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How To: Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing This Winter

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The freezing point for water? 32 degrees! Water left in pipes in an ill heated area can cause your pipes to freeze.  For this very reason it’s important for you to be educated on how to prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place.  Follow the 7 recommendations below to avoid a plumbing catastrophe!

  1. Insulate all water pipes: insulating all pipes is a good idea because it helps to slow down the transfer rate of heat to cold. It’s also a good idea to locate your main water shut off just in case.
  2. Use heater tape: heater tape works by utilizing a built-in thermostat. In order for the tape to work, it must be wrapped between the pipe and insulation. Be sure to look at your specific type of tape as some tapes do not allow insulation to be over the heat tape.
  3. Insulate drain lines in crawl spaces & cold basements: focus on the drain’s p-trap will keep it from freezing if it is also protected from moving cold air with a DIY boxed enclosure.
  4. Check the pipe before attempting to thaw it: some pipes made of plastic and copper will sometimes split and flood the area after they have been frozen and are being thawed. Be sure to check the pipes for cracks or slits to save yourself a mess! If you do see cracks be sure to call a plumber to better assist.
  5. Use this, this, or that: in order to prevent a fire, use an electric space heater, hand-held hair dryer or reflector heat lamp to help warm the pipes. As always use care as too much heat can cause combustion. Never leave these devices unattended when not in use.
  6. Always disconnect your water hose: if a water hose is left connected after temperatures drop below freezing, you risk the chance of the hose freezing up to the spigot and reach your pipes. Simply disconnecting your hose can help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
  7. Call and discuss with a plumber: by talking over your situation with a plumber and having a trusted professional visit your home you can easily prevent pipes from freezing in the first place.

If you would like further information you can find it on our website or give us a call at (618) BEL-OMAN. For any HVAC or plumbing repairs, installations, or pest solutions give us a call.  Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to help! BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY! We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

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How To: Pest-Proof Your HVAC!

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Yes, there are several strategies to protect areas of your home from pests; however there is one area that is often overlooked….your HVAC components! In order to further avoid overlooking this area and causing harm to your HVAC as well as disrupt the cleanliness of air in your home, it’s important to know how to tackle the issue!

There are many reasons why pests are able to find their way into your home’s HVAC components. Although your home may be located in an area where pest infestations are common it’s still important to know why it’s important to pest-proof your HVAC components and how you can tackle the issues.

Why it’s important!
Indoor Air Quality Issues: Pest-proofing your HVAC components is important to avoid contaminating the air in your family’s home.  It is know that many pests are also considered allergens.  These allergens can contaminate your ductwork and begin exposing your family members to harmful air and trigger pesky allergy symptoms.
Damage: Pests can cause harm to your HVAC components if they start creating their nesting within.  By nests forming, it can also lead to a list of other harmful issues.

Here’s what you can do!
Seal your ducts: by sealing all gaps and cracks you can disrupt access for the pests to enter your HVAC.  If there’s no way for the pests to enter your ducts you’ll save yourself the headache of trying to figure out how to rid them!  As mentioned above, keeping pests out of your duct work can save you from experiencing indoor air quality issues.
Install flue and vent covers: by installing flue and vent covers you are also preventing access for pests to enter areas of your system.  This will avert pests from taking up home and building nests inside.
Protect your outside air conditioning unit: outside rodents and small creatures can cause great damage to your exterior unit by chewing, scratching and urinating on it.  In order to protect your outside unit, you should keep the area surrounding it free of vegetation and tall grass.

If you would like further information you can find it on our website or give us a call at (618) BEL-OMAN. For any HVAC or plumbing repairs, installations, or pest solutions give us a call. Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to help! BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY! We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

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How To: Save $$ in 2017 with BELOMAN!

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Is your New Year Resolution to start saving money? Did you also know BELOMAN can help you keep your word to this resolution? It’s true!  There are two ways you can start saving money today: join our Discount Club M­­embership or schedule an Energy Efficiency Visit today!

I Made A Resolution to Save Money…How Can BELOMAN Help?

1. Join our Discount Club Membership:
-Clubs are an awesome thing, right? Everyone should be in a club at some time in their life for the exclusivity and the perks you receive.  Here at #BELOMAN we offer a discount program to our customers called the Discount Club Membership (DCM) (creative, huh?) to help save our customers some money on services they need to have done to keep their heating and cooling system well maintained and in good condition.  Heating and cooling is the main highlight of the DCM, but we can also bundle those services with plumbing and pest solutions to ensure that your house is the right temperature, have pipes that are working properly and that you’re pest free.  Out most popular version is for heating and cooling, so that’s what we’ll focus on below:

      1. So what are the perks of having the DCM versus having the service done and paid for separately?
        1. Well, you’ll save money on both your furnace tune-up and air conditioner tune-up if bundled.
        2. We’ll remind you of you bi-annual appointments so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting to set them up. We know life is busy, which is why we try to keep things as easy as possible.
        3. Priority service: It’s twenty degrees and your furnace went out…as did fifteen other callers. You’ll be bumped to the top of the list of service calls so you’re without heat for less time.
        4. No “after-hours trip charge”. If you need a service call outside of normal operating hours you know it can become very costly, very quickly. Our DCM customers don’t have to worry about that because they get to pay the regular day rate.
        5. Discounts! Not only do you get a discount on the cost of repair of your system, but you also get a discount on any equipment upgrades you do. You wouldn’t get that without being in our club. You could save hundreds with these discounts-that’s a pretty good deal!
        6. Many many more!!

2.Schedule an Energy Efficiency Visit:
-Is your utility bill leaving you utterly shocked every time you see total amount due? It might be time to call an energy efficiency expert! Give us a call today to learn how to start decreasing the price you pay. By working with a registered Ally of the Ameren Illinois ActOnEnergy Program like us there are tons of perks!

If you would like further information you can find it on our website or give us a call at (618) BEL-OMAN.  For any HVAC or plumbing repairs, installations, or pest solutions give us a call.  Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to help!  BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY!  We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

“If Comfort Is Your Plan, Call The BELOMAN!”

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How To: Save Water All Over the House!

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Anywhere you regularly use water, there’s a good chance there’s something you can do to reduce your use.  There are three areas of the home you can make changes with the most impact: the bathroom, the kitchen and the garden.  If you’re looking for small ways you can save money and help the environment, put these tips into practice and you’ll be on your way!

IN THE BATHROOM:

*Be a faucet aggressor: watch the faucet like a hawk and do not allow members of your family to run the water during times not in use.  Be careful not to step away from the faucet leaving it running while you try to quickly retrieve something from another room.  Always turn the water off when not in use!
*Go low-flow: take a look at both your shower head and faucet to determine they are modern fixtures which will allow low-flow and meet your water pressure needs at the same time
*Shower>Bath: a shower is better for conserving water rather than a bath.  It typically takes a standard bathtub 30 gallons to fill up rather than a 10 minute shower which should only use 25 gallons.   By making this simple change to convert to showers or even lower your amount of bath consumptions to showers you will begin seeing a difference on your water bill.
*Test for toilet leaks: sometimes toilet leaks can be so small and dry quickly that you don’t even notice there is a leak.  To test if your toilet has a leak add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet tank, wait an hour or so then check back to see if there are any colored streaks of water.

IN THE KITCHEN:

*Choose the dishwasher: washing dishes by hand takes more effort and uses more water!  Save yourself some energy and wash your dishes in the dishwasher.  Just make sure you have a full load of dishes to run before you start the cycle!
*Upgrade your dishwasher: It’s nearly 2017!  Nearly everything is smart now days.  A smart dishwasher is energy efficient and can help you save money and water in each cycle.
*Say yes to the garbage can: say no to the garbage disposal! By using the garbage can instead of the garbage disposal you’ll save water since the disposal requires water to run in the first place.  Save the really stinky items for the garbage disposal and save everything else for the garbage can.
*Go low-flow again: just like in the bathroom, you can go low-flow in the kitchen as well!

IN THE GARDEN:

*Put your recycled water to use: instead of reaching for the hose you can save water in your garden by using recycled water!  Set up a rain barrel beneath your downspout and use the water caught to water your garden.
*Choose native plants: choosing plants native to your region can help you save water in your garden.  If you choose a plant that is typically raised in a wet climate but you live in a dry hot area you will definitely go through a lot of water!
*Lock moisture into your soul: you can help lock in the water in your garden by using groundcover or spreading mulch.  Both of these options will help hold water in the soil for a longer time.

Hopefully the tips we provided here will be small enough fixes so you can easily put them into practice and begin saving money.  For any HVAC or plumbing repairs, installations, or pest solutions give us a call.  Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to help! For all of your HVAC & plumbing needs give us a call at (618) BEL-O MAN or visit our website here!  BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY!  We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

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6 Indicators an HVAC System Should Be On Your Wish List

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So, you’ve gone through the stages of the holiday season…started listening to Christmas music, thought about your baking schedule, and created your wish list, but have you asked yourself if an HVAC system should make an appearance on that list?  The big question is always whether to repair or to replace! Here are 6 signs that your HVAC system is nearing the end of the repair phase, entering into the replace phase, and should make its way onto your wish list this year:

  1. Your System Is Over A Decade Old: If properly maintained, an average system lasts 10-15 years.  If you’re on the fence about repairing or replacing and it is over a decade old it might be a better investment to make the purchase and replace now if you are experiencing continuous repairs needed!
  2. Unusual Smells: Unusual smells can actually be pretty normal and usually be caused by dust burning; however, there are some instances when the smells can be caused by something more serious.  If the unusual smell you are experiencing is from wires being burned away it is definitely time to put an HVAC system at the top of your wish list.
  3. Your Energy Bills Are Increasing: Increasing energy bills are also a sign to replace.  As systems age they become less efficient and will start costing you more money.  These days there are systems specifically made to be energy efficient!
  4. You Are Hearing Odd Sounds: In most cases a well maintained system should operate quietly; however, there are a few instances when noises can be present and not mean anything. On the contrary, there are also odd sounds which can indicate harmful grinding or other damage being done.  If you’re hearing a sound it might be a good idea to call a technician and have the problem addressed before it damages your whole system! If this happens to be the case, it just may be time to add it to the ol’ wish list!
  5. There’s A Safety Issue Present: As with anything, if there is a safety issue present you should address the problem ASAP.  Safety issues that might be present could include an oil leak or frayed wiring.  If you are seeing these safety concerns it’s probably a good idea to look into your replacement options!
  6. It Has Broken Down In The Past: If the technician knows you by your first name and you’ve had multiple repairs done in a short amount of time it could be a good indicator to start looking into replacing your system. #Wishlist

Are you thinking you meet the standards for the 6 situations listed above? For any HVAC or plumbing repairs, installations, or pest solutions give us a call.  Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to help!  For all of your HVAC & plumbing needs give us a call at (618) BEL-OMAN or visit our website here! BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY! We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

“If Comfort Is Your Plan, Call The BELOMAN!”

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10 Common HVAC Terms to Know

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Do you want to be more knowledgeable when it comes to your HVAC system? While you may perform countless Google searches to educate yourself, we’ve provided a list here of the 10 most common HVAC terms to know!

  1. Air Handler: This part is paired with either a split system A/C or a heat pump. It is located inside the house and circulates air through the ductwork and is also the box that contains the blower.
  2. Compressor: This is the part responsible for circulating and raising the pressure of the refrigerant in your system. You can find it sitting inside of the condenser and is a good place to check out if you are experiencing a lot of noise coming from your system.
  3. Heat Pump: A heat pump is a type of system that uses electricity to efficiently heat as well as cool your home for the current season. This type of unit may be incorrectly identified as a normal A/C unit.
  4. Line Set: You can find two lines of refrigerant connecting the evaporator coil and condensing unit. There will be a small copper tube in the liquid line as well as a large and more insulated tube.
  5. Load Calculation: This calculation is used by your salesman to determine how much heating or cooling your home needs. A calculation is found to learn how much heat is gained/lost in order to choose the properly sized system for the home or business.
  6. MERV: Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This is in correlation to the rating of your furnace. The higher the rating, the more efficient the filter is. 16 is the highest MERV rating and is a type of filter commonly used in hospitals in order to trap the smallest particles.
  7. Plenum: This is a part that is attached to the air handler where the other ducts are attached. The plenum is usually made of insulated sheet metal, but could be made of other materials as well. The heart of the HVAC system ductwork is the plenum!
  8. Register: This is the part that covers the ductwork outlet and return so that the owner can control the amount of airflow desired.
  9. SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This ratio measures the efficiency of an air conditioner by taking the BTU/hour of cooling divided by the watts of electricity over an entire cooling season. 13 is the minimum SEER rating allowed under guidelines and the higher the rating, the more efficient of a system and more money saved on utility bills.
  10. Tonnage: This is used to measure the cooling capacity of the A/C. This measurement will show you how much heat the A/C can remove. If you are not sure of the tonnage needed, a trusted HVAC professional will be able to better assist!

These are ten of a very long list of HVAC terms that may pop up when dealing with your HVAC system. For any HVAC or plumbing repairs, installations, or pest solutions give us a call.  Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to help!  For all of your HVAC & plumbing needs give us a call at (618) BEL-OMAN or visit our website here! BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY! We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

“If Comfort Is Your Plan, Call The BELOMAN!”

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Get to Know Your Home’s HVAC System

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Okay, so your HVAC is heating and cooling your home…all is good right? …maybe! Just maybe! But, wouldn’t you like to familiarize yourself with your system so that you’ll be able to use it more efficiently are accurately?  Because a home’s heating and cooling systems consume approximately 50% of a household’s total annual energy use–waste being generated will certainly add up.  We’ve come up with a list of ways you can get to know your home’s HVAC system!

*Questions to ask yourself:
When was the last tune-up performed?: By knowing this valuable piece of information, you can have a better understanding of when your next service will be needed.  It’s important to keep up with the maintenance service plan for your system to ensure it is operating efficiently and prolong its lifespan.                                                                                                   –What warranties and service plans are in place/will be transferred?: By knowing whether your HVAC system has warranty or any service plans in place you may be able to transfer it into your name for the new ownership.  Contact the company found on the sticker of your HVAC equipment to see if services are still intact to be transferred.  It will also be a good idea to gather history for your specific equipment just as you would gather history on a car.

*Locate all equipment manuals: Knowing where your equipment manuals are at any time is a good rule of thumb to remember.  If a problem should arise and you’re left to figure it out at a moments notice, having your manual easily accessible can make it a lot easier to work through the problem.  These days you can also find manuals online to print out if you have misplaced your original copy.

*Learn to operate your new thermostat: with a new home also comes a new thermostat that you’ll have to learn all over again.  Take a minute to familiarize yourself with the functions available.  If your thermostat is programmable you can save yourself money and energy in the long haul by setting it for times you are away from your home at work or on vacations.

*See what energy-saving resources are being offered: even though your home may be heating and cooling and getting the job done, it may not be operating at the efficiency level you expected.  Schedule a visit with an energy-saving expert to help identify energy-wasting deficiencies in your home.

Hopefully after reading this week’s blog you’ll feel more comfortable getting accustom to the HVAC in your home! For any HVAC or plumbing repairs, installations, or pest solutions give us a call.  Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to help!  For all of your HVAC & plumbing needs give us a call at (618) B-E-L-O-M-A-N or visit our website here! BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY! We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

“If Comfort Is Your Plan, Call The BELOMAN!”

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