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5 Simple Ways for Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

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Keeping the air inside your home is very important for the well-being of your family. Improving the air quality can be important since a majority of our time is spent indoors. These days there are many tactics which can aid in improving the air quality of your home; however, there are several simple ways you can make improvements yourself to stay in a budget.
  1. Upgrading the filters to higher quality: regularly changing your filters is extremely important to remove mold spores, pet dander, and other factors that may be disturbing the air quality in your home. When changing your filter look into possibly upgrading to a higher quality filter to ensure a more efficient clean.
  2. Tend to leaky plumbing issues ASAP: even small pesky plumbing issues should be resolved immediately.  These small issues can turn into bigger issues which affect the air quality in your home by encouraging mold growth, disrupting the air quality, and triggering asthma or allergies.
  3. Control Your Humidity: adding a humidifier to the house is one smart solution to keep your home air quality at its best potential.  Increasing the humidity levels in your home can make breathing easier and even promote healthier sinuses.
  4. Open the Windows: opening the windows at any weather permitting opportunity you find is important to improve indoor air quality.  It’s important to clear out air that has been trapped in your house for an extended time.  Opening the windows will allow fresh clean air to re-enter while clearing out any elements which may be affecting your family’s health.
  5. Install an Air Cleaner: although installing an air cleaner may be on the pricier side compared to the options above, it is an option which can guarantee positive results.  High efficiency air cleaners effectively clean the air in your home leaving your family worry free.

Breathing quality of indoor air is crucial for good health.  Because we spend a majority of our time indoors it’s important to understand the different factors which may be altering the overall quality.  Being that there is a long list of different pollutants which can become trapped in your home, it’s very important to know how to get rid of these pollutants from various angles.  If you have concerns regarding the air quality of your home give BELOMAN a call at (618)235-6626 or visit our website here!

Bel-O Man Services         Plumbing         Pest Solutions

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Hard Water vs. Soft Water

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The terms hard water and soft water are easily thrown around—but what does it really mean? What are the differences? Which should I have in my home? If you’re looking for the answers to any of these questions you’ve come to the right place.   We’ll go over what each type of water is and the benefits of each.

Hard Water:

Hard water is any water containing a considerable amount of dissolved minerals. These minerals include magnesium and calcium. Water is considered “hard” when it goes through deposits of limestone and chalk carbonates. Hard water has a more harsh reputation. Those who were born and raised on hard water may have grown accustom to the way their clothes, bedding, and other washable items may feel. Because of the additional minerals these items may have a more rough texture. While many may still stick by hard water there are actually many other pros and cons to consider. One upside to hard water according to the Drinking Water Inspectorate is the claim that there is less heart disease for males in hard water areas than in soft water areas. All in all, if hard water is something you are considering, proper research should be done in advance to ensure you’ve weighed both options.

 Soft Water:

Soft water is treated water in which only positively charged sodium ions (cations) are present. Soft water is typically not ideal for drinking since it is said to have a rather salty taste; however, soft water has been known to have other benefits such as preventing household plumbing damage. Soft water is less harsh for your plumbing because it does not contain the minerals that hard water contains. Minerals in hard water are known to produce plumbing buildup which can cause several issues. Another pro of soft water is that it is more effective when combined with soap since the ions react more effectively than with hard water. Soft water also results in less spotting, streaking, or film residue after dish washing. As with your hard water research, you should also conduct research on soft water to bring you to a conclusion you feel absolutely confident about!

Hopefully the information we provided here will give you more insight on the matchup between hard and soft water! For more information regarding any plumbing needs give us a call at (618) 235-6626 or visit our website here!

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Do I Have Bed Bugs??

Bel-O PS Logo Color copy1Bed bugs can be one of the most nuisance household pests.  They’re sneaky and can appear out of nowhere!  With every pest issue, there are signs that can indicate bed bugs are present in your home. Knowing what to look for will help you quickly notify a pest control professional in order to keep the problem under control. Here are 6 signs that bed bugs are present in your home:

  1. Waking up with random bites in the morning. These bites can be distinguished from another common household pest—fleas! Bed bug bites are raised flat welts that are usually 3-4 bites in a straight line.
  2. Bed bugs aren’t present, but fecal stains are present in crevices. Check the edges of your mattress for dark colored fecal matter which can indicate a presence of bed bugs.
  3. The piping of your mattress tells you a lot! These pests are commonly found in the piping around the outer edges of your bed.  Examine these spaces to find their common nesting grounds.
  4. Tiny bloodstains on sheets.  These may be alarming to find, but bed bugs have actually been known to leave tiny stains on sheets.  This visible sign is a quick indicator of bed bugs.
  5. Activity is apparent during their hunting time late at night when movement isn’t frequent.  If you’re having a hard time finding these pests in the daytime, it might be a good idea to wait until late into the night, use a flashlight, and be sure to make very little movement.  Your chances of catching them in the act will increase!
  6. There is evidence inside your nightstands, crevices of close objects i.e. baseboards, electrical sockets, and curtains. Aside from your mattress you should also check these close areas that are commonly overlooked and can house bed bugs.

If you are experiencing any of these 6 signs it might be time to call a pest control professional.  While it may seem simple to control such small pests it actually can be quite a chore! Give us a call today to schedule one of our trusted and qualified professionals to help you! (618) 235-8878 or visit our website here.

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For more information on bed bugs: http://deafvillage.com/identify-inspecting-for-bed-bugs/

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HVAC Myths Debunked!

B5.Myths PicWhile it may appear that the HVAC industry is straight forward, people still have misconceptions about certain areas.  In order to clear up some of these misconceptions, we’ve created a list of 5 common myths to debunk their falsehood!

 MYTHS

#1: Air Filters Do Not Need To Be Changed On A Regular Basis:

The Truth: Air filters do indeed need to be changed on a regular basis.  Dirt, dust, and even moisture can clog up your filter which will not allow your system to run effectively.  It’s also a very good idea to keep up with the cleanliness of your filter because it will help you in the long run avoiding extra charges in the future.

#2: If I Move The Thermostat All The Way Down It’ll Cool My House Faster:

The Truth: Some believe this myth that there are certain ways to cool your house faster just by adjusting the thermostat. This is actually false.  Thermostats are designed to set a chosen temperature you want your unit to turn off and on to maintain a certain temperature.  Turning your thermostat all the way down will only make your system work harder than it needs to which will add unneeded stress.

#3: The Location Of My Thermostat Does Not Matter:

The Truth: This is false.  The location of your thermostat does matter if you want the most accurate reading.  Thermostats give you the temperature from the location it is installed.  So, if you install your thermostat near a sunny window your numbers could be reading incorrectly simply because of the exposed sunlight warming the area. Location, location, location!

#4: If I Close The Vents In An Unused Room, I’ll Save Money:

The Truth: Cutting off air to a certain room or certain part of the house does not redirect air.  What this actually does is throw off the balance your AC unit needs to remain regulated.  Trying to control your unit to work in a certain way will only cause stress to your system.  This added stress will actually do the opposite of saving money because you’ll need to pay for immediate service!

#5: If It Isn’t Broke, Don’t Fix It:

The Truth: Many people use this logic in several matters of their life.  “If I’m not sick, I shouldn’t visit the doctor.” “If I don’t have a serious tooth issue, I shouldn’t see my dentist.”  All wrong! Frequent checkups are very important whether it be pertaining to your health or to the “health” of your cooling system.  Scheduling routine checkups is never a bad idea in the HVAC world!

Now that some of your misconceptions are cleared up, you have the authority to debunk anyone else that believes these myths are true! Always remember: If comfort is your plan, call the Bel-O Man! (618) 235-6626

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Ten Trendy Kitchen Renovation Tips!

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Another service at Bel-O Man aside from heating, cooling, plumbing, and pest control is kitchen and bath renovations.  Whether you’re looking to enter the market to sell your home quicker or simply wanting to update your space in order to appeal to more guests, it’s important to keep these two rooms up to date.  The kitchen is a room which usually sees a lot of traffic, so it’s important to stay current on renovations.  For ideas on how to keep up with kitchen trends we’ve provided you with a list of 10 ideas for your next renovation project:

  1. Updated Cabinetry: the first thing many think of when kitchen renovations come to mind is to update the cabinets.  There are several options to make this update such as painting, staining, or completely starting from scratch.  A popular color to paint kitchen cabinets in 2015 is not only white, but also, differing shades of white.  Darker stained wood cabinets are also making a comeback.
  2. Lower Drawers: trending in 2015 are lower oversized drawers which people have found are a lot easier to stack larger pots and pans.  The location of a lower drawer can make organizing these large items stress-free and will eliminate visible clutter of stacked pots and pans.
  3. Changing Hardware: one often simple and overlooked way to update your kitchen is to change the hardware.  A recent trend regarding hardware is leaning less towards stainless steel and more towards an oil rubbed or bronze look. A quick change of your kitchen’s hardware will make a big difference!
  4. Catchy Countertops: another item that quickly comes to mind when thinking of kitchen renovations is the countertops.  Like cabinetry, there are also many options to make this update. Currently trending countertops are marble, granite and stained.  Also, newly trending are countertops which are embedded with metal or glass bits for texture.
  5. Modernizing Lighting: a fun renovation for your kitchen is modernizing lighting.  Lighting fixtures can often be the first item noticed when first walking into a kitchen, so it’s important to keep them modern.  Large colorful fixtures as well as accent lighting are both currently trending and exciting ways to bring life to your kitchen!
  6. Wallpaper: while many may think wallpaper is a thing of the past, the truth is that wallpaper is actually making a comeback! Wallpaper in your kitchen adds texture, color, and gives your kitchen a different look from the rest.  Wallpaper choices always vary in color and texture, so there are many options available!
  7. Update flooring:  another renovation that will update your kitchen immediately is changing the flooring. The top two trends in kitchen flooring are hardwood and tile.  The hardwood trend currently being seen is dark stain with wider planks.  When it comes to tile, the latest trend is a large dramatic tile look.
  8. Eco-Friendly:  a huge trend in 2015 and the recent years is updating kitchens to be eco-friendly.  Examples of this update include energy efficient windows, recycled butcher blocks, and energy saving appliances. Creating an eco-friendly kitchen will definitely be sure to modernize your space and set you apart from the rest!
  9. Backsplashes: another way to add texture and color to your kitchen is through the use of backsplashes.  Backsplash can add a polished contemporary feel to your space.  A common backsplash trend is colored tiles as well as large copper foil squares—both are sure to make your kitchen pop!
  10. Sinks: in 2015 sink updates have definitely been trending.  Some are now viewing vanity/counter installed sinks as “less trendy”. For a more trendy sink, large single bowls are being installed to accommodate larger pots and pans.  The look of a larger bowl sink rather than counter inserts is sure to modernize your space.

If any of these kitchen renovation trends are making you excited to begin your next project, give us a call today to start the renovating process. We’re more than willing to take your call and be the one you trust making your kitchen top-of-the-line! Feel free to contact us at (618) 235-6626 or visit our website here!

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Bel-O Man Tackles the Pests Too!

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If heating and cooling is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Bel-O Man, you’re missing another piece of the puzzle!  Bel-O Man is also highly qualified to manage any pest control issues you may be facing.  With over 70 years of experience our employees have helped hundreds of homeowners in the local Illinois and Missouri area!

 Services Offered

Whether you want a quick treatment at your home or at your workplace the trusted people at Bel-O Man are here to help! From termites to pesky insects, and even wildlife control never hesitate to give us a call regarding your issue. (618) 235-8778

Tips for Controlling Pests

  1. Changing the water in a birdbath every 3 days will aid in reducing the mosquito population in your space.
  2. If your home becomes infested with fleas, quickly vacuum all carpet and immediately empty the vacuum bag to an outside garbage bin.  If your yard is infested with fleas it’s best to call pest control for help!
  3. If you find carpenter ants, it could indicate other problems such as a leak in your pipes or roof. First signs of carpenter ants should direct you to contact a pest professional.
  4. Changing your exterior lights from mercury vapor bulbs to sodium vapor bulbs will reduce the attractiveness of your home to insects.
  5. Know when to DIY and when to call a professional.  Improperly treating an infestation could worsen the problem in the long run. Give your friends at Bel-O Man a call if you have any hesitation at all (618) 235-8778.

B4.Pest ImageRemember whether you need help in your home or at a commercial location, the qualified pest control experts at Bel-O Man always appreciate being able to help you in any way!

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What’s That Sound??

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The first time you hear an odd sound coming from your plumbing there’s a good chance you might be startled.  These odd sounds each have their own problem and solution, so it’s best to quickly identify the sound you’re hearing in order for a technician to quickly determine the issue. Here’s a few of the most common plumbing sounds you might be hearing:

Rattling: hearing a rattling sound coming from your pipes may mean you are experiencing loose pipes.  A simple tightening job will do the trick!

Hissing: the first time you hear a hissing sound you may be alarmed! This odd sound could mean that your water pressure is too high.  Having your water pressure too high can run up your bill & put unneeded stress on your pipes.

Thud: a sudden thud sound after turning your water off could mean your water pressure is too high. A technician can help by installing shock absorbers to better regulate your issue.

Dripping: hearing your water drip is definitely not something you want to take lightly.  You may be shocked, but a single dripping faucet can actually waste 3,000 gallons a year! It’s definitely a good idea to have a technician check out this sound to save you in the long run.

Whistling: an odd whistling sound may sound like there’s a big issue; however, a whistling sound usually indicates that your water pressure is too low which can be a quick fix for any technician.

Shower Whooshing:  if you hear an odd whooshing sound when you shower it’s a good indicator that there is mineral buildup in your pipes.  Mineral buildup usually occurs with “hard water”.  Adding a water softener just may be the solution to your problem!

Gurgling Drain: an unsettling gurgling noise coming from your drain could mean that your vent pipe is blocked.  A blocked vent pipe might allow foul smells to enter into your rooms and should be checked out and inspected by a certified technician.

While hearing odd sounds coming from your pipes might be alarming, usually these are minor issues that require quick fixes.  Whatever the case if you are ever in doubt give your friends at Bel-O Man a shout—we’d love to help you figure out these unusual sounds. (618) 235-6626

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