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Bel Red strives to be at the forefront of the home energy industry when it comes to overall knowledge and trends. We commit a great deal of effort and resources to training all members of our staff and providing them with the best educational opportunities available. We also take pride our employees’ abilities to pass along this information not only to our valued customers, but also to other individuals and organizations within the industry.


One of our great employees and Service Manager here at Bel Red, Darrick Philp, will get the chance to do just that this year. Darrick has been selected to represent the residential heating and air conditioning industry on Honeywell's 2013 Residential Contractor Council. This council provides input to Honeywell on new products, industry trends, and technical issues. Honeywell is the largest manufacturer of controls and thermostats, as well as indoor air quality equipment, in the United States.


 “We’re honored to be selected by Honeywell as part of this Council for the second time since 2010. We know that Darrick will be a real asset to them, given his technical background and expertise, as well as his understanding of the HVAC marketplace, and the needs of contractors and our customers”, said Don Millard, President of Bel Red Energy Solutions. “Changes in our industry are occurring constantly with technical advancements in HVAC systems, Federal and State governments driving energy efficiency, and the rapid development of smart-grid technology. Honeywell is working in the middle of all of these developments, and we're looking forward to helping them to meet these challenges and to make these technological changes accessible to our customers.”

Posted by on in Heating

It may be sad, but it’s a reality that the summer months are now drawing to a close. This means it’s that time of year – time to start thinking about preparing your home for the cold months ahead. Starting this preparation now can help you avoid many last-minute headaches that come along with heating system problems, troubleshooting and maintenance. Certainly one of the items to check off the winter preparation list is making sure your furnace is in proper working order and ready to maximize its own efficiency and performance.


Regular maintenance of your furnace, even in months when it is not in heavy use, can help ensure longevity of the system. This can save homeowners big in the long run – in terms of money, stress and time. It’s true that it’s very easy to ignore your furnace when it is working properly. Many times homeowners don’t pay any attention to the heating system until something goes wrong, which can be a stressful and potential dangerous situation. By properly caring for and preparing your furnace for the winter months ahead, you’ll avoid a troublesome, horribly timed mishap during a cold winter day or night.


So, what are the proper steps to maintaining and preparing your furnace?


1.     First, it’s imperative that you make sure the air filter is changed regularly. Energy Star recommends changing your filter at least every 3 months. There are some filters that don’t require replacement as often, but be sure to know the recommendation for your particular brand and type of filters. Regularly changing the filters will help keep your system running cleanly and efficiently.


2.     Next, it’s a great idea to check all connections and “moving parts” on the furnace. Just because the furnace sits still in one place in your basement doesn’t mean connections and parts can’t loosen or even come undone. Checking all connections – electrical, gas or air/vent related will let you know whether or not you have to repair any problems. Pay specific and careful attention to any gas lines or connections. Faulty gas connections can be a health hazard to those in your home and can potentially be extremely dangerous. It’s often a good idea to have regular inspections done by a contractor or your gas provider to ensure maximum safety.


3.     It’s also a great idea to check the thermostat setting on your furnace. In order to stay comfortable, many homeowners tend to change the thermostat setting during different times of the year. Finding the “sweet spot” between comfort and energy savings prior to each season is highly recommended.

Posted by on in General

As we recently discussed on the blog, it’s extremely important to be prepared for big changes in seasonal weather. This time of year, homeowners find themselves getting their homes ready for the cold months ahead that come along with fall and winter. Whether it’s through weatherization projects or heating system maintenance, these steps are crucial to keep your home comfortable when the cold hits. Beyond comfort, regular maintenance of your home comfort and mechanical systems can provide many other benefits; benefits that can be felt by you and your wallet.


We understand that knowing the exact steps in this maintenance process may be tough to remember or execute yourself. That’s part of the reason why Bel Red offers a comprehensive maintenance and care program for your home’s mechanical and home comfort systems. Comfort Guard Maintenance Plans from Bel Red offer an incredible amount of protection and maintenance for some of your largest home investments, such as furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, water heaters and more. We pride ourselves on removing all stress and worry from the maintenance and care process with the Comfort Guard plans.


By enrolling in an annual Comfort Guard plan, our customers sign up for many benefits. Members receive:

1.     Annual Precision Tune-Up and inspection of all systems covered under the plan, which includes up to two visits to a home with both a heating and cooling system

2.     Priority service response

3.     10% discount on repair labor

4.     A limited lifetime warranty on all repairs made while covered under the plan.

This fully transferrable annual agreement also gives homeowners a $50 credit towards new systems (up to $250 total).

Posted by on in Heating



While we may all be clinging to the last bits of summer and hoping it stays around longer, the reality is that colder months are fast approaching. Each year around this time, many homeowners start the process of weatherizing and preparing their homes for the fall and winter months. During these colder times, proper heat is a necessity to stay comfortable within the home. While many homes rely solely on gas or electric heat through their furnaces, many homeowners supplement or even fully rely on heat from fireplaces.


Depending on the type of fireplace, this may require a lot of work. Many homes with traditional wood-burning fireplaces certainly fall into this category. These homeowners certainly are already thinking about ordering enough wood for the winter, or even splitting it themselves if they’re truly ambitious. The process of preparation is strenuous and stressful for wood-burning fireplace owners. Even if wood is delivered to your door, it most often requires stacking into storage for the cold months ahead. Stacking the wood not only requires a lot of work, it can take up a lot of valuable space in a garage or shed, and if piled outside your home can be a home for mice, rats and other pests.


Even after the wood is prepared, the work isn’t done. Wood-burning fireplaces require a full winter’s worth of hauling the wood and cleaning ash and soot from the fireplace on a regular basis.  And don’t forget about cleaning your chimney to prevent fires!


From an efficiency standpoint, open wood-burning fireplaces also often let in a lot of cold drafts and let out heat through the flue.  When it is closed, a fireplace still leaks warm air out of your home in the winter time. Surprisingly, even when lit, many fireplaces actually leak more heat than they create. This is why you can feel cold drafts when you step away from the warmth created by the fire. But, many people still love the beauty and ambiance a fireplace provides.


Fortunately, there’s a great alternative to wood-burning fireplaces—gas fireplace inserts. Fireplace inserts provide more warmth, and all the beauty of a wood-burning fireplace with little (or none) of the hassle and work. Lighting these gas inserts is literally as easy as flipping a switch. At Bel Red, our Heat & Glo gas inserts use natural gas or propane, which eliminates all hassle of hauling wood and manually starting a fire each time you need heat. Even when the power is out, these gas fireplace inserts still light at the touch of a button, providing peace of mind when it comes to wondering where your heat is going to come from in an outage.

It’s a reality that there are a number of things that can go wrong in our homes that can jeopardize our safety and comfort. Fortunately, there are also things we can do to ensure our homes provide us with safe and comfortable environments. At Bel Red, we pride ourselves on identifying and recommending the most important of these steps to all of our customers. To help a bit more, we thought it would be a good idea to write about a few suggestions we have to be proactive about comfort and safety problems in your home.


·      Install an electrical surge protector. Electrical surge protectors can ensure your comfort (heating and cooling) system, appliances and other valuable electronics don’t get harmed during a power surge, spike or brownout. Depending on your needs, you can choose from whole-house or in-line surge arrestors. Both are very effective at preventing damage to your home’s precious systems and equipment.

·      Use a programmable thermostat. Near the top of the “comfort essentials” list in any type of home, you’ll likely see programmable thermostats. These devices can make keeping your home at peak comfort level year round a breeze. There are many models available today that meet the needs of any homeowners looking to increase comfort in their homes. As another (huge) bonus, programmable thermostats can save the average homeowner up to 33% in annual heating and cooling costs. That’s comfort for your home and your wallet.

·      Check to see if your appliances have water damage protection devices. Condensing appliances, such as air conditioners or heat pumps, can sometimes cause damage if they develop a leak. Water sensors and automatic shut-off devices on these important appliances and systems can help avoid these problems. Being proactive and having these installed can help minimize damage and keep these home comfort systems running smoothly.

·      Install an automatic earthquake shut-off valve. In the event of an earthquake, homes can realize damage and safety concerns beyond foundation or structural damage or disturbance. Gas leaks and fire damage can also occur. Fortunately, there are automatic earthquake gas shutoff valves that will prevent dangerous gases leaking into your home as a result of an earthquake.