How Evaporative Coolers Work

July 29th, 2014 by Gary Bell

If you have ever experienced sitting beside a lake or river on a hot day, you know how pleasant the feeling of a breeze blowing across the surface feels as it brushes across your face: cool, crisp. This is the principle of evaporative cooling: as the hot air moves over the cooler surface of the water, the air loses heat and becomes colder through evaporation (a process that absorbs heat).

This same principle can work to cool your home using an appliance called an evaporative cooler, also known as a “swamp cooler.” Evaporative coolers in Greenwood Village, CO can serve as a substitute to a standard central air conditioner that uses Freon. To learn more about the potential of an evaporative cooler for your house, call Bell Plumbing & Heating Company. Since 1926, we’ve helped keep homes cooled down with the best technology available, and we install the top-of-the-line Breezair Evaporative Cooler series.

What an evaporative cooler does

In the simplest sense, an evaporative cooler is a device that acts as that cool lake surface for the air entering your house, lowering its temperature. An evaporative cooler is often placed at the top of a home, where a fans draws in warm outdoor air and moves it into the ventilation system. As this air passes through the evaporative cooler, it crosses over a series of damp pads which are connected to a water pump that keeps them always moistened. The air loses its heat due to evaporation from passing over these pads, and then enters the home much cooler than before—and drawing significantly less power than a refrigerant-driven AC. This also means the home receives fresh outdoor air, rather than circulating the same stale indoor air, as happens with a conventional air conditioner.

The current Breezair evaporative coolers have a built-in drainage system to remove the warmed-up water and keep the system clean. This makes the Breezair easier to maintain and more worry-free than other evaporative coolers. The Breezair also comes with the Breezair Water Manager to monitor water quality to keep impurities out of the system—which results in a longer lifespan for the system. (Breezair guarantees their coolers for 24 years!)

Possible drawbacks of evaporative coolers

Evaporative coolers do not work everywhere and for all homes. For example, despite the nickname, these “swamp coolers” would not work well in a swamp at all! High humidity reduces evaporation within the system, so they are better for dry climates. And if you have concerns about moisture levels in your home, then an evaporative cooler might not be right for you. Consult with HVAC professionals to see if one of these systems is a wise idea for installation.

Whatever your comfort needs, we have an AC system that will meet it.

You can learn more about the Breezair line of evaporative coolers for Greenwood Village, CO homes with a call to Bell Plumbing & Heating Company.

Is an Evaporative Cooler a Good Idea for Air Conditioning Replacement in Englewood?

July 22nd, 2014 by Gary Bell

When it comes to home cooling, there are a lot of choices available to homeowners. Living in a relatively low-humidity climate gives our Bell Plumbing & Heating Co. customers an additional choice when it comes to cooling their properties: evaporative coolers. Known also as swamp coolers, desert coolers and wet coolers, evaporative coolers use a simple law of physics to cool your home without use of refrigerant. So should you choose an evaporative cooler over a traditional air conditioning system when it comes time for replacement in Englewood? The best way to answer that question is to understand what an evaporative cooler can offer you and your home.

How Does an Evaporative Cooler Work?

Simply put, evaporative cooling is cooling with water. An evaporative cooler adds cool water to the warm air; when this happens, the water changes states from liquid to gas by using the energy of the heat, known as sensible heat. The sensible heat changes to latent heat, a process that lowers the temperature as the sensible heat gives up energy. Two simple examples of this kind of cooling is body sweat or the feeling you have when you emerge from a swimming pool; an evaporative cooler uses the same principle to cool your home.

What Are the Benefits of an Evaporative Cooler?

There are several benefits to installing an evaporative cooler for your home:

  • Significant reduction in electricity usage – evaporative coolers use approximately 75% less electricity to operate than refrigerated systems.
  • No greenhouse gases – since no refrigerant is needed for an evaporative system, no greenhouse gases are produced.
  • Easier maintenance – there are only two parts of an evaporative cooler that warrant any type of repair (not including ductwork): the fan motor and water pump. Both are easily accessible in the unit and can be repaired by a trained technician.
  • Adds humidity – low humidity can contribute to problems with splintering and shrinkage of wood products, including furniture and wood floors, as well as paint chipping and peeling. The addition of humidity from an evaporative cooler may help with this issue.
  • Consistent fresh air – an evaporative system needs constant fresh air in order to cool, eliminating the possibility of “stale air”.
  • Breezair coolers provide 25 year guarantee of life with a 10 year guarantee for all structural components

Is an Evaporative Cooler Right for You?

The best way to determine whether or not an evaporative cooler is a good replacement for your air conditioning in Englewood is to work with a trained professional. Your needs will determine the best way to cool your home, and with the help of an expert, you’ll be able to identify those needs and install a system that works for you.

For more information about how an evaporative cooler can work in your home, call Bell Plumbing & Heating Co. today and schedule a consultation.

What Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists Mean for Your Kitchen Remodeling

July 22nd, 2014 by Gary Bell

The Center for Disease Control defines “aging in place” as the ability to continue to live in your own home and community “safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” Elderly people in a home can continue to enjoy their original living spaces with the assistance of remodeling that makes their lives easier.

A number of professions have developed around meeting the goals of aging in place, and one of those is home remodeling. When you are looking to have kitchen remodeling in Denver, CO for a house that has aging in place needs, you should make sure to contact a remodeler who hires Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS). These specialists are committed to helping a remodel best serve the needs of the elderly in a household. Bell Plumbing & Heating Company has a design staff of Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists to make certain your new kitchen will ideally serve all the people who live in your home.

What does this certification mean and how will I benefit?

Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists receive their certification through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). To earn the certification, applicants must take a series of required courses: Marketing and Communication Strategies for Aging and Accessibility, Design/Build Solutions for Aging and Accessibility, and Business Management for Building Professionals. The applicants must also submit documentation of proof of liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance (or proof of employment at a company that has both) and a valid business license (if the state requires it).

In addition, candidates must submit a singed copy of the CAPS code of ethics pledge. (“I believe in, and accept, the responsibilities and obligations inherent in providing remodeling services to the aging-in-place population.”)

What this means to you as a homeowner looking to have kitchen remodeling to accommodate elderly members of your household with special needs: Certified specialists take great pains to remodel a kitchen so it will be safe for people with mobility problems, in particular to prevent falling by providing height-appropriate supports and counters, clear walkways without obstructions, better lighting with multiple accessible switches, nonskid floors, and many other modifications and additions that would escape the eyes of a remodeler without this specific training.

Not only do these specialists know what sort of modifications will make your kitchen easily accessible and safe for the elderly, but they will also know how to integrate these modifications into the overall design of the room to create the attractive appearance of the kitchen that you want. A safe kitchen doesn’t need to be an unattractive one!

Make Bell Plumbing & Heating Company your first choice for any kitchen remodeling job.

Bell Plumbing & Heating Company is proud of our Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists and how they enhance kitchen remodeling in Denver, CO. Call us today to find out more. 

3 Benefits to Ductless Cooling

July 18th, 2014 by Gary Bell

Do you use noisy window air conditioners or ineffective fans to cool your home in the summer because you don’t have a central air conditioning system installed? There may be a solution. Ductless cooling systems are an excellent air conditioning option for those without ductwork installed in the home. In general, when you choose to install a ductless system, a technician will install an outdoor unit and multiple indoor units in different zones throughout the house. These air handlers have the same cooling power as most ducted systems and are often more efficient. Ductless systems can also provide heat in the colder months.

If you’re not convinced that ductless cooling is the best solution for your Arvada home, we’ve put together this list of 3 benefits of ductless cooling.

1. No Ducts!

The number one reason to install a ductless air conditioner in your home is that they don’t use any ducts at all. Ductwork installation can be a huge hassle and may be impossible in certain situations. The construction of many older homes makes ductwork installation difficult, and installing a ductless cooling system may cause less disruption for your home.

2. Lower Bills

A lot of energy is lost in the ductwork of some ducted systems. Ducts often have leaks, causing cool air to escape into the attic or crawlspace of a home, which means the homeowner pays money to cool an unused area of the home. A ductless system eliminates this possibility, and ductless systems are often more efficient than leak-free ducted systems. The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of many ductless air conditioners is often higher than ducted systems, which means your energy bills may be much lower.

3. Increased Comfort

Each air handler of a ductless system is usually controlled by its own thermostat, which means the members of your household don’t have to argue about the temperature throughout the house. Separate blowers allow you to vary the temperature throughout the house for comfort, while saving money by adjusting the temperature in unoccupied rooms.

If ductless cooling is the right solution for your Arvada home, call Bell Plumbing & Heating Company for professional installation or replacement today!

Signs of Ruptured Water Lines

July 14th, 2014 by Gary Bell

The most vital part of the plumbing for your home is the water line that brings in fresh water from the municipal system. Without it, you don’t have a plumbing system at all! So when a water line ruptures, you need to have professional plumbers on the job as soon as possible, before enormous amounts of water go to waste and you lose running water in your house entirely.

(And yes, the water line where it runs under your property is your responsibility, not the utility company’s.)

Here are some signs to look out for that will warn that your water line may have ruptured. When you spot any of these, contact Bell Plumbing & Heating Company right away. You can count on our almost 90 years of experience and our 24/7 emergency services when it comes to fixing water lines in Westminster, CO.

Look for these warnings of ruptured water lines

  • Water puddles on the yard: Unexplained water pools and soggy spots on the grass that develop on your yard that don’t come from rain or sprinklers usually indicate that a pipe has broken underground. If water begins to erupt up from the lawn or through the sidewalk, then don’t hesitate any further: this is a serious emergency and you need to call for a 24-hour plumbing service.
  • High water bills: No matter the size of the rupture in your water line, it will result in a significant increase in your monthly water bills. You should always keep a close track of your utility bills so you can identify a sudden rise for which you cannot account. A leak in a water main should cause a very noticeable rise on your bills; even if a water main rupture isn’t the source of the rise in costs, something is wrong in the plumbing and you need to have professionals look into it immediately.
  • Low water pressure: Before a leaking water main causes a complete loss of running water, it will cause a drop in water pressure throughout your home. When the water from your faucets and shower heads starts to drop in pressure, call for a plumber.
  • Contamination in the water: Ruptures in the water main can also allow dirt into the pipe, and you will start to see brownish discoloration in the water that flows from your faucets. This may come from the municipal supply, but don’t take any chances: call for a professional plumber.

We know how serious an emergency a ruptured water line is, and we will treat it with the same professionalism and skill we have treated all plumbing problems since we started in business in 1926.

Our specialists in repairs for water lines in Westminster, CO at Bell Plumbing & Heating Company are ready to answer your call for help any time of the day or night.

How to Prepare for Kitchen Remodeling

July 7th, 2014 by Gary Bell

A kitchen remodel can bring an old kitchen to life in a way that will enhance your entire home, making the kitchen into an enjoyable centerpiece for your family. You can also make the kitchen a more efficient place for cooking, and a location where you’ll save energy and water.

It all begins with calling up the team for kitchen design in Denver, CO at Bell Plumbing & Heating Company. Let us show you what we can achieve with your dreams for a kitchen redesign. Contact us today to find out more.

We offer kitchen remodeling services that will go beyond your expectations and deliver you the kitchen you’ve always pictured in your head but feared was impossible.

Here are ways to prepare for your kitchen remodel:

Find the right contractor

The key step to making preparations for kitchen remodeling easier is to have a contractor who can take care of the most important steps so you don’t have to worry about them. With a contractor, you want to find someone who can handle the design, construction, and the plumbing. When you have different companies taking on these separate tasks, you can end up with confusion, poor communication, and delays that will cost you more. Your ideal contractor will have all aspects of the job under control and be able to show you how the remodeling will go.

Visualize the design

You may have a solid idea what you want for your new space… or you may only have vague ideas. Either is fine: just make sure you work it out with the remodeler so that there are no misunderstandings and you know what the remodeler is planning to do. Some companies use software to help visualize the design so they can bring to life an idea you already have or help develop those ideas to get started. They can also guide you toward more harmonious mixtures of surfaces, textures, and fixtures to give your kitchen a sense of style.

Get a layout estimate

Before you start, talk with your designer about cost and time estimates. A good designer will by this point have enough information to give you an accurate cost estimate for the project so you know if it will fit in with your budget plans.

At Bell Plumbing & Heating Company, we handle every aspect of kitchen design in Denver, CO. We can help you visualize and plan the look with special software, and then perform all the necessary tasks, from hanging the cabinets to installing the plumbing. With our skilled remodeling staff on your side, you will end up with the kitchen of your dreams.

Count on Professionals to Handle Drain Cleaning

July 7th, 2014 by Gary Bell

When you think of cleaning your drains, what comes to mind the quickest? We hope it isn’t a plastic bottle of liquid “drain cleaner” found on the shelf of a grocery or convenience store. We understand if it is—“drain cleaning” is right in the name—but the truth is that the caustic and toxic blend of chemicals in these bottles is terrible news for your drains. The acidic action can ruin pipes with repeated use, and they can damage skin and eyes through exposure.

When it comes to cleaning drains of clogs and build-up, you can either rely on a sink plunger (safe, won’t hurt your pipes) or call up a plumber (safe, won’t hurt your pipes, and will get the job done no matter what).

For drain cleaning in Littleton, CO that you can count on, call the experienced team at Bell Plumbing & Heating Company.

What professionals can do to clean your drains

Cleaning drains can range from the simple process of removing a single clog to extensive scouring of the pipe interiors to remove build-up and help prevent clogs and high water pressure in the future. Drain cleaning is both a repair job and preventive job.

If you have a tough clog which a sink plunger cannot handle, then your plumber can use a motorized drain snake to tackle the problem. A drain snake is a coil of wires that extends down through a drain into a drainpipe, where it then drills down into a blockage with an action similar to a corkscrew. There are commercial hand-crank drain snakes available, but these are nowhere near as effective as the motorized models that professional plumbers will use.

In the rare case that a motorized drain snake is not sufficient to clear a clog, plumbers may use hydro-jetting, which blasts a high-pressure hot stream of water along the drain pipe, which is sufficient to break through most blockages.

Hydro-jetting is one of the main tools used for regular, ongoing drain cleaning. The scouring power of the hot water jets effectively eliminates organic build-up that will develop over time and lead to plumbing issues such as high water pressure. In some cases, plumbers will use video pipe inspection equipment that allows them to view the interior a drainpipe on a monitor, and this allows them to ascertain where to target cleaning efforts and what type of cleaning methods will work the best.

Call for drain cleaning now and whenever you need it

If you haven’t had ongoing drain cleaning for a number of years, now is the time to call Bell Plumbing & Heating Company and arrange for drain cleaning in Littleton, CO. And if you have an emergency with a clog, you can reach our team of plumbers any time of the day or night to take care of it.

Signs You Need Water Treatment System Repair

July 4th, 2014 by Gary Bell

Using a whole-house water treatment system is an excellent way to solve problems that can enter your home through the municipal water supply. The right treatment system can counteract hard water, chlorine, pesticides, sulfurous oxide, and other particle and chemical contamination in your home’s water.

But water treatment systems can sometimes malfunction and require repairs from professionals. If you notice some of the signs below that there is trouble brewing in your water treatment, then call on the experts at Bell Plumbing & Heating Company. We will rush someone out to your home in Littleton, CO for water treatment system repair. Our staff is prepared 24 hours a day to fly to your assistance.

Watch for These Warnings That You May Need Water Treatment System Repair

  • Drop in water pressure: Most whole-house water treatment systems are attached to the water main as it enters the house, and filters this water before it moves to the various outlets. If you use a water filtration device and the filters become clogged or blocked, it will lead to a slowing down the flow of water into your home, and this will mean a noticeable plunge in water pressure. This can also happen with reverse osmosis systems. A number of different causes can lie behind water pressure drops, so make sure that you call for plumbing professionals to investigate the issue and find the right solution.
  • Tints in the water: When some treatment systems begin to malfunction, it can lead to unusual tints appearing in your water. Sometimes this is due to the system no longer being able to stop contamination. For example, if you have a filtration device to remove iron from the water supply, you may notice an orange tint in your the water if the system fails; blue-green tints indicate problems with an acid neutralizer. If the treatment system puts additives in the water to counteract contamination, the tint may be because the system is adding too much—possibly from poor initial installation. Call in experts to look over the problem.
  • Your water suddenly tastes/smells bad: If you have enjoyed the benefits of a water treatment system for a number of years, you are probably so accustomed to the taste of water with the pollutants removed that a change back to untreated water will come as a noticeable shock. What might be a small difference to someone unused to treated water will taste significant to you. When you notice anything about your water that tastes or smells wrong, then call for repairs for the treatment system right away.

You do not want to lose the advantages of your investment in a water treatment system to a malfunction. As soon as you think there are issues with your water softener, water filter, reverse osmosis system, chemical feed pump, etc., call our team at Bell Plumbing & Heating Company for water treatment system repair and other plumbing services in Littleton, CO that you may need.

Reasons that Ductless Cooling Might Be Your Best Option

July 3rd, 2014 by Gary Bell

You may have heard about ductless cooling, or perhaps seen it installed in a home or business. But have you ever considered it as an option for installation in your home? If you are in the market for a new air conditioning system, then perhaps you should place a ductless mini split heat pump on your short list of options to consider. We’ll explain why we think ductless cooling in Denver, CO might be the best way to go for your next home comfort installation.

Bell Plumbing & Heating Company has been in business since 1926 serving Denver with quality heating and cooling. We can help you find out what cooling system is the right one for you, and then install it so it will keep you comfortable for many summers to come.

Some Excellent Reasons to Give Ductless a Try

  • Cooling and heating – This is the #1 advantage of deciding to go with ductless installation. Ductless air conditioning is also ductless heating: these systems are properly called ductless mini split heat pumps, and like all heat pumps, they can reverse the direction they move heat so they can work as heaters as well as air conditioners. With ductless installation, you have two comfort solutions in one.
  • Energy savings – There are two reasons that ductless systems will save you money. The first is that the lack of ductwork (conditioned air is blown directly into rooms through individual wall-mounted blowers) means there is less energy loss along lengthy ventilation shafts. The second is that you can turn conditioning off in rooms that don’t need it by adjusting the separate blowers. You only need to cool down the parts of your home that require it.
  • Better indoor air quality –Another advantage of leaving ductwork behind is that you no longer need to worry about drops in air quality due to contamination that builds up inside the ductwork. If you have people in your home with allergies or asthma, a ductless system can vastly improve their lives.
  • More space –Installing ductless mini split heat pumps is great for new construction, since you don’t have to factor in the room needed for the ventilation system. You’ll have more living space and more freedom to design the room/home you want.

All these sound like wonderful advantages—and they are—but there are a few caveats. Ductless systems aren’t an efficient choice for homes that already have extensive ventilation systems. They work best for older homes without ductwork that would otherwise need to depend on window AC units, and for new home construction and add-on rooms. Talk to local ductless installation experts to see if your house will benefit from one of these systems.

Bell Plumbing & Heating Company is your home solutions company. Let us help you with ductless cooling in Denver, CO if you think this may be the best way to cool and heat for your home. Give us a call today and schedule your next service appointment with us.

How Do Ductless Split Systems Operate?

June 27th, 2014 by Gary Bell

The ductless mini split heat pump started out as a comfort system for businesses, particularly restaurants, where they freed up space that would otherwise be used for large ventilation networks. Ductless systems have now transferred over to the residential sphere, as more and more homeowners in newer and older houses have discovered the benefits of leaving ductwork behind.

We have worked with ductless mini split heat pumps since they first entered homes, and you can trust that our experience will make your installation job go fast and smoothly.

Scheduling ductless split installation in Westminster, CO is not difficult: you only have to call our specialists in heating and cooling at Bell Plumbing & Heating Company.

How ductless mini split heat pumps work without a ventilation system

Ductless systems operate in much the same way as any heat pump: they cycle refrigerant between and indoor and outdoor unit. The refrigerant shifts between liquid and gaseous states, absorbing heat through one set of coils through evaporation, and then releasing heat through the other set of coils through condensation. In heating mode, the indoor coil acts as the condenser and the outdoor as the evaporator; in cooling mode, the two coils swap functions.

However, the similarity between a standard split heat pump and a ductless mini split ends when it comes to the layout of the indoor unit. A standard central heat pump has only one indoor unit, a cabinet that contains the refrigerant coil and a blower fan. The blower fan moves air past the coil, where it is conditioned, and then out into the connected ventilation system.

With a ductless system, there are multiple indoor units that contain a blower fan and a refrigerant coil. Each of these blowers are mounted on the walls of rooms, and they connect individually through a power line and refrigerant line to the outdoor cabinet. Usually, a hole bored in the wall behind the cabinet allows these lines to exist and reach the outdoor unit.

The blowers send the conditioned air directly into a room, without the need of ducts. The blowers can be controlled from a central thermostat, but each one can also be manipulated individually, so a person can control the temperature in a room to match their own needs. You can choose to shut down heating or cooling to rooms that don’t currently need it, which helps save energy.

Is ductless right for you?

The zone control, space saving, and energy-efficient performance of ductless mini splits makes them attractive options for home comfort. However, they are not ideal for every home, so make sure that you call Bell Plumbing & Heating Company when you are interested in ductless split installation in Westminster, CO. Our experts in air conditioning and heating will answer all your questions to help you decide if ductless is the right choice for you.