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Posted by on in General

In this new blog post series, we’ll examine some trouble zones in the home when it comes to wetness and moisture management. We’ll also provide some quick tips to help remedy these common moisture issues in the trouble areas discussed. If you have any severe problems or just need a hand figuring out the best approach to take in managing moisture in your home, call our team at Bel Red today.

Like bathroom issues discussed in our previous post, similar water problems and issues can present themselves in basements. As many homeowners unfortunately, know, basements also have their own unique set of moisture management processes and procedures. Remember, water or moisture in the basement can cause big problems throughout the home, as most homes with basements have their heating and cooling system there, so the moisture is often collected and sent to other areas of the home. In this post, we’ll review some tips to help you keep your basement as dry as necessary to stay comfortable and safe in your home.

Tip 1 – Repair settlement cracks in the walls. Even in newer homes, the foundation of the home can settle over time, causing small cracks in its walls. This can allow water to seep in through the wall and into the basement during heavy rains or when snow melts. Fixing these cracks yourself or having a professional come take care of the issue can eliminate water leakage and keep moisture out of the basement.

Tip 2 – Clean your gutters! This is a step that can be taken by most any homeowner to greatly reduce the risk of water entering the basement. Gutters serve a huge purpose when it comes to making sure water stays away from the side walls of your home, and in turn keeps it from seeping down into and under your home’s foundation. Cleaning your gutters regularly will help prevent these issues. It’s a minor and easy fix that can help avoid much larger problems.

Tip 3 – Wrap pipes in insulation or foam. Water leaks aren’t the only source of moisture in basements. Believe it or not, pipes can develop a large amount of condensation, especially during colder months of the year. This condensation can greatly increase the dampness in your home. By wrapping water pipes in your basement with insulation wraps or foam fittings, you will eliminate this problem.

Tip 4 – Run a dehumidifier to limit moisture in the basement air. For general dampness and moisture problems in the air in your basement, running a dehumidifier will help remove the moisture from the air and eliminate its ability to move to other areas of the home. A high-quality dehumidifier can remove gallons of water from a damp basement per day. Set up the dehumidifier to drain directly into a sump pump hole or drain in your basement for added convenience and ongoing moisture management.

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In this new blog post series, we’ll examine some trouble zones in the home when it comes to wetness and moisture management. We’ll also provide some quick tips to help remedy these common moisture issues in the trouble areas discussed. If you have any severe problems or just need a hand figuring out the best approach to take in managing moisture in your home, call our team at Bel Red today.

Perhaps the most troublesome area in any home when it comes to moisture management is the bathroom. Whether it’s the result of a long hot shower or water splashing all around from the sink, the bathroom is a place that always sees its fair share of moisture challenges. In this post, we’ll examine a few tips on how to make sure the vent fan in your bathroom is combating this moisture to the best of its ability.

Tip 1 – Reduce the length and temperature of your showers. Long, hot showers are big culprits when it comes to moisture and condensation inside your bathroom. The longer and hotter the shower, the more steam is able to fill the air. This means your vent fan has to work overtime to try to clear up the air. The less steam, the faster it is for the fan to do its job.

Tip 2 – Turn the fan on before you start your shower. A simple flick of the switch before you start your shower routine can really help. It gets the air in the bathroom moving before the steam from the shower hits it. Likewise, run the fan for up to 20 minutes after the shower is complete to ensure the air is clear of moisture. You can even install fan timers or install a humidity-detecting fan for the best results and highest convenience.

Tip 3 – Be sure your fan is suitable for your bathroom. Not all bathroom fans are created equal—just like not all bathrooms are the same size. Pay special attention to the recommended size for the fan you’re buying if you’re at the installation stage. If you have a large bathroom, getting the cheapest fan probably isn’t going to get the job done. Spending a little more now to get a proper fan for your bathroom size could save you a ton of money when it comes to avoiding expensive fixes caused by moisture.

Tip 4 – Check for proper ventilation. Make sure the duct and vent system coming from the fan is clear of blockages. Always make sure your vent fan duct has a short path to the outside wall or roof with few turns. Inside the home, make sure your door has at least 5/8 of an inch between the bottom of the door and the floor to allow some fresh air to enter the bathroom while the fan in operating. Better yet, if you don’t need full privacy, leave the door cracked open during your showers. 

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Posted by on in Efficiency

There are many tips, trick and regular maintenance steps to keep your home’s HVAC system working the most efficiently and effectively for your home. One of the most important steps in ensuring your HVAC system does in fact remain effective if making sure your ducts are kept clean. Are you wondering why having your ducts professionally cleaned is worth it? You’ve come to the right place.

First, having a clean duct system is one of the best ways to optimal indoor air quality in your home. Think of your HVAC system as the lungs to your home. We all know how important it is to have clean, healthy lungs in terms of overall health and comfort in our bodies. The same is certainly true for having clean ducts. This system takes air in and pushes air out into the home. If ducts are dirty with dust and other particles or allergens, this air will pick them up and move them throughout the home, which can cause an extremely uncomfortable setting—perhaps even an unhealthy one.

Over time, our ducts and HVAC system can collect dust, allergens, dander, chemicals and other pollutants because of the regular air that is brought into the system. On average, this air is circulated within the system and sent back out into the air inside the home 5 to 7 times per day. This re-circulation causes an even greater buildup within the ducts and a compounding problem arises. Cleaning the system allows for air to move through the system cleanly and easily, not picking up and passing along additional harmful agents.

Aside from indoor air quality, clean air ducts allow for your HVAC system to run at a much more efficient rate. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted—often times this wasted energy can be attributed to an inefficient and dirty system. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system.

Even with the use of filters, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use. Having your ducts professionally cleaned by a team of experts like those at Bel Red is a huge step toward a much more efficient system—and can extend its life as well.

If you think the indoor air quality and efficiency of your home could benefit from duct cleaning, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d be glad to come visit and provide a solution for your individual needs.

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In a new blog post series called Bel Red Safety Essentials, we’ll dive into some best practices, safety products and other home safety related topics. Home safety is one of our top priorities here at Bel Red and we’re excited to share some of our knowledge with you on the blog. If you have any questions about these or any other safety posts, don’t hesitate to reach out today to make sure we can help you and your family remain 100% safe in your home.

 

In the first safety essentials post, we’ll examine the benefits of duct-mounted smoke detection systems.

 

While it’s required by law to have smoke detectors on each floor and in certain levels of your home, it’s not always the case that these detectors are the only units in the home to keep you safe and ensure you’re warned at the impending danger of a fire. When it comes to house fires and related hazards, more people are injured or die from smoke inhalation than from fire every year. In a house with a duct system that shifts warm or cool air throughout the house, the risk for smoke inhalation can become much worse very quickly.

 

In the instance of a fire in such a home, extremely harmful fumes and smoke can quickly make their way to every far reaching corner of the home, greatly increasing the risk of inhalation for you and your loved ones. Smoke from even a small, contained fire can quickly consume a majority of the house.

 

Fortunately, there’s a way to protect from this duct danger—duct-mounted smoke detectors. These units are installed directly onto duct systems. Duct –mounted smoke detectors sample currents in the air handling equipment to determine if smoke or fumes are present. If smoke is detected, the device will close dampers, stop fans and blowers, and trigger an audible and visible signal at the fire control panel. The halted flow of harmful smoke and fumes can greatly decrease the risk of inhalation dangers prior to escape.

 

Furthermore, these systems can also be a way to greatly reduce smoke damage from a small fire since it keeps the smoke contained. Especially if you live in a larger home with a big duct system, it’s a good idea to keep your duct system from spreading smoke through your home in the event of a fire. A duct-mounted smoke detector can help you do just that.

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Posted by on in Safety

Many of us today like to buy the latest and greatest electronics and home appliances. These electricity-reliant machines and systems are often a big point of pride for many homeowners. Many of us save up money to get a great new TV, computer or other electronic device that brings much joy to us and our loved ones.

 

With so much effort and attention paid to the purchase of these systems, you’d think we’d do anything we can to keep them safe and make them last for enjoyment for as long as possible. Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t think about the dangers that things like power surges and storms bring to these expensive home electronics.

 

Even many who do think to protect these units sometimes only opt to buy individual power strips to cover one of two electronic devices or appliances. Many homeowners believe that surge protection begins and ends with plugging their computer into one of these power strip. Unfortunately, that's seldom the case. First and foremost, not all surge protectors live up to their name; some are little more than glorified extension cords and don’t provide the protection promised on their packaging. Second, a surge will follow any wire into a house — phone and cable lines included — and threaten phones and answering machines, televisions, satellite systems, computers, and modems. This is a huge risk that is commonly overlooked.

 

Fortunately, there’s a way to get coverage for all of these electronics and appliances without having to purchase individual protection for each. Whole-house surge protection as a blanket of safety that protects from surges of power that can do a lot of damage to these valuables.

 

At Bel Red, we provide both whole-house and inline surge protection. Whole-house or in-line surge arrestors can protect your comfort system or even ALL of your sensitive and valuable electronics from damage in the event of power surges, spikes and brown-outs.

These protection systems, when coupled with plug-in surge protection for your most valuable electronics and appliances, provide you the peace of mind knowing that even the most severe storms or other outage issues won’t have any harmful effect on your home. You’ll be able to enjoy these beloved systems before, during and after the storm no matter what.

 

Contact us today to learn more about the proper surge protection for your home.

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