When Should I Replace My HVAC System?

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

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

How Well Has Your HVAC System Been Working?

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

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

How Well Has Your HVAC System Been Maintained?

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

How Old is Your HVAC System?

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

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

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

accountant-1238598_960_720Are Your Energy Bills Too High?

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

Is Your HVAC System Noisy?

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

System Replacement Planning from B&L Ott

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

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Pests in Your HVAC System?

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

Why Do Pests Invade My HVAC System?

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

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

What Kind of Damage Do Pests Do?

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

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

How Do I Prevent Pests?

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

Seal Ducts and Make Sure Outdoor Grates are Secure

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

Install Flue and Vent Covers

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

Protect Your Air Conditioning Condenser

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

Use Bug Repellents

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

What to Do

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

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Reasons to Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat

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

thermostat zoning

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

Convenient and Consistent

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

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


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

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


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

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

Prevents Overuse of HVAC System

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

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

Plenty of Options to Suit Your Needs

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

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


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Which Type of Air Conditioner Should I Buy?

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

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

Single Window Units


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


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

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

Possible Issues

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

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


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

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


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

Possible Issues

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

Packaged Central/Forced Air


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


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

Possible Issues

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


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How to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

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

Change Filters

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

Have Ducts Cleaned

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

Ventilate Your Home

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

Use Dehumidifiers to Decrease Chance of Mold Growth

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

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

vacuum-cleaner-268179_960_720Vacuum and Dust

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

Have B&L Ott Inspect Your Home

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


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7 Ways to Prolong the Life of Your HVAC System

One of the best ways to save money on an HVAC system is to make sure it last to its full life expectancy. An HVAC system, like all machines, will break down if you don’t take care of it. Therefore, B&L Ott has compiled this list of tips to help you maintain your system. By completing these tasks, you can both improve your system’s efficiency and save money on your electric bill. If you need any help along the way, B&L Ott in Reading, Pennsylvania can help.air conditioner installation

Inspection and Regular Maintenance

The best way to protect your HVAC system is to inspect it regularly. Look for cracks, leaks, and damaged parts. Regular maintenance also ensures that small issues, don’t turn into big problems. B&L Ott recommends that you have your HVAC system serviced 1-2 times per year. Doing so will help ensure that you have heating and cooling when you need it.

Pre-season Maintenance

When you live in Berks County, summers are hot and winters are frigid. During the summer you turn off the heat and during the winter you turn off the air conditioning. When your air conditioning is turned off for long periods of time, it can grow mold or begin to deteriorate. Having your system inspected by a B&L Ott technician before each new season can help you avoid breakdowns when you need your system most.

Clean Vents

If you have a forced-air system, you have air vents running throughout your walls to transport air from one room to another. Over time, all sorts of debris begin to collect in these air vents. When the piles get too large, they block the air flow. This causes your system to work harder to reach your desired temperature. The life expectancy also decreases. B&L Ott offers a duct cleaning service that you should use every 5-7 years.

Clean Air Filters Regularly

Like air vents, filters collect dust. If you let it go too long without cleaning, it will no longer do its job. When the fibers become clogged, dust will start to sneak past the filter. More dust will begin accumulating in your home and contaminating your air. If any dirt gets in your main system, it can also cause problems. B&L Ott recommends that you clean or replace your air filters at least once per month.


Clean the Outdoor Unit

Your outdoor unit is the most likely to get dirty. When the wind blows, dirt, debris, and grass clippings may get into your system and cause issues. It also needs a clean coil to work properly. If your unit is in direct sunlight, it may also have to work harder. It is a good idea to put your outdoor unit in a shaded and away from the foliage.

Make Sure It Is the Proper Size

It is important to make sure that your unit is the right size. If it is too small, it will need to work overtime to keep your family cool. This will cause it to wear down and not last as long. When you buy a new system, you should discuss options with a B&L Ott technician. This will help you make the right model and size choice. If you think your current system is too small and you don’t want to buy a new system, consider a mini-split system. B&L Ott can install a small separate system to keep any small area cool without the need for vents.

Give It a Rest

Like you and any other machine, you can’t work 24/7. You need a break to relax and cool down and so does your HVAC system. Be sure to turn off your system every once in a while. This will give you a chance to inspect the parts for wear and tear as well as prolong the life of your system. A quality system should last between 15-20 years if it is maintained well.

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Vacation Tips for Your HVAC System

Going on vacation is a great way to relax with your friends and family. Unfortunately, the planning within the last few weeks before you go on vacation can be hectic. There are many tasks you have to remember to do. You have to pack, take care of your work responsibilities and make sure your home is in proper order. To help you take a little bit of the stress off your mind, B&L Ott has comprised a list of HVAC system vacation tips.

Raise the Thermostat

home automationWhile you are away on vacation, you won’t be around to notice the temperature of your home. If it is summer, you should set your home temperature higher. This way your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard. A good place to set the temperature is in the high 70’s or low 80’s. This will ensure that air continues to flow throughout your home and humidity levels that low.  If it is winter, you should lower your temperature for the same reason. This tip can also save some money on your electric bills.

You should not turn off your system, though. Excessive temperatures and humidity can damage the furniture and appliances in your home. You went on vacation to distress. Don’t let yourself return home only to learn that many of your possessions have been damaged.

Home Automation

Another option to consider is home automation.  By installing a programmable thermostat, you can schedule a temperature change ahead of time. This can help immensely when you are making sure everything is in order at the last minute. Some systems can even connect to your smart device. This allows you to control the temperature in your home from anywhere. Contact B&L Ott to learn more or have a new home automation system installed.

Close Your Curtains and Blinds

window-blinds-932644_960_720If you leave your blinds open, sunlight will heat your home. This promotes unnecessary work for your HVAC system. The sun can raise your home’s temperature at various rates depending on the size and amount of windows. Either way, your HVAC system will have to run longer to get the air to your desired temperature. The longer your HVAC system runs, the more you pay on your energy bills.

When you’re not home, you don’t need the sunlight in your home, so it is a good idea to shade your home with curtains. Doing so will also provide extra security by preventing people from snooping. If people know you are not home, they may be more tempted to break in and steal your belongings.

Surge Protection

If your home experiences a power surge while you are away, it could mean trouble for your HVAC system. HVAC systems are only built to withstand so much voltage. When a power surge occurs, high doses of electricity are sent into your appliances. This extra energy can damage your system’s circuits and cause them to malfunction. By purchasing a surge protector before you leave, you can protect your appliances. Another good idea is to unplug any devices you don’t need to run while you are away.


Another way to guard your HVAC system while you are gone is to perform maintenance before you leave. You should clean or replace your air filter to make sure dirt buildup doesn’t cause issues.  Also, be sure to look for issues such as damaged parts, rust, or refrigerant leaks. If you notice any of these warning signs, contact B&L Ott in Berks County for help. B&L Ott can also help you with making sure your HVAC system is properly maintained.  You don’t want to come home to a broken HVAC system.

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A Brief Guide to Air Filters

Air Filter 2If you have a home with a forced air, HVAC system, air filters an important component in keeping your air clean.  Air filters reduce the amount of contaminating debris in your home. When a filter is not well maintained, it can become clogged and push dirt into your home. Family members with asthma or allergies will have difficulty breathing. To help you prevent these problems, B&L Ott in Berks County has created this brief guide to air filters.

How do they Work?

When your HVAC system is turned on, the air circulated throughout your home and cleaned by an air filter. The air filter is made of woven cotton and synthetic blend materials. The filter allows air to pass through while stopping any larger particles. Dust, dirt, pet dander, and bacteria get caught in the woven fibers.  Through this process, contaminating particles are taken out of the air.

Where is it Located?

To be able to clean or replace your air filter, you first need to figure out where to find it. The filter is usually located somewhere near your furnace. If you have your manual, it should tell you where the filter can be found. It may be inside the blower area of your unit or in the ceiling return air grille. Filters are easily recognizable and look like a screen. If you are having difficulty finding your filter, you can contact B&L Ott in Leesport for help. We can ask you some simple questions about your system and try to guide you to the location of your filter.

How Often Should I Clean It?

Some forced air, HVAC systems have replaceable filters while others have to be cleaned. You should consult your owner’s manual to find out how often it needs cleaning. You should inspect and clean your filters at least once per month. Doing so keeps your HVAC system healthy so that it runs efficiently.

If you do not clean your air filters often enough, dirt will get into your system and cause problems. These problems may lead to costly repairs in the future. Dirty filters will also make your blower work harder to push the air past the clogged filter. This will increase your energy bills. Frequent cleaning is an effective way to maintain your system and save money in the long run.

How Often Should I Replace It?

air conditioner repairDeciding how often to change your filter, can depend on several factors. The type of filter, the rate your home gets dirty, and air pollution should all be taken into account. Unless your manual says otherwise, you should inspect your filters 1-2 times per month.  When they get too dirty, you should clean or replace them. If you have a system that uses replaceable filters, you can replace them every time they get dirty. On the other hand, if you have a system that uses cleanable filters, you can clean them until they become too worn.

It is a good idea to keep a stock of fresh filters on hand so that you can easily replace them whenever you need. Filters can be purchased in the home maintenance section of department stores. If you need help replacing your filter, schedule an appointment with B&L Ott.

More Questions?

If you have any more questions, one of B&L Ott’s technicians would be happy to assist you. We can also help you choose and install a new system. Selecting a new system can seem confusing when there are many different types, sizes, and qualities to choose from. B&L Otts technicians have the knowledge to help you choose which make is best for your home and family. You can contact us at the following link:

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Why Is My Water Heater Leaking?

Your family relies on hot water for many different activities, so when there is a problem with the water temperature or water pressure, it can be a big inconvenience. One of the most common causes of these problems is a leaky water heater. There are many reasons why your water heater may begin to leak. Some problems require a simple fix that you can take care of yourself while others may call for a more experienced hand from a B&L Ott technician. The first step to fixing your water heater is figuring out what is causing the issue. Therefore, we have created this brief list of possible causes to help you decide whether or not you need to contact B&L Ott.

Drain ValveDrain Valve

One of the most common reasons for water heater leaks is due to a loose drain valve. When the heater comes on, it vibrates which can loosen the valve over time. If you think the leak is being caused by a loose drain valve, use a wrench or a pair of pliers and turn the valve clockwise to tighten. Be careful not to make it too tight; only turn the valve until it is snug and do not force it.

Damaged Parts

Just like any other machine, water heater parts don’t last forever and may begin to wear down after a while. They can become damaged and start to malfunction. When this happens, the entire system may experience trouble. Parts may not fit or mesh properly anymore, which can cause leaks and other water heater malfunctions. If you notice any damaged parts and need help replacing them, contact B&L Ott for help.

Sediment Deposit

After years of use, rust and minerals may begin to collect at the bottom of the tank. This sediment can cause corrosion which leads to breaks in the sealing that allow water to seep out. Rust can also create holes in the tank if left untreated. If you think sediment deposit may be your problem, B&L Ott in Reading can help you flush out sediment and provide a chemical treatment to fix your system. Getting your heater checked sooner rather than later can help you prevent costly repairs in the future.

Too Much Pressure

Another common issue is too much air pressure. If your water heater is set to high, pressure will build up within the tank and can cause water to leak out of the overflow pipe. This may also be a sign that you need to replace your hot water heater soon. If you let the problem go too long, you may risk total failure of your system and worse flooding. Contact B&L Ott to learn more about replacing and installing a new heating system.

Water Heater

Old Tank

Although water heaters are built to last for many years, eventually age will become a factor in decreasing your system’s efficiency. Different heaters may last longer than others, but a quality, well-maintained system will usually last between 10-15 years. When it reaches this age, you may notice more leaks and increasingly frequent problems with your system. Over the years, corrosion will likely take place within the tank and other parts may get worn or damaged. If your water heater is nearing the end of its life, B&L Ott can quickly install a new heater for you before you experience the inconvenience of a total breakdown.


If you notice condensation on the outside of your heater tank, you may worry that your system is leaking. Visible condensation on the outside of the tank does not always mean there is a leak. When cold water and warm air meet, condensation often occurs. You can simply wipe off the condensation with a towel and return to your daily activities. If you still think there is a problem, however, B&L Ott would be happy to help by sending one of our experienced technicians to come and inspect your system for you.


Contact B&L Ott

B&L Ott provides quality water heater and HVAC system services to the Berks County area. You can learn more about our water heater maintenance and installation services by using the following link: If you wish to schedule a repair, installation or discuss another service, you can fill out the form on our contact page, or call B&L Ott at 610–816–6026.

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7 Factors to Consider When Choosing a New HVAC System

air conditioner installationHVAC systems are responsible for keeping your family warm in the winter and cool in the summer and although most models will last you a good 10-15 years, eventually HVAC systems experience a total breakdown or become outdated. When this happens, it is time to start looking into a replacement, but purchasing a new HVAC system can seem complicated  and give you a lot to think about. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered before choosing which brand and model are best for your home and family. Therefore, B&L Ott has compiled this list of seven factors to consider when deciding to install a new heating and cooling system.


One of the first factors you will need to think about when selecting a new HVAC system is what size system you will need. This will depend mostly on how large your home is and how often you use your system.

  • Choosing a system with a capacity that is too large for your home will cause the system to turn on and off more often and wear down the parts faster.
  • Picking a system with a capacity that is too small will cause your system to have to work harder and run all of the time. This will also wear out your system and cause your energy bills to skyrocket.

If you need assistance in choosing the right size system for your home, one of B&L Ott’s technicians would be happy to help.


When buying a new appliance, it can be easy to sacrifice quality for cost. High-quality systems can seem too extravagant when you are able to get what you need at a lower price. Higher quality machines actually save you money in the long run, though. While the initial cost may be higher, quality HVAC systems are often more efficient and make up for the extra cost with more efficiency and fewer repairs. In addition, capitalizing on monthly payment plans (especially with special financing) can make the higher quality unit more affordable in the long run.


If you don’t have an unlimited budget, money will be a factor in selecting your new HVAC system. The best way to get the most for your money is by doing some research. Find out what different companies are charging for each system and find out which models have the best customer ratings. If you lack the time to properly research different systems, one of B&L Ott’s technicians can help you select the best unit within your budget.

trane hyperion air handler


Buying an HVAC system is an investment and when you make an investment, you want it to get back what you put into it. If you pay good money for a system, you want it to work when you need it most. To assure reliability, you should research a system before you purchase it. Find out what brands have the best reputation. B&L Ott has studied the performance of a variety of makes and models over the years and prefers Trane products for their dependability.


The climate you live in can also be an influence which HVAC system you should choose. Berks County has a moderate climate that can be very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the quality of both the heating and air conditioning units. If you lived in a climate that is mostly hot or cold year round you may want to pay more attention to the quality of whichever system you use the most.

Technology Features

Over the years, new technologies have improved HVAC systems in a variety of ways. B&L Ott offers a variety of features that can be connected to a new HVAC system, including home automation, home comfort zoning, and smartphone connection. With these features, you can save on energy bills, improve the efficiency of your system, and conveniently control the temperature of your home. If you are interested in any of these additional systems, ask about which models are compatible with these features.

Use B&L Ott

When you purchase a new HVAC system, you want to have it installed by an experienced and professional business. B&L Ott has been providing HVAC service to the Berks County area for over three decades. If you live in the Reading area, it is important to hire a company that is near your home. A new HVAC system will likely need routine maintenance and repairs over throughout the years. By creating an ongoing relationship with a business like B&L Ott, you will know what to expect when a technician visits your home and better ensure that you can get whatever parts you may need.


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