The Buzz report March 2023

In This Issue
  • Got Allergies?
  • Common Thermostat Problems
  • Landscaping Around Outdoor Units
  • February Celebrations
  • The Beco Club
  • The Beco Referral Program
  • Beco’s Kitchen
  • Just For Fun
Welcome to Pollen Season!!
Spring is a gorgeous time of year – trees and flowers blooming, gentle breezes, delightful rain showers, and cute, fuzzy baby animals. That’s all great unless you suffer from seasonal allergies! Make sure the air you breath in your home is as allergen-free as possible with an AC tune-up!

Schedule your AC tune-up today! 



Spring can be a pretty miserable experience if you’re one of the estimated 50 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies. Between the sneezing, sniffling, watery eyes, and scratchy throat, seasonal allergies triggered by pollen, grasses, and a host of other natural allergens can do a number on your physical well-being. Springtime allergens aren’t just limited to the great outdoors — indoor allergens like dust and pet dander can also trigger your allergies.

Your HVAC system can be a valuable ally in the fight against springtime allergies. In addition to regulating indoor temperatures, your heating and cooling equipment is also tasked with managing indoor air quality. Here’s how you can put your HVAC system to good use in fighting both indoor and outdoor allergens.

Upgrade to a High-Quality Air Filter

As your HVAC system draws air from inside your home, it’s also drawing allergens and other airborne pollutants. Your HVAC air filter serves as the first line of defense against these allergens. Unfortunately, most HVAC systems come equipped with fiberglass air filters that offer only rudimentary protection against dust and debris and little protection against smaller allergen particles.

Air filters made from pleated paper offer your HVAC system better protection against allergens. These filters trap a broad range of airborne particles that would pass through fiberglass filters. Upgrade to a pleated air filter with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) between 11 and 16, as these filters are most effective at reducing indoor allergens without adversely impacting HVAC performance.

Run Your HVAC Fan for Circulation

Your HVAC system can only remove allergens from your home’s indoor air when the indoor blower fan is actively working. The blower fan plays an integral role in your HVAC system by pulling indoor air into the unit and pushing conditioned air out through the ductwork. More importantly, the blower fan also pulls air through the filter — giving your HVAC system an opportunity to remove dust, debris, and harmful allergens from indoor air.

You don’t have to use your heat or air conditioning just to benefit from HVAC fan circulation. All you have to do is toggle your HVAC system to “fan” mode on your thermostat. This setting essentially forces your blower fan to run constantly. The resulting air circulation can help remove harmful allergens from the indoor air, with slightly increased noise and energy use being the only noticeable drawbacks.

If you plan on upgrading your HVAC system in the near future, consider having a variable-speed blower fan motor installed. Variable-speed fans are capable of running at much lower speeds than a typical blower fan, allowing for quieter operation with less noise.

Consider Whole-Home Products

Consider installing a whole-home product to improve the air quality throughout your home. Our Beco team can recommend air cleaners, humidifiers and UV lights that are designed to work with your new or existing HVAC system to efficiently ventilate and minimize sources of indoor pollutants in your home. Air cleaners filter out 98% of pollutants and also ensure your system works at peak efficiency all year long. Humidifiers replenish moisture throughout the home to make it more comfortable by reducing static electricity and reduce problems caused by dry air including dry nose, itchy eyes and sore throats. They also provide energy savings due to lower indoor temperatures. To kill and reduce airborne germs, bacteria, viruses, mold and fungi, consider having UV lights installed.

Keep Up With Preventative Maintenance

A well-maintained HVAC system is absolutely essential for keeping springtime allergies at bay. The only way to have a well-maintained HVAC system is to have it serviced on a regular basis. Regularly scheduled maintenance ensures that your HVAC system remains in peak condition throughout the year.

Preventative maintenance also gives your HVAC contractor a chance to spot and correct minor issues before they turn into major problems that require costly repairs. Most importantly, preventative maintenance also ensures that your HVAC system can effectively tackle both indoor and outdoor allergies, saving your senses plenty of grief throughout the spring and beyond.

Consider your HVAC system as a valuable secret weapon in the fight against springtime allergies.

Having trouble with your thermostat? Here are 8 possible reasons why.

Bad Location

The location where the thermostat is mounted can be a problem. Mounting the thermostat on an exterior wall can result in a temperature exchange with the exterior temperature that give an incorrect temperature reading of the interior. The thermostat can read a lower temperature in winter and a higher temperature during summer.

Mounting the thermostat near a door or window can also create a temperature exchange. Whenever the door or window is opened, outside air can throw off the thermostat reading of the internal temperature. Don’t locate the thermostat near a supply register either.

Even having the thermostat located near a lamp that uses an incandescent bulb can be enough to affect the thermostat. The heat from the light bulb can be enough to turn off the heat in winter before the desired temperature has been reached.

The best location for the thermostat is on an interior wall in the middle of the building.

Loose connection

A loose connection at the thermostat, furnace, or air handler control board can also be an issue.

If the thermostat has screw terminals, make sure they are tight. Use a screw driver with large hand with a good grip for enough torque to get a good connection.

The insulation on the wire should be cut back so that enough copper is exposed to make contact with the terminal. If you suspect a loose connection, it is best to schedule a Beco technician to take a look and correct the problem.

Power Connection

Thermostat issues can arise when the thermostat is powered by batteries only and not from the c-terminal from the air handler or furnace. The thermostat can be powered through the c-terminal with the 24 volt line from the furnace or air handler control board. Some thermostats don’t have a c-terminal and some have an optional c-terminal or battery so one or the other (or both) can be used.

While some thermostats will function with low batteries, others may not operate at all. Even if the thermostat doesn’t indicate low batteries, there may still be a problem with the batteries and not enough power will be available to close the electrical contacts to turn the system on.

Bad batteries or corrosion on the battery contact terminals are other reasons that there won’t be enough voltage to the display.

Out of Level

It is very important that an old-style mercury thermostat is level because the small mercury balls being offset can cause the thermostat to shut off at the wrong time. Even if the thermostat was level when it was installed, the wall anchors can loosen and cause it to tilt.

Digital thermostats can be out of level and still maintain an accurate temperature.

Damaged Wire

If it is stripped wrong, the thermostat wire can be nicked or scratched and it won’t be able to make a full connection.

Thermostat wires that run through crawl spaces can also be damaged by rodents. Check for bad connections and corrosion at any wire nut or spade connector.

Improper Settings

The thermostat may be set to turn on and off at the wrong time or can be trying to control the wrong system. Rarely, the instructions for programming the thermostat will be on the back of the thermostat itself. Using the model number, you can reference the installation instructions online.

Cold Draft

A hole behind the thermostat, in the attic or in the crawlspace can let cold air in that causes problems for the temperature sensor on the thermostat. A Beco technician can assist with this issue by sealing up the hole.

It’s Broken

Ultimately, the problem with the thermostat could actually be the thermostat itself or one of the components that the thermostat controls can be damaged. There is an entire sequence that the thermostat controls and it might be necessary to have a Beco technician troubleshoot.
While you may love the cool temperatures an A/C unit can provide, you may not love how the unit looks in your yard. Here are a couple of ways you can accomplish landscaping around outdoor units.


With a fence around your air conditioner, you can keep pets, children, and thieves away from your air unit, reducing the likelihood of damage. Keep in mind that your air conditioner needs proper ventilation to ensure steady airflow. Solid wood or vinyl panels will restrict the cooling breezes that reach your machine, and your unit will have to work harder to keep you comfortable. When you install fencing, choose lattice-style or open-slat designs, and make sure the fence sits at least three feet away from your air conditioner. When constructing a fence also allow for easy access for a technician to preform routine maintenance and any needed repairs.


 Grow Some Green!  Rather than block off your air conditioner entirely with a fence, why not hide your unit with some tall-growing plants? Ornamental grasses such as silver grass, porcupine grass, or switch grass can grow high enough to cover your air conditioner without breaking up your view of Mother Nature. Variegated Japanese silver grass, for example, features beautiful silvery white plumes and can measure as high as six feet tall and three feet wide. If you prefer shrubs over grasses, Indian hawthorn can form a dense, flowering hedge that rarely needs pruning. As with fencing, tall-growing grasses, shrubs, and trees may inhibit airflow if placed too close to your air conditioner. Give your unit at least three feet of space around each side to ensure adequate airflow and allow for access by a technician for routine maintenance and any needed repairs. Additionally, plant life will shed a variety of debris (leaves, twigs, flowers, etc.) that could clog your condenser fins and coils. These clogs will prevent your unit from adequately releasing heat, increasing the likelihood of a breakdown. Every spring or summer, you should prune your surrounding plants and have your system cleaned and maintained by a Beco technician.
6 Dipping Sauce Varieties
Sweet Sriracha Dipping 

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Add all ingredients into a medium size bowl. Mix well. Chill or serve room temperature. Refrigerate unused dipping sauce.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey

Add all ingredients into a medium size bowl. Mix well. Chill or serve room temperature. Refrigerate unused dipping sauce.

Spicy Tomato Ranch Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 tablespoon sriracha

Add all ingredients into a medium size bowl. Mix well. Chill or serve room temperature. Refrigerate unused dipping sauce.

BBQ Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Add all ingredients into a medium size bowl. Mix well. Chill or serve room temperature. Refrigerate unused dipping sauce.

Cheesy Dip

  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 teaspoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 1/2 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/4 quarter cup milk and flour over medium heat. Stir in remaining milk and salt. Bring to a boil and stir frequently. Reducing heat to low, simmer for 2 minutes, allowing rue to thicken. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and add cheese and pepper. Stir until cheese is smooth and creamy. Best if served warm. Refrigerate unused dipping sauce.

Avocado Dipping Sauce

  • 2 large avocados, halved and pitted
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 small jalapeño, chopped.
    • NOTE: For a spicier dip, include seeds and pith in recipe. For a milder dip, remove seeds and pith in recipe.
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Scoop the avocado meat into a food processor or blender. Add remaining ingredients. Process until sauce is creamy, scraping sides as needed. Place in a serving dish and enjoy. Refrigerate unused dipping sauce.
Peanut Butter BBQ Chicken Pizza
Prep Time:  30 minutes
Bake Time: 10-12 minutes
Total Prep: About 40 minutes
Serves 4 (with 2 slices each)


1 package pizza crust
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
2 green onions, chopped
8 oz. mozzarella cheese


Prepare packaged crust according to package directions.

Combine peanut butter with 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce and mix thoroughly.

Spread over the prepared and partially-baked crust.

Add chopped rotisserie chicken, green onions, and mozzarella cheese.

Bake 10-12 minutes until cheese begins to turn golden.
Apple Strudel
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total Prep: 1 hour
Servings: 12 


5 cups sliced apples
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon flour

3 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1 egg yolk and white, divided
1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup powdered sugar


In a medium bowl, mix apples, raisin, sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Set aside.

Cream together flour and shortening. Mix in the milk and egg yolk. Divide dough in half and roll out the first layer to fit into the bottom of jelly roll pan.

Add filling evenly to the pan. Roll out the remaining dough and cover the filling.

Bake at 375° for 45 minutes.

Dust with powdered sugar. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.
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