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Why is My Second Floor So Hot?

Most people prefer that the room be nice and cool when they go to bed. They find that they can breath easier and get more restful sleep when their bedroom is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, having a hot second floor can prevent you from getting the comfortable sleep you are hoping for.

To counteract this problem, many homeowners try setting their thermostat to an even lower temperature before they go to bed. This way the cool air can reach their second floor. However, this tactic causes the first floor to get even colder, wastes energy, and causes your utility bills to rise. If this situation sounds familiar, B&L Ott in Berks County is here to help. Below you will find some common causes for a hot second floor as well as some helpful solutions.

Heat Rises

One of the main reasons why your second floor is hotter is because heat rises. This means that any hot air that your HVAC system doesn’t remove will collect in the upper level of your home. Your HVAC system also has to work harder and longer if you want it to cool off your second floor.

Large House

The size of your home can also affect how hot certain areas of your Berks County home get. The larger your home, the more cool air it requires to be comfortable. It is important to ensure that you have the right size of the system. If it is too small, it won’t be able to produce enough cold air. If it is too large, it will cycle on and off too quickly and not properly distribute air throughout your home. Contact B&L Ott to help ensure you have the right size system.

Dark Roof

Dark colors absorb light and heat as well. This means that if you have a dark-colored roof, it is absorbing heat from the sun. This can also contribute to your second floor being too hot to sleep comfortably. If your second floor is always too hot, consider painting your roof a lighter color that reflects the sun.

Lack of Insulation in the Attic

Your attic likely isn’t connected to an HVAC system. Therefore, there is not much airflow and with the sun beating down on the roof, it likely gets very hot. This can affect the temperature of your home as well. One of the best ways to help combat this issue is to make sure your attic is properly insulated. This way the heat from the attic doesn’t leak into the upper level of your home.

Thermostat and Air Duct Placement

home automationYet,  another possible issue is the thermostat and duct placement. If you had a professional HVAC contractor install your system, you likely won’t experience this issue. However, if your contractor didn’t know what they were doing or if you have recently added more rooms onto your home, this can cause issues.

If your air ducts are not laid out properly, you can easily end up with uneven heating. Additionally, if the thermostat is in the wrong place, your HVAC system can shut off too early. You will also want to make sure that you don’t have any furniture blocking the air vents or return ducts as this can block air flow. Contact B&L Ott if you think you are experiencing this type of problem so we can help you find an appropriate solution.

HVAC Unit Issues

Finally, any issues with your HVAC system can also affect the airflow to your second floor. If your system is not running efficiently, or if your air ducts or vents are blocked, the air may not be getting to where it needs to go. A good sign that there is an issue with your HVAC system is that your system is constantly turned on. In this case, it is working overtime to keep your home cool. This is using up extra energy, reducing your systems life expectancy, and causing your energy bills to rise. Contact B&L Ott to help determine if your system needs any type of repair or attention.

Contact B&L Ott Now

We can also help you improve the airflow in your home. We provide a variety of services such as biannual maintenance, air duct cleaning, installation of home-zoning systems, installation of mini-split systems, and more. If you need help determining what the issue is to contact B&L Ott through our website here: https://otthvac.com/contact-us/. You can also call B&L Ott at 610-816-6026. We will help you get your home comfortable again so you can get the sleep and rest you deserve.

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Keeping Your Berks County Home Well-Maintained, Organized, and Looking Great

Everyone wants their home to look the best that it can be. This way, if friends and family visit, they will be comfortable and impressed. Unfortunately, life can get so busy that it can be difficult to keep your house in great shape. You need to set aside time for organizing and cleaning. Otherwise, your to-do list will continue to grow and you eventually may get embarrassed whenever company shows up.

B&L Ott is here to help with some tips and information about what home improvement areas to pay attention to. With just a bit more attention, you can get your Berks County home looking fantastic!

Yard

It can be difficult to find time to tend to your yard when Pennsylvania weather is so unpredictable. Be sure to check the weekly forecast regularly. Figure out which day looks the nicest and schedule yard work that day. If you are still short on time, get your family to help or hire someone to help you.

If getting your entire yard together seems overwhelming, remember to take it one small step at a time. Do a little bit day by day rather than scheduling an entire day of yard work.

Kitchen

Does your kitchen have an organizational system? Do all your pots, pans, and utensils have a home? If not, your kitchen probably gets cluttered easily and you may get frustrated. Having an organized kitchen will save you time and stress.

If your kitchen needs work, set aside a weekend to get it organized. You will thank yourself later. Buy some drawer organizers, spice caddies, and other organizational supplies to help you. Once everything is organized you will find it much easier to work your way around the kitchen. Don’t forget to take time every week or two to get rid of expired food, as well. It only takes about 5-10 minutes if you keep up with it.

Living Area

Your living room likely doesn’t need as much attention as your kitchen, but it is still important to pay attention to. Blankets and pillows should be washed every 2-4 weeks, your carpet should be vacuumed 1-2 times per week, and you should dust 1-4 times per month. These tasks don’t take much time. It is just a matter of remembering to do so. Set a reminder on your phone or delegate it as a job to someone in your household.

Bathroom

Bathrooms can get pretty messy quickly. Between makeup, brushing teeth, taking showers and more, there can be dirt everywhere. If you have guests, you don’t want them to be disgusted by your bathroom. Therefore, it is important to keep it clean.

Like the kitchen, your bathroom should have an organizational system and be cleaned every week or two. It helps if you clean up your messes right after you make them. This way, the pile of clutter doesn’t keep growing. By taking just a few minutes to clean up after yourself, you can keep your bathroom looking orderly on a daily basis.

Bedroom

In most cases, your guests won’t go into your bedroom, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get frustrated by a messy bedroom. One of the biggest issues in the bedroom is the laundry. At the end of the day, you are tired and many times just want to collapse onto your bed. Messiness or cleanliness is a habit. If you allow yourself to be lazy, even just a few times, you will reinforce that habit. On the other hand, if you push yourself to clean up after yourself, you will reinforce good habits. Be sure to pick up your clothing, make your bed, and clean up other little messes on a daily basis.

HVAC System

Finally, don’t forget to take care of your appliances and tools, especially your HVAC. You want you, your family, and your guests to be comfortable in your home. Your HVAC system will help you accomplish this. You have to take proper care of it though. To make sure it is ready to work properly and efficiently, contact B&L Ott. Our professionals will thoroughly inspect, clean, and adjust your system with B&L Ott’s Routine Maintenance Program. By doing so you can help make sure that your system will run when you need it most.

To schedule routine maintenance or schedule another B&L Ott service, you can visit our website and contact us here: https://otthvac.com/contact-us/. Alternatively, you can call B&L Ott at 610-816-6026. With a little work and help from B&L Ott, your Berks Country home will be a comfortable place for you and any guests who may come your way.

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Get A New HVAC System Now Before Prices Increase

An HVAC system is one of the largest home investments you will ever make. Even after that your HVAC system likely takes up a large chunk of your utility bills. It’s important to do your research and learn how to save money where you can, without sacrificing quality. When it comes to HVAC systems, this task can seem pretty complicated. Yet, B&L Ott, near Reading, Pennsylvania, is here to help.

When to Buy

One aspect that affects pricing is timing. Prices constantly fluctuate for almost everything. Just pick a random product you buy on a weekly basis and research how much it cost a few decades ago. There’s a good chance that the price has changed drastically.

If you are looking for a good time to buy a new HVAC system, that time is now. Read on to learn more, then contact B&L Ott to help you choose and install a new system.

Why Should I Have a New HVAC System Installed Now?

Soon, two tariffs will be put into effect that will cause the price of imported steel and aluminum to rise. This will also impact the HVAC market as many parts, supplies, and equipment are commonly made with these materials.

This is not the first time prices have increased. You may have noticed prices increase in 2018 as well. If you think your HVAC system will reach its life expectancy within the next few years, then now is the time to buy before prices increase even more.  

Determining If It Is Worth It to Replace Your System Now

How do you know if it is an appropriate time for a replacement? Consider the aspects below to help you decide.

Age

The average HVAC system will last about 10 years or a little longer. However, if you have a high-quality system and take good care of it with help from B&L Ott it will likely last longer. On the other hand, if you neglect maintenance or go for a cheaper system, it likely will not last as long. Either way, if your system is nearing 10 years old or is past 10 years old, it is a good idea to start thinking about a replacement.  

Frequent Repairs

Another aspect that can help you determine how much longer your HVAC system will last is how many repairs you have needed lately. If you have been calling B&L Ott a lot lately for repairs, it may be a smarter solution to replace your system. This way your money goes toward a system that will work for you rather than toward fixing a system that may just break down again.

Strange Noises or Smells

Similar to frequent repairs, if you have had an ongoing issue with strange noises or smells, it may be a better option to simply replace your system. If you need help figuring out how bad the issue is, contact B&L Ott near Reading, Pennsylvania for help.

Poor Air Flow

Is your Berks County home comfortable? If you have noticed more warm or cool spots in your home, your current HVAC system may be losing efficiency. This is another sign that now is a good time to replace your system before prices increase.

Always Running

Another sign that your HVAC system may be losing efficiency is how often it is running. If it is constantly turned on or starts up often, it may not be producing enough warm or cool air. The more often your system runs, the more energy it uses and the higher your utility bills will go. If your system is wasting money, it is time to contact B&L Ott for a replacement.

Contact B&L Ott Now!

If your system is experiencing any of the issues above, you should highly consider a replacement before prices go up. B&L Ott is here to help. If you need help with anything from inspections to an HVAC installation, contact us through our website here: https://otthvac.com/contact-us/. You can also call B&L Ott at 610-816-6026. We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.

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Tips For Programming Your New Thermostat

thermostat zoningWhether you’ve just had a new programmable thermostat installed in your Berks County home or if you are just considering one, you may have plenty of questions about it. How do I program it? Is it complicated to use? Where do I even begin? If this is your case, B&L Ott near Reading, Pennsylvania is here to help.

Below you will find information answering these questions and more. Then, before you know it, you will be on your way to convenient temperature control, energy savings, and comfortable home.

The Basics

If you are fairly adept with technology, you will likely find programmable thermostats easy to use. Even if you don’t know a lot about technology, a B&L Ott technician can help teach you how to use your new thermostat.

While most thermostats have similar buttons, they are all different. The best way to learn how to program your specific model is to read the manual. In general, however, you will press a button corresponding to the setting you want to change. Then you will use up and down arrows to change those settings. Below you will find some topics to think about before you start changing your settings.

Think About Your Family’s Daily Schedule

One of the main ways you can save with a programmable thermostat is to turn the temperature back when your family isn’t home during the day. One of the first things you will want to think about is what times your family is home, and when they are away.

When To Change the Temperature

Most programmable thermostats will break the day into different sections. For example, morning, day, and night. You can have your thermostat, turn up a bit in the morning so you are warm and comfortable when you get out of bed. Then you can have the thermostat turn the heat or air conditioner back around the time your family leaves for work and school. Then you can have it return to a more comfortable temperature right before your family usually returns home. Then you can set your home to cool down before bedtime so your family can get a good night’s sleep.

Turning the Heat or Air Conditioning Back

Be sure to give your HVAC system time to reach your desired temperature. A half hour is an appropriate amount of time. It is also worth noting that you don’t want to turn your heater or air conditioner back too far during the day. Doing so will waste energy as your HVAC system will have to work harder to replace the conditioned air that it lost. Turning your system back just a few degrees will suffice and provide significant savings.

Think About Your Family’s Weekly Schedule

Some programmable thermostats allow you to set each day individually. Others just have you program the work week and weekend separately. If you haven’t bought and installed a thermostat yet, this is something you will want to think about. Talk to B&L Ott to help make sure you get the best system to work with your family’s schedule.

Settings

Once you know what kind of schedule you want to make, it is time to look at the different settings on your thermostat.

Read the Manual

Due to the fact that every programmable thermostat is designed a little bit differently, the best way to learn about your system’s specific settings is to read the manual. Be sure to keep the manual in a safe place so you can refer to it if you ever have any issues. If you have had your system for a while and can’t find the manual, you can also call B&L Ott for help.

Schedule

When it comes to setting your schedule, scroll through each day and input the temperatures you desire and what times you want them to change. Once you are finished and your program is set, your system will continue to follow this routine on a regular basis. It is also important to note that if you experience a power outage or take the system off of the wall without batteries in it, your system will likely reset.

If at any point you don’t want your system to follow this routine, see if your thermostat has a hold button. This will tell your thermostat to keep the temperature where it is at.

Fan

There are two main settings for the fan. These are “auto” and “on.” When your system is on auto, it will start up and shut off when your HVAC system turns on and off. This allows you to save energy. However, if you set your system to “on” it will run constantly. This will use more energy, but help keep the air in your home cleaner as it will continually circulate and pass through your filter.

Cooling vs. Heat

The other main setting you should be concerned with is heating vs. cooling. This system is pretty self-explanatory. Are you warming your Berks County home or cooling it? Be sure to pay attention to which system is running and which schedule you are setting when you are programming your thermostat.

Need More Help?

If you need any more help concerning your programmable thermostat, please contact B&L Ott. You can do so through B&L Ott’s website here: https://otthvac.com/contact-us/. Alternatively, you can also call B&L Ott at 610-816-6026.

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Factors That Affect The Cost of Buying and Installing a New Air Conditioner

If you are searching for a new air conditioner, you may have noticed that it’s difficult to get an exact number as to what it will cost. This is because many factors go into determining the price of an air conditioner and its installation.

By knowing what aspects factor into the pricing for an air conditioner, you can help determine what features you need and what aspects you don’t necessarily want to pay top dollar for. Knowing this can help B&L Ott in Berks County help you choose the make and model that is the best fit for your home and lifestyle.

Type

There are multiple types of air conditioners. There are central air systems with ducts, heat-pumps, mini-split systems, window units, and even portable air conditioners. Central air with ducts is one of the most popular types of air conditioners. These air conditioners are one of the cheapest ways to cool your entire home. Heat pumps are popular in warmer climates. Heat pumps can help provide extra savings in the right climate but have a higher initial cost compared to central air systems.

Mini-split systems are convenient options as they do not require ducts. They are a reasonable price if you only need to cool a single room or small area. However, if you need to cool your entire house, they are an expensive option. Window units and portable units are among the cheapest options. However, they will likely not provide the comfort that the other options can.

Size

Like most other household purchases, the size of the HVAC unit you need also plays a part in determining the price. The bigger the system you need, the more expensive it will be. However, size is not something you can afford to get wrong.

Choosing the right size is a very important part of selecting a new air conditioner for your home. Both a unit that is too small or too large can end up wasting money. A unit that is too small will have to run more often and wear out. A unit that is too big will start up and shut down more often which will also waste energy and wear out the parts. The best way to ensure you install the right size air conditioner is to get help from the professionals at B&L Ott.

SEER Rating

SEER is a rating given to HVAC systems to show how efficient they are. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. As you may have guessed the higher the SEER is, the more efficient the system is. This also means that the more efficient the system is, the more expensive the air conditioner will be. However, a more efficient unit will save you more over time.

When discussing a new system with B&L Ott think about if you rather have a cheaper initial cost while paying more later or if you rather pay more initially and save more over time. This can help determine which model is right for you.

Need for Ductwork

Another factor to take into consideration is whether you will need new ductwork installed or not. If you are getting a central cooling system and already have a duct system, this is something you likely won’t have to worry about. However, if you need any ductwork installed, you will want to consider the additional cost.

Replacing It Alone or With a New Heating System

When replacing your air conditioner, ask yourself if your heater will likely need to be replaced soon too. Buying your systems together can help you save. Some systems are even made to work with each other to maximize efficiency. This can save you even more in the long run.

HVAC Contractor

Finally, the contractor you choose to install your new air conditioner can affect installation costs. You may want to simply go with the cheapest offer, however, this can also mean that the installer may cut corners and not install everything properly. Then you can end up paying more trying to fix issues and get your system installed properly.

The best way to choose an HVAC contractor is to look at reviews or talk to others about which contractors are good and which ones cut corners. If you would like to discuss air conditioner installation with B&L Ott, you can contact us through our website here: https://otthvac.com/contact-us/. You can also call 610-816-6026.

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Ways to Make Your Berks County Home More Energy Efficient

Your Berks County home is likely filled with dozens of machines, devices, and appliances. Paying for the energy to power all of these devices can get expensive. If you are looking for ways to help you and your family cut back on your energy usage, B&L Ott near Reading, Pennsylvania is here to help. Below you will find a variety of ways to make your home more efficient and conserve energy.

HVAC Tips

Your HVAC system is one of the biggest users of energy in your Berks County home. This is a good place to focus when trying to lower your energy bills. B&L Ott offers a variety of solutions that can help you conserve energy.

Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats or Smart Thermostats make setting the temperature and air conditions in your home easier than ever. After B&L Ott installs your system, all you have to do is program a routine once. Then your system will continue to follow the routine that you set on a daily or weekly basis. You will barely have to touch your thermostat again. If you program your thermostat to turn back your air conditioner or heater during the day while you are not home, you can also save a significant amount on your energy bills.

Home Zoning

Home zoning is yet another system that makes controlling the conditions in your home easier than ever. Your family likely has their favorite spots in your home. You also likely have areas that you don’t use often. Yet, you still allow your HVAC system to warm or cool these areas. This wastes energy. A home zoning system splits your Berks County home into different sections that can be warmed or cooled individually. Contact B&L Ott to learn more or to have a home zoning system installed.

Air Flow

Like unused rooms, poor air flow can also waste energy. When airflow is poor, your HVAC system has to work harder to warm or cool your Berks County home. There are a variety of factors that contribute to the quality of air flow in your home. This includes cleanliness of your system, furniture layout, and how much care you have given your system.

When it comes to the cleanliness of your HVAC system, there are many parts to take care of. Be sure to clean your filter regularly, dust off the vents, and have B&L Ott clean your air ducts about every ten years. For furniture layout, make sure your couches, shelves, and other furniture are not blocking your vents and return air ducts. Finally, contact B&L Ott for preventative maintenance so you can make sure your system is running at maximum efficiency.

Insulate Your Home

Much of your homes warm or cool air is lost through your doors, windows, attic, and basement. One of the best ways to keep conditioned air from escaping is to insulate your home. If your home is due for new doors or windows, invest in thick ones that can help keep warm or cool air in. Thick curtains or mini blinds also help.

There are various forms of insulation you can buy for your attic or basement. The best way to choose which one is right for your home is to do plenty of research or talk to a professional. If you don’t have the time or money to spend on insulation you can also buy air blockers for doors leading to your attic and basement. They may not work as well as insulation, but they can still help keep conditioned air from escaping your home.

Home Automation

Similar to installing a programmable thermostat to control your HVAC system, there are many other automated devices that can help your home run more smoothly. For instance, there are lighting fixtures with sensors that turn off automatically when you leave the room and turn on when you enter the room. There are also automated security systems, entertainment systems, surveillance cameras and more. Not only are these systems convenient, but they can help you reduce your energy usage as well.

Buy Energy Efficient Appliances

There are many energy-efficient appliances on the market to help you save energy and lower your utility bills. If you would like to know more about energy efficient HVAC system options, talk to the professionals at B&L Ott. Some other appliances that offer energy efficient models include washers, dryers, water heaters, dishwashers, lights, and more. These models are typically more expensive than regular models, but they save you more in the long run.

Reduce the Amount Of Energy You Use

There are many systems, machines, and appliances you can buy to help you save energy. However, one of the best and cheapest ways to save energy is to change your habits. By making a few changes you may be surprised at how much you save. Some changes you can make include:

  • Turning the lights off when you leave the room.
  • Taking shorter and colder showers.
  • Using blankets or a sweater instead of turning up the heat.
  • Air drying your clothes and dishes.
  • Unplug devices and appliances when you’re not using them.
  • Turn off the water when you are not using it.

There are many benefits of becoming more energy efficient. By using some of the tips and ideas on this list, you are sure to save all while helping your Berks County home run more efficiently.

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Reasons to Live In Berks County Pennsylvania

B&L Ott is located in Berks County, Pennsylvania and we believe that it is a great place to live for a variety of reasons. If you are looking for a place to settle down in the southeastern Pennsylvania area, Berks County is definitely a place to consider. Here are just a few of the best features B&L Ott believes our area has to offer.

Changing Seasons

Many places in the United States or even the world are either hot year-round or cold year-round. In the New England states, we have the luxury of changing seasons. In the summer, we get to enjoy heading to the beach, swimming in the pool and sunbathing. In the fall, we have festivals, build bonfires, and enjoy the leaves changing color. In winter, we get to experience sledding, snowboarding, and the peacefulness of gently falling snow. Finally, in spring, we enjoy beautiful flowers and greenery as well as wildlife wandering the area.

If you come from an area that is hot year-round or cold year-round. You may be unsure about adapting to the varying temperatures and weather conditions. Fear not, because B&L Ott is here to help. By signing up for our biannual HVAC maintenance program, you can help ensure that your new Berks County home will be comfortable all year long.

Location

Berks County is also in a great location. If you enjoy the quiet life, there are plenty of farmland areas for you to settle down in. On the other hand, if you prefer the city, Reading has plenty of activities going on on a daily basis. Berks County is also not too far from Philadelphia. It is a little over an hour’s away.

Wildlife

If you are an animal-lover, Berks County has plenty of interesting animals and critters to offer. There are plenty of birds to watch, deer, foxes, and more. If you choose to live in the countryside you may even get to see some of these critters wander through your yard. Even if you live in the city, you can take a short drive to the country try or a wooded area to scope out the wildlife. Don’t forget to bring your camera. You are sure to get some beautiful pictures.

While the Pennsylvania wildlife is wonderful to be around and to observe, you also have to pay attention to them when it comes to your HVAC system. Small animals such as mice and chipmunks may try to nest in your outdoor unit. This can cause a variety of issues. Therefore, it is important to inspect and clear the area around your system regularly when you live in Berks County.

History

There are also a variety of sites with historical significance in Berks County and the surrounding area. If you are a history buff, there are plenty of places to visit and history to learn.  There are museums, landmarks, statues, historical homes and more. You can visit them all. Then when your friends and family come to visit your new Berks County home, you will have plenty of interesting stories to tell them about the area.

Plenty of Things to Do

Finally, there are plenty of other activities to take part in. There are multiple amusement parks in the area. Reading has multiple sports venues where our home teams play and hosts many concerts and shows as well. We also have a variety of family activities such as shopping at the Berkshire mall, mini- golfing, bowling, going to a movie, etc. There are also a variety of good restaurants in Berks County. With a little research or asking the locals, you are sure to find a fun activity for you and your family to try.

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What Does HVAC Mean?

B&L Ott near Reading, Pennsylvania use the term “HVAC” a lot. It’s on our website, social media, blogs, and more, but not everyone commonly knows what “HVAC” means. It is an acronym that encompasses a wide range of products and services.

The acronym HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Altogether, the products and services included in these categories affect how comfortable your Berks County home feels. B&L Ott’s goal is to help you keep your family comfortable by helping you maintain your HVAC systems. Below you will find a brief list of some of our products and services.

Heating

Furnaces

Whether you have a furnace that needs maintenance or need a replacement, B&L Ott can help. If your furnace breaks down in the dead of winter, you and use our 24/7 emergency repair service. If you need help choosing which furnace is best for your Berks County home, one of our knowledgeable technicians can help.

Gas Conversions 

If you want to convert from oil to gas, B&L Ott can help with that too. There are many benefits of converting to gas energy. This includes burning more cleanly, cost-effective, reliability, convenience and safety.

Heat Pumps 

Heat pumps can be used to both warm and cool your home. It works by transferring the heat either into your home or out of your home. If you would like to learn more, you can talk to one of our technicians or browse our website for more information.

Geothermal 

A geothermal system uses heat within the earth to heat your home. Geothermal heating systems are safe, environmentally friendly, last longer than other HVAC systems, can help you lower your utility bills, and can be used in both the summer and winter seasons.  

Boilers 

Boilers are a heating system that uses hyronics. Fuel is burned to heat water that is circulated through pipes in your home. If you need a replacement boiler, B&L Ott can help you install a new one.

Water Heater 

You need hot water for cooking, showers, laundry and more. If you notice that there is something wrong with your water heater, B&L Ott can repair it for you. If your system is 10-15 years old and you need a replacement, we can help you with that as well.

Ventilation, Air Quality, and Other Home Comfort Solutions

Humidity Control 

Temperature is not the only factor that affects your comfort. Humidity plays a large part as well. B&L Ott offers a variety of humidifiers or dehumidifiers for your home.

Air Duct Cleaning

If you have a forced-air system, dirt and other debris piles up in your air ducts over time. They should be cleaned about every ten years by a professional like B&L Ott.

Air Purifiers and Whole-House Filtration Systems 

Air purifiers and whole-house filtration systems help remove pollutants such as dust and pollen from your home. If anyone in your family has asthma, allergies, or respiratory issues, one of these systems can help reduce contaminants that are aggravating their symptoms.

Programmable Thermostats 

Programmable thermostats make controlling the temperature in your home easier and more convenient than ever. You can create a daily or weekly schedules for your HVAC system to follow so you don’t have to set the thermostat yourself. Programmable thermostats can also help you lower your utility bills.

Home Zoning Systems 

Home zoning systems divide your home into different areas using dampers in your air ducts. This allows you to direct warm or cool air to the areas you want so you can be more comfortable and save energy.

Air Conditioning

Air Conditioners 

During brutal Berks County summers, your air conditioner keeps you cool and relaxed. B&L Ott can help you keep your system running with biannual maintenance visits. We can also help you repair your current air conditioner or install a new one for you.

Mini-Split Systems 

If your home doesn’t have air ducts or if you need a solution for a separate room, a mini-split system may be the solutions for you. These systems can cool a room or small area without the use of air ducts. To learn more, you can contact B&L Ott through our website or by calling 610-816-6026.

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5 Ways to Stay Comfortable and Save This Fall and Winter Season

Everyone wants to be comfortable. When you are comfortable, you can relax and recharge after a hard day at work. You can feel safe and at peace. There are a variety of benefits to being comfortable. To help you keep your home and family comfortable, B&L Ott has compiled this list of ways to stay comfortable. Many of these tips can also help you keep your HVAC system running efficiently so you can reduce your utility bills as well.

Find Low-Energy Ways to Keep Yourself Warm

Firstly, you should focus on making yourself warm. If you are warm, you will not need to turn up the heat in your home as much. When your thermostat is set lower, your heating system will not have to work as hard and will use less energy. Here are a variety of ways you can make yourself warmer without an HVAC system.

Build a Fire

If you have a fireplace, building a fire and sitting by it is a great way to stay warm. You can read a book or listen to music while you listen to the relaxing snapping and crackling of the wood.

Wear Warm Clothing

Many people in Berks County know its always good to wear layers during the fall and winter months. Plenty of layers help you stay warm, and you can always take a layer off if you’re too hot. If you are nice and warm from layers of clothing, you won’t need to turn your heater up as high.

Cuddle With Blankets

Sometimes if you wear too many layers, it can be difficult to move. If you don’t want that, you can simply use a blanket or two instead. You can even cuddle with a friend, family member, or pet and share the warmth.

Eat or Drink Something Warm

Hot chocolate is a favorite when it comes to cold weather traditions. It tastes sweet and helps keep you warm. However, there are plenty of other warm foods and drinks you can consume if you prefer something else. For instance, coffee, apple cider, soup, oatmeal, or fresh baked goods right out of the oven. Baking is yet another way to add heat to your home so you can turn your thermostat back a bit.

Take a Hot Bath

If your muscles are tense, few things are better than a hot bath (or a hot tub if you have one) to relax your muscles. You can light some candles and play some of your favorite music while you soak and forget your troubles.

Let the Sun Shine In During the Day

Take advantage of the natural heat the sun produces. Open up your curtains and let the sunshine into your home during the day. It will help warm your home a few degrees and give your heater a break. Just don’t forget to close them once the sun goes down.

Make Sure Your Home is Insulated

It’s also important to make sure your home is properly insulated. Doing so will help keep the heat in and the cold out. Some main spaces to focus on are your attic, basement, doors, and windows.

It can be difficult to insulate your attic or basement but can be a worthwhile project to help you lower your utility bills. For your windows, you can buy thick curtains that help block the warm air from escaping and the cold air from entering. For doors, you can purchase a draft stopper to put at the bottom of your door.

Turn On or Buy a Humidifier

When the air is dry, sweat evaporates off of your skin quickly and makes you feel cooler. When there is moisture in the air, it takes longer for the sweat to evaporate off of your skin. This keeps you feeling a bit warmer. Therefore, adding humidity to the air can keep you and your family warm. Turn on your humidifier, or buy one if you don’t have one. Talk to a B&L Ott professional to learn more or to get help choosing the right humidifier for your Berks County home.

Have B&L Ott Install a Home Zoning System

One of the best ways to save while increasing comfort is to have B&L Ott install a home zoning system for you. A home zoning system divides your home into separate sections using dampers in your air ducts. This allows you to direct the warm air directly where you want it to go. This helps save energy and lower utility bills by just focusing on certain areas rather than warming your entire house equally.

If you would like to learn more or schedule an appointment to have B&L Ott install a home zoning system, you can do so here: https://otthvac.com/contact-us/. You can also call B&L Ott at 610-816-6026.

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11 Fun Fall Activities In Berks County

Fall is an exciting time of year in Berks County. The weather gets cooler and plenty of exciting seasonal activities begin. While there are some tedious tasks to take care of, such as winterizing your home and making sure your HVAC system is working properly, there are also plenty of fun activities to take part in as well. So, after you contact B&L Ott for biannual HVAC maintenance, enjoy time with your friends and family while taking part in one of these fall activities.

Enjoy the Leaves

One of the best reasons to be in the Berks County area during the fall season is the leaves. Sometimes we may take it for granted, but it’s not something everyone gets to see. Just being out in nature can be relaxing. So take a hike, or drive if you prefer, and take in the beautiful fall colors. If you need something for your hand to do, bring a camera and take some pictures.

Build a Fire and Make Smores

There are few things in life better than gathering around a fire with good friends and family and just talking. If you haven’t seen your friends or family members in a while, why not invite them over to sit by the fire and make s’mores?

Festivals and Parades

There are always plenty of fall festivals and parades going on in Berks County at this time of year. You could probably find one to go to every single weekend if you wanted to. Look online, in the newspaper, or for roadside advertisements to find one you’re interested in.

Corn Mazes

If you enjoy mental-stimulation, why not test yourself with a corn maze? There are plenty of farms in the Berks County area and quite a few of them have corn mazes.

Haunted Houses

If thrills and being scared are more your thing, you can look for some haunted house tours instead. Be sure to bring your friends for comfort, or to laugh at their silly faces when they get scared.

Carriage Rides or Hayrides

Not everyone is into being scared. Another relaxing and more romantic fall activity is hayrides or carriage rides. You can simply sit back and enjoy the fall scenery Berks County has to offer.

Apple or Pumpkin Picking

Apple picking or pumpkin picking are also relaxing and simple fall activities. You can bring your entire family and just pick some healthy snacks to bring home. You can also carve or decorate the pumpkins to make a spooky decoration for your home.

Baking

You can also bake your apples or pumpkin and make a delicious fall treat for your family. There are a variety of dishes you can make with apples and pumpkins. The oven will also help warm your home a little, so you can turn your heat back for a little while and save some money.

Arts and Crafts

If you are an artsy person or have kids to entertain, you can make some fall-themed crafts. There are countless options. Just head online to find some great ideas.

Decorating Your Berks County Home

You can then use your crafts to decorate your Berks County home. You can also just buy some permafrost decorations at the store and use them to decorate. Orange, purple, or green lights can also help add to the ambiance of your home.

Stay In and Sit By the Fire (Or Air Vent)

Life can get pretty busy during the fall season. If you need some rest, you can just stay in and sit by your fireplace or stove. You can watch Halloween movies, read a scary book, knit a scarf, build a fort, snack, or just snuggle with your pet.

If you don’t have a fireplace or stove, you can improvise and set up some blankets and pillows near an air vent. Just make sure your vent is clean and not blowing dust on you. If your air ducts are due for a cleaning, B&L Ott can help. You can contact us through our website here: https://otthvac.com/contact-us/. You can also call B&L Ott at 610-816-6026. Have a great fall!

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