Archives for Heating

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.

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Prepare Your Berks County Home for Winter

winter power linesAfter a very mild autumn, winter has finally arrived in Berks County. That means freezing temperatures, frigid snowstorms, and plenty of time spent indoors. However, it doesn’t have to mean high heating costs. There are some steps to take to save energy, keep warm, and reduce your monthly bills this Winter. Check out some of our best tips to prepare your home HVAC system for the coldest season:

Conduct Routine Maintenance

The best time to fix potential issues with your heating systems is before they occur. Unexpected repairs during the dead of winter can drive up heating costs. Regular maintenance and check-ups with a professional technician can help prevent problems during the season that your system is working the hardest. Contact B&L Ott today to schedule service in Berks County.

Do-it-yourself maintenance should include replacing your filters. However, if you don’t have knowledge of HVAC systems or suspect a possible problem, it is recommended you consult with a professional. An experienced technician will clean the system, check for potential issues, perform a tune-up, and offer advice on needed repairs or upgrades.

Observe and Repair Air Leaks

Air leaks drive up heating costs because the hot air escapes through them, causing your HVAC systems to expel additional energy to keep your home warm. Seal up all the leaks and cracks in your home for reduced heating costs.

Routine energy audits and maintenance can help you identify and fix air leaks in your home. However, you can also do it yourself when you are short on time and winter is already knocking at your door.

Check door and window frames, electrical and plumbing outlets, and water and furnace flues. Feel for colder spots and areas. Cover up any cracks or leaks with caulk on solid areas. Window frames and cracks in other areas are best repaired with weather stripping.

Pad the Pipes

Pad the pipes in your house to help keep out the cold. Pipes in the basement and garage become especially sensitive to cold weather during the winter. These can freeze, burst, and at the very least need extra energy to heat.

Wrap pipes to keep them warm. Foam insulation, pipe wrap, or heat tape can all be used as materials for padding.

Tending to Air Ducts

Sealing and insulating air ducts properly will help reduce heating costs in preparation for Winter. Check the attic or basement to locate air ducts. Seal air leaks in the ducts using mastic or adhesive-backed metal tape. Insulate the ducts with duct blankets. For those with limited HVAC knowledge or for more complicated jobs, it is recommended you consult with a skilled technician.

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Heater Repair

heating repair

Just as working air conditioners are important during the summer, functioning heater is imperative in the winter. Berks County winters can be harsh. We see plenty of snow and frigid temperatures. If your heater breaks, your family could be left in the cold. B&L Ott is here to help. We offer comprehensive heater repair services so you can stay warm all winter long.

How Heaters Work

Most home heating systems operate in one of two ways: With a boiler or furnace. The process of heating with a boiler is hydraulic. Radiant heat is produced by burning natural gas, oil, propane, or solid fuel. The fuel turns into steam that circulates through a boiler into pipes in each room.

Alternatively, the gas turns into hot water. This can be circulated through baseboards, floor systems, or air coils. Steam boilers generally operate at a higher temperature. They are also less efficient than hot water boilers. A furnace is a centralized heating system that uses a burner and heat exchanger.

Problems to Look Out For

Furnaces may suffer carbon leakage and other issues during the winter months from overuse. Boilers often become worn out and need to be repaired or replaced. Heating systems should be repaired by a knowledgeable technician from B&L Ott. Problems with boilers and furnaces have most often occurred during the cold winter months. This is typically when heaters continue to run to keep your home warm.

There are a variety of issues that signal that your heater may need servicing. Some examples include:

  • Your gas or electric bills are rising.
  • Your thermostat doesn’t work properly.
  • Your burner flame yellow instead of blue.
  • You hear strange noises or smell strange smells.
  • Your heater has trouble starting or doesn’t stay on.
  • Your family hasn’t been feeling well.
  • Your home is dry and dusty.

If you notice any of these signs, you should contact B&L Ott and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Minor issues left untreated, will likely turn into major issues. Major issues are more expensive to fix and can lead to a total system breakdown.

Quick and Efficient Heater Repair Near Berks County

If you are having issues with your heating system, the experts at B&L Ott can help. We can answer any questions and provide quick and efficient repairs to warm your home again. Please contact us today to request service.

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Heating System Installation

heater system installation

Veteran Pennsylvanians known just how cold and bitter winters can get around here. Heating should never be taken lightly. It’s a comfort, certainly, but it is also dangerous to neglect. PA homes utilize a wide variety of heating systems, ranging from traditional oil baseboard to fireplace to natural gas. Our specialties are heat pump, ducted heating systems, and natural gas installations. We’ve seen it all and know how to make the most efficient system possible for your home or business.

Replacing an old heating system can provide improved efficiency, lower energy bills, and convenience. With an upgrade from B&L Ott, you can experience better comfort and rest assured that your family will be warm.

Choosing a Heating System

Heating systems today come in a variety of brands, models, features, and sizes. There is a different heating system to accommodate almost any home and lifestyle. There are also a lot of factors to consider when trying to heat your home. Some of these include

  • Square footage
  • Glass exposure
  • Ventilation
  • Insulation
  • Duct availability
  • Cost of fuel
  • Budget

These are just a few. The list goes on. With many different options, it can be difficult to choose the right heating system. You can spend hours researching models and comparing prices. B&L Ott already has the knowledge to help you choose the right make and model.

Installation Process

When you schedule a consultation with B&L Ott, we’ll visit your home and do a proper assessment. We will learn about your needs and expectations, then recommend a course of action. A B&L Ott technician may ask you about the size of your home, the size of your utility closet, and your lifestyle. Knowing how often you are home to use your system will also help us match you with the best model for you and your family.

Installation differs depending on existing components and what type of heating system you choose. A B&L Ott technician will take you through the installation process during your appointment. They will estimate installation time and cost as well. A B&L Ott technician will also address any questions or concerns you may have.  You can rest easy knowing that we’ve crunched numbers and determined the smartest solution.

Heating System Installation in Berks County

If you live in Berks County or any of the surroundings areas, consider contacting B&L Ott for your system installation needs. We have a reputation for quality and service, and we aim to prove to you why we are so respected in this industry.

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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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