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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Air Duct Cleaning and Springtime Allergies

Image Source: Better Home Blog

Image Source: Better Home Blog

As spring stretch’s open, people all over are bracing for another brutal allergy season. Many people opt for staying indoors to stay away from pollen or other allergens, but sometimes the air in your house doesn’t always offer an escape. Remember, the air in your home is recycled air. Each time your system kicks on, like a vacuum, it is not only pulling in air – but dust and other contaminants as well.

Luckily, we have a solution you may want to consider for a more pleasant springtime and a year of better air quality: Schedule an air duct cleaning appointment with us!

Our air duct cleaning process is designed to remove and capture all contaminants from your duct system. While other duct cleaning machines only vacuum out air ducts, our Rotobrush cleaning system method is the only one available that brushes AND vacuums at the point of contact.

Pathogens in your air duct system can easily become dislodged and if not properly collected, can cause sever problems for you and your family. Give us a call today to avoid these problems. We’ll give your air duct system a full inspection to determine the level of contamination and follow a precise process for maximum cleaning results. We’re here to help you improve your home comfort!

Saving Money on Your Kitchen Plumbing Fixtures

kitchen-faucets

Most homeowners don’t expect to spend a lot of money on plumbing and fixtures when remodeling a kitchen.  However, without taking the proper steps and making correct decisions – its easy to find yourself spending extra cash you didn’t want to.

See below for some money saving tips to keep in mind when remodeling your home:

  1. Good Deals – Look around for stores offering special discounts, coupons, or deals on their products. Discounts are always a plus when shopping for kitchen fixtures! Who doesn’t like extra bucks in their pocket?
  2. Normal Repairs – Keeping up to date with your kitchen plumbing maintenance can save you money in the long run. Be sure to schedule regular checks on your plumbing with one of our experience technicians each month. Also, checking on your own for leaks and cracks regularly can help you catch problems early.
  3. Experienced Contractors – If you hire a cheap plumber with novice skills, they not only may not fix the problem – but make matters worse. Then you’ll need to hire another plumber to fix the mess they made. For a qualified plumber, call us at Patterson Plumbing and Heating.

By using these tips you will not only save money but save yourself some headaches as well. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a kitchen plumbing inspection, give us a call at 719-544-4922. And if you’re looking for help in your kitchen remodeling – contact our team at 5 Day Kitchens!

All Natural Cleaning Products for Earth Day

Image Source: FoodNetwork

Image Source: FoodNetwork

Celebrate Earth Day by making some all-natural cleaning products to keep your home spick and span. Bonus, you likely have these cabinet staples in your home already:

Mirrors and Glass:

Mix one part white vinegar to one part water, spray, and wipe with a microfiber cloth. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell, it fades quickly!

Tub, Sink, Shower:

Combine 1 1/2 cups white vinegar, 1 1/2 cups water, and 3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide. If you want to scent the mixture, add your favorite essential oil – and just start scrubbing! For more tenacious soap scum, mix equal parts white vinegar with dish soap. Spray this mix and allow to soak before scrubbing and rinsing.

Toilet:

Mix two parts borax powder with one part lemon juice and add to your toilet bowl. After a few minutes, scrub to remove stubborn stains. For really hard to remove stains, add a cup of borax powder and let it stand over night before scrubbing the next morning.

Grout and Caulk:

Combine one part hydrogen peroxide to two parts water and spay on mildew infected areas. Let the mixture sit for at least an hour before scrubbing and rinsing.

Drains:

Pour a cup of baking soda followed by two cups white vinegar down the drain. The fizzing should help loosen up any blockage. Let this stand in the drain for 15 – 20 minutes before flushing with warm water. Or pour 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by 6 cups of boiling water down the clogged drain for an over night treatment.

If you come across some problems while cleaning your home, give one of our experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating a call! A specialist will come by, diagnose the plumbing problem, make recommendations and prepare pricing by the job – not the hour – so there are no surprises. Give us a call at 719-544-4922!

Benefits of Soft Water: For Your Home and Wallet

According to the United States Geological Survey, about 90% of homes in the US have hard water – water containing higher-than-normal amounts of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron. Exactly how hard the water is varies depending on your location.

While this kind of water is not a safety issue it can be an expensive nuisance. Hard water forces appliances and plumbing to work harder and consume more energy – costing homeowners more money. Soft water, however, has many benefits that families can literally feel and see, including:

Detergent Savings – Soft water allows for better cleaning results with less soap. A recent study found that when hard water is softened, detergent use can be reduced by 50% and washing can be done in 60 F cold water versus 100 F hot water and achieve the same or BETTER stain removal.

Appliance Life – Soft water prevents build-up of scale (from mineral deposits) which allows appliances to operate effectively and last longer.

Clean Plumbing – Scale build up from hard water is a common cause for clogged pipes and reduced water flow. The same build up can also affect the outside of shower heads, faucets, and drains making them lose their polish and become harder to clean.

Water softeners, like Kinetico, can provide the best protection against the problems hard water creates saving your home and wallet. As an authorized independent Kinetico dealer and installer, we offer a FREE in-home water analysis to test for levels of contaminants in your water and can install Kinetico water quality systems correctly to get maximum results.

You can count on Kinetico and Patterson to deliver superior, healthy water quality for your family. To learn more about what Kinetico can offer please visit their website or our Water Treatment page. Call us today to schedule your in-home water analysis: 719-544-4922.

National Garden Month – Replacing an Outdoor Faucet

670px-Replace-an-Outdoor-Water-Faucet-Step-4

Over time outdoor water faucets wear down. So while you’re dewinterzing your home and preparing for warmer weather, you may want to consider replacing outdoor faucets with newer models:

  • First, shut off the water that feeds the spigot. You may need to shut off the house’s main water supply valve, or another valve closer to the outdoor line. Open the faucet completely to drain out all the water.
  • Next, with a wrench and a pair of adjustable pliers, hold the wrench on the water pipe to keep it still while slowly turning the pliers around the pipe that is connected to the faucet counterclockwise until the faucet is loose.
  • Once loosened, unscrew the faucet by the hand in a counterclockwise motion. Use a stiff brush to clean the pipe threads from any rust or debris. Then wrap the threads with plumber’s tape to ensure a strong seal.
  • After going to the home improvement store with the old faucet to select a new one that meets the same specs, screw this new faucet onto the pipe by hand until tightened.
  • Finish it off by tightening with the wrench and pliers. You may want to cover the faucet with a towel to protect it’s finish from getting chipped or scratched.

Once it’s tightened, turn back on your water supply and open the faucet to check for leaks. No you should be all set to begin gardening season without wasting water from sneaky drips. If you have other plumbing related questions contact us here at Patterson Plumbing & Heating today!

Create a Water-Smart Landscape and Water Saving Tips!

As you get ready to plan your summer gardens, you may want to consider creating a water-smart landscape. Don’t worry – you don’t necessarily have to revamp your entire yard to achieve substantial water savings.

See some of the below ideas to incorporate into your existing landscape:

  • Choose Native Plants: Plants native to the area are already adapted to local soils and climatic conditions, and rarely require more water than normal rainfall.
  • Create Hydrozones: Group plants into specific “hydrozones” according to their watering needs. This helps reduce water and protects the plants from both under watering and overwatering.
  • Assess Your Yard Conditions: Some areas on your yard may vary in soil type or exposure to sun and wind – be mindful of this when planting and select those that will thrive in the conditions.

Now that you have the landscape and design figured out, it’s important to stay mindful of the amount of water you use. Watering gardens should not be wasteful; but rather sustainable and good for the environment.

Some tips for efficient watering include:

  • Watering at night – allow your garden ample time to absorb the water before the sun’s rays soaks it up
  • Drip irrigation – an irrigation method that saves both fertilizer and water by allowing water to slowly drip to the roots of the plants through a network of valves, tubes, and emitters.
  • Try a watering can – using a watering can will help you realize you don’t need as much water as you think. Plus you can target areas more specifically this way.
  • Weed often – you want your plants to thrive, not the weeds that stop growth and get in the way of water supply!

For more information on how to rework your landscape for water efficiency, visit the EPA website. If you have other plumbing related questions contact us here at Patterson Plumbing & Heating today!

Prevent Clogged Drains, Avoid These Items

While we all know that water should be the only thing going down the drain, we’ve all had that “whoops there goes the pasta!” moment at some point. This can be harmless, until blockage builds up and you have a clogged sink on your hands.

So during your spring cleaning this season, work to prevent poor plumbing habits. Thanks to the Huffington Post, here are 11 things that commonly create blockages in pipes that you might not expect:

  1. Bacon Fat – Instead of pouring this down the drain, wait for it to cool off in the pan, wipe it with a paper towel and toss it.
  2. Grease and Oil – Avoid this problem from the start and put it into your compost bin where other organic materials can soak it up.
  3. Orange Peels – Don’t confuse your pipes with garbage disposals, throwing these bits down the drain wont make anything smell good.
  4. Coffee Grinds – Flushing these down your pipes can cause a sludgy, drain-clogging mess. Good thing is grinds are GREAT for gardening, so take these outside!
  5. Eggshells – Even the smallest bit can create granular waste that can easily get stuck to oil and grease and clog up a sink, toss these!
  6. Tea Leaves – If you are a loose leaf tea fan, be careful you don’t wash a bunch of these down the drain – they can pile and build up in the pipes.
  7. Semolina – This is what many pastas are made with can cause blockage when wet. It’s ok to drain pasta water – just be sure not to let the noodles down too!
  8. Medicines – When cleaning out your cabinet, refrain from dumping expired liquids down the drain. Metamucil in particular forms a ‘hard jello’ that can be very difficult to get rid of.
  9. Jello – Speaking of Jello, anything with gelatin as an ingredient has the potential to cause clogs.
  10. Potato Peels – When potatoes absorb too much water they can get gummy and very sticky. Don’t want that building up in your pipes!
  11. Rice – Another food that gums up the pipes and causes water to back up. Don’t let these grains fall down the drain!

Have you accidentally tossed a bunch of these down the drain? Call Patterson Plumbing & Heating to get your drains cleared today! A specialist will come by, diagnose the plumbing problem, make recommendations and prepare pricing by the job – not the hour – so there are no surprises. Give us a call at 719-544-4922!

Prepare Your Air Conditioning for Summer

With warmer temps around the corner, your best defense is an air conditioning system. Proactive maintenance is key to having a properly functioning unit, so here are some important steps you can take now to be sure your system is in tip top shape for the summer sun:

Clean/change the filter once a month

One of the easiest steps one can do to keep the AC running smoothly. For central air systems, the filter is usually located on the face of the blower unit behind a metal panel. Just unscrew the panel, remove the old filter, and replace it with a new one. For window units, the filter is located on the face of the unit behind a metal or plastic panel. This is usually a permanent filter that can be cleaned with some white vinegar and water, just make sure it air drys completely before putting it back in your unit.

Clean the outdoor unit

Use a clean cloth or brush to gently clean the fins on the outside unit – be careful NOT to bend the thin metal. Also be sure to remove any dust, mud, and other debris that may show up on the coils if you don’t use a cover on your outdoor unit. For the exterior condenser to work properly, it needs unobstructed flow of air around it. Make sure at least 2 feet of clear space is available. Keeping the unit clean from debris will reduce resistance and boost your A/C’s efficiency.

Clean indoor duct-work

Since duct-work is hidden within your walls and ceilings, a full cleaning should be done by a professional. At Patterson, our air duct cleaning process is designed to remove and capture all contaminants from your duct system. You are also able to keep parts of the duct-work clean simply by inspecting and wiping down the visible parts of the ducts. Also, be sure to check these parts of the ducts for wear or water damage.

While homeowners can perform some of these procedures, others will require the help of a professional. When in doubt, give our air conditioning technicians at Patterson Plumbing & Heating a call. It’s also good to schedule a pre season tune up with us to give your unit a thorough look over before sweltering temps take over.

Call Patterson duct cleaning services or tune up specialists now to schedule an appointment – 719-544-4922