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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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Posted by on in General

Despite the fact that we may want to be outside as much as possible in the fresh, clean air, it’s a fact that the average person spends most of his or her time indoors. Unfortunately, that same clean air we get when we’re outdoors doesn’t tend to follow us inside.

 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside our homes can be up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. This comes from a number of factors, including mold, dust, allergens and other pollutants circulating throughout the home and not escaping outside.

 

What shocks many is that this problem can sometimes be even worse in newer, more energy-efficient homes. These homes tend to be much better sealed and don’t allow air to exchange regularly from the inside to outside. This keeps contaminated air in and fresh air out.

Fortunately, there are some ways to keep your inside air clean and pure without having to constantly leave your windows open. Ultraviolet (UV) air purification systems use ultraviolet light to rid the air of these harmful contaminants and also prevent things like mold from becoming an issue in your home. They help reduce and eliminate mold, bacteria and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

 

At Bel Red, we offer two useful ways to disinfect your home’s air with the installation of two UV products/systems:

 

•    Ultraviolet coil lamps – by keeping damp indoor AC coils clean, these systems not only make your air healthier to breathe, they also help maintain the efficiency of your cooling system. Bel Red offers several models to fit most any system.
•    Ultraviolet catalytic air purifiers – providing the ultimate in clean air, these devices convert odors, fumes and toxic chemicals into harmless water and carbon dioxide by-products with no ozone generation.

 

UV treatment systems have been proven effective in reducing molds and certain airborne contaminants in your comfort system and in the air your family breathes. If you’re interested in learning more about cleaning up your indoor air with ultraviolet light, contact us today.

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Posted by on in General

Do I really need to call for help with this project? Can I do this myself? Can I find someone who will just come in and provide a cheap, quick fix?

 

These are all common questions when being faced with a daunting home improvement project, especially one that involves home performance and energy savings. While there are certainly things DIYers can do around the house to improve the comfort, efficiency and savings of their home, it’s important to realize that not all home improvement projects are equal.

 

Believe it or not, by hiring a quality contractor for necessary projects, you can save a lot more than just time. You can save money. You can keep your loved ones safe. You can be comfortable and healthy. You can make sure your home isn’t using any more energy than what’s necessary. You can have the peace of mind you deserve.

 

Unfortunately, there are a lot of “contractors” out there who haven’t gone through proper training and education to be able to best serve their customers. There are those who cut corners to get the job done quickly instead of done right. There are, unfortunately, even those who don’t do what they say they promise to do and keep it hidden from their customers, but still run off with their money.  It’s important to know that these cheap options are rarely, if ever, a good choice for home improvement projects—especially those projects that include your safety. Paying a few extra bucks up front to ensure jobs are done correctly is extremely important.

 

While costs may initially seem higher for licensed contractors at an organization such as ours than they are for individual contractors working on a job-by-job basis, the cost savings of doing things right the first time can result in huge benefits.

 

The ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America Association) put together a video to give a quick overview of the value of hiring knowledgeable, professional and certified contractors for your home energy projects. See the video below:

 

 

If you’re ready to see what a good contractor can be worth to you, contact us today to get started. We’d love to help.

 

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