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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Keeping Your Home Cool This Season – Without the AC

Let’s face the facts – it’s hot, and it’s going to get hotter as the summer months go by. As tempting as it is to crank the AC, having high energy bills aren’t good for your wallet or the environment.

So fight that urge, and check out the below tips for keeping your house cooler – naturally:

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by olivander

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by olivander

Vent at night – Take advantage of the drop in temperature, open your windows and doors in the evening to let a cooler breeze in. You can even create a wind tunnel by setting up your fans to create the perfect cross breeze.

Close up during the day – As the sun starts to rise, close up your windows, doors, and shades/blinds. Keeping your windows open on a hot day can equalize the indoor and outdoor temperature. But note, should the indoor temperature reach the same as outdoors, it’s time to open the window.

Switch on your bathroom fans (or exhaust fan in the kitchen) – These fans are made to pull the hot air that rises – out of your home.

Speaking of fans, rotate your ceiling fans counter-clockwise – Doing so at a higher speed produces airflow that creates a wind-chill breeze effect, which will make you and your guests ‘feel’ cooler.

Avoid the oven – If it already feels like 100 degrees in your home, turning on a 400 degree oven won’t make it feel any cooler. Opt for using your outdoor grill or select menu items that don’t require heating – like a salad or sandwiches.

Or for a more long term investment, look into planting trees on the side of your house that gets the most sun. Having extra shade will protect your home in the summer months.

Hopefully the above will help cool your home without you solely relying on air conditioning. For those extra hot days, just be sure your air conditioning unit is in proper working condition. When in doubt, give our air conditioning technicians at Patterson Plumbing & Heating a call!

#WellnessWednesday – Health and Air Conditioning

When we think of summer and hot or humid weather – the thought of sitting in a cool air conditioned room is not far behind. But is being too cool good for you? Unfortunately, abusively low temperatures and poor maintenance have led to health problems and other daily irritations. But as long as you take proper precautions you should have a healthy start to this AC season.

Thanks to Hello Magazine, we have a quick list of the benefits and risks that come with air conditioning:

Benefits:

  • Improves comfort levels at leisure and at work – thus improving job performance
  • Can result in increased physical and intellectual activity
  • Lower temps reduce the presence of insects or parasites
  • A CLEAN air conditioning system helps exclude external allergens such as pollens
  • A properly installed and maintained system renews and improves air quality

Risks:

  • Sudden changes in temperature and humidity affect the respiratory system
  • It has a drying effect on skin and mucous membranes
  • Air conditioning an irritate the eyes (ie: contact lens wearers, risk of conjunctivitis)
  • Air conditioning is associated with throat irritation and hoarseness

To reduce the above risks, it’s important that air conditioned spaces are regularly ventilated. Rooms should be kept between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit as well as an average humidity of 60% – 70%. And as always, any installation or AC tune up should be done by a professional.

While there are some steps you can take on your own to maintain your air conditioning system, it’s best to leave the tune-up process to one of our experts here at Patterson Plumbing & Heating. We’re the Pueblo, Colorado area heating and air conditioning tune-up specialists, offering upfront pricing and clean and courteous technicians.

Call and make an appointment that’s convenient for you today! 719-544-4922.

Summer Plumbing Tips

Summer is ‘home buying’ season and many homeowners unfortunately find out too late that the home of their dreams is full of issues due to a poor plumbing system. So before purchasing your new home, we encourage you to visually inspect what may be happening behind the scenes with these helpful tips:

  1. Check the base of the toilet for signs of water damage
  2. Test the toilet, see how fast it flushes
  3. Turn on the water in the bathtub and kitchen sink – if there is a noticeable reduction in water volume, there may be calcium and mineral deposits restricting water flow
  4. How old is the water heater? The first 4 digits of the serial number are the month and year, anything older than 15 years old is a candidate to be replaced
  5. See a rusty water tank? This can be a sign of future problems
  6. Check washing machine hoses for rupture and test the valves for leaks by turning them on and off

If you’ve already purchased your new home, don’t worry – give one of our experts here at Patterson Plumbing & Heating a call: 719-544-4922. A specialist will come by, diagnose the problem, make recommendations and prepare pricing by the job – not the hour – so there are no surprises.

How to Prioritize Your Remodeling Projects

Bathroom Remodeling, Replacement & Installation For Pueblo, Colorado Area Homes

You know your home is a big investment, and the best way to care for it is by keeping up with necessary repairs. Once you are sure all the parts of the home that are vital to keeping it operating properly (roof, doors, pipes, etc) are in tip-top shape, then you can begin your wish list.

This wish list should prioritize what you’d like added to your home. Is there a baby on the way and you need extra room? Or on the other hand, have your children flown the coop? Are you getting your house ready for sale? This wish list should reflect the answers to these questions so your remodel really fits your family’s needs.

Once this is done, get estimates for everything and set yourself a budget to be sure all costs are accounted for. From there, you can decide which items on your wish list you can begin work on. Kitchen and bathroom renovations typically get you the most bang for your buck.

And that’s where we come in. Our bathroom and kitchen division along with our primary Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Water Treatment services make us your one stop shop in home remodeling. Give us a call and see how our experts can help you achieve your ideal home. With our “Up Front Pricing,” you can be confident that the job will be done right, at a price you can afford, every time. Call us today!  719-544-4922

Why Store Bought Cleaners Aren’t a Good Solution to Clogged Drains

While we understand the convenience of store bought cleaners for clogged drains, we strongly caution against them. Why you ask? Truth is that while yes they do technically work – it’s only a temporary fix. These cleaners are actually pretty detrimental to the longevity of your drain pipes!

These liquid cleaners are corrosive by nature, so the more you pour down the pipes the more they will erode the interior. The continue use of them will cause some significant long term damage. Over time, there’s a good chance you will have to replace your pipes due to the damage they have caused – and pipe replacement is significantly more pricey than a professional drain cleaning.

So what do you do when you have a clogged drain and not enough time to call our drain experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating? Luckily there are a few natural solutions that get the job done, without leaving your pipes in danger:

Vinegar and Baking Soda Solution:

Pour a cup of baking soda and white vinegar into the drain. It will fizz immediately and will help remove gunk, hair, and any grime that has built up. Let it sit and then flush it with several cups of boiling hot water.

Salt and Baking Soda:

Mix 1/2 cup of table salt with 1/2 cup of baking soda and pour down the blocked drain. Let this sit and then flush it with several cups of boiling hot water. Much like the above treatment, this salt, baking soda, and boiling water will create a chemical reaction that should dislodge even the toughest of clogs!

If your clog is even tougher to remove than anticipated, that’s what we’re here for. Contact us today to have one of our specialists come by, diagnose the plumbing problem, make recommendations and prepare pricing by the job – not the hour – so there are no surprises.

National Safety Month – Home Safety Tips

June is National Safety Month, and while there are many ways of practicing safety in your daily life – it’s important to keep yourself and your home safe. Now is a great time to keep in mind ways to stay safe from indoor air pollution and how to come out injury free in your next DIY home repair project.

Keep indoor air quality up to par by:

  • Change air filters regularly and be sure to vacuum coils on your AC, refrigerator, and other appliances to reduce contaminants and keep them running efficiently.
  • Ensure all air vents, interior and exterior are dust and debris free.
  • Have a Patterson Plumbing & Heating professional asses your air quality needs. 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.
  • Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are unobstructed and that their batteries are fully charged and working properly.

Keep your plumbing in tip-top shape by:

  • Checking your pipes for leaks or bulges. A small leak can turn into a costly problem, and be threatening to your home.
  • Prior to starting any repair, make sure to always know where your water supply shutoffs are located; including the main water shut off, toilet, and sink valves.
  • If your plumbing repair is near an electrical source, make sure you turn off the power to that source so you avoid getting electrocuted.
  • You should always be careful when working with pipes that could steam or have scalding hot water. Make sure you wear eye/face shields and insulated gloves.

Finally, some jobs should be left to the professionals. While you may be perfectly fine to handle regular maintenance tasks, larger projects can be done by one of our experts here at Patterson Plumbing & Heating to ensure it is done quickly and correctly, the first time.

Tips on Saving Energy at Home

For a lot of us, summer is a time to splurge. Whether you’re organizing a vacation or a backyard BBQ, your wallet’s bound to take a hit. If your home costs are putting a halt on your summer fun – see below for some tips on how to save money by curbing your energy costs:

  1. Give your AC a tune-up – An inefficient AC can cause high monthly bills. Maintenance and tune-ups are recommended by all manufacturers to help save on energy costs, ensure your unit lasts longer, increase home comfort, and avoid costly breakdowns in the future.
  2. Repair leaks – Not only in your pipes, but in your air ducts, fireplace dampers, doors, and windows as well. This way your AC isn’t working extra hard to cool off a house that has air escaping.
  3. Adjust thermostats – Set your AC thermostat fan switch to “auto” to save energy. Leaving it in the “on” position keeps air constantly running. Also, adjust your home’s thermostat by a few degrees to save on your cooling costs.
  4. Check your water heaters – If you’re leaving your home for a few days, make sure to check and fix any leaks surrounding your water heaters. As long as the water heater is operating properly, it’s a good idea to set the thermostat to a “vacation” setting so it won’t use energy to heat the water when you aren’t home.

For more tips on saving energy click here ». And if you have any questions regarding your Air Conditioner, Air Ducts, Pipes, or Water Heaters – give one of our experts here at Patterson Plumbing & Heating a call: 719-544-4922. A specialist will come by, diagnose the problem, make recommendations and prepare pricing by the job – not the hour – so there are no surprises.