Archives for Air Conditioning

B&L Ott’s Guide to Condenser Coils

How much do you know about your air conditioner and how it works? When it comes to your HVAC system, it is important to know the basics. Understanding how your system works allows you to take better care of it. To learn how your entire system works, it is best to start with understanding what each part and its function. In this B&L Ott guide, you can learn how to identify and care for the condenser coil. With the right maintenance, your system will last longer and save you money.

The Basics

A condenser coil is a part of the refrigeration system inside your air conditioner. It aids in transferring and exchanging heat in your home. It is filled with a substance called refrigerant that circulates through both an indoor and outdoor coil.

The refrigerant is cool when it is sent inside your home. The indoor fan blows the air in your home across the indoor coil. During this process, the refrigerant absorbs the heat. Then it is transported back outside. This leaves the air in your home cooler. Once outside, a fan blows air across the coil and a compressor changes the pressure of the refrigerant. This helps dissipate the heat and cool the refrigerant.

It might sound bizarre, but this process can still cool your home, even when Berks County summer hit 100 degrees. The key is the refrigerant which can operate at different temperatures and pressures. It can still dissipate heat when the temperature outside is much hotter than the temperature inside.

Location

The condenser coil is located in the outside unit where your compressor is. It looks very similar to the radiator in your car. However, it may look a little different if you get a Trane all-aluminum spine fin coils. Basically, these coils look like a tube with a bunch of little fingers coming off of them. This design allows the coils to operate at a higher efficiency than most other coils.

B&L Ott Recommendations

B&L Ott uses Trane systems that have protected coils. This way, the outdoor placement of your unit is not as critical. However, we do recommend installing the outdoor unit away from trees and falling debris. If too many leaves, pollen, dirt, or dust fall into your unit, it can clog the coils and prevent proper ventilation. In fall, B&L Ott also recommends covering your outdoor unit with a Trane-specific condenser cover. These covers keep dirt and debris out but still allow air to circulate inside the unit.

Trane specific units use a powder coated cabinet to house the condenser coil. These cabinets are like no other in the industry. They greatly resist rust and corrosion to keep the condenser coil well protected, without starving the system for air. Remember, there should not be anything on these units during the cooling season.

Maintenance

The only maintenance required for outdoor condenser coils is a yearly cleaning. Cleaning removes all the debris from your unit so it can work at the highest possible efficiency. A well-maintained, efficient unit will save both energy and money. On the other hand, a neglected system may experience improper refrigerant pressures, efficiency issues, or premature failure of key system components. Give B&L Ott a call for all your heating and air conditioning needs.

You should not try to clean the coil yourself. Not only is cleaning it yourself dangerous because of high-voltage, but you could also damage your unit. You have to be careful about which company you choose to clean your unit as well. Some other companies may not use the correct cleaners or may not remove all the dirt from your unit. This can damage your unit and cost you more. Calling B&L Ott is the best way to ensure that your system is cleaned and maintained properly.

What to Expect from B&L Ott

On average, air conditioners last about 8-12 years. However, most well-maintained Trane models installed by B&L Ott can see an average of 15+ years. If your coil fails, it is probably time for a new system. An evaluation by B&L Ott will help you determine the best course of action. Proper maintenance is the key to ensuring you get the most from your coil and unit.

All of B&L Ott’s technicians have gone through specific training for this type of service. To clean the unit properly, we use a foaming degreaser to loosen the dirt first, then wash away the dirt with a hose. This is a process that is proven to work and takes about an hour. Our goal is to keep your HVAC system clean and running efficiently so your family can live comfortably.

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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.

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Lower Your Home’s Humidity

trane heat pump unitSummer is here! As the weather warms up and we have more rain in PA, the humidity outside can skyrocket; but the humidity inside your home can increase, too. This increased indoor humidity can make your home feel hotter and, in addition to making you feel uncomfortable, can also lead to mold and mildew building up, your home’s wood swelling and cracking (that’s what happens when your doors get stuck), and many other things that can lead to health issues and costly solutions.

Luckily you can take the following steps to lower your indoor humidity.

  1. Set your thermostat to maintain ideal temperatures. You want your house cool when you’re home and inside, but you don’t want to go far below the recommended low temperature. You also want to make sure you increase the indoor air temperature when you’re not home or when you are sleeping and don’t need it as cool. Why do you want your house temperature to be just right and not too cool? In addition to easing the strain on your HVAC system and ensuring it survives the summer, relative humidity decreases as the temperature increases because warm air holds more moisture. When relative humidity decreases, it doesn’t feel quite as hot. Some thermostats also come with settings to measure and control humidity.
  2. Make sure your AC system is clean. Having clean filters and proper drainage will make your AC system run more efficiently so you don’t have to crank the AC all the way up to enjoy a cool home. This will also help keep your cooling bills as low as possible.
  3. Increase air circulation and ventilation. Make sure you open vents and turn on exhaust fans when cooking or showering. Don’t forget to make sure your vents take the air outside rather than simply recirculating the air inside. If you can’t do this, then crack open a window. This will help remove the moisture these activities create and will help air circulate. Also, make sure you use fans to help circulate air from your AC throughout the house.
  4. Check for leaking pipes. Leaking pipes lead to water which leads to moisture in the air. Increased moisture in the air will increase humidity.
  5. Limit use of vaporizers or humidifiers. If you need to use vaporizers or humidifiers to purify the air, limit your use of them. When you don’t need them, make sure they are off. Limiting use of these appliances will reduce the amount of humidity released into the air.

Reach out to us if you want to learn more about reducing your in-home humidity!

 

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Keep your HVAC system alive this summer

Summer is fast approaching, and in order to beat the heat outside you want to keep your home nice and cool inside. But is your HVAC system ready for summer? The tips below will help keep your HVAC system alive and running through the summer heat and can even save you money.

  1. Make sure your HVAC system is regularly inspected and maintained. Doing this helps you treat normal wear and tear issues before they become major issues. You may also want to consider an energy audit as part of or in addition to regular maintenance.
  2. Check your insulation. Proper insulation will help keep a home cool when you run the air conditioning and warm when you run the heat. Even if your home is insulated, it may be time for an upgrade.
  3. Get a programmable thermostat…and program it. Setting your thermostat for optimal daytime and nighttime temperatures is a great way to save money on your HVAC bills and to give your system some much needed rest and relaxation when it doesn’t need to be working hard.
  4. Replace old air conditioning units with energy efficient units. Energy efficient units can save you money, and you may be eligible for tax breaks. It’s also better to be proactive about replacing old units than it is to be surprised when your unit breaks.
  5. Check your fuses and circuit breakers. You may have a brand new HVAC system, but it won’t do you any good if your home’s electrical system is in need of care and you are constantly blowing fuses.
  6. Don’t block your air conditioning unit. If your unit is inside the house, don’t block the flow of air or use it as a shelf. Blocking the flow of air means you won’t feel the air, and if that happens you will likely crank up the AC and make the unit work harder than it needs to work. If your unit is outside, don’t let grass, trees, or shrubs block it; this can cause the filters to clog and impair the unit’s ability to drain properly.
  7. Check your unit’s filters often. If the filters are clogged or dirty, clean or replace them as soon as possible. Filters are in place to help you maintain good indoor air quality, so you don’t want to let the impurities filtered out of your air sit around in your machine and get re-filtered through the house. Clean filters also help your unit run easier.
  8. Make sure your AC units are draining properly. Removing any debris that is built up around the drainage area, keeping grass around the unit trimmed and not planting vegetation close to the unit are ways to keep the drain area open and unclogged.
  9. Turn off lights and heat-producing appliances when possible. If you reduce the amount of heat being produced inside of your home, you won’t need to run the air conditioner so much.
  10. Use fans rather than your air conditioner. Fans, especially a ceiling fan, will circulate cool air and use much less electricity.

What are your tips and tricks for keeping your HVAC units alive this summer?

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Air Conditioner Repair

air conditioner repair

An effective air conditioner is important to the comfort of a home environment. Nothing is worse than a broken air conditioner in the middle of July! Even in moderate weather, air conditioners are still needed. They don’t just control temperature. They control humidity, air movement, and air filtration of the indoor climate as well.

If your air conditioning system needs maintenance or repairs, B&L Ott is here for you. We offer quality and affordable air conditioner repair services throughout Berks County.

How Air Conditioners Work

The mechanics of an air conditioning system can be complicated. A refrigerant evaporation cycle must occur. This starts with a compressor that cools refrigerant. It turns the refrigerant into hot, high-pressure gas. The gas travels through coils to dissolve its heat and condense into a liquid. The liquid then expands into a valve and evaporates to become cold low-pressure gas. Finally, the cold gas travels through coils and cools down the air in the home.

Signs You May Need Your Air Conditioner Repaired

With so many different parts interacting, it can be difficult to figure out where the problem is. It can be even more difficult to figure out how to fix the problem yourself. Let the professionals at B&L Ott help. If you notice any of the issues listed below, contact B&L Ott for maintenance and repairs.

  • The air is not as cold or inconsistent.
  • The air flow in your home has weakened.
  • Your energy bills have been rising.
  • You have had problems with your thermostat.
  • You find moisture where it shouldn’t be.
  • You hear strange sounds or smell weird smells.

If left untreated, small issues can turn into big problems. It is important to make repairs soon after you notice them. It is also important to make sure the job gets done right. B&L Ott has professional and knowledgeable technicians that give attention to details. We thoroughly test and inspect your air conditioner to make sure you have cool air when you need it most.

Affordable Air Conditioner Repair in Berks County

There is a lot that can go wrong during this complex process. That’s why we are here to fix the problem and make your home climate a better place to live in. If you need to get your air conditioning back in working order, please contact B&L Ott with any questions or to request service.

Let’s Repair Your AC!

Fill out the form below and we’ll get in contact with you, answering your questions and/or scheduling a repair time.

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Air Conditioner Installation

ac installation

Regardless of the weather outside, air conditioners keep your home’s climate comfortable. Air conditioners improve the air quality of your home by controlling,

  • The temperature
  • The humidity
  • Filtration
  • Air flow

When the sun makes the outside weather too hot to bear, air conditioners allow you to escape the heat. They keep your rooms cool so you can relax and destress. If you live in the Berks County area and need a new air conditioning system installed, B&L Ott can help.

How Air Conditioners Work

Air conditioners use a system of parts and processes to control the atmosphere in your home. Yet, all you have to do is input your desired temperature on the thermostat. Then, your air conditioning unit will do the rest. It will use its various components to cool your home. These components include:

  • A compressor
  • A fan
  • An outdoor condenser coil
  • An indoor air handler
  • An evaporator coil
  • Ductwork for air flow
  • Refrigerant

These parts work together to remove warm air from the home. After removing the air, these components cool the air and send it back into your home. This process repeats until the optimal temperature is reached.

Installation Process

When you schedule an appointment, one of B&L Ott’s technicians will visit your home. They will ask questions to learn more about your air conditioning needs. If you are replacing a system, they will help you determine the best upgrades to suit your lifestyle. If you are installing a new system, they will begin to calculate and plan the work that needs to be done.

When purchasing a new air conditioner, there are many variables to consider. There are different quality levels, efficiency levels, costs, sizes, and features. B&L Ott knows that the process can seem overwhelming. That is why a B&L Ott technician will also help you choose which model best suits your lifestyle and needs.

With an extensive knowledge of brands and models, B&L Ott will match you with the best system that suits your comfort expectations. We will keep your budget in mind and offer models within your price range. One of B&L Ott’s technicians will also briefly explain the installation process for you. They will also address any questions or concerns you may have.

Quality Air Conditioner Installation in Berks County

B&L Ott will make sure your air conditioner is installed right the first time. We offer quality centralized and individual unit installation services. Contact B&L Ott today with any questions about air conditioning installation or to request service.

Let’s Talk About Your AC Needs!

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trane air conditioning units

Air Conditioners

trane air conditioning unitsOtt HVAC is proud to offer quality and reliable air conditioning products. It’s important to live in a home climate that makes you happy. Enjoy the outdoors with peace of mind that you’ll have a cool and comfortable indoor environment to return to whenever you please.

 

A good air conditioner offers control over temperature, humidity, air filtration and movement of your indoor space. This can be accomplished through a centralized or individualized system. Parts of the system include the compressor, refrigerant, fan, condenser and evaporator coil. It works by removing warm air from the home while cycling in cooler air until the desired temperature is reached.

 

Quality Air Conditioners in Berks County

 

If you are in need of a top notch air conditioning system in the Berks County area, please contact B&L Ott with any questions or to request service. Our skilled technicians will be happy to speak with you to learn your air conditioning preferences and evaluate your home in order to make knowledgeable recommendations of the best products for you.

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mitsubishi minisplit heating and cooling

Mini-Split Heat/Cool

mitsubishi minisplit heating and coolingFor decades, split-zoning air-conditioning and heat pump systems have been the solution for cooling and heating problems around the world. Our quiet and powerful systems have three main components: an indoor unit, outdoor unit, and remote controller. Installation is as simple as mounting the indoor and outdoor units, connecting the refrigerant lines, and making a few electrical connections.

Why Mitsubishi Electric Systems?

Mitsubishi Electric is the industry leader in split-ductless air-conditioning technology – period. Compare and you’ll see that no one surpasses the Mitsubishi Electric brand’s performance for quiet, easy-to-use, and energy-efficient operation. And because our split-ductless technology carries the Mitsubishi Electric name, you know every product is built to last. The bottom line is, Mitsubishi systems deliver the ultimate in comfort control for your home or office. It’s true today and will be comfortably evident for years to come.

Where Can Mitsubishi Electric Products Be Used?

If a room is too hot or too cold, Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating can handle it! Mitsubishi split-zoning systems are specifically designed to improve the comfort level in an uncomfortably hot or cold room of an existing building. Because they don’t require ductwork, they’re the perfect heating and cooling systems for renovating older buildings that were constructed before air conditioning was available – even those with plaster walls and brick facades. The versatility and variety of applications for Mitsubishi Electric systems are virtually unlimited. They’re an excellent choice for almost any spot cooling or heating situation, including enclosed sunrooms, upstairs bedrooms, classrooms, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, hotels, workout rooms, computer rooms, offices and churches.

They’re also equipped with an anti-allergen filter and prevent the cross-flow of air with contaminants. And because they can be controlled by zone, it’s easy to set the controls for the exact room temperature you want.

How does it work?

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating can fit into almost any space because their innovative engineering optimizes the capabilities of the INVERTER technology and R410A refrigerant for more efficient systems with smaller indoor and outdoor units. R410A refrigerant is environmentally friendly, with zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP). The units themselves are also made of recycleable materials.

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