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Ways to Increase the Value of Your Berks County Home

Leave things better than you found them. This is a quote you may have heard many times before. It may have been from your parent trying to teach you to clean up after yourself or a role model inspiring you to be a better person. Either way, it is a positive lesson to live by as it shows respect for the people, places, and things around you.

If you are thinking of selling your home sometime soon, you may be looking for ways to leave your home in better shape than you found it. Not only will this make your home more appealing to potential buyers, but it can also increase the value of your Berks County home. There are a variety of ways you can accomplish this task.

Boost Your Curb Appeal

First impressions are important and one of the first glimpses of your home buyers will see is your front yard. Boosting curb appeal is one of the first steps in getting people interested in your home. There are a variety of small tasks you can complete to make your front yard look great.

  • Get rid of weeds, sticks, leaves, and other debris.
  • Put down mulch.
  • Mow your lawn.
  • Sweep your porch.
  • Buy a new doormat.
  • Buy new house numbers.
  • Get a wreath or some simple decorations.
  • Plant some new flowers, trees, and other shrubberies.  
  • Touch up the trim around your doors, windows, and garage.
  • Touch up your mailbox.

If you need ideas, take a drive around your neighborhood and see what your neighbors are doing to boost their curb appeal.

Get Organized

Messes and clutter don’t appeal to many people if any. Most people prefer a nicely organized home. Making sure your home looks neat and organized can help you sell it. A good place to start is by going through your belongings and getting rid of items you no longer want or need. Then try to categorize the remaining items and store like items together. You can get bins, decorative boxes, or baskets. Then you can store these boxes on a shelf or other strategic places. This will help you keep the clutter out of sight so your home looks tidy and well ordered.


Over time, the paint in your home will likely fade, chip, or just become outdated. Take a look around your home and see which areas look like they could use some touching up. Then grab some paint at a Berks County home improvement store and get that area looking like new. You can touch up walls, furniture, cabinets, or almost anything you want. Just be careful with the color choice. Make sure it fits with the rest of your home and will be appealing to potential buyers.

Update Your Lighting

Updating your lighting is not necessary, but it can be a big plus. There are a lot of ways you can update your lighting. You can get systems with sensors or smartphone connection that provide more convenience. Color changing bulbs or more efficient bulbs are other options. You can even just update the style of your lighting and lampshades. Good lighting adds ambiance to your home and can provide a welcoming atmosphere.

Choose the Right Decor

Once you update the rest of your home, you can add the right decorative touches to pull everything together. Don’t go crazy, though. Sometimes less is more. Try to choose items that reflect the rest of your house or tie into the Berks County area. You can use paintings of local places or animals or repurpose old antiques found somewhere in the area. Mirrors can give the illusion that rooms are larger than they actually are which can help add value to your home.

HVAC Technology

Finally, if you have a bit more room in your budget, you will want to consider a new HVAC system installed by B&L Ott. A new system is a good selling point for many buyers. You can also look into having B&L Ott install a programmable thermostat or home zoning system. All of these options show buyers that their future home will run more efficiently so they don’t have to worry about high energy bills. If you are interested in learning more, you can contact B&L Ott through our website or by calling (610) 927-5133.

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Find Us at the Reading Phillies “Touch A Truck” Event – 4/28/18

We’re happy to reveal that we will be a participating company at this year’s “Touch a Truck” event, to be held in the parking area of the Reading Phillies Stadium. This is an outstanding event, filled with fun for the whole family. We’ve enjoyed participating in years’ past and encourage you to bring your sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews so that they can play along.

What’s the “Touch a Truck” Event?

This is an opportunity for kids of all ages to check out heavy machinery and sit behind the wheel of some of the coolest trucks in the area. We will be bring our spacious and eye-catching HVAC vehicles, which capture the imagination of young people with all of the nooks and crannies for storing our equipment.

What Other Games Are Available?

Trucks aren’t the only fun to be had. The B&L Ott stand will also feature:

  • A ball pit with specially marked balls, exchangable for prizes
  • A raffle-style giveaway for the following prizes: cabellas gift card, bell tower gift card, apple tv, amazon alexa, yeti cup
  • Fishing game and giveaways for kids

How to Attend?

The location for the event is 1900 Centre Ave, Reading, , PA 19601Reading Phillies Stadium. You can learn more at

9:30-10:30 will be a sensory free hour any children with special needs. The standard event runs 11-3.

$6 for Adults (13 and older)
$3 for children (3 – 12 years old)
Children Under 2 are FREE!

Tickets are available here or can be purchased at the event –

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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 610-927-5133 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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