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Spring has sprung and the weather is starting to warm up once again. Changing seasons always bring new projects for homeowners, from large construction or installation projects to annual Spring cleanup. Before tackling your project to-do list this Spring, it might be a good idea to get organized and have a checklist of necessary home maintenance steps. Running through these important inspections and seasonal tasks will ensure your home performs at its highest possible level and keeps you and your loved ones safe.

 

Here are a few things to check as you make your way through Spring home maintenance:

 

·      Have a detailed home maintenance and safety inspection. If your home hasn’t been inspected in a long time, it may be a good idea to bring in a professional to comprehensively inspect your home for potential safety or problem maintenance areas. We offer quality home maintenance inspections and handyman services to not only identify problems on the interior and exterior of your home, but to also help you fix those problems quickly and effectively.

 

·      Check for proper operation of doors and windows. You’ll be opening and closing your windows a lot more often as the weather gets warmer, so now is the time to make sure all windows work properly. Remember – periodically opening windows and/or doors can improve your home’s indoor air quality by replacing stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air.

 

·      Inspect your garage. Cleaning the garage is a common Spring project for many homeowners. Now is a great time to lubricate garage door wheels, rails and openers. Also, ensure all fuel, paint or other hazardous material is not only organized and accessible for Spring and Summer use, but stored properly to ensure safety.

 

·      Check your water sources. Spring should bring a careful check of your water heater, water lines and pipes for rust and leaks. Winter can be harsh on these things, so assessing any damage and fixing it now is key.

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At Bel Red Energy Solutions, we pride ourselves on our wonderful team. We place an extremely heavy emphasis on education and training for our employees because the more our staff knows, the better off our customers will be. We also love when our staff receives recognition and honors for their hard work and dedication not only to the company, but also the craft they live and breathe on a daily basis.

 

One such employee that we are very proud of is Darrick Philp. Darrick is our Service Manager here at Bel Red and leads our team of excellent Service Technicians. He started with Bel Red over 14 years ago as a Service Technician and has brought great skill, knowledge, friendliness and care to our other staff members and our customers.

 

Recently, Darrick received a distinct honor from Trane, one of the leading manufacturers and product providers in the heating and cooling industry. He was selected to Trane’s Next Generation Furnace Dealer Council, which brings some of the brightest minds in the industry together to give input on future product lines for the company.

 

This council group provides hands-on insights into important design features, recommendations and improvements to help Trane ensure they are providing the best quality products for contractors and homeowners. This group worked hard and well together and sent the Trane product teams back to the drawing board on a number of occasions when they insisted something could be done even a little bit better.

 

We’re proud to say that Darrick was one of twelve HVAC service experts to be chosen out of hundreds of nominations! You can see the full group below:

 

 

A few months ago, we wrote about the importance and some of the legality of having a permit on the job when performing a furnace replacement or installation. We noted that it’s often difficult for homeowners to know if permits are necessary for specific home improvement projects. Furnace installation and replacement sometimes falls into this category. Many who need the work done are left wondering if this falls into the “permit zone.” This is where the help and knowledge of licensed contractor comes in. They can let you know the right answer to this question.

 

That answer? Yes. In Washington State, a mechanical permit or furnace permit is required by law in order to replace and install a furnace. These are major home projects that require a great deal of work by contractors and installation teams and require skilled work (such as gas piping, exhaust venting, and electrical) to be performed correctly. Homeowners should always have peace of mind that the contractor performing this work is fully licensed, knowledgeable and follows all proper laws and industry protocols when completed a job like furnace replacement.

 

Unfortunately, there are some “contractors” out there that, in order to grab a quick job, trick homeowners into thinking a permit isn’t necessary for this type of replacement. They offer them a low cost, do the work quickly, and get out before anything has a chance to go wrong. As you can imagine, this is wrong on many different levels.

 

First, there are specific inspections that come along with the permit process that involve checking the work of contractors to ensure the safety and well-being of the homeowners and their families. These inspections make sure the work is done properly and to code. Without the permits in place, these other dubious contractors never get their work checked. This is an even larger problem because these individuals typically have far less training and experience than licensed contractors, so they often make mistakes, cut corners or overlook safety steps.

We just posted about the increased home comfort that ductless mini-split heating and cooling systems can bring to the home. However, there’s a rather large list of benefits these units can offer that extends beyond the area of comfort. Efficiency is often the name of the game for these systems and often the reason many homeowners are jumping to this type of heat pump units for their heating and cooling needs.

 

We’ve outlined the increased comfort benefits of ductless mini-splits, but let’s take a moment to discuss a few ways in which these systems can have an extremely positive impact on your overall energy usage, and wallet, through greater efficiency:

 

·      Efficiency for every room in the home.Heating and cooling systems often have to work very hard to get all areas of your home to a desirable and comfortable temperature. Whether it’s cooling the house on those sweltering summer days or warming things up when the thermometers are sinking, temperature management can be inefficient and expensive without the right equipment and systems. Ductless mini-split systems provide easy-to-manage solutions for many different areas of your home, which means the system, as a whole, doesn’t have to work as hard to push hot or cold air from one source to all areas of the house. The ability to manage individual areas separately can greatly increase your home’s performance and efficiency.

 

·      Less energy means lower bills.Ductless mini-split heat pumps, on average, use 25 to 50 percent less energy to heat your home. This means your monthly energy bills, especially during peak usage times during the year, will be significantly reduced. Because temperature management can be controlled differently for different areas of your home, you’re able to focus energy usage to very specific sections and times. Heating or cooling rooms that are rarely used can be a thing of the past. Mitsubishi mini-split heat pump units rank among the top energy saving heating options on the market, often times up to 26 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio).

 

·      All-in-one solutions. Ductless mini-split systems, like those manufactured by Mitsubishi and offered by Bel Red, can meet not only heating needs for your home but also cooling and air conditioning needs. These units bring the same levels of high efficiency to cooling your home. This allows homeowners to get rid of those noisy, clunky and extremely inefficient air conditioning window units.

Though not as prevalent in homes as more traditional heating sources such as furnace and ductwork, ductless mini-split heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners. Many are starting to realize the benefits of these systems—ranging from increased control over home comfort to increased efficiency. Installation of mini-split models, such as those manufactured by Mitsubishi (which Bel Red sells and installs), are a great step toward increasing the overall levels of comfort in your home—regardless of the season.

 

Here are a few benefits that the installation of a ductless mini-split system can bring to your home as it pertains to home comfort:

 

·      Targeted heating and cooling for hard to reach places in your home.An ultra-quiet fan evenly circulates air, eliminating hot and cold spots in rooms and improving the comfort of your main living spaces. Homes often have “trouble rooms” when it comes to heating and cooling. Additions, sunrooms, bonus rooms or loft spaces often present many challenges when it comes to keeping them at a desired and comfortable temperature. Whether through inefficiency or poor design, duct-based heating systems or electric baseboard heating can sometimes fail when it comes to proper, whole-house comfort. Mini-splits heat pumps are adjustable by area of the home or room, so temperature management becomes a breeze.

 

·      A near silent comfort.Ductless mini-split heat pumps not only increase the temperature control you have in your home, they also eliminate the loud noises that are sometimes associated with old furnaces and other heating systems. These systems work extremely quietly, which adds to the level of comfort you experience when heating or cooling the home. The Mitsubishi ductless mini-split models that Bel Red sells and installs have virtually no compressor or fan noise.

 

·      Cleaner air means a healthier, more comfortable home. Most mini-split heat pump models come with multi-stage allergen filtration mechanisms, making them a very clean alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems. With ducted systems, dust, dirt and allergens can build up inside over time. This obviously causes dirty or unhealthy air to be pushed out into the home, potentially causing respiratory issues for individuals in the home. Mini-splits with filtration offer a clean air alternative, increasing comfort in more ways than just managing temperature.