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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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B&L Ott Sponsoring Schuylkill Valley Ice Hockey

At B&L Ott, we believe that there is nothing more rewarding than making a positive difference in the lives of others. When it comes to supporting the community, B&L Ott gives back in more ways than one. Our team works daily to keep your HVAC system running so you can keep your family comfortable. We strive to go above and beyond our friends and neighbors as well. One way we show support to the Berks County community is by sponsoring the Schuylkill Valley Ice Hockey team.

How Did Our Sponsorship Start?

The B&L Ott HVAC team is comprised of many Schuylkill Valley and Hamburg graduates. All of us have participated in some type of sport. We know how important athletics are. They keep students healthy and teach them valuable life skills. Our time spent playing organized sports helped shape us and develop our sense of team.

Everyone in our company focuses on the team as a whole – there is not a person at B&L Ott who puts themselves before the team.  We all work together for a common goal – to serve others.  When the Schuylkill Valley Ice Hockey League reached out in need of support, we were proud to become a sponsor.

How Do We Help?

B&L Ott provides sponsorship to help defray the team’s costs and make playing hockey more affordable for the students.  We occasionally attend their games and have hosted multiple post-game pizza parties for the players.

On Friday, February 10th, we will also assist with the team’s senior night. Senior night is a special night that commemorates the senior player’s contribution to their team and honors their growth as athletes. All of the senior players will receive photos, frames, and balloons. We will also provide flowers for the mothers and cupcakes for the fathers. There will also be a special present for all of the players at the senior night party.

Who Participates?

Everyone on the B&L Ott team participates in one way or another!  Our technicians Eric & Nate recently attended one of Schuylkill Valley’s games. The office staff coordinates all of our donations to the team.  Our techs even put together a box of B&L Ott T-Shirts for all the kids and parents. With everyone contributing, we can put our best foot forward for the team.

Why Do We Do It?

“We love contributing to the team, especially since so many of us graduated from Schuylkill Valley and played sports.  Our belief is that organized sports with proper coaching can mold students into responsible adults.  It can give them a sense of belonging, self-confidence, a teamwork attitude, discipline, loyalty, drive, and passion.  All of these are features we look for in potential hires.

A team environment is one of the central themes within our company.  There is no “I” – we all work together.  No one works for me – they work with me; for themselves, their families and for our fellow team members and our customers.  We work as a team.  That sense of loyalty and dedication came from a lifetime of organized sports and the ‘hard working, never give up attitude’ instilled in me by ‘Pop’, Brian Ott, the founder of the company.  You will be hard pressed to find someone who will work harder for everyone other than himself.

Anytime we can help to instill a sense of teamwork in kids, it is a huge win for us.  We also participate with BCTC and the Co-Op program to employ students and help develop them into professionals.  That partnership has brought us a huge sense of satisfaction that we receive as a team.  Participating with the Schuylkill Valley sports teams was a logical extension – to give back to the school that gave so much, to so many of us.” -Ryan Ott



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Salvation Army Drive

the_salvation_army-svg_720B&L Ott is holding a clothing drive for the Salvation Army this November and we need your help! Spread warmth and comfort this holiday season by donating your new or gently used clothing items. We are also accepting a variety of care supplies. If you have unused apparel or necessities, give them to someone who will put them to good use. Here are some of the materials B&L Ott is collecting:

  • Coats
  • Blankets
  • Canned Food
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Wool Hats
  • Gloves
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • And More

You can donate many items or just one. Every little bit helps and any donation is greatly appreciated. Help B&L Ott make those in our community a little happier and healthier this winter season. Together we can make a difference.

There are two collection methods. You can drop off your donations at one of the locations listed below. Make sure to drop off any donations during open hours and before the end of November. If you do not have access to one of our donation drop-off locations, B&L Ott can collect your donation from you. Call 610-816-6026 to schedule the pick-up details. Help us, help those in need this holiday season!

Wyomissing Fitness

Address: 950 Woodland Road, Reading PA 19610

Drop-Off Hours:

Monday               4:00 AM – Midnight

Tuesday              4:00 AM – Midnight

Wednesday         4:00 AM – Midnight

Thursday             4:00 AM – Midnight

Friday                  4:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Saturday              8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Sunday                8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Shillington Fire Co.

Address: 221 Catherine St, Shillington, PA 19607

Drop-Off Hours:

Monday              8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Tuesday              8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Wednesday         8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Thursday            8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Friday                 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Saturday             Closed

Sunday               Closed

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