies offer online options, including Portland General Electric and Pacific Power. With an online account, you should be able to view your account history. Your utility company may even offer tools specifically for energy usage tracking. You can also view your current statements online.

    Understanding Your Bill

    Utility bills can be confusing, and different companies each use their own format. If you aren’t sure how to interpret yours, check the utility company’s website for a tutorial, or call the company directly. Look for the read dates, which tell you the length of the usage period. The read dates are different from the bill dates. When you check the costs, ignore the total labeled “net costs,” since that can include the previous month’s expenses.

    Comparing Your Energy Usage

    Some utility companies offer brief comparisons of your energy usage and your locality’s average energy usage. Or, you can check with the appropriate municipality or state agency for this information. If your energy usage is significantly higher than the average, it’s definitely time to consider some household upgrades.

    Developing Smart Saving Strategies

    To make the most significant impact, you’ll likely have to make major upgrades, such as by replacing your air conditioning unit and furnace in favor of energy-efficient options. There are also plenty of other options that don’t require a major upfront investment. For example, you should change your AC filter and furnace filter as recommended by the manufacturer. Otherwise, your HVAC system will use more energy.

  • How Do Your Utility Bills Compare to the Average?

    In the Portland, Oregon area, many families are interested in saving energy and reducing their utility bills. And this may spark your curiosity about how your utility bills compare to the average consumer’s. A combined utility bill for electricity, water, heating, and trash removal for the average family in Portland is $113.42 , according to SmartAsset. That’s for a 915-square-foot apartment. Of course, the total amount you’ll spend each month depends on many factors, such as whether your appliances and HVAC systems are energy efficient.

    Heating and cooling costs can be much higher than the average when the HVAC systems are outdated. If your heater is 10 years old or older, or if your heating bills have been steadily increasing, it’s time to consider replacing it. Your HVAC contractor can point you in the direction of an energy-efficient unit. Before the warm weather sets in, consider upgrading your AC unit too. Older units may need to be replaced when they break down frequently, run continuously, or make loud noises. With a new HVAC system, your family will be more comfortable, and you might beat the average utility bill for your area.

  • Can Weatherization Increase Indoor Air Pollution?

    It’s only natural to worry about air pollution when you live in an urban area, but not all pollutants are found outdoors. Your home may harbor hidden air pollutants that can cause your family to suffer ill health and poor quality of life. Ironically, the more you weatherize your home to save energy, the more likely it is that your indoor air quality will decline. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort and energy efficiency in your Portland-area home, however. You can have an HVAC contractor evaluate your current system, and develop solutions that work for your family.

    Types of Indoor Air Pollutants

    Air pollutants include any airborne contaminants that can cause harm. They’re difficult to detect, because they are usually invisible and can be odorless. Here’s a look at some of the most common indoor air pollutants.

    • Radon: A gas that naturally arises from the earth. It can cause lung cancer.
    • Tobacco smoke: Secondhand smoke can be introduced directly to the home if tobacco is smoked indoors, or it may drift in from outside. Tobacco residue can accumulate on a smoker’s clothes and household surfaces, which also pollutes the area.
    • Biological contaminants: These include pollen, pet dander, and mold.
    • Carbon monoxide: This deadly gas is produced by combustion appliances like gas stoves.
    • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): These are emitted by some household cleaners, personal care products, and building materials like paint, carpet, and composite wood products. They can be carcinogenic, and may cause neurological damage.

    Indoor air pollutant levels rise in weatherized homes, because of the insufficient ventilation of the air.

    Techniques for Ventilating Homes

    A weatherized home is an energy-efficient home, and it’s better for the environment and your wallet. But as you improve your home’s weatherization, you should also check with an HVAC contractor about your ventilation system. A good ventilation system will curb indoor air pollution, without sacrificing your home’s energy efficiency. The main types of ventilation are spot and whole-house ventilation. Spot ventilation devices include localized solutions like exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms. These usually aren’t sufficient to make a significant impact on your indoor air quality, which is why your contractor may recommend a whole-house ventilation system. These systems are comprised of ductwork and fans to vent indoor air to the outside, and to introduce fresh air to the inside in a controlled manner.

  • What Every Family Should Know About Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

    There’s more to HVAC than heating and air conditioning. The V in the acronym stands for ventilation, which helps improve your indoor air quality and make the air in your Portland home safer, healthier, and more refreshing. If you don’t take care of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, then you and your family could be at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure you ventilate your furnaces, space heaters, and cooking ranges, and read on for some facts about carbon monoxide poisoning that every family should know.

    What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

    Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious health threat, and carbon monoxide itself is especially dangerous because its lack of color and odor makes it hard to detect. People who are asleep are in even greater danger because they won’t notice the symptoms, and long-term exposure can lead to brain damage or death. Weakness and dizziness are some of the milder symptoms, but nausea, confusion, and loss of consciousness can also occur. The first priority when you notice these symptoms is to clear the area and get everyone to safety. Don’t take symptoms lightly, and see a doctor for treatment if they persist.

    What causes carbon monoxide poisoning?

    The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning occur when someone inhales too much carbon monoxide. Oxygen can’t get where it needs to go because the body uses carbon monoxide in your red blood cells. The carbon monoxide itself is released during combustion, which means it can come from your furnace, space heater, or indoor fireplace. Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units should all be maintained regularly to prevent carbon monoxide release as well as remove carbon monoxide from the air. Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a primary reason you should never use a generator inside.

    Who is most vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning?

    Certain groups of people are especially susceptible to the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Unborn babies absorb carbon monoxide even faster than adults, and so do children because of their more frequent breathing. On the other side of the age spectrum, older people are more susceptible to brain damage when exposed to carbon monoxide.

    Contact us today to ensure your home is safe from Carbon Monoxide.

  • Which Type of Air Filter Should I Use for My Furnace?

    There are certain types of basic maintenance tasks that will keep your HVAC appliances working to the best of their ability, and you can easily stay on top of them yourself. You can improve your energy efficiency in Portland and make the most of your furnace by choosing the right air filter and inspecting it on a monthly basis. Disposable pleated, washable reusable, and energy-efficient filters all have distinct advantages, so keep reading and see which type of air filter you should use for your furnace.

    Disposable Filters

    Each type of air filter has its own characteristics in terms of energy efficiency, maintenance, and protection of the heating or air conditioning unit. Disposable air filters are the kind that you throw away when you inspect your HVAC unit every month. They tend to be cheaper since they’re meant to be replaced, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Fiberglass, polyester, and pleated air filters are the more common disposable filters. You can typically find them between $1 and $10, so they’re a low-risk gamble. However, they do a better job of protecting and extending the lifespan of your HVAC units than actually filtering your indoor air.

    Washable Reusable Filters

    Reusable filters are usually a bit more costly than disposable ones, and they’re not necessarily a better choice for your indoor air quality either. Rather than throwing your filter away and buying a new one, you’ll have to physically wash your reusable filter. They also might gather bacteria and mold spores, which will then circulate around your house as you use your furnace. This can make your air quality worse instead of better.

    Energy-Efficient Filters

    If you want to save energy and maintain a high quality for your indoor air , then you need energy-efficient air filters. They are only a bit more expensive than reusable filters, and they’ll protect your HVAC units, your health, and your energy budget. This is the most effective type of air filter for removing pollutants from the air and keeping energy bills low, and it’s often used in commercial settings.

  • Why You Should Ditch DIY Furnace Cleaning

    Furnace and air conditioning maintenance in Portland makes your HVAC systems more efficient, so they can last longer and do a better job of heating, cooling, and ventilating your space. Some homeowners try to cut corners and clean their furnaces themselves. There are some simple maintenance tasks that you can do on your own, but furnace cleaning is a job for the professionals . You could end up wasting your valuable time and energy, and the job still might not be done properly. In that case, you’ll have to call for professional help anyway. Here’s a closer look at why you should ditch DIY furnace cleaning.

    You don’t need to have an HVAC professional come over to change your furnace filters every month, but you will need an expert when you require a thorough furnace cleaning. In order to clean the furnace, you’ll have to take apart a few components. This might not seem like a big deal, but if you put the parts back together the wrong way, your furnace could lose efficiency or even break down entirely. In the case of new furnaces, you might be required to have a professional service the appliance in order to avoid voiding the warranty.

  • Hear from One of Our Satisfied Customers

    At Sun Glow Heating & Air Conditioning , we aim to raise the bar with every job we do. Customer service is of the utmost importance to our team and our culture as a business, and nothing makes us prouder than making our customers happy. Check out this video to hear from one of our many satisfied customers.

    One of our clients needed their gas furnace checked out, as it hadn’t been inspected at all since the construction of the house. They contacted Sun Glow for a furnace inspection , and they were impressed with our punctuality and professionalism. We set up an appointment time that was convenient for the customer, and our technician was timely and respectful. This client mentioned that it was particularly encouraging to work with a business that practices customer service values and dedicated work ethic. These positive experiences are what keep the Sun Glow team going.

  • Get to Know the Carrier® Infinity® 20 Heat Pump Featuring Greenspeed® Intelligence

    Some kinds of HVAC appliances can take care of two jobs in one unit, and the heat pump is a perfect example. Rather than separate furnace and air conditioning installations in Portland, you can save energy by using a single heat pump . Heat pumps move heat from one space to another, so you can use it for both heating and cooling. The Carrier® Infinity® 20 heat pump includes Greenspeed® intelligence, so you can count on powerful yet efficient performance. It also includes up to date technology that makes using the appliance a treat. Read on and get to know the Carrier® Infinity® 20 heat pump featuring Greenspeed® intelligence.

    Greenspeed Intelligence

    When you combine Infinity® appliances with Greenspeed® intelligence, the results are nothing short of magical. Today’s appliances are all about communication. They take in information about their surroundings, and they figure out what they should do to create the best possible environment for the user. Thanks to Greenspeed® intelligence, your heat pump will be able to react to small changes in the environment at all times. It does so using a minimal amount of energy, and it’s even quiet enough not to disturb your family. The Carrier® Infinity® 20 heat pump is only one of two appliances that use this energy efficient technology.

    Efficient Performance

    Since heat pumps are responsible for both heating and cooling your space, you should understand how efficient yours is in both ways. The Carrier® Infinity® 20 heat pump features up to a 20.5 SEER rating and 13 HSPF efficiency. The efficiency of your heat pump will depend on factors like how well you care for your appliances, how big your unit is, and how much space you need to heat or cool. A heat pump replaces a furnace and an air conditioning unit, so choose the right one.

    Modern Technology

    Greenspeed® intelligence isn’t the only technology the new Carrier® Infinity® 20 heat pump can brag about. Its sound reduction capabilities make it a joy to own, and advanced diagnostic intelligence helps it function to the best of its ability.

  • Questions to Consider When Choosing a New Furnace

    Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units determine how comfortable and healthy your space will be, as well as how much you’ll pay to keep it that way. If you want to save energy in Portland, look at your options and choose your new appliances carefully. Think about what size furnace you’ll need and what type of fuel it will use. If you choose the most energy efficient furnace you can find, you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint. Here’s a look at some questions to consider when choosing a new furnace .

    Which size should I choose?

    If you need a new furnace but you’re not sure how to start the search, size is a good factor to begin with. The right size heating appliance will be proportional to the space that you must heat. A huge furnace will do a good job of heating your small home, but you might lose a great deal of energy in the process. Conversely, a small furnace might not be enough to keep your large home comfortable. Talk to your heating and air conditioning professionals to find out how much power you need to warm your home while being energy efficient.

    Which kind of fuel is best for me?

    Air conditioning units just need electricity, but furnaces can use different power sources. Think about the price of these different types of fuel, and consider what kind of fuel you used for your furnace in the past. Sticking with the same fuel is easy, but switching may also have its benefits.

    Is this furnace efficient?

    Efficiency is always a quality that you should look for when you’re choosing new appliances. More efficiency means less of your money going towards your energy bills, and big heating and cooling appliances like furnaces and air conditioning systems tend to take up most of the energy needs of your household. AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, describes the way an appliance turns energy into heat. Look for a furnace with a high AFUE rating so you and your family can enjoy lower bills and better efficiency.