Blog

Common Questions about Generac Generators

generac generatorEvery Berks County resident knows how bad the Pennsylvania roads can get in the winter. It only takes one bad patch of black ice for a car to spin out, hit a pole, and cause you to lose power. Not to mention falling tree branches if you live in the woods.

Without a generator, life during a power outage becomes tricky. If you’re thinking about buying a new generator, you may have many questions. B&L Ott is here to help by covering the basics with these common questions. If you have more questions, you can contact us by phone or through our website.

What is a Generac Generator?

A Generac generator is a system that supplies electricity to your home when you lose power. They are typically installed just outside of your home. They run on either natural gas or liquid propane.

How Does a Generac Generator Work?

Power outages are sensed by an automatic transfer switch.  The switch immediately tells the system to turn on. Then a supply of electricity is sent into your home to power your appliances. This process can occur so seamlessly that some owners may not realize that they lost power. The generator produces electricity the same way your power company does. It just happens on a smaller scale.

What Maintenance Does It Require?

Yearly maintenance is required for a Generac Generator. During this time, B&L Ott, we will change the oil, oil filter, air filter, and spark plugs. We also run full system diagnostics. This includes testing the transfer switch, the battery, valve clearance in the motor, and all other components. We will make sure that the system is operating properly to ensure that you have power when you need it most. Our certified technicians can perform any service or maintenance that you may need.

Will It Power Everything In My House?

A Generac Generator can power everything in your home, but it does have limitations. If you have an all-electric home, it can be difficult to find a model large enough to power everything. However, we do offer alternatives to get the power where you need it. We can install modules that will cut power to unnecessary appliances. This will ensure that you can power the most important appliances.

It is rare that we cannot power everything. Talk to a B&L Ott comfort consultant to learn if we can find a generator that can power every appliance in your home.

Are They All Automatic?

Whole-home systems are all automatic. This is one of the greatest features Generac Generators have to offer. When a power outage occurs, your home will regain power within seconds. Even if you are away from home, you don’t have to worry about your pipes freezing or your food spoiling.

How Do I Choose the Right Size for My Home?

There are many models and sizes available for whole-home generators. While you may be able to generally determine what size you need, talking to a B&L Ott professional is helpful in many ways. With years of experience, our technicians know what sizes, features, and models work best.

Rather than researching for hours, you can schedule a free in-home consultation. Tell us about your situation and we will give you our professional opinion. We will take your wants, home, and budget into consideration. Then we will help you choose the best Generac Generator for your home.

How Long Does It Take to Install?

B&L Ott can install your new generator in just one day. We will arrive at your home around 8 am and finish around 4 pm. Timing can vary depending on the difficulty of the installation. On installation day, you should plan on being without power. Be sure to prepare and take care of any activities that need electricity beforehand. After installation day, you will never have to be without power again.

Once your new system is installed, we will teach you everything you need to know. We will show you signs to look for to ensure that your generator is always operating properly. Then the technician will program your system to run a weekly exercise mode. This will help keep the motor running efficiently.  Finally, B&L Ott will schedule your complimentary maintenance visit to service your generator.

Why Should I Choose Generac?

Unlike other companies, Generac’s sole focus is power generation and generators. They do not perform any other services or sell any other products. This allows the manufacturer to focus only on improving their generators so that you get a quality product. Generac is the number one selling brand of whole home generators among homeowners. They are preferred by 7 out of 10 homeowners who invest in home backup power. When you back that with B&L Ott’s 24/7/365 service, you get reliability you can feel comfortable about.

Read more

B&L Ott’s Routine Maintenance Service: What to Expect

routine hvac maintenanceDoes your B&L Ott HVAC system need routine maintenance? Every home and its air system can benefit from regular upkeep. A thorough inspection will help you find small problems before they become expensive repairs. So, what can you expect when you schedule B&L Ott’s preventive maintenance service?

Cleaning

If dirt gets into the functional areas of your system, it can cause problems that decrease the efficiency of your machine. Decreased efficiency means higher energy bills. That is why B&L Ott starts by carefully removing harmful debris. Unlike other companies in the Berks County area, our service includes coil cleaning as a standard! The coil handles heat transfer and is crucial for maintaining an operational system.

Diagnostic Evaluation

We also perform a diagnostic evaluation to determine the health of your system. We will estimate the remaining life expectancy based on the condition and age of the parts. One of our technicians will also teach you how to optimize the use, comfort and efficiency of your system.  If your system is nearing the end of its life, they will also help you plan and budget for a replacement.

Our diagnostic evaluation helps ensure your family’s safety. During your appointment, B&L Ott performs a variety of tests (including a carbon monoxide test) to check for potential gas leaks.  The critical components of your HVAC system will also be inspected to verify that your heater is safe to use.

Maintenance

When it comes to maintaining an HVAC system, B&L Ott believes that there is a right way and a wrong way. Any inferior form of maintenance is completely ineffective. There are many different styles of “maintenance programs” out there. We make sure that our examination is thorough and honest.

We will test every component in your system down to the outdoor air conditioner coil. You won’t find an asterisk in our program. We take various measurements to verify that each part is operating inside of design parameters. Some measurements include amp draw, voltage, microfarads, megohms, airflow, temperatures, pressures, and sound. These tests help us pinpoint problems and determine which factors need attention.

Inspection Report

After performing tests and maintenance, we can predict potential future failures. We will discuss our findings with you. Then a B&L Ott technician will make professional recommendations to keep your system running efficiently. Be prepared to answer a few questions about HVAC usage. Examples include,

  • Are you comfortable in every room of your house?
  • Are you suffering from any allergies or breathing conditions?

These questions will help determine if your needs are being met by your current system. Our job is to provide you with your ideal indoor environment.

How Often Should I Schedule Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive Maintenance should be performed annually for all equipment. Typically customers will schedule an appointment in the spring/summer for their air conditioner. Then in fall/winter, they will request service for their heating system. You wouldn’t let your car go without oil changes, tire rotations, and brake replacements. Just like your car, your HVAC system needs regular cleaning and repairs.

Why Should I Schedule Maintenance?

B&L Ott’s service has a variety of benefits. There are no tricks, no clever wording designed to confuse. We provide the most comprehensive maintenance program for the price it costs to do the job right. We will help you effectively condition your home to keep your system running efficiently. This will reduce operating costs, prevent breakdowns, and extend the life expectancy of your system. It will also decrease the overall cost of ownership.

B&L Ott teamWhy Use B&L Ott?

We understand the importance of maintenance. Just like your HVAC system, we use a rigorous schedule to keep our equipment in top shape. Given that we provide an emergency service, our trucks must be reliable. With regular cleaning and servicing, our trucks range in age from 1-12 years old.  Each truck typically lasts 250,000 – 300,000 miles in its lifetime. That is with a giant service box on the back and thousands of pounds worth of tools in it. You wouldn’t want a company who constantly had brand new trucks. Yet, you also wouldn’t want a company with a broken down, unreliable truck.

We believe in taking care of our equipment so that our tools work when we need them most.  If we have a rigorous maintenance schedule for all of our equipment, what does that tell you about the importance of your HVAC’s preservation? Keep your B&L Ott system running by scheduling routine maintenance from B&L Ott today!

 

 

Read more

Tips for Choosing the Right B&L Ott Air Purifier

Different air purifiers can benefit your home and family in a variety of ways. They can keep your rooms cleaner, make breathing easier, or eliminate odors. With so many different types on the market, selecting the right air purifier can be confusing. You could research different brands for hours and still be undecided. If you are considering a new air cleaner, let B&L Ott help. Choosing the right model can be made easier by asking yourself some simple questions.

What is Your Reason for Buying an Air Purification System?

The first step in choosing an air purifier is to consider why you want one. What factors in your home environment are you trying to control? Take a few minutes to think about which factors and features are important to you. Determine how important each factor is. Then schedule an appointment with a B&L Ott technician. Tell them what you are looking for and they will recommend some models within your budget. They will also answer any questions you may have.

Dust Control

If you have a lot of dust around your home, you will want to make dust control one of your primary focuses. Air purifiers utilize filters to clean the air in your home. Filters are made of tightly woven fibers that work like a spider’s web. As air flows through the filter dirt particles get caught in the fibers while the air passes through.

Allergen Control

Allergens in your home can be a pain, especially for those with allergies or asthma. If someone in your family has been sneezing or having trouble breathing, a B&L Ott air purifier may help. This filtration process works just like dust control. However, you will want to choose a brand that can filter the smaller allergen particles. This feature can also help catch and stop viruses.

Odor Control

Even if you don’t notice odors in your home, an air purifier can keep your home smelling fresh for visitors. Models with odor control features are helpful for homes with pets, smokers, etc. Some of B&L Ott’s high-quality filters can also get rid of cooking odors or musty scents.

indoor air cleanersDo You Have a Ducted Heating and Air Conditioning System?

Another factor to consider is whether you have a ducted HVAC system. Many types work in conjunction with your HVAC system. This combination is more efficient at capturing and cleaning more of the air in your home. It can also prolong the life of your HVAC system by keeping debris away from the coil and blower. B&L Ott also offers a variety of stand-alone air purifiers as well.

B&L Ott Options

Curious about what brands B&L Ott has to offer? Check out some of our most popular models and their features below!

Air Scrubber
  • Originally manufactured for NASA.
  • Reduces dust and other contaminants.
  • Reduces odors from smoke, pet odor, cooking odor, etc.
  • Reduces particles that aggravate allergies and asthma.
  • Prolongs your HVAC system’s life. (It keeps debris from clogging and damaging the coil and blower.)
  • Reduces surface contaminants in your home by 99% in 24 hours on average.
  • Compliant with the EPA, FDA, OSHA, and California Air Resource Board.
  • Easy for B&L Ott to install with 100% satisfaction guaranteed!
Trane CleanEffects
  • Filters down to .1 micron (This includes ultra-fine particles. The average strand of human hair is 50-70 microns.)
  • Utilized a 3-tiered filtration system, including pre-filter, charging field, and honeycombed collection-cells.
  • 100 times more effective than a 1″ filter.
  • Can reduce dust in the home by 50%.
  • Verified by Harvard School of Public Health.
Perfect Fit Media Filter
  • 20 times more effective than a 1″ filter.
  • Requires annual replacement.
  • Keeps your HVAC system run efficiently and makes your system last longer. (Filters more particles before they reach the coil and fan.)

Learn more by calling B&L Ott at 610-816-6026. You can also schedule an appointment by contacting us through our website at http://otthvac.com/contact-us/.

Testimonials

“When my wife got home, she instantly noticed a difference. I told her about the air scrubber and she said, ‘get another one for upstairs!’. It finally removed the smoke smell from the house.”

“I was skeptical, but it works… I can’t believe how well it works”

“We used a lot of air fresheners in the house, which we didn’t realize had harmful VOC’s. We had the air scrubber installed, threw the ‘air fresheners’ out, and haven’t looked back. The house smells cleaner.”

“Last year our family passed around a lot of germs. Seemed like we kept getting each other sick. Since you put our air scrubber in this season, we’ve been much healthier so far this winter.”

 

Read more

Ways Your Berks County Home Might Lose Heat This Winter and How to Prevent It

winter-670314_960_720Heating typically takes up a majority of your energy bill in the winter. When you lose heat due to air leaks or blockages, your bills will hike even higher. There are a variety of places you may be losing heat in your Berks County home.

Let’s take a look at some common areas that you might be losing efficiency, and how to prevent it!

 

 

Windows and Doors

Doors and windows are a major source of heat loss. Weathering can cause gaps around the edges that allow heat to escape. When the wind blows, more cold air may also come in. This creates extra work for your B&L Ott HVAC system and costs you more. Openings under the door, pet doors, and mail slots can also allow warm air to escape.

Thick curtains can help insulate your windows by helping to block the air. Keep the curtains closed during the evening and night. Then open them during the day so that the natural sunlight can warm your home.

You can use a draft guard to block air from escaping through the openings under doors. To stop air loss from pet doors, use rubber insulation and seal the frame with silicone. If you have a mail slot you can help block air by using a storm door. Another option is to block off the mail slot and install a separate mailbox outside.

Ceilings, Walls, and Floors

Ceilings, walls, and floors are three other major places where you may be losing heat. When insulating, one of your primary focuses should be the attic as a large portion of your home’s heat may be lost there.

Walls with a cavity can be insulated by injecting the walls with insulating materials. If you have solid walls, you will have to add insulation either internally or externally. For floors, you can install insulation or underfloor heating. Adding a rug can also be helpful. B&L Ott recommends hiring a professional to ensure that the insulation is installed properly.

Chimney

buildings-905322_960_720While chimneys look nice, they are not the most efficient way to warm a home. If the damper is damaged, your chimney may actually pull cool air in. This will increase your energy bills.  Check your damper before winter begins and make sure it is sealed tight. There are also a variety of energy-saving accessories you can buy.  Examples include flue sealers, doors, heat exchangers, chimney balloons, and inserts.

Furniture Blocking Air Flow

Furniture near your vents or radiator will block heat from circulating throughout your home. In this situation, you end up paying for heat you are not benefiting from. You may also end up with cold spots when the warm air can’t blow further into the room.

Air Ducts

Similar to furniture blocking your air vents, warm air can be blocked by debris inside of your air ducts. Over time, dust piles up in your vents. As the piles grow, the more air gets trapped in your air ducts. Again, you end up paying for heat that you are not using. B&L Ott offers duct cleaning services to help prevent this problem. You should have your ducts cleaned every 5-7 years.

Improperly Sized Unit

Having a unit that is too large or too small can also decrease the efficiency of your home and cost you more. A unit that is too small will end up working too hard and may leave your home unevenly heated. On the other hand, a system that is too large will turn on and off more often. Since HVAC systems use the most energy during startup, this process is inefficient. It can also decrease the lifespan of your system.

To ensure that you have the right unit for your home, contact the professionals at B&L Ott. We can install a new heating system for you or help maintain your current HVAC system. B&L Ott can help you maximize unit’s efficiency so you can save money while keeping your family warm.

Read more

Benefits of Getting Your Air Ducts Cleaned by B&L Ott

Unless you have a severe dust problem, it can be easy to forget about cleaning your air ducts. If you aren’t having problems with your air quality, you may focus on more important projects. Even if you are not having problems, it is important to inspect your air vents and HVAC system regularly. You should get them cleaned by B&L Ott before too much debris accumulates. You might be surprised at by how much dirty air vents can affect your indoor air quality.

Cleaner Environment and Indoor Air Quality

Having your air ducts cleaned by B&L Ott will improve the air quality in your home environment.

Get Rid of Contaminants

If you wait too long certain contaminates may start to infiltrate your home. Too much moisture can bring mold. Built up dust can house vermin and pests. These problems can be tricky and expensive to deal with. Regular cleaning from B&L Ott will keep the airways clear and dry so you can avoid these problems.

Better Health

When too much dust builds up in your airways, your filters may not work properly. When your HVAC system turns on, allergens will get blown into your home. You may notice family members sneezing or having trouble breathing when your airways are clogged. In this case, you should contact B&L Ott for inspection and cleaning. You can also visit our blog for advice on keeping a cleaner home environment.

 Clean Less Often

After your air ducts are cleaned by B&L Ott, you may find that you don’t need to clean your home as often. When the airways are clogged with debris, a lot more dust gets pushed into your home. In this case, you may find yourself having to clean more often than usual.

Better HVAC Efficiency

Using B&L Ott’s duct cleaning service can improve your HVAC system’s efficiency.

Save Energy and Money

clock-1758191_960_720If your energy bills have been increasing, clogged air ducts might be the cause. When too much dirt builds up, it blocks the air that is trying to flow through. In this case, the energy used to warm or cool the air is wasted because it never leaves the air ducts. Your HVAC system will also have to run longer to reach your desired temperature. The longer your system runs, the more you will pay.

Extended HVAC Life

Every time your system turns on and runs, the different parts interact. Friction slowly wears down the various components over time. Yet, the longer your system has to run, the faster this process will occur. You can boost your HVAC’s efficiency by scheduling B&L Ott’s duct cleaning service. You can also get the rest of your HVAC system inspected at the same time. This way, you can catch issues at an early stage and repair them before they turn into more costly problems. You can keep your system in better shape so it will last longer.

Make Sure the Job Gets Done Right

You need the right tools to properly clean your air ducts. It is difficult to thoroughly clean air ducts yourself. Hiring a professional from B&L Ott will help ensure that the job gets done correctly. B&L offers duct cleaning services to the Berks County area. You can click on the following link to learn more: http://otthvac.com/duct-cleaning/.

How Often Should I Get Them Cleaned?

Your air ducts should be cleaned every five to seven years. If you have pets or smokers in your household you will benefit from more frequent cleaning. This is also true for occupants with allergies, asthma or respiratory problems. Home renovations and water contamination can also cause debris to accumulate faster. If you have questions, contact B&L Ott for help by calling 620-816-6026. You can also use the contact page on our website: http://otthvac.com/contact-us/.

Read more

Don’t Make These Furnace Care Mistakes This Winter

girl-570557_960_720When you take care of your stuff, it will last longer. Sometimes it may seem like appliances just don’t last as long as they used to. Yet, you can still prolong the life of your systems. All you have to do is learn how to properly maintain them.

B&L Ott is here to help you with your HVAC maintenance needs. If you ever have questions, contact us directly or check out our blog for HVAC tips. Now that cold weather has finally hit the Reading area, you will be running your furnace. To keep it running at optimum efficiency, be sure to avoid these mistakes.

Forgetting to Seal Up and Insulate Your Home

Making sure your home is sealed and insulated ensure furnace efficiency. When there is a crack in the window, door, or wall, you pay for warm air that you are losing. Before you turn on your furnace, you should inspect your home for air leaks and fix them. Ensure that windows are locked and consider buying draft guards for doors.

You should also insulate your home. If you need new doors or windows, buy thick ones that hold in more heat. Covering your windows with curtains can also add another layer to block the air. Insulating your attic and basement may also be helpful. If you have unfurnished rooms, install drywall over bare walls. When the warm air stays inside, your B&L Ott furnace won’t have to work as hard to heat your Berks County home.

Blocking the Air Vents

Whether you have the heat or the air on, you should avoid blocking vents. Don’t put any furniture, posters, etc. on top of a vent. It blocks air circulation and can cause a warm or cold spot in your home. If possible, you should also try to avoid putting furniture in front of your vents. The more room the air has to circulate, the better. Also, be sure to clean the vents regularly. This ensures that dust and debris won’t block the air.

Forgetting to Change the Filter

Clogged filters can cause more problems than you may expect. If you don’t clean your filter regularly, the filter will become covered in debris. With no exposed fibers to catch the dust, the dirt will get into your system. When this happens, the air in your home will become contaminated with allergens. You may find your family sneezing and getting sick more often. Debris can also interfere with the machinery in your B&L Ott furnace. It can block moving parts and cause malfunctions.

tool-145375_960_720Neglecting Maintenance and Repairs

You should always get your furnace inspected and repaired when you notice an issue. Whether you hear sounds or notice inaccuracies, it is best to get issues checked out as soon as possible. If you neglect problems, they will most likely get worse. You will likely have to pay more for repairs as well.

When you want your system fixed right, call a professional HVAC technician. If you are not sure what you are doing, you may make the issue worse.  When you call B&L Ott, we will help you schedule an appointment as soon as possible. A certified technician will get your furnace back in working order so that your family will be warm.

Setting Your Thermostat Too High

When Berks County temperatures near or drop below 0⁰, it can be tempting to crank your heat up into the 80’s. However, this creates a variety of issues. It may cause your B&L Ott furnace to overwork itself. The higher you set the thermostat, the longer your furnace will have to run.

When your B&L Ott furnace is constantly running, it won’t have a chance to cool down. It will also cause wear and tear on the parts which may lead to more problems. Longer running time also means more expensive bills and a shorter over life for your B&L Ott furnace.

Heating an Empty Home

Do you want to pay to heat an empty home? If your family is not home during the day and you keep your B&L Ott furnace running, you may be wasting energy. You are also paying for heat you aren’t using. You should turn your furnace back while you are not home. Don’t turn it off completely, though. You will end up losing too much heat and pay extra to replace all the heat you lost.

B&L Ott also offers programmable thermostats. A programmable thermostat allows you to create a schedule for your HVAC system. All you have to do is program a schedule and your system will do the rest. It will turn your furnace off when you leave and turn it back on before you return home. A B&L Ott programmable thermostat will save you both time and energy.

Read more

Should I Cover My Air Conditioner in the Winter?

 

ice-1125335_960_720Winters are unpredictable in Berks County. Some years we barely see any snow. Other years, our yards and air conditioning units get buried in a few feet of snow. In mid to late fall, many B&L Ott customers begin to winterize their homes. They clean up leaves, store away their gardening tools and break out the shovels.

When it comes to HVAC systems, many B&L Ott customers begin to prepare their furnace for winter. It is important to remember to take care of the rest of your HVAC system, though. You should winterize your air conditioner to ensure that it will be in working order for next season. When it comes to the outdoor condenser, many B&L Ott customers wonder if they should cover their unit. Each customer may have their own preference, but if you are unsure, this B&L Ott guide will help you decide.

What Elements Can Your Air Conditioner Handle?

Outdoor air conditioning units are built to withstand high and low temperatures but may struggle with other natural elements.  They can handle small to average amounts rain and snow. However, your B&L Ott system may run into problems when it encounters harsh Berks County weather such as ice and wind storms. If too much debris or precipitation gets into your system, it can damage the parts. Weather can also affect your systems efficiency and cause your energy bills to increase.  If you encounter a problem, contact B&L Ott for maintenance and repairs.

Reasons to Cover Your Air Conditioning Unit

 

Protection from Weather

Your B&L Ott outdoor condenser is designed to keep critical parts safe from precipitation. Yet, if extreme weather causes water to get into your system, that water can damage the machinery. Water is a fluid substance that doesn’t take much effort to move. If it getting into the crucial components of your system, it is likely to cause major problems.  For instance, if water freezes on the coils, it will damage the coils and cause corrosion over time. Too much ice can also block air flow and ventilation which will increase your energy bills.

Protection from Foliage

Covering your system can protect it from falling branches in debris. If your Berks County home is surrounded by trees, you know how often limbs break under the weight of the snow. The branches can bring down power lines or break fences. If foliage falls onto your condenser, it can clog the ventilation. If a twig gets stuck between the moving components it can cause jams and breaks. B&L Ott recommends trimming trees and removing leaves near your system before winter begins.

Reasons Not to Cover Your Air Conditioning Unit

 

animal-17819_960_720Animals See Covered Systems as Shelter

When you use a cover, small animals see your outdoor condenser as a shelter. The cover helps block the wind and keep precipitation out. It is a great place for animals to keep warm. This can be bad news for you, though. If they start building a nest, you may experience jams or poor ventilation. This can cost you in repairs. If you do encounter this problem, contact the specialists at B&L Ott for help.

Better Ventilation

Air conditioner covers decrease the air flow and ventilation of your B&L Ott condenser. When your system cannot ventilate properly, some moisture may get trapped in the unit. This provides conditions for mold and mildew to grow. However, with regular inspections and proper maintenance, you can help avoid these problems.

Deciding

B&L Ott encourages our customers to cover their systems in the winter. We believe that protecting your system from the elements is the best way to prolong its life and keep it running efficiently. A popular solution is to place plywood on the top to block falling debris. This tactic still allows for proper ventilation.

When covering your system, you should never use plastic as it blocks the air flow. Whichever material you do use, make sure that it can breathe. Another solution is to build a shelter for your condenser. You can find a variety of designs online. If you are still unsure about what option is best for you, contact the professionals at B&L Ott. We answer your questions and address your concerns.

Read more

Safety Tips for Boilers

trane boilerThere is a reason why boilers are typically tucked away in the basement. There can be dangerous if you don’t know how to properly use and take care of one. Still, we need them to provide warm water for daily uses. It is important to how to safely use and maintain one. Follow these tips and contact a B&L Ott professional if you need more help.

Follow Directions in the Manual

Although most boilers have similar components, there can be many differences. There may be different settings and features depending on the model and manufacturer. The best way to learn how to take care of your particular boiler is to read the directions in the manual. The manual should tell you what each part does, how to use it, and how to care for your boiler. You should follow the specific instructions in your manual. If you have misplaced your manual, contact B&L Ott in Berks County for help.

Look for Warning Signs with Inspections

Before you start up your boiler each season, you should inspect it. If it has been sitting all summer, it may run into issues or seize up. It is also a good idea to run your boiler every once and a while during the warmer months. This can prevent the parts from sticking or rusting. Be sure to perform the following checks as well.

  • Look for damaged wires, parts, and leaks.
  • Make sure the vents are clear.
  • Check the boiler’s water level and air pressure.
  • Make sure that all stack dampers and manual fuel valves are open.
  • Look for fuel accumulation in the furnace and flue passes.

If you think there is a problem, contact B&L Ott for a professional inspection. You should also contact B&L Ott annually to perform professional maintenance. Doing so will ensure that your boiler is running at maximum efficiency and safe to use.

Maintenance and Repairs

Performing regular maintenance will help ensure that your boiler is working properly. If a single part breaks, your entire system may malfunction. This can become a hazard. If you notice any strange noises, leaks, or temperature inaccuracy, contact B&L Ott. This is a sign that your system needs attention. Regular maintenance can also help ensure that your system maintains maximum efficiency.

black-and-white-1449131_960_720Keep Clutter Away

Boilers need proper ventilation to work properly. If your boiler is surrounded by clutter, it may not be properly ventilated. This can cause a variety of problems. Your boiler may set the nearby clutter on fire. Accumulated condensation can cause rust damage over time. Your boiler may release carbon monoxide, which is deadly if inhaled. Clutter can also get in the way of B&L Ott technicians trying to perform repairs or maintenance. Your boiler should be easily accessible for maintenance and repairs.

Get a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas. If there is an issue with your boiler, you don’t want it spreading throughout your home. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. It is undetectable by human senses. This is why B&L Ott recommends buying a carbon monoxide detector for your home. If you have a large home, you should consider getting more than one. If you only do get one, place it near your bedroom. This way, the detector will wake you up so that you can evacuate your home.

Teach Children and Employees Safety Tips

It is important to remember that you may not be the only one going near the boiler. If you have children in your home, be sure to teach them to stay away from the boiler. You don’t want them to get hurt. If your B&L Ott boiler is installed at work, be sure to inform your employees about boiler safety. You don’t want them tampering with it if they don’t know what they are doing.

Read more

Tips for Saving Money on Your Water Heater Bill

You rely on your water heater for warm showers, doing laundry, washing dishes, etc. When you use hot water for so many daily tasks, your water heater bill climbs higher and higher. Although you love the convenience of hot water, you may not appreciate the bills that come with it.

If your water heater bills are too high, B&L Ott is here to help. There are a variety of ways you can lower your water heater bill. By taking proper care of your water heater, you can lower your bills. You can also reduce the number of repairs needed, and prolong your water heater’s life.

shower-653671_960_720Conserve Water in Your Daily Routine

Everyone wants a long hot shower after a hard day of work. It helps relax your muscles and gives you time to clear your head. Yet, the longer you take, the higher your bills go. By learning to conserve hot water, you can save more on your water heater bill. The average shower uses approximately 2 gallons per minute. When you add multiple people over many days and other utilities that use hot water, every gallon adds up.

There are a variety of ways to conserve hot water. Instead of taking long showers, snuggle up in a warm blanket with a warm drink. Only wash your clothing and dishes when you have a full load. Some clothing such as jeans and hoodies can be worn a few days before they need to be washed. Saving a little bit every day will save a good amount of energy and money in the long run.

Lower the Temperature on the Thermostat

Most manufacturers set the thermostat at a higher temperature than some households really need. Even when you are not using hot water, water will be heated and put on standby for when you do need it. The higher your thermostat is set, the more energy your water heater will use to warm up your water. When this water is not getting used and is only on standby. You are paying for extra heat that you are not using. Turning back the thermostat by 10-20 degrees can save both energy and money.

Insulate Your Water Heater

If you have a hot water storage tank that is not factory insulated, insulating it can help retain heat. Most hardware stores sell insulation blankets for this purpose. B&L Ott recommends insulation only for water heaters in cooler, unconditioned spaces. It is also a good idea to insulate your pipes. Hot water loses heat as it travels from the storage tank to your faucets and shower heads. By insulating your exposed pipes you can help trap some of the heat so that less is lost.

Perform Regular Maintenance and Fix Leaks

plumbing-840835_960_720If you do not properly take care of your water heater, you will likely run into problems. Sediment will collect in the storage tank, parts may break, or leaks can occur. Issues like these make your system have to work harder to do its job. The harder your system works, the more money comes out of your wallet. You will also have to pay more money for repairs.

B&L Ott recommends inspecting and performing water heater maintenance regularly. Check for leaks and damaged parts. Drain the sediment out of the bottom of the tank. If you need help with maintenance or repairs, you should contact B&L Ott. A knowledgeable B&L Ott technician can answer any questions you may have. They can also help you learn how to properly take care of your specific heater.

Upgrade Your Heater for More Efficiency

If your water heater is on the old, it may not be as efficient as some of the newer models. The more efficient your system is, the more money you save in the long run. If you are interested in an upgrade, contact B&L Ott. You can also learn more about B&L Ott’s water heater services here: http://otthvac.com/water-heater-installation-maintenance/. If you live in the Berks County area, B&L Ott can help you select the right water heater for your home and family.

Read more

Reasons to Get a Generac Generator from B&L Ott

generac generatorFall is here and colder weather is on its way. When the harsh winds start to blow, trees fall on power lines. When the roads are slippery, cars and trucks can crash into telephone poles as well. You can lose power unexpectedly and in an instant. Losing power is a great inconvenience. Without power, you lose the ability to complete most of your daily activities. A Generac Generator from B&L Ott will allow you to rest assured that you and your family have power when you need it.

Your Home Stays Operational 

If you aren’t home to turn on your portable generator, your home can run into a variety of problems. Without power, the systems and appliances that keep your home operational stop working. Lack of electric power can allow your pipes to freeze, your home to flood, or your food to spoil.

With a B&L Ott Generac Generator, you won’t have to worry about these issues. Most of B&L Otts Generac Generators automatically turn on when the power goes out. When the sensors detect a power outage, a message will be sent to the generator to turn on.  It will power the necessary systems to keep your home functioning. Unlike a portable generator, you don’t have to worry about hooking it up to your various systems. You also don’t have to worry about going out in the cold every few hours to refuel the generator.

Have Heat and Air Conditioning

Without a working HVAC system in the dead of winter, your home’s temperature will drop quickly. In the middle of summer, the heat will become unbearable in just a few hours. You have to use blankets to keep you warm and handheld fans to keep you cool. While the HVAC system is off, warm and cool air leaks out of your home. Then when the power is restored, your HVAC system has to work overtime to get the temperature back to normal.  With a B&L Ott Generac Generator, you can stay comfortable and save your HVAC system some work.

Have Water Pressure

Another problem that comes with no power is that you lose water pressure. If you can predict the outage, you have time to fill the bathtub with water. However, if you lose power unexpectedly, you may not have water for washing, cooking or drinking. With a B&L Ott Generac generator, you can keep the water flowing. You won’t have to make due or find water elsewhere.

refrigerator-70580_960_720Keep Your Food from Spoiling

You need your refrigerator to keep your food fresh and cold. If your refrigerator stops running due to an outage, your food will get warm and begin to spoil. The frozen food in the freezer will also begin to melt. If your power doesn’t come back on within a few hours, you may end up having to throw out a good amount of food.

A B&L Ott Generac generator will save you all that money lost on spoiled food. It will keep your refrigerator running so that your food stays edible during a power outage. A B&L Ott generator can also help ensure that you have the tools and ingredients you need to cook and prepare food.

Minimize Business Downtime

B&L Ott generators can also be installed in office buildings. If you own a business, no power means many of your employees can’t do their job. They can process orders, answer phones, or use machinery. Downtime causes your business to lose money.  A B&L Ott generator can help ensure that your business stays up and running so you don’t lose profits.

Avoid Flood Damage

No one wants a flooded basement. If your home loses power, so does your sump pump. Accumulated water will not be removed from your home. If the weather is rainy or snowy, your basement may end up flooding as a result. Any possessions in the basement may also get destroyed. B&L Ott’s Generac generators can save the day. When you lose power, they will keep your sump pump running so your basement stays dry.

Contact B&L Ott to Install a Generac Generator

If you live in the Berks County area and are interested in installing a Generac generator, contact B&L Ott. We can answer any questions you may have and help guide you through the installation process.

Read more