Install an HVAC Brand You Can Trust From an HVAC Contractor You Can Trust

heater installationTrust is not something that can be obtained instantly. Trust is built by continually taking responsibility and coming through on promises. When it comes to HVAC systems, B&L Ott knows you want a brand you can trust installed by and maintained by a contractor you can trust.

Our main goal is to provide you and your family with quality service and products. We accomplish this by carefully training each technician to ensure your system gets installed and maintained properly. We also recommend and install the best brand products to help ensure quality for you and your family.

Trane: A Brand Trusted By Many

One of B&L Ott’s most preferred brands is Trane. Not only does B&L Ott trust Trane, but many consumers do as well. According to PR Newswire, “Trane has been identified as the 2018 America’s Most Trusted® HVAC Brand. Trane captured the highest Net Trust Index Quotient Score among 8,425 people considering an HVAC system.” B&L Ott has witnessed similar findings throughout our years of service in the HVAC business. We have found Trane HVAC systems to be durable, dependable, and trustworthy.

What Makes An HVAC Brand Trustworthy?

The definition of trust can vary depending on what or who is being talked about and who is doing the talking. Yet, there are many common attributes many of us can agree upon when thinking about what we consider to be a trustworthy brand. Here are just a few that can apply to Trane and B&L Ott. 

Reliable and Durable

When you choose an HVAC system, you want to know that it will keep your family comfortable around the clock and especially when you need it most. Therefore, you want a system that is durable and can withstand all kinds of Berks county weather conditions. Many HVAC owners know Trane products for their durability and reliability. You can also rely on B&L Ott to be there when your system experiences problems with our 24/7 emergency repair service. 

Helpful and Beneficial

When you choose an HVAC brand, you also want to know that the company is trying to help or benefit you in some way. Trane works to benefit their customers by creating quality HVAC systems that help keep their customer’s homes comfortable. B&L Ott helps by installing, maintaining, and repairing these HVAC systems to ensure they continue to work.

trane heat pump unitHonesty and Integrity

Honesty and integrity are important virtues for any person, company, or brand. These virtues help build respect for a brand.  Trane builds integrity by holding their products to high standards. Meanwhile, B&L Ott will provide you with honest opinions about different HVAC brands, models, and solutions.

Reviews and Testimonials

Finally, one of the biggest aspects that build trust in a brand is reviews and testimonials. People trust other people more than they trust faceless brands. Therefore, when researching HVAC systems, many people turn to reviews and testimonials from other people who have already used that brand or service. You can find reviews for both Trane and B&L Ott online and on social media.

How Does Trane Ensure Their Products Are Reliable

According to Trane’s website, Trane puts their systems through a series of extreme tests to ensure each product is reliable. These tests are known as SEET tests or Systems Extreme Environmental Test. During these tests, HVAC systems must endure harsh weather and elemental conditions. Trane only sells a system if it passes these tests and continues to work. Through these tests, Trane ends up with a more reliable product.  

Have B&L Ott Install a Trane HVAC System in Your Berks County Home Today!

Ready to have a Trane HVAC system installed by B&L Ott? Call us to schedule a consultation today! One of B&L Ott’s knowledgeable technicians will access your home as well as your families expectations and help match you with the best HVAC system for your Berks County home.

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Understanding the Components of Your Furnace

heating repairIf you aren’t an HVAC technician, your furnace may seem complicated. There are a lot of different parts and each one has their own function. If one component is not working properly, it can cause issues with the rest of the system. With this in mind, it can be difficult to understand what is wrong when your system isn’t working properly.

B&L Ott in Reading, PA is always here to help you maintain, repair, or replace your furnace when needed. We will answer any questions you may have and help you understand how to better use and maintain your system. To help you begin to gain a better understanding, B&L Ott has compiled this guide to furnace components for you. 

Components of Your Furnace

Blower Motor & Blower Wheel

The blower motor and wheel are responsible for circulating air throughout your home. It takes air in through your return air ducts and transports it through the furnace where it is heated. Once the air is heated, the blower pushes the air back through your air ducts and into your home.

It is very important that the blower wheel stays clean. A dirty wheel is not able to scoop up as much air. This means your furnace loses efficiency. In this case, your utility bills may rise and you may notice uneven heating throughout your home. The best way to ensure your blower wheel stays clean is by changing your filter regularly and by calling B&L Ott for biannual maintenance. If you notice uneven heating in your home, B&L Ott can help. We can balance your duct system to direct the conditioned air where you need it to go or we can help you upgrade your blower motor.

Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger does what its name implies; it exchanges heat. It has a series of passages for the exhaust from the flame to travel through. As the exhausts travel through these passages, the heat exchanger extracts as much heat as possible, while still directing the exhaust through the vent (chimney or vent piping).

Heat exchangers take a lot of abuse. It expands and contracts as it constantly heats up and cools down all day long. This can cause cracks in the heat exchangers. If too much dirt builds up and restricts the air from passing through, the heat exchanger can also overheat. This makes the problem even worse.

This information is important because a cracked heat exchanger leaks carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that is both odorless and tasteless. The best way to protect your family from a carbon monoxide leak is to get a carbon monoxide detector and ensure that your system is properly maintained by B&L Ott every single year.

Ignition Assembly

trane furnaceThe ignition assembly is a series of components that work together to safely control the flow of gas.

In a gas or propane furnace these components include:

Gas Valve: The gas valve controls the flow of gas.

Igniter: The igniter ignites the gas to create a flame that will travel into the heat exchanger.  

Flame Sensor: The flame sensor provides safety by sensing when a flame is present. It also communicates with the gas valve. If the flame sensor does not detect a flame, it will close the gas valve.

Safety Switches: Safety switches provide extra safety by verifying when a flame is present, verifying that the furnace is venting properly, and making sure the furnace is not too hot.

An oil system is a little different. Its components include:

Fuel Pump: The fuel pump pulls the oil from the tank into the burner motor.

Burner Motor: The burner motor spins to pull air and fuel into the combustion chamber.

Oil Nozzle: The oil nozzle vaporizes the oil as it is pushed through the nozzle with great force. The vaporized oil is mixed with air and a spark to create combustion.

Electrodes: The spark (mentioned above) comes from the electrodes and the ignition transformer.

Cad Cell: Cad Cells sense the presence of a flame.

Ignition Transformer: The ignition transformer sends high voltage through the electrodes, which produces a spark right at the oil nozzle.  The vaporized oil mixes with air and the spark produces a flame inside of the combustion chamber (heat exchanger).

Ventilation System

Finally, there is a ventilation system to exhaust the resulting gases out of your home. Low-efficiency systems typically use a chimney while high-efficiency systems use a motor to draw the exhaust out of the furnace through plastic (PVC) pipes.


Your furnace is designed with a variety of safety features to make it incredibly safe to operate, as long as your system receives proper maintenance from both you and B&L Ott. As furnaces become more efficient and more computerized, it becomes more important that they are not just cleaned, but thoroughly inspected.

When you schedule maintenance with B&L Ott,  will clean and inspect the entire heating system. We will check it’s capacity, efficiency, and safety.  Our technicians will look to improve your comfort, indoor air quality, efficiency and system reliability.  Your furnace keeps you warm from October to April – give your furnace the care it needs by calling B&L Ott today.

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B&L Ott’s Preventative Maintenance Program

B&L Ott’s Preventative Maintenance Program is a service designed to provide maintenance to various components of your HVAC system. We offer this program to both residential and commercial customers in the Berks County area.

Other HVAC companies offer preventative maintenance programs, but B&L Ott’s program is very different. When you schedule preventative maintenance with us, we will be sure to send you an experienced technician who will carefully and thoroughly examine your system. They won’t just give it a quick look or cut corners.

B&L Ott’s Philosophy

At B&L Ott our belief is that preventive maintenance should do exactly what it says – provide maintenance that helps prevent system breakdowns. B&L Ott’s technicians are extensively trained and must pass a series of tests before they are allowed to perform maintenance on your HVAC system.

The goal of preventative maintenance is to prevent unexpected total system shutdowns. To accomplish this, our technicians will perform a series of tests that can help predict future failures. Then they will make the necessary adjustments or fixes to keep your HVAC system running reliably and efficiently. 

Why Should I Get B&L Ott’s Preventative Maintenance Agreement?

“Maintenance” is a word that is overused, misinterpreted, or often taken lightly. B&L Ott takes maintenance very seriously. Your HVAC system requires maintenance just as much as your car does. In fact, it needs maintenance more. Take a moment to think about how important maintenance is to your car. If you neglect an oil change and your engine fails, the manufacturer will void your warranty. On top of that, if you neglect to get its brakes, electronics, tires or other important parts checked, you can also end up with expensive repairs. 

Now think about how important maintenance it to your HVAC system. You use your HVAC system a lot more than you use your car. According to AAA (Triple-A), the average American spends about 290 hours per year driving their car. Your HVAC system sees about 16 times more use! The average home will operate their HVAC system for a combined total of about 3,000 hours per year.

Not only does your HVAC system see more use in just one year, but it also has a longer lifespan than your car. The average American keeps their car for about 6.5 years while the average HVAC system lasts ten years. This means the average car gets 1,900 hours of use before it gets traded in while an HVAC system sees about 30,000 hours before it is replaced. This is why it is so important to ensure that your HVAC system receives proper maintenance from B&L Ott.

What Are the Benefits of B&L Ott’s Preventative Maintenance Program?

B&L Ott’s Preventative Maintenance Program provides you with a variety of benefits.

System Reliability and Peace of Mind

When your system has received maintenance, you can rest assured that your system is functioning properly and that it has little to no chance of experiencing a total system shutdown. This will give you peace of mind that your family will have heating or air conditioning when they need it most.  

Efficiency, Comfort, and Increased Lifespan

During our visit, B&L Ott will make sure that your system is running efficiently. If we find any issues we will provide suggestions to improve your HVAC system’s efficiency. A system that runs efficiently will provide you with a comfortable environment for your home and family.

Extra Attention if Your System Still Fails

B&L Ott’s Preventative Maintenance Program greatly decreases the chances of system failures. However, if a system shutdown still occurs, B&L Ott will treat you as your number one priority. In this case, we will provide you with upfront pricing, waived travel & diagnostic fee, 15% discount on repair service, and priority scheduling.

B&L Ott Guarantees

B&L Ott offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a 1-year guarantee on repairs. If you aren’t happy, call and ask for Ryan Ott. Our Preventative Maintenance Service comes with worry-free maintenance scheduling and 24/7 emergency service 365 days a year. We can help you uphold the manufacturer’s warranty on your HVAC system as well as provide system replacement planning when your system nears the end of its life.

What Can I Expect When B&L Ott Visits?

When you use B&L Ott’s Preventative Maintenance Program, you can expect quality service and satisfaction. We will ensure your system is operating at peak efficiency, capacity, and safety levels. We will also inspect every component of your system.

One of our technicians will take the time to ask questions to get to know you and your family’s needs and expectations. Whether your 2nd floor is uncomfortable, a family member has allergies, or your utility bills have been on the rise, we can help you find the best solutions for your home. Our technicians have specialized training with a number of different highly-calibrated inspection tools so they can accurately test and adjust your system. We will educate you and answer any questions you may have so that you can make the best decisions for your home and family.

How Do I Prepare for B&L Ott to Visit?

When you schedule a visit, the best way to prepare is to write down any problems, questions or concerns you would like to discuss. This way we can better make sure everything gets covered and any issues you have noticed receive attention.

It also helps to clear the area around your system so our technicians have room to work. Finally, make sure you are home for your appointment. If you have any more questions about preparing for a B&L Ott visit, you can contact us through our website or by calling 610-816-6026.

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Customizing Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system is one of the largest investments you will ever make. You will also use it on a daily basis. With this in mind, your HVAC system should be customized to meet the needs and expectations of you and your family. B&L Ott can help find the HVAC features and systems you are looking for and ensure that they are installed properly.

Why Should I Customize My HVAC?

Customizing your HVAC system can provide you with a variety of benefits.

Efficiency – Many upgrades and additions can help keep your system cleaner which will allow your HVAC system to run more efficiently. An efficient system will save you money over time by keeping your utility bills low.

Reliability – When your system is running efficiently and tailored to your home, it will likely need fewer repairs over time and last longer.

Comfort – Customizing your system will give you more control over the air in your home. You can balance the temperature and adjust the humidity in your home to suit your preferences.

Air Quality – Some of the customizations B&L Ott offers will improve the air quality in your home by cleaning the air your family is breathing.

B&L Ott will take the time to figure out what setup will work best for your home. We will sit down with you to learn about your family’s wants and needs, then suggest potential solutions.  

Checking the Air Quality in Your Berks County Home

According to the EPA, the air inside our homes can be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air.  If you look at the inside of your duct or the surface of your air conditioning coil, you will see all of the dirt that has made it through your filter. These are the same contaminants you and your family are breathing.

Many homeowners are using the same filter that came with their system. These filters only do the bare minimum to keep your system operational.Typically, these are 1” filters that MUST be changed every 30-90 days. Regardless of what these filter packages say, they do not improve indoor air quality or prolong the life, efficiency or capacity of your HVAC system.   

Popular Customizations

If you want to improve the air quality and comfort in your Berks County home, B&L Ott can help with these and other popular customizations.

indoor air cleanersUpgrade the Filtration System

A better alternative to a 1” filter would be a media filter or an electronic air cleaner. Media filters are 20 times more effective than a 1″ filter and require replacement every 6-12 months. An electronic air cleaner is 100 times more effective than a 1″ filter and requires cleaning 2-4 times per year. They send negatively charged particles to your home that attract positively charged particles and thus neutralize the air in your home.

Upgrade the Fan Motor

If you have a weak blower motor, it may be struggling to thoroughly circulate the air in your home. When the blower is weak, it may not be able to push the conditioned air into all the areas of your home. In this case, you may notice warm or cool spots around your home. B&L Ott can help you upgrade your fan motor to improve the comfort of your home.

Biannual Preventative Maintenance and Duct Cleaning

Biannual preventative maintenance may not seem like a customization, but each maintenance appointment is tailored to your specific system. During maintenance, a B&L Ott technician will thoroughly inspect, clean, and repair your system. Biannual maintenance will help maintain the reliability of your HVAC system. If you have a ducted system, you will also want to consider B&L Otts duct cleaning service to improve the cleanliness of the air and the efficiency of your system.

Can B&L Ott Customize Any System?

Every home is different, but B&L Ott can offer a comfort upgrade for almost any situation. Actually, every HVAC system B&L Ott has worked on has some level of customization to it. For instance, when we perform maintenance on a variable speed system we will adjust various features, including the fan speed and the dampers, to maximize the comfort in your home. If you have a forced air system, B&L Ott can also add a humidifier at any time to improve your comfort during the colder months in the Reading area.

What About Older Systems?

Older systems do have some limitations when it comes to customization. It is difficult to pair old technology with new technology. When you do so, your system may experience wear and tear more quickly and decreased efficiency. However, B&L Ott does offer alternative solutions if your system can not be customized. We work with Mitsubishi ductless systems to provide customers with ductless systems that can be installed in almost any room.

Contact B&L Ott for a Consultation!

The easiest way to determine if and how your system can be customized is to contact a comfort consultant from B&L Ott. Customization is all about having a conversation. Be ready to tell your B&L Ott comfort consultant what you are looking for and what your expectations are. We will visit your home to look at your current system and help you find the best solution.

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Estimating the Life Expectancy of Your HVAC System

No one wants their HVAC system to break down in the middle of the night, or even during a busy day. When it does, you either lose precious sleep or time you could be spending doing something more productive or fun. This is why it is important to know the probable life expectancy of your HVAC system. Determining how much longer your HVAC will last allows you to plan ahead for a replacement as your system ages.

Why is Knowing the Life Expectancy of My HVAC system important?

Replacing an HVAC system is the second largest expense a homeowner can expect to see in their lifetime. With this in mind, it is a good idea to plan ahead and prepare a budget beforehand to help the process run smoothly. Knowing how much longer your current system will last is a good place to start. B&L Ott in Leesport, PA can help you determine the approximate life expectancy left for your system. If need be, we can also help you plan for, choose, and install a new system with our System Replacement Planning service.

Factors That Contribute to Life Expectancy

Various aspects can affect just how long your HVAC system will last. The brand, installer, and frequency of maintenance can all influence the life expectancy. If you own a non-Trane branded system that was installed by an HVAC company other than B&L Ott, you can expect an average life expectancy of 8-10 years. However, if you have a Trane system that is serviced biannually by B&L Ott, you can expect to see 10-12 years of use.


When looking for an HVAC system that will last, you want to look for a brand you can trust. B&L Ott’s preferred brand is Trane. Compared to other brands, we have found their products to be the most durable and reliable. All of Trane’s equipment goes through SEET Testing. SEET stands for Systems Extreme Environment Test and helps ensure their company’s high standards. Their equipment must survive a series of severe weather and environmental conditions to make sure each system will hold up when you need it most.



­To ensure that you get full use and life expectancy from your HVAC system, you need to choose the right company to install it for you. When a system is not installed properly, it will lose efficiency and the parts will wear down faster. The system may need frequent repairs or experience a total system shutdown before it reaches its full life expectancy. Scheduling an installation with B&L Ott guarantees that your system will be installed properly from day one.


Just like a car needs its oil, tires, brakes, and belts changed regularly, your HVAC system needs attention as well. By getting your HVAC inspected, cleaned, and tuned-up by B&L Ott at least twice a year, you can help your system last well beyond its life expectancy. You should also change the air filters regularly. Most 1″ filters need to be changed every month, however, some can last longer. Talk to a trained B&L Ott technician during your next maintenance visit to determine your system’s specific needs.

otthvac teamGetting an Estimate from B&L Ott

B&L Ott will walk you step by step through the process of determining the life expectancy of your system. One of our knowledgeable technicians will determine the age of your system and compare it to the industry standards for that specific brand and type of system. We will also take the health and performance of each individual component into consideration. Based on our evaluation, we will provide you with the best options for repairs and improvements, or provide information on replacing your system.

Hire a B&L Ott Comfort Consultant

Your comfort is B&L Ott’s priority. One of our comfort consultants can match you with the perfect system for your home and family. This no cost service will evaluate your system and family’s needs in approximately two hours. We will perform a load calculation to ensure your equipment is adequately sized and take the time to learn what comfort features you and your family are looking for. When we are finished, you will know exactly what system, installation practices, and adjustments are required to provide you with the comfort you desire.

Benefits of B&L Ott’s System Replacement Planning

B&L Ott’s System Replacement Planning service is the most convenient way to have your current HVAC system replaced. No one likes to make a knee-jerk reaction to replace their system, especially when weather or time constraints make the process more difficult.

While B&L Ott’s emergency service is here to help you whenever you may need, our System Replacement Planning Service can eliminate the stress and worry that comes with having to replace your system last minute. You can prepare a budget, take the time to choose a system, and have that system installed at a time that is convienint for you. You can make the best decision for your home and your family, without feeling the pressure.

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Running Simple Efficiency Tests for Your HVAC

routine hvac maintenanceOwning a home comes with a number of bills you have to take care off. If you don’t look for ways to keep these bills low, they can really begin to pile up. One of the most expensive bills is your energy bill. If your HVAC system is inefficient, it can drastically increase your energy bill and take away money that you could be spending in other ways.

Whether you just bought a new home, or haven’t checked your HVAC system’s efficiency levels in a while, it is important to know if your HVAC system is wasting energy. B&L Ott in Reading, PA is here to help with this guide to testing your HVAC’s efficiency levels.

Why is it Important to Know the Efficiency Levels of My HVAC System?

Make Sure Your System is Functioning Properly, Not Just Functioning

It is easy to just make sure your HVAC system is running and call it a day. However, if you stick to this tactic, you may not realize that there is something wrong with your system. Not every problem is obvious and if left unattended, small problems will turn into major repairs. Be sure to call B&L Ott at least twice a year to make sure your system is running properly.

Save Money

When a system isn’t functioning properly, its ability to heat or cool the home effectively and efficiently is reduced. Then it will spend more energy to warm or cool your home to your desired temperature. If left without maintenance for long enough, you will end up with high energy bills and expensive repairs.

Make Sure Your System Reaches Its Full Life Expectancy

A problem that reduces efficiency can eventually lead to a total system shutdown. Think about your HVAC system like a car. If you neglect oil changes, that car will still drive, but may not be functioning properly. Before you know it the motor will seize before the car reaches its life expectancy. A neglected HVAC system will do the same. That is why B&L Ott recommends testing your system biannually to make sure it is producing the correct amount of heat or cooling.

What Factors Contribute to an HVAC System’s Efficiency?

As your system ages, it can often suffer from efficiency degradation.  Many factors can cause this.

Dirt Buildup

Over time the dirt that runs through your system will build up, especially if you don’t change your filter often enough. This dirt will clog your system and cause more wear and tear on the components. The best ways to avoid problems is to change your filter regularly and contact B&L Ott for routine maintenance.

Failing Components

Over time, the mechanisms in your system will experience wear and tear. Eventually, certain components will fail and make it more difficult for the other parts to work efficiently. This can lead to more costly problems. By scheduling an inspection with B&L Ott regularly, we can catch failing parts and replace them before they cause problems with the rest of the machine.

System Not Installed Properly

Just because a system is rated at a certain efficiency, does not mean it will run at that efficiency. Systems that were not properly installed, commissioned, tested and balanced will not operate at their rated efficiencies.

Every home or business building is different, and that means that each HVAC system may need to be installed in a slightly different way. When systems are not properly set up, rated efficiency and delivered efficiency become two very different things. B&L Ott understands this principle and will thoroughly analyze your home or building’s needs and plan for a proper HVAC installation.

How Can I Tell If There Is an Efficiency Problem?

The best method for an owner to realize there might be an efficiency problem with their system is to monitor their energy bills.  If you notice a drastic change in your energy bills, you should call B&L Ott for a diagnostic evaluation.

You should compare your energy bills month by month, as well as compare the same month each year to last year of the same month.  If you have a heat pump and notice a huge increase in your electric bills, you should call B&L Ott right away.

How Can I Help Maintain My System’s Efficiency?

There are two important things you should do to make sure your system runs at its top efficiency.

Change Your Filter Regularly

The first thing you can do is to make sure your filter is replaced routinely. If you have a 1″ filter, change it every 30 days.  Ignore whatever the filter says. Some say 60-day or 90-day, but make sure you replace the filter every 30 days!

Call B&L Ott for Maintenance

The best way to make sure your system is running in tip-top shape is to have B&L Ott’s professionals take a look at it. Our technicians are trained to catch even the smallest of problems. We can improve your efficiency in a variety of ways including:

  • Routine maintenance checkups.
  • Installing systems that improve the air quality in your home.
  • Cleaning the air ducts.
  • Cleaning the coils.
  • Balancing the airflow.
  • Verifying that you have an accurate, digital, programmable thermostat.

B&L Ott will also help verify that all of these tools and systems are being used properly. We can teach you how your system works by addressing any concerns and answering any questions you may have.

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How to Assess an Existing HVAC System

There are a lot of important questions that come with moving into a new home. There are also dozens of aspects you need to ensure are in order so your family can adjust. You want them to be happy and relaxed. The best way to keep them comfortable is to make sure the HVAC system is functioning properly.

When you move into a previously owned home, you may have no idea what condition the HVAC system was left in. It is important to assess the system and make any necessary repairs. If you don’t know where to start, B&L Ott is here to help!

What Should I Be Concerned About?

There are many reasons to get your system inspected, cleaned, and repaired by B&L Ott. You will want to make sure that your family is healthy, your system is healthy, and your bills are reasonable.

Family Health

Does anyone in your family have allergies, asthma, or respiratory problems? If so, you will want to make sure the air is clean. If the previous owners had pets, there could be pet dander or hair in your air ducts. B&L Ott can help you clean the air to make it healthier for your family to breath.

You will also want to be concerned about humidity. Berks County summers bring high humidity that can make the air feel sticky. On the other hand, winter air can dry out your skin. B&L Ott offers various systems that can help you improve your family’s health and comfort.

HVAC Heath

HVAC systems are a big investment. You want to make sure they stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. One question you will want to ask yourself is: When was preventative maintenance last performed? If your new home was on the market for a while before you moved in, the HVAC system may have been neglected. B&L Ott’s biannual maintenance can help ensure your system is running at full efficiency. This will help keep your energy bills low and your family’s carbon footprint small.

How Do I Start Assessing the System?

Before calling B&L Ott there are a few ways to start assessing your HVAC system.

  • Even Heating – Walk through your new home to see if there are spots that are warmer or cooler than others.
  • Accurate Thermostat – Test out your thermostat and make sure that the reading is no more than a few degrees off from the actual room temperature.
  • Check for Obvious Problems – Look for loose electrical connections, leaks, or rust. Listen for strange sounds and check for strange odors.

If you notice any of these problems, be sure to let the B&L Ott technician know during their visit.

Avoid Tinkering With Your HVAC Yourself

You can’t stop the previous homeowners from tampering with the system. However, you can help ensure the HVAC system the best it can for the rest of its life by contacting B&L Ott for regular maintenance. While there are some simple aspects you can check to determine if you need any repairs, you should avoid tinkering with the system yourself. Trying to repair or clean your HVAC system yourself can cost you more down the line.

Reasons to Avoid Working on Your HVAC System Yourself

  • You can make problems worse.
  • You may decrease system efficiency.
  • You may decrease your HVAC system’s lifespan.
  • It can be dangerous.
  • You may void the warranty.

routine hvac maintenanceHow Can B&L Ott Help?

When you call B&L Ott for maintenance, we will clean your system, perform a diagnostic evaluation, provide maintenance if necessary, and give you a report of our findings. We will get rid of the dirt, dust, pollen, and bacteria in your system that the previous owners may have left behind. We will also help ensure that your HVAC system will run efficiently for your family.

If we find any problems we will consult you before making repairs. We will also make suggestions, based on your input, to help customize the system to your family’s needs.

What Happens If I Need a New System?

After assessing the HVAC system, if we find that the system is nearing the end of its life, we can help you plan for installing a new system. B&L Ott’s System Replacement Planning service will help you find a model within your budget that will work well in your home. B&L Ott will also help ensure that your new HVAC system is installed properly. This will help decrease the number of future repairs and ensure that your system runs efficiently for many years.

You may not have expected to have to replace your HVAC system when choosing your new home, but B&L Ott will try to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible. You can also use this situation this as an opportunity to better customize your system to suit your family’s lifestyle. There are plenty of new options on the market that make controlling the air in your home easier than ever before.

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B&L Ott’s Guide to Temperature and Temperature Control Systems

When you have control over your environment, you have the power to keep your family comfortable no matter what the conditions are outside. A quality HVAC system and temperature control system can give you this power. There are many options on the market today that provide you with even more options. With this in mind, you may have many questions. B&L Ott is here to help with this guide to choosing the right temperature and temperature control system for your home.

Why is Choosing the Right Temperature Important?

Comfort should be your primary concern. You want your family to be healthy and sleep soundly. After that, your main concern should be the efficiency and capability of your HVAC system. A system that is not operating properly will not adequately remove temperature or dehumidify the home. When this happens, your home will either get hot and sticky like a sauna or cold and clammy like your basement. Either situation can leave you or a family member saying, “I don’t like air conditioning.”

However, if you keep your thermostat within B&L Ott’s recommended temperature range, you can help keep your system operating properly. It will control both the humidity and the temperature in your home so your family can be comfortable.

Choosing an Appropriate Temperature

Your HVAC system is like a television. You usually keep it around the same volume, but sometimes you turn it up or down for various reasons. In Berks County, the temperature can change pretty quickly from day to day. One day you may be in shorts and the next you will need a sweatshirt to stay warm. With this in mind, your desired temperature may change from day to day. However, in winter most people are comfortable between 68-72 degrees with a relative humidity of around 30-35%. Then in summer, many choose a temperature between 70-75 degrees with a relative humidity around 50%.

If it’s a hot summer day with high humidity, you will typically lower the temperature in your home. Alternatively, if you have a system that enables dehumidification (contact B&L Ott for more info), you can just set your desired humidity level instead. This way you can feel comfortable without having to lower the temperature of the home. B&L Ott offers a variety of other solutions for customizing your system to suit your individual needs.

B&L Ott Temperature Control Options

If you want to gain more control of the temperature and humidity in your home, B&L Ott offers several different comfort control options. Depending on what HVAC model you choose B&L Ott will install a comfort control system that functions seamlessly with your system.

Programmable Thermostats

One option that can give you more control over the temperature in your home is a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat gives you greater customization of your home’s comfort. You can create a schedule based on your family’s daily routine and rarely have to adjust the temperature ever again. You can set a specific temperature and humidity level for each time of day. Newer models have an even greater sensitivity to temperature changes and humidity levels. They can help you maintain a more accurate temperature in the house.

Trane’s XL line of thermostats are all fully programmable and can be controlled with a free app on Android or IOS mobile phone operating systems. This will give you peace of mind while you are away from home, as you will gain the ability to control your home’s temperature remotely. Additionally, you can pair an Amazon Echo (Alexa) to control the temperature by voice. Just imagine lying in bed and simply saying “Alexa, turn the temperature down”. Before you know it your room will reach your ideal temperature without you having to lift a finger.

Home Zoning

Home zoning is another option that gives you more control over specific areas in your home. It is a system that uses additional thermostats and automatic power dampers in the ductwork to send conditioned air to only certain parts of the home. It is a great solution if you notice any uneven heating throughout your home. It can also help in the summertime when the heat rises to the second floor and makes it much hotter than your first floor. A home zoning system will improve the air flow and even out the temperature difference in your home.

B&L Ott offers several different zoning options. Depending on what type of system and duct setup you have, B&L Ott can customize a zoning solution for your home. If we have access to your ductwork, we can install zone dampers in the duct. The thermostats will control which zone dampers open or close. If you are interested in a home zoning system or have any questions please contact B&L Ott.

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Why Does My System Need Maintenance Even Though It Is New?

So, you just got a new HVAC system installed by B&L Ott. Everything is brand new and in working order. So you don’t need to pay any attention to it for a while, right? Not exactly. This is a question our B&L Ott technicians receive quite frequently. While it is unlikely that you will run into any major problems right away, maintenance is still important. When you schedule a maintenance visit with B&L Ott, we don’t just fix existing problems; we help prevent future problems from occurring.

When Should I Start Scheduling Maintenance?

Your system should start receiving preventive maintenance within the first year of installation. Like your car, your HVAC system needs to be inspected, cleaned and maintained regularly. When you neglect to change the oil in your car, the oil becomes contaminated and its ability to properly lubricate the internal parts is reduced. If neglected long enough, the engine will eventually fail. HVAC systems are very similar. Without preventive maintenance from B&L Ott, you can experience mechanical failures, reduced capacity, reduced efficiency, reduced comfort and reduced lifespan.

Systems should have maintenance performed twice a year regardless of their age. This includes once during the heating season and once during the cooling season. During the heating maintenance, the system will be cleaned and checked to ensure it is operating at the highest efficiency as possible. Then, during the air conditioning maintenance, the outdoor condenser coil will be washed and cleaned.

Why Is Maintenance Important So Soon?

Cleaning is one of the most important aspects of a new air-conditioning system’s maintenance. Small critters and other elements tend to push contaminants like pollen, grass, dirt, dust, twigs and leaves into your outdoor condenser. These contaminants clog your system, reduce efficiency, and affect its ability to function properly. B&L Ott’s maintenance program will make sure your system operates at the highest efficiency on a yearly basis. It can prolong its life as well was keep your energy bills and need for repairs low.

Preventive maintenance is also a requirement from every manufacturer to uphold the warranty. All systems need maintenance to stay at their peak efficiency and to operate properly. Every brand name system comes with some kind of warranty. All manufacturers require maintenance be performed in order to keep that warranty intact.

What Happens If I Neglect Maintenance?

Maintenance during the first year isn’t just for cleaning. Even a brand new system can encounter problems or challenges. You might not see these problems right away, but they are developing. Dirty coils will create expensive repairs in the future.

Also, replacing an HVAC system is not like replacing a refrigerator or microwave. You don’t just plug it in and have everything operate how it did before. New technology allows HVAC systems to be more customizable to fit the needs of your Berks County home. This means that many changes can take place in how your home is conditioned. For instance, if you have forced-air, your duct system might not be perfect or might have different airflow needs. Your new system may need some adaptations to ensure your family is comfortable.

B&L Ott Makes Sure Your System Is Operating To Your Liking

One of the many differences between B&L Ott and other HVAC companies is our emphasis on customization and perfection. When we install your system, we adjust the operation to fit your needs. Our comfort consultants perform a needs analysis during your initial consultation. Using your feedback, we make adjustments to the newly installed system to make you as comfortable as possible.

We then schedule a follow up within 1-2 weeks of the installation. This enables you to test the new system and determine if there are any additional comfort concerns you would like addressed. Some adjustments include air balancing, humidification, dehumidification, filtration, scheduling, air velocity, on/off cycling, thermostat operation, etc. In short, your new system will operate much differently than your old system. It is important to maintain the new equipment so that the changes we made during the installation continue to provide you with comfort.

Preventing Problems

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” -Benjamin Franklin.

There are two main ways you can help prevent system failures and reduced efficiency. The first is to have B&L Ott install your system so everything is set up properly from the beginning. We come back about a week after the install and check everything again. The second is to enroll in our automatic preventive maintenance program. This helps catch small issues before they turn into costly repairs. It also ensures that your system keeps achieving the high-efficiency standard it is rated at.

B&L Ott’s Preventive Maintenance Program

By signing up for our preventive maintenance program you will receive two maintenance visits each year, one for the heating system and one for the air conditioning system. You can opt for the automatic renewal so you never have to worry about remembering. At the conclusion of each visit, the B&L Ott technician will schedule your next visit. It is important to always schedule your next visit at this time because we are always scheduling maintenance visits 6 months in advance. You can learn more about B&L Ott’s maintenance program here:

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HVAC Tips for Homes with Pets

Adopting a pet changes your life. They create memories with you, fill your heart with joy, and become part of your family. You would do anything to protect your furry friend from harm and keep them happy. However, you also need to protect your home from pets with a mischievous nature. If you have a pet in your home, your HVAC system needs some extra attention to keep it running efficiently. Check out these useful B&L Ott tips to protect both your pet and your HVAC system!

Guarding Your HVAC System

Some pets have a tendency to chew on different HVAC components or use the outdoor unit as a fire hydrant. These issues can cause the outdoor coil to leak and lose refrigerant. Then your system will not be able to operate properly. You may end up needing costly repairs or even a system replacement. Contact B&L Ott in Berks County if you are experiencing any problems with your system.

Trane protects their outdoor unit with a special sloped coil guard. This guards your system against acidic urine. However, you should still take precautions to protect your system. The best way to protect your system is to keep your pets away from the unit. Fencing can also help you guard your outdoor unit.  You should talk to a B&L Ott specialist before installing a fence, though, as it can reduce airflow and damage your system.

Pet Hair

The inside of your HVAC system also needs attention. Pet hair and debris can cause internal damage without proper maintenance. It can clog standard filters as well as the indoor coil. This reduces the airflow and leads to decreased efficiency, performance, and reliability. B&L Ott recommends getting a high-efficiency air cleaner installed on your system. This will help trap pet hair before it enters your system. If you have any pet odors in your home, you may also want to talk to B&L Ott about installing the Trane Clean Effects or and Air Scrubber.


Filtration is crucial when we have pets. Not only do your pets shed hair and create pet dander, but they track in outside dirt and germs. Even short-haired pet’s fur will get pulled into your system. Changing your filter allows your system to breath. When the filter gets clogged, your system’s efficiency, air flow, and efficiency all decline. This also shortens the longevity of your system, costing you more in the long run.

When you have pets in your home, it is crucial to change your filter routinely. A standard 1” filter should be changed monthly; ignore any markings on the filter packaging that tell you otherwise. A 1″ filters should cost less than $10 per piece and are an absolutely critical component for your HVAC system’s performance. Despite what the packaging says, 1” filters do little to clean the air in your home. They are actually the bare minimum needed to keep your system operational. They are not helping the air quality in your home, though. Most models only stop the larger particles.

Get a Cleaner Home

When you have pets in your home, you may want some extra help keeping the air in your home clean. Below are some extra ways you can improve the air quality in your home and keep your HVAC system running efficiently. Contact B&L Ott to learn more.

Media Filter

A media filter is 5″ thick instead of 1″. It is 20 times more effective at cleaning the air. Instead of replacing the filter every 30 days, B&L Ott will check the filter every 6 months during preventive maintenance visits. A media filter typically requires replacement every 6-12 months. However, if you have multiple pets or pets with long hair, it may need to be changed 2-4 times per year.

Electronic Air Cleaner

An electronic air cleaner, like the Trane CleanEffects, will capture 99.98% of the particles in the air down to 0.1 microns in size. Be wary of a trick that many air filter manufacturers use. They say “99.9% efficient”, but may only be talking about large contaminants. They only tell you half of the story. Smaller contaminants may easily pass through their filter. A Trane CleanEffects will capture microscopic particles, 1/20 millionth the size of the period at the end of this sentence. It will capture dust, pollen, the flu virus, smoke, pet dander, odors, and more. This type of filter requires quarterly cleaning, performed by B&L Ott.

Air Purification vs. Air Filtration

indoor air cleanersAir filters do exactly what the name implies – they filter particles from the air that pass through the filter. But what about the air and particles that never make it to the filter? To really purify the air, you need an air purifier like the Air Scrubber. This device was originally developed for NASA to use on the International Space Station.

It uses specialized germicidal UV light waves along with a proprietary catalytic process to create enviro-scrubbing molecules of oxygen and hydrogen; just like nature’s outdoor scrubbers. This helps reach the air and particles that are not pulled through your HVAC system. It works 24/7 to reduce airborne and surface contaminants in your home. An Air Scrubber sends scrubbers into your home to reduce contaminants on surfaces as well as airborne pollutants. It is also highly effective on gasses, vapors, VOCs, and odors.

B&L Ott’s Preventative Maintenance Service

B&L Ott’s preventive maintenance service can make cleaning your home and HVAC system easy. All B&L Ott’s filtration options (other than 1″ filters) can make cleaning and maintenance easy for our customers because B&L Ott does everything for you. It’s that simple. A skilled technician can install a media filter, electronic air cleaner and/or an air purifier in just a few hours. If you sign up for our maintenance agreement, we will let you know when you are due for maintenance, schedule the appointment with you, and perform all necessary maintenance.

Better filtration can provide both long-term and short-term benefits. In the long run, you will keep your system running efficiently so your system lasts longer. Short-term, you will experience better system operation and cleaner air for your family and pets.

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