Bel Red Energy Blog
When we think about maintenance on any system or piece of equipment in the home, it’s sometimes easy to focus on a “quick cleanup” or tightening a few screws here or there and the moving along. However, when it comes to an important system that your home relies on so heavily, like your furnace, there are some extremely important implications of regular (or irregular for that matter) maintenance.
At Bel Red, we understand the importance of regular furnace maintenance for a number of reasons. First—the safety of our customers is of utmost importance. An improperly maintained gas furnace, for example, can lead to many safety issues. Second, the performance of the furnace itself relies upon regular maintenance so it performs at its highest level possible. Third, a well maintained furnace makes it so much easier, and cheaper, to provide your home with the highest level of comfort possible.
If a gas furnace is ignored and not regularly maintained or checked by a professional, it could be at a number of risks that could hinder its performance, make you and your loved ones less comfortable, or worse, pose a big safety threat. Some consequences of ignoring gas furnace maintenance include:
- Clogged Filter: A clogged filter can cause a lot of problems for a gas furnace, reducing its efficiency and lifespan. When a filter becomes clogged, airflow through the filter is reduced. This causes the furnace blower to have to work harder, meaning it will use more electricity and be more likely to fail. System short cycling due to overheating also causes premature part failure of heat exchangers, igniters, high temperature limit switches and others. We recommend changing your furnace filter every three months, or at absolute minimum twice a year. If you have a lot of pet dander, dust, or other contaminants in the air in your home, you may consider changing the filter more often.
- Dirty Blower Wheel: A dirty blower wheel can cause several problems. It reduces airflow generated by the wheel, meaning the blower motor has to work harder and can fail as a result. Reduced airflow can also decrease the comfort of the home, and cause the furnace's heat exchangers to overheat and fail. Also, because the blower motor has to work harder, it will use more electricity, reducing the efficiency of your heating system. A dirty blower can also be unbalanced, putting further strain on the blower motor, further increasing the likelihood of failure.
- Dangerous CO Gas Released into Your Home: As part of a regular maintenance, a gas furnace technician will check your furnace for CO gas levels. Carbon monoxide gas (CO), also called the "silent killer," is tasteless and odorless and can be harmful or fatal at high levels. Heat exchangers in gas furnaces can develop cracks over time, through which CO gas is released. By having regular maintenance performed on your gas furnace, you will ensure that your home and its inhabitants are safe from these harmful exhaust gases.
- Negligence Could Void the Manufacturer's Warranty: Most gas furnace manufacturers' warranties require regular maintenance. If your gas furnace fails due to prolonged negligence, it could void your warranty, piling onto an already unfortunate situation.
In reality, here at Bel Red we don't make a profit when we perform a gas furnace maintenance. Why do them? We care deeply about the safety and comfort of our customers, that’s why. We hope to develop long term relationships with our clients by providing a low cost, high value maintenance service. The reality is that every furnace, like any piece of mechanical equipment, will eventually fail. The key is to do everything we can to make sure the equipment functions optimally for as long as possible and keep things as safe as possible through that process.
Avoiding these issues will help you be on your way to a clean, efficient and effective gas furnace for years to come. Bel Red offers comprehensive precision tuning for gas furnaces. Contact us today to find out more information.
The term “getting some fresh air” always refers to going outside, and there’s a reason for that. The air outside is referred to as fresh because, despite some instances of allergies or pollutions, for the most part it is clean and can be breathed easily. The air is refreshing outdoors. What about inside? Unfortunately, that’s often not the case.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), levels for air pollutants may be up to five times higher indoors than outdoors. There’s a reason (or many reasons) why indoor air quality is sometimes a tricky thing to get right in the home energy and comfort world. There are so many causes of poor indoor air quality, from dirty carpets, to pets, to clutter… the list goes on. An equally long list is made up of reasons why many homes aren’t sufficiently equipped or designed to take care of these issues and help improve the air quality inside our homes.
Regardless of the cause, poor indoor air quality can be extremely bothersome, make us uncomfortable when inside the home, and can even lead to health issues for home residents. Dust, pollen and other allergens can be annoyances and health hazards if we’re constantly breathing them in during the days and nights spent inside.
Fortunately, there are a number of remedies that can lead to improved air quality within the home. One such remedy is whole-house air filtration, which is a great solution for not only improving, but also maintaining high indoor air quality within our homes.
Sometimes you need that extra bit of help to make sure your indoor air is as clean and fresh as possible. At Bel Red, we offer multiple solutions to help with the indoor air quality in your home.
One option is installing a powered air cleaner, which are whole house filtration systems that deliver superior performance and provide excellent value with permanent, cleanable media, eliminating the need to purchase filters. You can read more about them here, including the CleanEffects filtration system.
The second option for whole-house air filtration is a media filter. Media filters provide good removal of dust, pollen, and other large particles, media filters are an excellent option for good filtration at a lower upfront cost than air cleaners.
Your home may have specific needs that require specific, individualized air filtration or general indoor air quality solutions. We’d be happy to help you figure out a great path forward so you can breathe a bit easier in your home.
While moisture management in the home is often thought about, and if lacking is often linked to many problems, many homeowners find themselves unsure of what’s actually best for their home. Should it feel humid in my house? What’s too dry? How do we even measure the moisture in our home’s air? The answer to all of those questions—it depends.
Properly managing the humidity inside the home can sometimes be a tricky task. There are many factors that can influence the ideal humidity in your home. Your environment, for one, can heavily influence your home’s ability to maintain a desirable humidity level. Likewise, during different seasons, humidity management has different requirements. Summer and winter months present unique problems when it comes to humidity in the home. These problems each have unique preventative steps and solutions, which we’ll address in this post.
The measurement of this humidity is called relative humidity (RH). Ideally, a home’s relative humidity (RH) should be in the range of about 30% to 50%. For many, the summertime problem is keeping the RH low enough. Homes often get too damp, especially without proper air ventilation.
In some areas of the country, the opposite sometimes holds true in the winter, when it’s often difficult to keep the RH inside a home at a high enough level to fall within the ideal range mentioned above. Even in humid climates, the air in homes can get too dry (meaning the RH is too low), resulting in uncomfortable problems such as excessive static electricity, dry skin or respiratory issues.
However, here in the Pacific Northwest, the RH is very high on average. This fact is often disguised and unknown to many homeowners because homes can feel deceptively dry when heat sources are running during the cold winter months. Just because the air feels dry from the heat doesn’t mean the relative humidity is too high. This deception often causes homeowners to install humidifiers to take care of that dry feeling. Rather than resolving a problem, they could in fact actually be adding to the issue and making the inside of the home even more humid.
If the relative humidity inside the home is truly too low, there may be a larger issue at hand. It’s imperative to remember that cold air equals dry air. In the winter, air leakage is a huge culprit of low RH inside the home because cold air gets into the home through cracks and leaks. When this occurs, the home becomes dry. Naturally, homeowners decide to install a humidifier to increase the relative humidity in their home. While this may be a temporary fix, it is not solving the root problem of air leakage. In this case, humidifiers are just acting as band-aids to the problem.
Reducing or eliminating air leakage can make relative humidity management much, much easier in your home—and can potentially eliminate the need to install or purchase and expensive humidifier. Not only will this make you and your family much more comfortable, sealing air leaks will also make your home more efficient, saving you money in the long run on expensive energy bills.
Like with many home performance issues, it’s often very difficult to “go with your gut” and make home humidity decisions based solely on the way you feel inside the home. Sometimes, like in this case, more exact measurements and assessments of deeper issues are the only real, reliable solution. If you think your home may have humidity issues and you’d like to know why, don’t hesitate to give us a call today.
It’s true what they say – the easiest things to forget about when it comes to home maintenance and home performance are the things you can’t see on a regular basis. Your home’s drains certainly fall into this category.
It’s easy to forget about drains and keeping them clear until a problem arises. It makes sense – it’s tough to think about a clogged drain until there is actually a clog. The truth of the matter is, most homeowners wait until the problem escalates to try to remedy the situation.
At Bel Red, we understand the difficulty of knowing when your drain is about to face an issue. We also understand the frustration that comes with a suddenly backed up, slow or completely clogged drain. That’s why we’ve constructed an fast, easy, reliable and, perhaps most importantly, affordable service offering for drain cleaning.
Whether the culprit is your drain in your kitchen, bathroom sink, laundry room, shower, bathtub, toilet, toilets, sewer or any other drain, we can help. Our plumbers are clean, courteous, expert sewer and drain specialists. We do a complete, thorough clean up when our work is finished – you won't even know we were there.
For our main line drain cleaning service, we offer a price that can’t be beat for the quality and professionalism we provide with this package. The main line drain cleaning service includes the following:
- 6 month warranty on stoppages for the main line.
(If you have a stoppage on the same line within 6 months we will clear it one time at no charge)
- We will use all of our experience and give it 110% effort to clear the line; however some stoppages cannot be cleared with this method. If we cannot clear the line after a reasonable effort we will still need to collect payment for the attempt.
(95% of the lines can be cleared with this method)
- Camera inspection of main line available for additional charge of $129
- The $99 price is good for lines with an accessible cleanout outside of the home only.
- We can run our machines a maximum cable length of 100 ft.
- This price includes two passes through the sewer line (in and out the line twice).
- Sewer lines over 4 inches in size can be cleared at an additional cost.
- Any repairs that may be needed can be completed at an additional cost.
- Coupons not applicable towards these drain cleaning prices.
- The $99 deal is only intended for the main sewer line only.
- This special is for residential properties only.
If you’re experiencing slower than normal draining in any area of your home, it might be time to call in the experts to make sure your problems don’t escalate and become too expensive to afford. Take advantage of this special drain-cleaning offer today by giving us a call or filling out our form online.
When it comes to heating systems in homes, we talk and think a lot about common heating systems of today, like furnaces, gas fireplace inserts and more. One heating source that may not come to the top of mind unless you have such a heat source installed for your home is a boiler system.
Boilers, which use hydronic heating to perform the same types of home heating functions you’d get from a more common furnace or heat pump system. The typical boiler heating systems heats water to high temperatures, then uses that heat energy to push warm air throughout the house. Multiple forms of energy, including gas, electricity or oil can be used to power these types of heating systems.
The Bel Red staff is highly trained to handle both common and uncommon problems with these systems. We not only service, but also install, many different boiler brands, including Raypak, Weil–McLain, Peerless, Lars, Burnham, Utica, Dunkirk, and Lochnivar.
Bel Red boiler repair service can address any number of problems you’ve been experiencing with your boiler system, including:
- radiator repairs and installations
- zoning issues
- baseboard heating repairs and installation
- gas piping
- chimney liner remediation/relining
While we offer full repair and replacement on Bel Red, we also take care of associated zoning issues, baseboard heating repairs and installation, gas piping issues or installation, and chimney liner remediation and relining. Our staff is trained to handle all of these boiler related issues with care and safety in mind.
Just like any other major heating supply and source in the home, regular maintenance of your boiler is key to ensuring it lasts a very long time and performs at its peak throughout its life. Like furnaces, boilers should have annual maintenance and inspections in order to extend their lives and ensure they are working as properly and efficiently as possible. We offer comprehensive 17-point inspection for our boiler customers, which includes:
- Burner cleaning (for both safety and efficiency)
- Leak inspection
- Inspection of electrical connections with the boiler system
- Inspection of all boiler controls
- Check and adjust PRV / pressure check valve operation
Boiler replacement, repair, maintenance or first-time installation requires the help of qualified and trained professionals. As with any type of major home heating systems, safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to maintenance, repair or replacement of a boiler. Boilers involve high pressure and temperatures and can present many dangers if not cared for properly during maintenance or repair.
If you have a boiler that needs repair, is on its last leg, or looking for the installation of a new boiler system, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Regardless of your boiler needs, we’re here to guide you down the path to peak boiler performance.