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Your home’s water can be one of the biggest energy users in the home. Many factors come into play when taking into consideration how much energy you’re using to heat water for both everyday and sporadic activities around the house. The type of water heater you have, usage habits, and many other considerations should be made when thinking about ways to save energy while still keeping your home and selves comfortable.

In this blog post series, we’ll touch on a list of items that you should keep top of mind when it comes to your home’s water heater.

  • Repair leaky faucets and pipes. If you’re seeing leaks in your plumbing, specifically more common problems such as constantly leaking or dripping faucets, it’s a great idea to get them repaired immediately. If the water that’s leaking is hot, that means it had to have been heated up by your water heater. This wasted water also means wasted energy. Proper plumbing can play a big role in saving hot water energy.
  • Install low-flow faucets and showerheads. Most of the hot water in your house is typically used in the shower and during more water-intensive activities such as cooking. Low-flow showerheads can obviously save a big amount of water per shower, which also means energy savings as a result. During cooking, activities where an exact amount of water isn’t required (such as rinsing vegetables), low-flow faucets can have the same result.
  • Insulate your water heater storage tank and pipes. If you have a tank water heater, it can be a very good idea to insulate its exterior and pipes. This will help keep heat in when it’s not running, which will mean the system won’t have to work as hard next time it comes on to heat that water to the desired temperature. An important note – be sure to not cover the thermostat with the insulation.
  • Drain the sediment from your water heater regularly. It’s a good idea to think about draining some of the water from your water heater every 3-6 months. Sediment that collects on the bottom of the water heater should drain with the water. This sediment can impede heat transfer and make the system much less efficient over time.

For a more detailed and personalized list of improvements for you and your home, please contact Bel Red today. We’ll help guide you through not only the items on this checklist, but also individual recommendations built just for you and your budget.

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Posted by on in Plumbing

While we may not initially think about it, the cold months of winter are an extremely important time of year for the plumbing system in your home. Some of the biggest catastrophes can happen during this time, and those problems are the most difficult, annoying and even downright painful to fix while it’s freezing cold out.

Any change in season is a good time to inspect and maintain your home’s plumbing system. In this short blog post series, we’ve laid out some helpful tips that you can follow to help make sure your home plumbing is flowing like a champ this winter. Below is second and final part to this blog post series:

  • Flush sediment from your water heater. You probably already know water heaters are big contributors to your energy costs. What you may not know, however, is that sediment buildup in your water heater can be a drain on its efficiency. Heat that should be solely heating water can instead work to heat up the sediment, wasting valuable energy. Draining this sediment, or having it done professionally, can potentially save you big.
  • Don't forget about your outdoor plumbing. If water hoses and other outside faucets aren’t properly disconnected or closed up (often closed on the interior), there could be issues with that uncommon (but very possible) hard freeze. If this isn’t dealt with before the winter season, you run the risk of not only damaging these faucets and hoses, but cracked or burst pipes that can cause major water problems inside your home as well.
  • When in doubt, give Bel Red a call. Don’t hesitate to call in the reinforcements! Plumbing is an area of home maintenance and improvement that must be taken extremely seriously. If you don’t have experience plumbing, with either small or large jobs, it’s best to have someone come in to help. A small leak or dripping faucet may be the sign of a more serious (or potential for a serious) issue. Knowledgeable experts, like the plumbing staff at Bel Red can help you inspect, maintain and repair your home’s plumbing, regardless of the time of year.

As always, if you don’t feel comfortable inspecting your home’s plumbing or think there may be some issues, don’t hesitate to contact Bel Red’s team of plumbing experts today

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Posted by on in Plumbing

While we may not initially think about it, the cold months of winter are an extremely important time of year for the plumbing system in your home. Some of the biggest catastrophes can happen during this time, and those problems are the most difficult, annoying and even downright painful to fix while it’s freezing cold out.

Any change in season is a good time to inspect and maintain your home’s plumbing system. In this short blog post series, we’ve laid out some helpful tips that you can follow to help make sure your home plumbing is flowing like a champ this winter. Below is part one:

  • Test that water pressure! If your water isn’t flowing as well as it has in the past, there’s likely a reason. Checking the pressure of your faucets and showerheads can alert you to potential plumbing problems. Low pressure may be caused by sediment buildup or problems with the water line that need to be addressed. Again, doing this now while it’s still warm can help you avoid doing it in the freezing cold when a larger problem presents itself.
  • Clear out your sump pump area and test the pump for proper functionality. Avoiding plumbing mishaps is great, but it’s a reality that they do happen. Being prepared for when something does go wrong is extremely important as well. Knowing your sump pump is properly working can help you rest a bit easier when it comes to plumbing mishaps. These units help protect against flooding damage in your home and even reduce the threat of mold and mildew. Making sure yours is working properly and efficiently is key during this time of year.
  • A leaky faucet is nobody’s friend. Leaky faucets can cause a great deal of water (and sometimes heat) waste. Even a faucet that drips extremely slowly can cause water waste of a gallon or more per day. If it’s hot water that is slowly leaking, this can also cause an unnecessary amount of hot water usage in your home, adding an extra cost to your monthly heating bills.
  • Prepare for those extra cold spells. While temperatures don’t often stay below freezing for too long at a time in our area, it’s important to be prepared for such a scenario. Ensuring you take precautionary measures to prevent freezing pipes is a good idea during this time of year. Add insulation to necessary pipes. Fix all noticeable leaks now, as these leaks can cause pipes to burst under freezing temperatures. If you know you’re going away when the days and nights get cold, ensure your heat stays on at a reasonable temperature to combat pipe freezing. Paying attention to these and other preventative measures can save you from big headaches and repair costs.

As always, if you don’t feel comfortable inspecting your home’s plumbing or think there may be some issues, don’t hesitate to contact Bel Red’s team of plumbing experts today.

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Believe it or not, the New Year is just around the corner. It’s that time when we all make lists of resolutions to better our lives and the lives of those around us.

At Bel Red, we believe in helping to improve the lives of our customers and their loved ones when it comes to home energy and performance. In this blog series, we’ve put together a list of resolutions for your new year that could help do just that.

Follow this checklist and you’ll be well on your way to a more energy efficient home in 2016 and beyond!

  • Keep the area around your furnace clean and unblocked. We get it. It’s easy to let your basement fill up with clutter, stored items and even junk. By keeping the area around your furnace clear of this clutter, you could be helping your furnace “breathe” and work properly. Blocking crucial airflow at the furnace will only make it work harder to bring air in and push air out. Clean up that mess – your furnace (and energy bill) will thank you.
  • Add some moisture to the air. Air inside the home can become very dry during the winter months. Adding a humidifier or some houseplants can bring some moisture to your indoor air. Air that isn’t so dry can help make things feel warmer and can even hold more heat. This may allow you to take your thermostat settings down a notch or two and still feel the same level of comfort you previously did—all while saving energy!
  • Invest in insulation. As we’ve discussed many times on the Bel Red blog before, investing in insulation for your home is one of the best ways to save energy not only in the winter, but all year round. Homes without proper insulation can waste hundreds of dollars worth of energy each year. The price of insulation is very much worth it when compared to avoiding the cost of leaked energy. You can even go a step further this year and buy and install weatherstripping around doors and windows to keep air leaks to a minimum in your home.

As always, we’re here to help well beyond developing a list of energy saving tips for you to tackle in the new year. We’d love to help with any home performance upgrade or project, whether it’s on this list or not! Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. We hope you have a fantastic New Year and thanks for following along with this series!

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Believe it or not, the New Year is just around the corner. It’s that time when we all make lists of resolutions to better our lives and the lives of those around us.

At Bel Red, we believe in helping to improve the lives of our customers and their loved ones when it comes to home energy and performance. In this blog series, we’ve put together a list of resolutions for your new year that could help do just that.

Follow this checklist and you’ll be well on your way to a more energy efficient home in 2016 and beyond!

  • “If you’re cold, put on a sweater.” While the old saying may be a joke to many, it does hold some truth. As we mentioned in a previous post from this series, lowering your thermostat setting a few degrees can result in a big energy savings over the course of the winter season. Putting on a comfy sweater, some thick wool socks and keeping your living room and bedroom furniture equipped with throw blankets can really help you settle into the winter and save energy and money in the process.
  • Take advantage of airflow in your home. If you have ceiling fans in your home and aren’t using them in the winter, you may be losing out on a big energy efficiency opportunity. Switching the setting from counter-clockwise to a clockwise spin will help push hot air that rises to the ceiling back down in the winter. This will create better airflow and greater warm air circulation in the home and will help your heating system, whatever it may be, work a little less while still keeping your home comfortable.
  • Don’t heat what you don’t use. In the case of rooms that get little or no use, like guest rooms or storage rooms/closets, there’s not much need to send valuable heat to those areas of the home. Close off the vents to these rooms and redirect that heat to places that need it most – the rooms you occupy every day. Less space requires less energy.

As always, we’re here to help well beyond developing a list of energy saving tips for you to tackle in the new year. We’d love to help with any home performance upgrade or project, whether it’s on this list or not! Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. We hope you have a fantastic New Year!

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