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Keeping You Comfortable In Your Home Since 1968

FAQ about Heating, AC & Electrical in Portland

Keeping You Informed

At A-TEMP, we believe in working closely with each of our customers and providing them with all the information they need. If you have any questions about your heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems, our experts are more than willing to answer them all. Additionally, if you are looking for more information about our company, services, and products, count on us to give you an honest and thorough reply.

To get you started, we’ve gathered some of the most common questions we hear from our past customers and answered them all here. A-TEMP hopes that you find this page helpful.

Have another question? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Portland heating, air conditioning, and electrical experts at (503) 694-3396!

  • Why and how is A-TEMP available 7 days a week?

    We believe homeowners deserve flexible options that fit their schedules. When the heat stops working in the dead of winter, or your home won’t cool down during the dog days, the last thing you need is the added inconvenience of having to take time off from work or rearrange your schedule to let us in your house.

    Sometimes scheduling issues can’t be avoided. However, by being available seven days a week, we provide you with more flexibility than other HVAC contractors in the area. And we never charge overtime. So if a job keeps us at your house past 7 p.m., our rates won’t change.

    Our hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and we are on-call the rest of the week with no overtime fees.

  • How often should I change my filter?

    Most standard filtration systems require inspection and replacement every one to three months. However, some higher end filtration systems may last up to 6 to 12 months before needing a replacement. No matter what filtration system you have at home, make sure to always inspect the filter as frequently as possible to keep your HVAC systems efficient and your air quality in good condition.

  • Is annual maintenance recommended?

    Every HVAC manufacturer recommends annual maintenance for your heating and air conditioning for maximum system performance and longer equipment life. At A-TEMP, we can provide you with a yearly scheduled maintenance when you become a member of our Comfort Club. Membership includes an annual precision tune-up of your HVAC plus other exclusive benefits such as priority status, repair discounts, and more. Additionally, we will even be the one to remind you if it’s time for your yearly HVAC maintenance.

  • Why should I clean my ducts?

    Your duct system is responsible for circulating either warm or cool air throughout your home. When the ductwork is filled with dust, dirt, pollens, and other harmful pollutants, the air picks these up and carries them from room to room. Polluted air triggers allergy symptoms and other respiratory issues. That is why cleaning your duct system is essential not only for your home but for your overall well-being as well.

  • How can I reduce my heating costs?

    Today’s heating systems are more efficient than ever and can reduce energy costs by up to 50%. If your current furnace or heat pump is already 10 years or older, consider a replacement and get lower utility bills as well as improved comfort.

  • How does an air conditioning work?

    An air conditioner works by removing heat and undesirable moisture from the air through a process called refrigeration. Once the air is cooled, it will then pass through a filtration system to eliminate dust and other particles. Lastly, the air goes to the air handler where it will be properly distributed throughout the home.

  • How does gas heat work?

    The gas furnace lights the burner inside the chamber where combustion occurs. The process of combustion then creates heat in the exchanger where air flows. Once the air is warmed, it gets pushed out into the blower and onto the duct system, ready to be distributed throughout the home.

  • How does an electric heat work?

    Electric furnaces use electric current to create heat in the exchanger. Through a process called conduction and convection, heat is transferred into the air. The warmed air then flows through the blowers and on to the ductwork.

  • Do I need a thermostat in every room of my house?

    Thermostats regulate the temperature in your home by turning on or off your heating and air conditioning systems. Every home with an HVAC system typically has one thermostat mounted on their walls. However, if you are interested in a zoning system or if you have multiple furnaces in your home, you will need more thermostats.

  • How can I heat or cool my house efficiently?

    Adjusting the thermostat frequently can cause higher utility costs. If possible, set your thermostat to one temperature only or two at max. During the heating season, make sure not to set a temperature below 65 degrees. Meanwhile, during the summer, try to set the thermostat below 70 degrees.

    You may also consider getting a programmable or smart thermostat so you can have more control over your heating and cooling. Many modern thermostats even offer eco temperature settings to help you save more on utility costs.

  • Why are my outlets, especially those outside the bathroom, always out?

    This is usually the result of GFCI tripping. Most homes in Portland usually just have one or two GFCIs for outlets near a water source such as the bathroom, garage, or outdoor. When the GFCI trips, it needs to be reset for the outlets to work again. If the GFCI continues to trip even after resetting, this may indicate that it’s time to replace the GFCI.

  • How do I know if one of my circuit breakers is actually tripped?

    Breakers usually trip when they detect a problem with the electrical circuit. When this happens, the switch usually moves to the middle or all the way to the OFF position. However, if you suspect that your breaker has tripped but you see the switch has remained in its position, simply flip it to the OFF position yourself and turn it back on to reset your breaker. If the breaker continues to trip, consider an upgrade.

  • How do I know if I have damage from a power surge?

    Power surges occur when the flow of electricity is interrupted. Major power surges, such as when a lightning strikes, can easily be identified by a blown off fuse or power outage. However, small power surges may also occur in your home and cause localized damage to your outlets or electronic devices like your computer, TV, and others.

    If you suspect that one of your outlets or appliances has been damaged by a small power surge, call our Portland electricians. We will provide you with safe, reliable inspection and recommend the best course of action to repair the damage.

  • Half the power in my house is out. What could be the cause?

    If you live in an older home with an older electrical system, the problem might be because the system is not equipped to handle all your electrical appliances. Before, the standard power a home needs is just about 60 amps, however, today’s home require as many as 200 amps to properly run their heating and air, dryer, home automation, and other electrical devices.

    Contact A-TEMP right away if half of your house is out of power. We can provide a thorough diagnostic to determine the exact cause of the problem and offer long-term solutions so this does not happen again.

  • Why do my lights flicker for no reason?

    There are many causes of flickering or dimming lights including loose connections and overloaded circuits. Sometimes, flickering lights may also indicate a failing transformer outside your home. To know the exact cause of this problem, call a professional electrical contractor from our team. We provide accurate diagnoses and a job done right every time.


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