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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.

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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.

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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.

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Don’t Buy an Oversized Furnace

trane furnaceWhen it comes time to replace your furnace, one of the first tasks is to choose a new model. There are many features to take into consideration. You should think about cost, efficiency, quality and size. If your current furnace is too small to handle the load, you may be tempted you buy one of the largest models you can find. You don’t want to have to worry about uneven heating, rising energy bills, or many breakdowns. Yet, choosing a furnace that is too large is not the best solution.

When it comes to choosing the size of your new furnace, you should consult a B&L Ott professional. They can help you choose the best model for your home and lifestyle. Choosing a furnace that is too large can have its consequences. Although it can handle heating more air, it can run into other problems that you may not think of.

Short Cycling

Short cycling occurs when the furnace doesn’t run long enough to reach the temperature on the thermostat. When a furnace is oversized, it runs hotter than it should. When it gets too hot, the safety features will shut your system off. This prevents your system from overheating. It can also keep it from accurately warming your home.

Some newer furnace systems will shut down completely if it short cycles too often. This is to prevent damage. If this happens in the dead of winter, you could get stuck without warm air. You may end up having to wait until a B&L Ott technician can come fix it for you.

Inefficiency

A furnace uses the most energy when it fires up. When the furnace is too large, it constantly starts up, runs for a short period of time, then shuts off. This process repeats. The more the furnace has to fire up, the less efficient it becomes. Your energy bills will increase and more breakdowns may occur. The constant turning on and off will damage the parts faster. When the furnace’s components get damaged faster, you will have to call B&L Ott for repairs more often.

Shorter Life Span

These repairs can become costly and shorten the lifespan of your furnace. Before you know it, you may have to completely replace your furnace. If this happens, be sure to talk to a B&L Ott before purchasing a new furnace. A B&L Ott technician can help you choose the best furnace so that you don’t make the same mistake twice.

girl-15715_960_720Less Comfortable

Oversized furnaces also make for an uncomfortable atmosphere. When the furnace only runs for a short period of time, it will not evenly heat your home. Some areas may end up feeling too hot, while other places may be too cold. Once your thermostat senses the correct temperature, it tells the furnace to turn off. If your thermostat heats up quickly, the furnace will shut off before the entire house gets warm.  To make sure your home’s temperature stays comfortable, talk to a B&L Ott technician. They can help you make the best choices for maximum comfort.

More Difficult to Install

Larger furnaces can also be more difficult for a B&L Ott technician to install. They may have to knock out walls to make more space for the furnace to fit. Certain connections may also need to be changed to ensure the furnace will work properly. Issues connecting to your current ductwork are also possible. With so many potential problems, installation of a large furnace can become costly. If you want to spend a lot on furnace installation, talk to a B&L Ott technician about your options.

Determining the Right Size

The best way to determine what size furnace you should buy is by comparing it to your current system. If you think you need a larger furnace, gradually increase the size. Don’t drastically increase the size. If you are still unsure, contact B&L Ott in Berks County. We can send one of our knowledgeable technicians to your home to help you determine what size you need. The B&L technician will look at the size of your home and learn more about your lifestyle. These factors will help them determine what size you need.

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The Pros and Cons of Ductless Heating and Cooling

hvac financingDuctless heating and cooling systems have been around for decades. Mini-split systems are HVAC alternatives to forced air and window air conditioners. They come with a variety of pros and cons to consider. They are a useful option when you want to add temperature control to one or two preexisting rooms. B&L Ott prefers Mitsubishi brand mini-split systems because they are quiet, easy-to-use, and efficient. B&L Ott can easily install one in your Berks County home or business building.

Pros

Don’t Take Up Much Room

Mini-split HVAC systems are only slightly larger than a window unit. They are composed of one or two indoor units, one outdoor unit, and a controller. The main units are connected by a line of wires and refrigerant pipes through a small hole in the wall. Indoor units are long and thin and are usually mounted above a window or door on an outer wall.

Easy to Install

Installation of a mini-split system is fast and easy. You won’t have to take off work for long for a B&L Ott mini-split HVAC system installation. First, a B&L Ott technician will mount both the indoor and outdoor units. Then they will connect the refrigerant and electrical lines. Within an hour or two, you will be able to warm or cool your room with a new mini-split system from B&L Ott.

Less Air Leaks and Security Issues

Forced central air systems that use ducts are prone to air leaks due to blockages. When dirt and debris build up in air ducts, they make HVAC system’s work harder to warm or cool your home. You end up paying for lost air. This is not a problem with a mini-split HVAC system from B&L Ott. Without ducts to pass through, little to no air is lost. Window units block the window and create a safety hazard. B&L Ott mini-split systems do not create the same issue.

Efficient

B&L Ott mini-split HVAC systems are more efficient than traditional HVAC systems. Without ducts and leaks, more air gets directly into your home. This saves both energy and makes your home more environmentally-friendly. It will also help you save money on your energy bills. B&L Ott mini-split HVAC systems also work differently than traditional models. Instead of turning on and off, they speed up and slow down. This also requires less energy to function.             

Quiet

If you are tired of noisy HVAC systems, you will be glad to know that most B&L Ott mini-split systems are quiet. This is a practical feature for those who prefer peace and quiet or have a young child in their home.

dollar-1362244_960_720Cons

Upfront Cost

Mini-split systems are more much more expensive than window units. Mini-split systems are also more expensive than forced central air systems if you add them to more than a few rooms. They do make up for the upfront cost with improved efficiency over time, though. If you are unsure about the costs of our different HVAC systems, contact B&L Ott. One of our technicians can help you make those calculations based on your situation.

Regular Maintenance

B&L Ott mini-split HVAC systems need more maintenance than some other systems. Each unit’s filter must be washed monthly. If you neglect maintenance, debris will accumulate and cause serious problems. You will also need to call B&L Ott to repair, clean, and inspect your system. Neglect can also shorten the life expectancy of your mini-split HVAC system.

Aesthetics

Mini-split HVAC systems don’t come in a variety of colors or styles. Most come in the basic colors of white, beige or black. They also can’t cover them so finding a way to camouflage them is difficult. Yet, some B&L Ott customers find them easy to forget about as they are small and mounted high.

Difficulty Handling Large Loads

Older models can have trouble handling the harsh Berks county winters and brutal summers. Some mini-split HVAC systems have trouble handling large loads because of their small size.  Yet, some newer models can handle larger loads. As HVAC technology improves, B&L Ott’s mini-split system become stronger and more efficient. If you live in the Reading area and are interested in a mini-split HVAC system, contact B&L Ott. We can help answer any questions you may have.

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When Should I Replace My HVAC System?

the-eleventh-hour-758723_960_720The life expectancy of an HVAC system is not a set amount of time. Most manufacturers tell you how long your HVAC system will last on the box or in the manual. Yet many variables can affect the true life expectancy. With this in mind, it can be difficult to determine when you should buy a new one. B&L Ott in Berks County is here to help.

Below you will find a variety of questions you can ask yourself. These questions will help you determine when it’s time to replace your current HVAC system. If you need more help or have more questions, feel free to contact B&L Ott for advice. We have skilled and knowledgeable technicians who are ready to assist you.

How Well Has Your HVAC System Been Working?

One of the easiest ways to determine if you need a new HVAC system is to analyze how well your current one is working. Have you been calling B&L Ott often lately for repairs or maintenance? If you need repairs every month or two, it may be time for a new system.

Many customers put off purchasing a new system because they believe it is too expensive. Buying a new HVAC system can save you money in the long run, though. Paying for many repairs and a new system after a breakdown is more expensive than paying for just a new system.

How Well Has Your HVAC System Been Maintained?

Do you take care of your system and provide proper maintenance? You should inspect, clean, and fix minor repairs monthly.  If you’ve been neglecting your HVAC, your HVAC system will not last as long. It may not even last until the beginning of its life expectancy.  With excellent maintenance, you may be able to use if well past its life expectancy. If you need help with maintenance, schedule an appointment with a B&L Ott technician.

How Old is Your HVAC System?

Although the manufacturer’s approximation is not exact, it is usually a close estimate. You will also want to think about when the HVAC’s model was released. Older models do not last as long as newer models. As years go by, HVAC technology improves and systems last longer and longer. Most HVAC systems will last between 15 and 20 years. If your system is nearing this age, you may want to start thinking about a replacement.

Does the Temperature in Your Home Vary? Do You Want It To?

Uneven heating and cooling can be another reason to replace or upgrade your HVAC system. If your home has warm or cool spots, your current HVAC system may be inefficient. When your HVAC system is too small, it may struggle to control the temperature of your entire home. Upgrading to a larger model from B&L Ott will help ensure that you have comfort throughout your home. B&L Ott also offers home comfort zoning and mini-split systems.

accountant-1238598_960_720Are Your Energy Bills Too High?

High energy bills can also be a sign that you need a new HVAC system. Older machines may struggle to run efficiently due to worn out parts or clogged airways. The older your HVAC system, the harder it has to work to change the temperature in your home. If your system is too old, you may notice your energy bills rising. Your lights may also dim whenever your HVAC system turns on. A new HVAC system from B&L Ott can help lower your energy bill by efficiently warming and cooling your home.

Is Your HVAC System Noisy?

As parts get worn, they begin to break and no longer work properly. This can cause your HVAC system to make some strange noises. If your system is loud when running, it may be time to replace and upgrade. Most newer HVAC models run much more quietly than old models. If you want more peace and quiet, you should consider buying a new system from B&L Ott.

System Replacement Planning from B&L Ott

If you are not quite ready to replace your HVAC system, but still want to plan a replacement, B&L Ott offers system replacement planning. System replacement planning allows you to consider options beforehand and plan your budget. This way you do not have to rush your HVAC choice or scramble to find the payment. To learn more, you can view our service page here: http://otthvac.com/system-replacement-planning/. You can also contact B&L Ott through our website here: http://otthvac.com/contact-us/ or call us at 610-816-6026.

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Pests in Your HVAC System?

Nobody likes a pest. They invade your home, eat your food and sometimes destroy your belongings. This is why we have exterminators. One of the most inconvenient items they can damage is your HVAC system. When they do, you’re left with a lack of temperature control and costly repairs. Berks County’s B&L Ott can help you repair any HVAC damage caused by pests. B&L Ott also recommends preventing HVAC damage using the tips below.

Why Do Pests Invade My HVAC System?

mouse-1335602_960_720There are many reasons why pests invade your home and HVAC system. One of the likeliest reasons is that they are looking for a protected place to nest. This is why it is important to stop the problem sooner than later. If you don’t get help when it’s just a few, you could end up with a colony of pests in your home. They want their offspring to be safe and protected from predators. Your vents and home are usually a good place for this. It is too small for most predators to enter and has walls to protect them. It is also warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Many pests are also attracted to the smell of the food you store in your home. If you are cooking, the smell of the food will blow through your vents and bring hungry rodents. It is important to properly care for your HVAC system. Inspect all the components regularly and contact B&L Ott if you have any concerns. Proper care can prevent detrimental problems.

What Kind of Damage Do Pests Do?

To move around and build nests, vermin will often chew through your HVAC system’s components. This can cause leaks which can cost you in repairs. The holes also allow energy to escape. When the energy escapes, warm or cool air can be lost. Then your HVAC system has to work harder to reach a comfortable temperature. This can raise your energy bill drastically. If you are interested in selling your home, HVAC damage can also decrease the value of your home.

Pests can also cause air quality dips. If a rodent dies in your air ducts, after some time they will begin to stink and the smell will be sent through your vents. Your home will begin to smell. If you think you need your vents to be cleaned, you can contact B&L Ott. Poor air quality can also cause health issues. Pests bring dander and allergens which can aggravate those with allergies or respiratory issues. Certain pests nesting in your outdoor unit may also aggressively defend their territory. Passersby may experience stings or bites.   ­

How Do I Prevent Pests?

Use these tips from B&L Ott to help prevent pests from getting into your HVAC system.

Seal Ducts and Make Sure Outdoor Grates are Secure

One of the first steps you will want to take is to look for holes or cracks.  You should look both in your units and where the components connect to the outside. Openings give easy access to bugs and rodents and invite them into your home. Even if the hole is only the size of a pencil, pests will still be able to squeeze through them. You should inspect your units and look for openings regularly. If you find any cracks, be sure to seal them and search for vermin that may have already gotten into your system.

Install Flue and Vent Covers

Other places where pests sneak into your home include exterior flues, intakes, and vents. These are openings that you shouldn’t seal off. If you did your B&L Ott HVAC system would not work properly. Rather than sealing them off, you can buy special covers help block bugs and rodents. These covers can also help keep water out of your vents. Make sure the cover is tight and secure. If it’s loose resourceful pests will still find their way in.

Protect Your Air Conditioning Condenser

trane heat pump unitYou will also want to protect your air conditioning condenser. Pests may chew the wiring, create leaks or clog the system with nesting. A damaged condenser will affect your HVAC system’s ability to cool your home. If you notice problems, you should contact B&L Ott as soon as possible. If left untreated, damage can lead to cause catastrophic compressor failure. To prevent these issues, clear the area of vegetation that attracts vermin. You can also clean the unit with warm water and mild soap.

Use Bug Repellents

Another solution is to spray bug repellents. It is one of the best ways to keep pests out of the area. Repellents can affect the air quality, though. If you spray chemicals near the system, the unit can intake the molecules and blow them into your home. If you have young children, you may not want them breathing in these chemicals. The best solution is to check your units often and eliminate stray bugs before they colonize.

What to Do

If you notice any pests, the first step you should take is to call an exterminator or pest removal expert. They will know the best way to eliminate or relocate the pests. Afterward, you can clean out your system. If you need any help, you should contact B&L Ott in Reading. One of our technicians can inspect your system for you and provide an estimate for maintenance or repairs.

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Reasons to Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat

Just like every other appliance, HVAC systems are working with more technology these days. If you still have a manual thermostat, it may be time for an upgrade. One of the most popular HVAC features today is programmable thermostats. Programmable thermostats help you manage the temperature in your home.

thermostat zoning

A programmable thermostat from B&L Ott makes it easy to maintain a comfortable atmosphere and add value to your home. If you live in the Berks County area, contact B&L Ott to discuss an upgrade.

Convenient and Consistent

One of the top reasons customers decide to upgrade is convenience. All you have to do is create a schedule once and the thermostat will do the rest. It will continually cycle through that schedule each week. You can also change the schedule depending on the season or time of year.

A programmable thermostat automatically changes the temperature according to your input and preferences. You can forget about having to adjust the temperature each day. You will have more time to relax with your family.

Comfort

With a manual thermostat, you likely turn your thermostat down when you leave your home. Then immediately turn it on when you get back. Unfortunately, you have to deal with a room that is too hot or too cold for a while before you are comfortable.

With a programmable thermostat, you can say goodbye to this problem. Just program your HVAC system to turn off around the time you leave and on just before you plan on arriving home. You will come home to a comfortable temperature. You may also set it to a cooler temperature at night for comfortable sleeping. The choice is up to you! If you need help programming your new thermostat, a B&L Ott’s technician would be happy to help you.

electric-147539_960_720Efficiency

When it’s too hot or cold, you may leave your HVAC system running while you are away. If you are away for more than a few hours, time can add up.  Your energy bill may skyrocket. No one wants to pay for something they are not using. By upgrading to a programmable thermostat from B&L Ott, you can save both time and energy.

You should program your thermostat to maintain energy-saving levels for eight hours every day. This will increase the efficiency of your HVAC system and save energy. Then set it to a comfortable temperature while you are at home. This can save you up to 30% of your typical energy bill. Within a few years, a programmable thermostat can end up paying for itself in savings.

Prevents Overuse of HVAC System

If you constantly leave your HVAC system running, you are pushing it too hard. Just like you and any other machine, an HVAC system will break down if it is overworked and not taken care of. When you leave your system running, the parts will experience a lot of wear and tear. Then you may end up having to pay for many repairs. Eventually, the system will experience a total breakdown and you will have to pay even more for a new system.

Buying a programmable thermostat can ensure that your HVAC system gets a break. You also won’t have to sacrifice a comfortable temperature. If you are forgetful, the thermostat will remember to adjust the temperature for you. It can save both you and your HVAC system a lot of stress.

Plenty of Options to Suit Your Needs

Are you interested in using the latest technology? If so, you will be interested in all the options programmable thermostats have to offer. There are a variety of features to suit your family’s lifestyle. Some models allow you to combine the thermostat with home comfort zoning. With this feature, you can divide your home into sections. Then you can separately schedule temperature changes. This is a helpful feature if you have a baby in your home.

Some models can also connect to your smartphone. With this feature, you can change the temperature from anywhere at any time. This option is helpful for families who are often on the go. If you want to learn more about programmable thermostats, contact B&L Ott. We can also help you schedule an installation.

 

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Which Type of Air Conditioner Should I Buy?

person-864804_960_720Even if you know that you want to buy a new air conditioner from B&L Ott, you may not know what type of system to get. You may not even know what types and features are available. There are many types of air conditioning systems and even more models and brands. Each one has something different to offer you.

Some units are more effective while others are more compact and quiet. They come with different efficiency ratings, different technology advancements and of course different prices. With so many different options, it can be an overwhelming task to choose the right system for your needs. Let B&L Ott help with this guide. If you need more help, you can also schedule an appointment with a B&L Ott technician.

Single Window Units

Features

Single window units are one of the most common and effective solutions to cool a single small room. With this type of air conditioner, a single box house all the components. This included the compressor, condenser, expansion valve coil, evaporator and cooling coil. Single window units use a hose to vent the hot air out of the room, thus keeping the room cooler.

Benefits

One of the single window unit’s nicest features is that they are small. They can fit into a window or small wall compartment. You can also move it to another room if the need arises. This type of air conditioner is also one of the cheapest systems. If you need a quick and easy fix for a single room, a single window unit may be your best option.

Installation is fast and easy. Installing this type of system can take less than a half hour. Some tech-savvy owners choose to install this type of unit themselves.  Yet, it is always a good idea to call on a professional from B&L Ott. We will properly install your new system and answer any questions you may have.

Possible Issues

This type of air conditioning is not effective if you need to cool more than one small room. Some models can be heavy or noisy. When placed in a window they can also cause security risks. Some non-quality systems also can get too hot and leak heat back into the room.

mitsubishi minisplit heating and coolingSplit Air Systems/ Ductless Mini-Split Systems

Features

If you only need extra cooling in a few rooms a split air system or ductless mini-split system are a good solution. Some systems connect to your pre-existing ducts, while other units are ductless. If your home does not already have ducts, a ductless mini-split system may be your best option. Talk to a B&L Ott technician to learn more.

With a split system B&L Ott will need to install two fairly small units. The indoor unit contains the evaporator coil and cooling fan. This unit removes heat and moisture from the air. This unit is usually mounted high on the wall. The outdoor unit contains the condenser coil and the compressor. This releases the heat and pumps refrigerant through the coils. Tubing in the wall connects these two units.

Benefits

Ductless mini-split system installation from B&L Ott is fast and easy. They are usually quieter and more powerful than single units. They also don’t lose heat through the use of ducts. This makes them more energy efficient and saves you money on your electric bills. Another positive feature is that they allow you to set up different temperature zones. If you only need cooling in a single room, a mini-split system can accommodate those needs.

Possible Issues

Split Air Systems are more expensive than single units. They can also be more expensive than central air systems if you install them in more than a few rooms. To cool your entire home, it would cost roughly 30 percent more. They also need to be permanently mounted on an outside wall. Installation can be tricky, even for tech-savvy owners. You should call B&L Ott to buy and install a mini split air conditioning system.

Packaged Central/Forced Air

Features

B&L Ott recommends central air systems for those who want to cool their entire home. For most systems, B&L Ott installs a single large outdoor unit on a slab of concrete. This box contains all the components, including the compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator. A blower and air ducts circulate the air throughout your home. Central air conditioning systems work by removing warm air. Then they cycle the cool air throughout your home to reach your desired temperature.

Benefits

Central air conditioning is one of the most effective ways to cool your home. They have more power than individual and split units. Central air is also the most affordable way to cool more than a few rooms. With most of the machinery outside, central air is a quieter option for those who don’t want a lot of indoor noise.

Possible Issues

Installing a central forced air conditioning system can be complicated. If you do not already have ducts, B&L Ott may need to tear out walls to install some. Ducts also need cleaning every year or two. If you need help, B&L Ott offers a duct cleaning service.

 

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How to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

dust-1523106_960_720Bad air quality can make your family feel uncomfortable. High humidity and pollutants make it difficult to breathe. It can also agitate those with allergies, asthma or respiratory problems. It is important to check the air quality in your home and take action to keep your air clean. Doing so will keep your family happy and healthy. Here are some tips from B&L Ott in Berks County to keep your air breathable.

Change Filters

An air filter works like a spider’s web. Fibers clean the air by trapping dirt that floats by. When the fibers become clogged, dust will be pushed past the filter and into your home. The debris will pollute the air, making it harder to breathe comfortably. You may also find more dirt and dust throughout your home. To ensure proper air quality, you should clean or replace your filter at least once per month.

Have Ducts Cleaned

If you have forced air, dirt will also build up in your air ducts over time. When your HVAC system is turned on, the air will push the pollutants out of the ducts and into your home. If you have a pet or use chemicals to clean your home often, the air will become polluted at an accelerated rate. Cleaning your air ducts every 1-2 years can help you keep contaminants out of your home. Without the right equipment, it can be difficult to clean the air ducts on your own. Schedule an appointment with one of B&L Ott’s professional technicians for help.

Ventilate Your Home

If you like to keep your windows and doors closed, dust might be getting trapped in your home. Trapped debris makes the air stuffy. To fix this problem, open your doors and windows regularly. The stale air will be replaced with fresh air and you will breathe easier.  Be sure to check the weather before ventilating. The outside air will affect the temperature and humidity of your home.

Use Dehumidifiers to Decrease Chance of Mold Growth

Mold likes to grow in damp, dark areas. If your home is on the humid side, you may be risking mold growth. We recommend that you keep your humidity level between 30-55 percent. You may have different preferences, depending on the season and their daily routine. Berks County has humid weather, especially during the summer months.

High or low humidity levels can also pose threats of illness. Air that is too dry can damage your furniture and skin. Too much moisture can make it difficult to sleep due to muggy air. B&L Ott can help you keep your home at the proper humidity by helping you choose the right size and model.

vacuum-cleaner-268179_960_720Vacuum and Dust

After floating through the air, debris settles on your floors, shelves, and tables. When you walk by, you can disturb the dust and push it back into the air. Vacuuming and dusting weekly can help rid of the dirt that pollutes the air. You should vacuum and dust at least 1-2 times per week. If you have pets, messy children, or use chemicals, you may want to clean more often. By completing this simple task, you can quickly improve the air quality in your home.

Have B&L Ott Inspect Your Home

The best way to check the air quality of your home is to call in the professionals. B&L Ott has been improving air quality in the Reading area for three decades. Our trained technicians can test both the cleanliness and humidity of your air. We will also recommend the best solution for your situation and budget. If your family has been having trouble breathing lately, it may be time to call in the professionals at B&L Ott.

 

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