How a Dirty Air Filter can Lead to Heating Repair

March 4th, 2015

In any forced air heating system, you’re going to find an air filter. The air filter is installed in the air return duct for the system, and is designed to protect it from any dust or debris that might damage it while simultaneously allowing air to flow through unimpeded. Though it does this job well, the air filter has one major problem: it has no way to get rid of the particles it captures. As such, if the air filter isn’t cleaned or replaced every few months, it becomes clogged and starts causing problems. Let’s take a look at how ignoring a dirty air filter can lead to heating repair.

Restricted Air Flow

An air filter that becomes clogged with dust and other particles can restrict or even completely block the flow of air through the system. This has two effects. First, it deprives the heater of its supply of air to heat. This prevents the heater from actually distributing heat to the home. Second, it causes the internal temperature of the heater to rise to dangerous levels. Normally, the heater relies on the steady flow of cooler air to keep its temperature in check. Without that cool air, the system will overheat.

There are safety measures in place to prevent the system from damaging itself from overheating. The limit switch is a device that monitors the temperature inside the heater. When the internal temperature rises above the safety limit, the limit switch activates and shuts down the system to prevent damage from overheating. Unfortunately, this does not address the cause of the overheating.

If the source of the overheating isn’t taken care of, another problem occurs. Once the system has cooled off after being shut down by the limit switch, it restarts in response to the thermostat and overheats again. This causes the limit switch to shut down the system again, and the entire cycle repeats endlessly. This is called “short cycling”

Short cycling puts the system under an incredible amount of stress, far more than it was designed to handle. The combination of the increased heat and the strain of the start/stop cycle causes parts to wear out much faster, like the heat exchanger. Eventually, the system will breakdown and require extensive heating repair.

If you think your system may need a new air filter, call Imagine Energy to schedule an appointment. We provide professional heating repair service throughout the West Linn area.

How Proper Insulation Saves You Money

February 25th, 2015

Insulation is something that a lot of homeowners recognize as necessary for keeping their home comfortable. However, far fewer people make the connection between good insulation and saving money. Taking proper care of your insulation is a big contributor to keeping your heating and cooling costs down. Let’s take a look at why maintaining good insulation is so important.

What is Insulation?

Insulation is any sort of material designed to inhibit the transfer of heat from one space to another. In the case of a home, insulation is usually a thick batting material, almost like a blanket. There are also loose insulation particles, which are normally sprayed in places that normal insulation would be difficult to install. The corners of attics are common places for loose insulation.

The purpose of insulation is essentially to isolate your home from the surrounding environment. Heat will always want to move from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration. In a home with no insulation, that means that heat will escape from the home in winter and infiltrate the home in summer. That’s often quite the opposite of what the homeowner wants, as overheating during the summer and freezing in the winter is hardly comfortable. This is why insulation is used in homes.

Good insulation acts as a barrier between the heat and the area that it wants to escape to. So, a heated home will stay warm in the winter, while an air conditioned home will stay cool in the summer. How does that actually save money? Read on.

How Insulation Actually Saves Money

Heating and air conditioning systems operate on the instructions of the thermostat, which monitors the temperature in a central area of the house. When the temperature gets too high or too low, the thermostat activates the appropriate system to adjust the environment in the house. Without proper insulation, the system will have to spend far more time compensating for the rapid change in temperature. As soon as the heater or air conditioner is done adjusting the temperature, it will quickly go back to whatever it was before. The longer the system has to be on, the more energy it’s consuming and the more it’s going to cost to operate. Proper insulation, on the other hand, causes the effects of the system to last much longer. This means that it doesn’t have to turn on as much and the operating costs will be lower.

If you haven’t had your insulation inspected in a while, call Imagine Energy. We provide professional insulation services in the Beaverton area.

Your Options for Heating Installation in Portland

February 16th, 2015

Not too long ago, homeowners had one of two choices for heating systems: a furnace or a boiler. These days, thanks to advancements in the industry and in product development, there are a number of choices available for home heating. So what’s the best option for you? Your first step for any new heating installation in Portland should be to work with an expert from start to finish; your second step should be to understand what your choices are and how each works, so you can get a good idea of what systems will work best with your home. Here are some of the choices available from Imagine Energy:


Furnaces are the heating systems in about 60% of homes across the US. There are two main types of furnaces, gas and electric (although furnaces can also be powered by propane and oil), and both types require ductwork to deliver the warm air. Furnaces can be very energy efficient, with some high-efficiency models having ratings up to 98%, and gas is clean-burning and convenient for those with access to a gas line.


Boilers are part of a hydronic system, which means they heat your home with hot water or steam from the hot water. Boiler systems can be used with radiant heating, radiators and baseboard outlets, and they can be fueled with gas, oil and solid fuel such as wood pellets. Boilers can have efficiency ratings over 90% and can be good systems for allergy sufferers.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps can be used for both heating and cooling, and work by transferring heat from one location to another. As such, they do not use any fossil fuels for power – just a small amount of electricity. Heat pumps are highly energy efficient and can be used with ductless or ducted systems.

Radiant Heating

Radiant heating works by heating surfaces and allowing the heated surface to radiate the heat outward. There are two types of radiant heating, hydronic and electric, which can be installed into your floors, your ceilings or your walls. A hydronic radiant system will require a boiler.


Geothermal systems harness the latent solar heat from the ground or from water below the frost line to heat your home. Using a loop that is filled with a heat-absorbing fluid, typically an environmentally-friendly anti-freeze, the heat is transferred to a heat pump and then dispersed into your home. To cool your home, the opposite happens. Geothermal systems are the most energy efficient systems available and have a very long lifespan of up to 50 years.

Solar Heating

Solar heating can be broken down into two types: use of photovoltaic panels (PV) that help to significantly reduce the cost of the electrical power that is used to heat your home, or the use of heat-absorbing fluid that is circulated into your home and used for radiant heating. Solar heating is very energy efficient and uses a renewable and sustainable source in the form of sunlight.

As you can see, there are a number of choices available for a new heating installation for your home. Call the experts at Imagine Energy today and schedule an appointment.

Lupercalia: The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015

Many people may think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday essentially created by card and gift companies, but the truth is that the holiday has long-standing roots going back to the Roman Empire. The name “Lupercalia” has its origins in the word “lupus”, which means wolf, and the reason for this is that according to Roman pagan religion, the she-wolf Lupa nursed the two orphaned infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.


The Festival

The Festival of Lupercalia spanned two days each February, from February 13th to 15th. The festival was about fertility and was led by Luperci priests, known as “brothers of the wolf”. The festival was serious with intention (fertility) but was executed as quite a romp for both the priests and citizens of Rome. The process was this: two male goats and a dog were sacrificed at the beginning of the festival by the priests; two young Luperci were then anointed with the blood from the animals, and the hides of the animals were cut into straps. As food and drink flowed, the male priests would run around the city wearing nothing but thongs made from the animal skins, and they also carried a strap from one of the sacrificed animals. The strap was used to strike the palms of Roman women waiting for the priests in the city, as it was believed that being hit with the strap could help with infertility issues and a safe, healthy labor for women who were pregnant.


The Transition to St. Valentine’s Day

The Christian influence of the holiday came around the 5th century. The Roman Empire was still strong, but Christianity was rapidly taking hold throughout the world. It is believed that to try and remove the paganism from the holiday, the deaths of two men, supposedly both named Valentine, were added into the mix. During the 3rd and 4th centuries, a law created by Claudius II forbade young men eligible for military service to marry, because Rome wanted a strong army. The two men named Valentine were priests, and married young couples in secret. Both were found out and executed on February 14th, although in separate years. The Church made Valentine a saint (they chose one), and Lupercalia became St. Valentine’s Day.


Here’s wishing you and your loved one a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Why Use a Tankless Water Heater?

February 4th, 2015

Assuming that you do not heat pots and kettles of water over a stove or hearth in order to bathe and do the dishes, you are probably well aware of just how important your water heater is to your daily routine. If you find yourself in the market for a new water heater, or if your existing system is just unable to provide you with the quality performance that you demand, give Imagine Energy a call. There are a number of different water heaters available on the market today, and determining which is the right make and model for your home and needs can be tricky. Our staff will help you to choose wisely. You may find that a tankless water heater in Portland, OR is the right option for you.

In order to fully comprehend the benefits of using a tankless water heater, it is necessary to first learn how it is that they operate. As you have probably surmised from the moniker alone, a tankless water heater does not utilize a storage tank in order to maintain a reservoir of hot water at the ready. Instead, water is heated as it is called for, instantaneously, in an “on-demand” fashion. There are a few benefits that this allows for.

First of all, tankless water heaters take up much less space than their tanked counterparts. This means that you can store them in a small closet or in your basement without sacrificing any existing storage space. Also unlike tank water heaters, tankless models are not subject to what is known as “standby energy loss.” While today’s water heater storage tanks are quite efficient, they still allow for some heat transfer as they hold onto hot water waiting for use. This means that they must reheat that water from time to time. Eliminating this energy loss can translate to lower energy bills for the homeowner.

If you think that a tankless water heater in Portland, OR may be right for you, just let us know. The outstanding technicians at Imagine Energy are here to handle any tankless water heater services that you may need. That way, you can heat water in your home with the efficiency and confidence that we know you deserve.

Why Invest in Solar Panels in Portland, OR?

January 28th, 2015

With energy costs being as high as they are today, and more and more homeowners putting the environmentally friendly consumption of electricity on their priority lists, it is unsurprising to learn that solar energy has really taken off in recent years. We may not get as much sunshine around these parts as other areas do for much of the year, but that is no reason to ignore the very clear benefits that solar energy has to offer. When properly installed and setup, solar PV (photovoltaic panels) can absorb enough energy to power various systems in your home even when the sun is not brightly shining. To learn more about the operation and installation of solar panels in Portland, OR, just call upon the pros at Imagine Energy.

One of the most obvious reasons in which you may choose to utilize solar panels in Portland, OR is the fact that doing so can help you to greatly cut down on your energy costs. The sun is going to come up every morning, after all, regardless of how you power your home. Why, then, not put that free energy source to use? Yes, there is an initial investment to consider, and the complex solar equipment used to harness the power of the sun is not exactly cheap. However, you will enjoy far greater efficiency than you have previously when powering your living space, and you may also qualify for tax benefits or other perks.

Another reason why so many people are turning to solar energy is the fact that it is clean and sustainable. Solar panels use solar cells in order to absorb energy from the sun. This energy is then converted into electricity which you can use throughout your house. Supplemental energy can even be stored in batteries for later use. You don’t have to worry about carbon emissions and other issues that concern homeowners when using fuel sources or electricity in their homes. Contact us for more details.

The most important thing to remember, when it comes to using solar panels, is the fact that only a skilled, trained professional has the knowledge and expertise to ensure that your solar panels are properly installed and serviced. That is why you should give us a call. You can count on Imagine Energy when it comes to solar panels in Portland, OR.

How Adequate Insulation Benefits You

January 21st, 2015

Everyone wishes to keep their homes warm throughout the coldest nights of winter and cool and comfortable throughout the most punishing heat of the summer season. In order to satisfy such desires, though, you need to ensure that your house is fully equipped to cooperate. This requires much more than just a powerful heating and air conditioning system, especially if you hope to maintain comfortable temperatures all year long with the greatest efficiency possible. To do so, you must have adequate insulation in Portland, OR. If you suspect that your insulation is subpar, or if you have any questions regarding the types of insulation and services that Imagine Energy has to offer, just give us a call today. We have the answers you need to make informed decisions regarding the insulation in your home.

The primary function of insulation, as you probably already know, is to prevent the excessive transfer of heat into or out of your home. This is of the utmost importance, as heat will naturally move from warmer areas to cooler ones. This means that it will try to infiltrate your home during the hot summer months, as you cool your house with your air conditioning system, and heat will try to escape during the cold season, into the cooler environment outside. The same is true of any ductwork through which you circulate conditioned air throughout your house. With sufficient insulation and duct insulation, you can heat and cool your home in an effective and affordable manner.

Professional insulation in Portland, OR is also vital in the attempt to maintain high indoor air quality. When air from the outdoors makes its way into your home, it can bring with it pollutants from the outside environment. Insulation in your walls, attics, and other key points will help to prevent such insurrection. If you have any questions or if you would like to schedule your insulation installation with some of the finest technicians in the business, just let us know. We’ll have our technicians along shortly. We can handle basic insulation services, as well as duct insulation and insulation for attic conversions. Whatever you may need, Imagine Energy will deliver. Call us today to schedule service.

Signs That You Need a Humidifier

January 14th, 2015

At Imagine Energy, we believe that every homeowner deserves to live in complete, undisputed comfort. The mistake that many homeowners make is in assuming that maintaining comfortable temperatures is all that they must do in order to attain this goal. Those of us whom have suffered with subpar indoor air quality, though, know that this is hardly the case. If you want to enjoy truly exceptional comfort, then you must be surrounded by clean, high quality air in your living space. There is a lot which may impede your indoor air quality, but there are also effective solutions to just about any problem that you may encounter. If dry air plagues your home, then a whole-house humidifier in Portland, OR is precisely what you need.

The first step in curing any ailment, of course, is recognizing that there is a problem to begin with. This is sometimes easier said than done, though. If your HVAC system is struggling, leaving your home cold in the winter and hot in the summer, it is pretty obvious. Issues with indoor air quality, on the other hand, can be decidedly more difficult to diagnose. That is why it is a good idea to learn some of the warning signs that you need a humidifier in Portland, OR.

If your skin feels dry and itchy, very dry air throughout your home may be to blame. This same problem can also lead to frequent sore throats and even nosebleeds, so adding the right amount of moisture back into the air which you breathe day and night can greatly increase your comfort and even your health.

Dry air can have just as negative an effect on your property as on your body. It can cause paint to chip and wallpaper to crack away from your walls. It can even dry out wooden furniture and floorboards to the point that they split. With a whole-house humidifier installed in your HVAC system, you won’t have to worry about such issues.

To learn more about the benefits of using a humidifier in Portland, OR, just ring up the experts at Imagine Energy. We can answer any questions that you may have. Our goal is to ensure that you are comfortable in every facet of your life at home. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

Reasons to Choose a Heat Pump Water Heater

January 5th, 2015

If you are investing in a new water heater for the very first time, or if it has been a while since you last did so, you may be a bit taken aback by the sheer number of options which await your perusal. Indeed, choosing the right water heater for your home among the options available can be tricky. However, it is also vital that you do so wisely. You are going to have to live with your decision for quite some time to come, and you certainly don’t want to regret the decision that you’ve made. The water heater pros on the Imagine Energy team can help to ensure that this is not an issue. We are well versed in a great number of water heater systems, and we’ll work with you to find the right one for your home, needs, and personal preferences. One option well worth your consideration is a heat pump water heater.

In order to fully comprehend just why it is that a heat pump water heater is such a great investment, you must first understand the way in which a heat pump operates. You may know that air source heat pumps are commonly used to heat homes. The way in which they heat water is quite similar. Ambient heat is absorbed from the air which surrounds the system. Through a heat transfer process, this heat is used in the heating of water for use throughout your home. Using this existing heat helps you to cut down energy use when heating water in your household, which in turn can help to trim down substantially on energy bills. Call now to learn more about this technology.

Like any other water heater, your heat pump water heater must be professionally installed and serviced if it is to operate as effectively, efficiently, and safely as possible. Imagine Energy can see to it that this is the case. Take advantage of the environmentally – and budget – friendly of a heat pump water heater in your home. Call us to schedule the installation of your heat pump water heater in Portland.

When New Year’s Day Was Not on January 1st

January 1st, 2015

Some holidays fall on shifting calendar days for every year, such as Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November) and Easter (the first Sunday after the first full moon to occur on or after March 21). Other holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween, are fixed. No holiday has a more solid calendar date attached to it than New Year’s Day. It has to fall on January 1st because it celebrates the first day of a new year. That only makes sense…

…except that, like most things that at first appear obvious, there is a bit more to the story. The beginning of the year was not always on the first of January. As with an enormous numbers of traditions in the Western World, the establishment of January 1st as the inaugural day of a new year goes back to the ancient Romans.

The modern solar calendar is derived from the Roman model, but the earliest Roman calendars did not have 365 days in a year spread over 12 months. Instead, there were 304 days spread over 10 months. The Romans believed this calendar originated with the mythical founder of the city, Romulus. If Romulus were a real person, we can credit him with a poor understanding of the seasons, as this abbreviated calendar soon got out of sync with Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Numa, one of the Kings of Rome (probably also fictional) receives credit for creating a longer year with two added months, Ianuarius and Februarius, bringing the number of days in the year to 355. The new month of Ianuarius, named after Ianus (Janus in contemporary spelling), the god of beginnings, would eventually be known in English as January. But when this new calendar was instituted, January was not the first month. March, named after the god of war, remained the first month, and March 1st was New Year’s Day.

This extended calendar still did not keep in synch with the seasons. In 45 BCE, Julius Caesar instituted reforms to align the calendar correctly according to calculations of astronomers, with an additional 10 days distributed across the year. January also became set as the first month, and offerings to the god Janus on this day started the tradition we now know as New Year’s. The date still fluctuated during the ensuing centuries, with a number of Western European holy days treated as the beginning of the year instead. It wasn’t until the next calendar reform in 1582, the Gregorian Calendar, that the date of the New Year was fixed at January 1st.

However you choose to celebrate the beginning of the current calendar, everyone here at Imagine Energy you have a wonderful 2015!