And Over Again!


I know we have said it before, and we will continue to say it. It may be a little emphatic, but it’s so true. Some of you may think why? Or “I don’t even know where its located or how to change it!” Others think “As long as I change it at least once a year its all good.” I am here to tell you it’s not! Especially if you have a heat pump or air conditioner.

Whenever people start to fire up their gas furnace or heat pump/air conditioner, and it doesn’t work, they will call their HVAC company to come out. While HVAC companies appreciate that, there is something you can do to save yourself some money.


One of our specialties here at #Comfortsolutionspdx is educating our customers. I mean, if it saves you a service call then why not?!?! Right now, many of you are just firing up your furnaces since the cold weather has hit #Portland. If you have a heat pump or air conditioner, you may not realize that you use that filter in your furnace 12 months out of the year.  You NEED to be changing your filter on a regular basis before you end up causing damage to your heating and cooling system.

The cold air from your air conditioner and the warm air from your furnace come out of the same vents.  Even though the furnace is not producing any heat while operating the a/c, it still delivers the cold air throughout your home with the same blower and passing through the same air filter. This is why, no matter what the season, you should regularly change your air filters.

At Comfort Solutions we are getting so many calls about how or when to change the air filter. For a 1″ filter, you should change it every 3 months.  For a 4″ filter you should check it every 6 months, and for a Merv 11 filter, you should change it every year.  If you are finding that your filters are needing to be changed more often, then you may want to have your ducts cleaned.

Many customers call when their heating or cooling stops working. One of the first things we ask is when did you last change your filter? 8 out of 10 people say they have no idea when the last time it was changed. Changing your filter on your furnace is usually one of the last things we think about given our busy lives, but it is one of the most inexpensive things you can help with costly repairs in the future.

When it comes time to change out the filter, make sure you have turned of your equipment.  Pull the filter out and hold it up to the light.  If you can see thru it, then you can get a little more life out of it.  If you are having issues seeing thru it, then it needs to be replaced.


Remember a clean filter is what helps prevent the bad stuff, like pollen, bacteria and dust from getting into your house.  Once this gets plugged, air cannot get thru, and it will cause your blower to stop working.  And things can just get worse from there.  So save yourself some time, and money and change those filters.

As always, give us a call @ 503-698-2665 to order filters or even upgrade your filters.





Fall is just around the corner and that means saying goodbye to hot weather, and hello to cool, brisk mornings, leaves changing, kids back to school, and daylight savings.  (Don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to that extra hour of sleep.)  With cooler Portland weather coming, now is the time for you to get your furnace and heat pump checked out.


I am sure many of us remember the winter of 2016.  It was one of the worst winters Portlanders had seen in awhile.  As if the several inches of snow, freezing rain, and being stuck for hours on the freeways trying to get home wasn’t bad enough, many of us ended up without heat.  Many times we here at Comfort Solutions heard from people who said “I knew I should have that maintenance done.”

Many people don’t realize that the ideal time to get your furnace and heat pump checked is before right before the cold weather comes.  This way if you need repairs or a new furnace or heat pump you won’t have to wait the 2 to 3 weeks many HVAC companies in the Portland, OR area can have when the cold weather hits.



I know I have mentioned maintenance before (Spring Cleaning 2017, and Do I need a Maintenance Agreement).  It will continue to be at the forefront of being the single most important thing you can do to extend the life of your heating and cooling equipment and save you money.  No one likes throwing away money if they can help it.  Its better to put that money towards a nice trip or new car, or even that nice purse you may have had your eye on.

I think one of the biggest issues we all have is remembering to have it done.  Our lives are so busy as it is, that as we prioritize our lives, maintenance on our HVAC equipment is usually at the bottom of the list.  That is, until it stops working, then we are frantically calling around to get it fixed. Hoping and praying that the bill for repairs or replacement won’t mean not being able to take that trip for the holidays (ok, or that car or Coach purse we have had our eye on).


Why Get A Tune-Up?

Even the simplest thing can cause you problems. A plugged filter can cause you all kinds of issues.  It restricts air flow which does not allow for the heat to get into your home.  It causes both your furnace and heat pump to work harder.  It puts strain on your blower motor which will increase your electric/gas bill.  Also, if your blower fails, your furnace will stop working. A dirty filter will also cause your home to have more dirty air in your home, which you will breath in and no one likes that.  Especially if your susceptible to viruses or allergies. This even happens if you have an air purifier in your home.  If you are not replacing that filter your are still going to breath in that dirty air.

A tuneup allows us to clean and check components, check your filter, electrical connections and ensuring you don’t have any combustion issues or cracked heat exchangers.  We check your CO levels to ensure that your family is kept safe from carbon monoxide. We can catch issues before they become larger, more costly issues.

Importance of Using the Same HVAC Company

Having the same company come out and take care of your heating and cooling equipment is essential. I know its tempting to go with the next best deal but you really aren’t getting the most bang for your buck when you do that.  That company coming out doesn’t know a thing about your equipment. They don’t know the history or how or when you use your equipment.  Unless you tell them you had a circuit board replaced recently, they could misdiagnosis an issue.  Not to mention that a reputable HVAC company will have a warranty on parts and labor.  You may not get that if you switch companies. If you are continually having an issue heating one floor of your home, another company may assume that your furnace isn’t large enough when all you may need is a zone system installed.

When you use the same company and join their equipment protection plan, you will get someone who will know your home and your equipment. They will have a history of what happened the last time they came out.  They will know if you are one of those that doesn’t use your furnace as much in the winter because you go to your winter home in Florida, of if you are one that changes your filter in between visits, or set your thermostat at settings that don’t put such a strain on your equipment.



NW Natural has a great promotion going on for your heating tune ups.  It is a great way to try us out and if you like how we can keep you comfortable and safe, you can sign up for a maintenance agreement. We will help take the worry and stress off you and our plans offer great incentives you can’t get otherwise.

Having a good relationship with your heating and cooling company will ensure your family stays safe and comfortable which is what Comfort Solutions is all about.

Give us a call and let us keep you and your family comfortable and safe.



Air Conditioner Smell

Here in Portland, OR we have had a couple of days of warm weather.  Many of you may have turned on your air conditioner for the first time and noticed a smell.  That is the air conditioner smell of mold and mildew coming thru your duct work.

Why Does It Smell?

Your air conditioner is a dehumidifier. When you use your air conditioner, you are removing heat from your home.  When this happens your air conditioner is also removing some moisture from the air.  If you have an air conditioner that is too big for your home then it it won’t run long enough to properly dehumidify the air.

Have you checked your filters?  If your filter if clogged or exposed to too much moisture, mildew will grow.  It just takes a little bit of those pesky particles to cause the mildew to grow.  You should check your filters every 2-3 months just to make sure they aren’t clogged or dirty.  If they are, change them.

Your drip pan is another cause.  If the drip pan is clogged (filling up too fast), this will cause mildew to grow around and even in your system.  If you can easily clear the clog, then your good to go, otherwise you will need to contact a reputable HVAC contractor.

You could also have a clogged condensate drain.  The condensate line runs from the coils to the outside. It removes the condensation that is created by the air conditioner.  When this becomes clogged, you get mildew.

Then there is your duct work.  Your duct work if not sealed properly will cause your duct work to be damp.  If you have too much moisture in your ducts then you could have mold and mildew developing in your duct work.  This will travel thru your house as the air blows thru your ducts.

If the smell is like rotten eggs… You may have a dead animal. If the smell is stronger the closer you get to your vents,  your seeing hair or droppings in the duct work, then you will want to contact an exterminator.  You may then need to have an HVAC contractor come out and inspect the duct work for an repairs or replacements.  You will want to ensure that  you have sealed up all access to duct work.

Comfort Solutions Heating & Cooling has experience in dealing with these types of issues.  Give us a call and let us help you get rid of the smell!

For more information about mold and mildew in your home.  The EPA has a .pdf you can read to learn more.