What Type of Air Cleaner Is Right for My Home?

August 13th, 2014 by Gary Bell

If you are concerned about harmful air particles, one of the best ways to manage this is to improve your indoor air quality with an air cleaner. Your HVAC system provides the perfect platform to make this kind of upgrade, as whole-home air filters can be added seamlessly to your existing system. Adding an air cleaner to your Arvada, CO home can offer several benefits, but it’s important to use professional installers like the ones at Bell Plumbing & Heating Company to ensure your installation is done correctly.

Types of Air Cleaners

Choosing a type of air cleaner for your home depends largely on what your specific needs are. Here are the most common types of air cleaners currently on the market:

Mechanical Air Filters

Mechanical air filters are square-framed filters that replace the standard air filter of your AC system. Mechanical filters can be pleated, extended surface, or both. These filters capture particles in the filter material, and need to be changed approximately every 3 months. MERV ratings can range from 1-13 with these types of filters. HEPA filters are special types of mechanical filters, as they tend to have very high MERV ratings and may not be suitable for residential usage. The types of particles captured by mechanical filters depend on the MERV rating of that filter.

Electronic Air Cleaners

There are two types of electronic air cleaners:

  • Electronic precipitator
  • Ion generator

An electronic precipitator uses electricity to charge particles in the air. It does this by drawing particles into an ion section, and once the particles are charged, they are trapped on metal plates that hold an opposite charge.

An ion generator is similar, but does not have an ion section or charged plates. Rather, the ion generator disperses ions into the air that charge particles; these charged particles then settle on surfaces throughout your home.

UV Germicidal Lights

The last type of air cleaner is UV germicidal lights. UV lights kill biological pollutants by destroying their DNA. This stops the replication of the contaminants, leading to eradication. One item to note about UV lights is that they do not filter anything, so it is recommended that UV lights be paired with a filtration system.

Indoor air quality is important for both comfort and health. If you seek to improve your indoor air quality in Arvada, consider adding an air cleaner to your existing air conditioning system. Have questions? Call Bell Plumbing & Heating Company and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Why You Need to Hire Commercial HVAC Specialists

August 12th, 2014 by Gary Bell

Whether you require new installation, repairs, expansions, or maintenance for the HVAC equipment that keeps your workplace comfortable, you need to turn to specialists. Many companies offer repairs for residential air conditioners and heaters, but this doesn’t mean they are qualified to handle the larger and more complex systems for businesses. And the work certainly should not be entrusted to amateurs. To protect your company and keep your employees, customers, and/or clients satisfied, make sure to call on specialists in commercial HVAC in Denver, CO for any services you need.

Bell Plumbing & Heating Company has many decades of experience working on HVAC systems of all kinds, from small home units to large commercial installations. We know that your business operations are very important to you, and when you call on us for air conditioning, heating, or indoor air quality service, we will deliver the expertise and professionalism that you expect and deserve.

Why commercial specialists are essential for your HVAC systems

  • Keeping up to code: Any work that involves the electrical system for a commercial building—and this includes almost any work on heaters and air conditioners—must remain within local codes to maintain safety. Professional commercial technicians are familiar with the code requirements and will make sure that your workplace remains up to code and not in danger of being shut down when they perform installations or repairs. (Staying within code also means a safer workplace in general.)
  • Commercial systems are very different from residential ones: In operational principle, a small home’s air conditioner works the same as one for a ten-story office building. But the similarity is deceptive: the layout of commercial systems is far different from residential ones. Most commercial HVAC systems are packaged units that contain all their components in a rooftop cabinet (often multiple cabinets). Commercial systems are also modular, allowing for a business to add more heating and cooling power. This makes them difficult for anyone except for specially trained technicians to work on installing, repairing, and maintaining them.
  • Speed: If you need a new installation right away, or you have repairs the must be taken care of immediately, you must have technicians who can deliver the work as fast as possible. Only technicians with special training can perform the necessary work in a timely fashion: they are accustomed to the demands of a business, which must have their comfortable environment restored rapidly or else face serious losses. The right technicians will see that the work you need done is completed rapidly without sacrificing quality.

Bell Plumbing & Heating Company offers installation, replacement, repair, and maintenance service for commercial HVAC in Denver, CO. You can reach us 24/7 for emergency repairs.

What You Can Expect During Air Conditioning Maintenance

August 6th, 2014 by Gary Bell

If you’ve never scheduled air conditioning maintenance before, you may be missing out on a number of important benefits for your home. It’s a good idea to schedule air conditioning maintenance at least once a year to keep your air conditioner running smoothly and to restore efficiency. After maintenance, most homeowners have lower bills and need fewer repairs, if any, for the rest of the season. But if you’ve never scheduled air conditioning maintenance in Aurora, you may be unsure about what to expect. The following guide outlines the basic steps of air conditioning maintenance.

Thorough Inspection

One of the most important services provided during air conditioning maintenance is a thorough inspection of all indoor and outdoor components. If your air conditioner needs any repairs, the technician will let you know so that you can schedule repairs as soon as possible. Delayed repairs may harm your system if the damaged part adds wear and tear to your air conditioner.

Minor Adjustments

Sometimes, components of your system need minor adjustments as damages may affect the performance of your air conditioner. For example, if the condenser fins are bent, the technician uses a special comb to straighten them so that heat can easily dissipate into the air. A technician may also adjust any loose hardware and add lubricant to motors when necessary.

Cleaning

The technician will clean any components of your air conditioning that need it. Dirty parts can interfere with your air conditioner’s ability to cool your home. The evaporator and condenser coils, for example, help remove heat from your home and release it outdoors. But if dirt and debris cover the coils, your air conditioner may have trouble getting your home to the desired temperature. The technician may also clear debris from the condensate drain to prevent water leaks.

Now that you know what to expect, don’t wait to take advantage of the many benefits of scheduling air conditioning maintenance in Aurora. Maintenance helps your air conditioner to be more efficient, need fewer repairs, and it can extend the lifespan of the system. You’ll get these benefits and more with your AC from Bell Plumbing & Heating Company. Call us today!

Some of Your Options for Kitchen Countertops in Denver, CO

August 5th, 2014 by Gary Bell

A full kitchen remodeling isn’t complete without putting in new countertops. Countertops take up the most space in your kitchen (aside from the flooring) and their visual appeal is central to making your remodeling a success. Countertops are not only about aesthetic appeal, however: you want to have countertops that are simple to keep clean and resistant to damage from chipping and scratching.

At Bell Plumbing & Heating Company, we go beyond standard remodeling for kitchens to offer comprehensive services that handle everything from the plumbing to the finishing on the cabinets. We offer an enormous selection of kitchen countertops in Denver, CO at our showroom. With the help of our expert designers and remodelers, you will find the right countertop material, finish, and look to realize the ideal kitchen. And remember that these new countertops aren’t only for a full remodel: you can have them put in as a standalone upgrade.

Some of the many options available for kitchen countertops

  • Formica: One of the most recognizable names in surfacing products, Formica has almost become a common noun when it comes to describing countertops. Formica laminate countertops come in a variety of colors, patterns, woods, and finishes.
  • Swanstone: This manufacturer of kitchen and bath products offers color that runs all the way through the material, so the surface cannot chip or wear away. Household cleaners can easily buff out scratches from their matte finishes, and hot pots, boiling water, and cooktops won’t harm their surfaces. Because of the high durability of Swanstone countertops (up to 5 times the resistance to impact from heavy objects), they are recommended for high traffic areas.
  • Neolith: Neolith offers innovative design options to match countertops with kitchen panels for a uniform look. Their materials are stain resistant, hardwearing, and contain minimal seam joins that make them easy to clean.
  • Arizona tile: An excellent choice for countertops because of the variety of materials decorative patterns they have available. Arizona Tile offers natural stone, ceramics and porcelain, quartz, glass, mosaics, quarry tile, and more.
  • Silestone: One of the leading producers of quartz surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms. Silestone countertops have special bacteriostatic protection that uses silver ions to prevent the spread of bacteria; you’ll have added safety protection for all the food products in your kitchen.

This is only a sampling of the countertop products that we have available in our showroom at Bell Plumbing & Heating Company.

If you are interested in new kitchen countertops in Denver, CO, or a kitchen remodel, make us your first call. We will help you plan the best possible facelift for your home’s kitchen.

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.

Should I Repair or Replace My Malfunctioning Thermostat?

July 29th, 2014 by Gary Bell

The question of whether to repair or replace a component of your air conditioning system is one that we hear often at Bell Plumbing & Heating Company. Just as with other parts of your air conditioner, deciding whether to replace or repair your thermostat in Parker requires you to take into account several factors.

Reasons to Consider Replacing Your Thermostat

  • Repeated malfunctions – does your thermostat need a lot of repairs to keep working? A malfunctioning thermostat can cause a number of different problems with your air conditioner, including short-cycling.
  • Age – is your thermostat more than 10 years old? Thermostats have come a long way over the last decade, and you may be missing out the benefits a new thermostat can offer you and your home.
  • Precision – dial and slide thermostats tend to be off by 2-3 degrees because of imprecise face configurations. They also need calibrating, which, when inaccurate, can affect how the entire thermostat functions and impact your cooling and efficiency.

Benefits of a New Thermostat

  • Better energy efficiency – the precision for temperature-setting that comes with a digital thermostat improves overall energy efficiency, which can save you money in your monthly utility bills.
  • Better comfort – as mentioned previously, dial and slide thermostats can be off by 2-3 degrees. With the precision of a digital thermostat, the temperature you set is exact, which can increase your comfort level.
  • Easier to use – the face of a digital thermostat is easily read and the buttons are intuitive, making them easy to use.
  • Convenient – a programmable thermostat allows you to program for 7-day cycles that loop. You can set temperatures according to occupancy and times of day (such as day and night), removing the need to constantly change it yourself.

Is It Time to Replace Your Thermostat?

As the homeowner, you know best if it’s time to replace or repair your thermostat. Bell Plumbing & Heating Company has helped customers in Parker with their thermostat repair since 1926.

If you think it may be time to upgrade your thermostat, call us today and schedule an appointment with one of our thermostat installation experts.

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.