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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Winterizing Your Home


Prepping your home for each season is important, and once the cold air moves in, it often doesn’t take long for your heating costs to skyrocket. Not to worry, there are many quick things you can do around the house to help conserve time, energy, and money this season:

Test for Drafts – Drafts can waste 5%-30% of your energy according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Check wall joints, light fixtures, outlets, window and door frames, attic doors, and plumbing penetrations for any air. Draft guards are great for drafty doors and for a quick fix, weather-stripping can fill gaps and minimize air infiltration.

Check Your Heating System – Keeping your home’s heating operating in top condition or installing a more energy efficient model not only keeps you warm, but saves you money on energy bills. Give the experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating a call to perform a routine check before the real low temps set in.

Run Ceiling Fans in Reverse – Many ceiling units include a switch to reverse the direction of the blades. Clockwise rotations recirculates the air near the ceiling back into the living space – cutting heating costs by as much as 10%!

Lower Your Water Heater – Most water heaters are set to 140 degrees F, but typically, households don’t need that much steam. Adjusting your water heater to 120 degrees F not only reduces your water heating costs by 6-10% but also reduces the chance of receiving a scalding burn.

For more winterization tips, click here »

Patterson Plumbing & Heating is a full service company prepared to handle your winterization needs. We are able to repair the smallest heating problem to the largest heating problems. We’re experts on all brands, makes and models. When you need us, we’ll be there..

How Dirty is Your Kitchen?

Dirty dishes in kitchen sink

Did you know, the dirtiest place in your home is actually your kitchen? Think about it, most of the food we prepare and consume happens in our kitchens – and where there is food, bacteria are sure to follow. From stomach unsettling bacteria to everyday cooking grime – the dirt is everywhere.

Follow these tips for making your kitchen squeaky clean:

  • Disinfect Your Sink! It’s your go to place for washing dishes and hands – but it’s also the dirtiest spot in the house. The sink is an easy breeding ground for E. coli and salmonella. Stop that bacteria in its tracks and disinfect it with a dishwashing soap, lemon, and baking soda combo until it shines.
  • …And the Drain – Just because you’re washing food and soap down the drain doesn’t mean it disappears. Often times food will stick inside and thanks to the constant moisture – germs are thriving. Pour a mixture of baking soda, salt, and water down the drain. Then flush it with hot water for 30 seconds. Bonus – you’ll also be eliminating any clogs.
  • Soak Your Faucet – Take the filter screen at the tip of your faucet and soak it in a diluted bleach solution every week to kill off bacteria. Just remember to let the water run through it for a bit after its finished soaking.

Learn more about cleaning your kitchen on Kitchen Daily »

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we’re available for all of your plumbing needs. Give one of our expert technicians a call today: 719-544-4922. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates and industry news.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

iStock_000024662431_LargeAs you know, when water freezes – it expands. If water begins to freeze in your pipes and expands enough, your pipes may burst. With the severe winter weather we get here in Colorado, the fear of frozen pipes is not far fetched. Cold spells can wreak havoc on home plumbing due to the quick dips in temperature, but poor insulation and setting thermostats too low should also be taken into account.

The good news is, there are steps you can take to prevent such mishaps this season:

  • Keep your home heated at a constant temperature of at least 65 degrees. Inside your walls where your pipes are located, is substantially colder than the walls themselves. Setting a thermostat lower than 65 degrees will not prevent inside the walls from freezing.

  • Add extra insulation where necessary. Check your home’s crawl spaces and attic, anywhere there may be exposed pipes. Wrap susceptible pipes with heat tape.

  • Disconnect any garden hoses before the severe weather really hits. If possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from any pipes that lead to your outdoor faucets.

  • Seal all air leaks that let the cold air in where pipes are located.

  • Keep cabinet doors open below sinks. Since most plumbing runs underneath cupboards, keeping the doors open when it snows or freezes can help circulate warm air.

Despite your best efforts, if your pipes do freeze this season, don’t panic as they may not of yet burst. You may be able to thaw a pipe with warm air from a hair dyer. However should the damage be done, make sure everyone in your household knows where the main shutoff valve is located and how to close it.

Then, give the experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating a call. Our team has helped Pueblo homes since the fall of 1984 and know that you and your home deserve to be treated with respect.

#TuesdayTips – Prepping Your Home for Holiday Guests

iStock_000019071933_LargeWith a little over a week until Thanksgiving and just over six weeks to New Year’s Day, it’s time to start doing some de-cluttering and repairing to prepare your home for holiday guests. Use these tips below to reduce the holiday strain before the doorbell even rings!

Address any plumbing issues – Already working with a slow drain? Increase the number of guests in your home and this small problem can turn into a flood in the making. Make sure your plumbing is in good shape now, before the extra strain is added later.

Check the garbage disposal –  With all the extra turkey trimmings on the horizon, the last thing you want to deal with in the midst of holiday gatherings is a broken disposal. If you’re experiencing minor problems now, get it looked at. Otherwise, take a look at some of these maintenance tips to help you prep for the big feast.

Heating tuneup – Furnace due for a checkup? Give us a call! A breakdown is a problem at anytime, but even worse on a frigid day with a home full of guests.

Guest room check – If you are fortunate enough to have a spare guest room, you’ll also want to ensure there are a few spare hangers in the guest room closets. Luggage can take up space so clear some room before your guests arrive. Having people bunk on the sofa? Arrange an amenity area for your guests’ belongings and provide bedding storage for where blankets can go during the day when your sofa may be in use.

Don’t let a plumbing or heating mishap interfere with your holiday or seasonal plans – give the experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating a call today!  Our team has helped Pueblo homes since the fall of 1984 and know that you and your home deserve to be treated with respect.

Fire Safety This Holiday Season

Christmas candles and lights

It’s the time of year to deck the halls of your home in festive decorations, enjoy moments with friends and family, and partake in seasonal events and traditions. It’s easy to get caught up in the flurry of excitement, but it’s also extremely important to remember your safety, especially where fire hazards are concerned.

Christmas trees, menorahs, fireplaces, candles, and lights, are just a few things that come to mind when thinking about holiday decor and unfortunately, holiday home fires are a common occurrence. Head into this season with these preparedness tips from the American Red Cross:

  • Keep holiday decorations (like trees and candles) at least 3 feet away from heat sources in your home.
  • Don’t use any holiday decorations with frayed electrical cords and be sure to unplug your lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Keep curious children and pets away from trees and ensure your tree stands are sturdy enough to not tip over.
  • Keep anything that could catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, food packaging – away from your stove top.

Additionally, smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, and near bedrooms (inside and outside if you sleep with doors closed). If you already have smoke alarms installed, use the test buttons and ensure batteries have been replaced.

For more information on fire safety during the holidays, please visit redcross.org.

Here at Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we are the Pueblo, Colorado area home heating repair, maintenance, and replacement experts.  Our certified technicians have extensive experience and knowledge of all types of home heating systems – boilers, furnaces and heat pumps. We’re ready to diagnose your home heating problem and repair it in a timely and professional manner. Give us a call today!

Cleaning Mistakes You May Be Making

Woman Cleaning Kitchen Countertop

When cleaning your home, common mistakes can muck up even your best efforts. Taking a page out of this month’s Real Simple Magazine, use these tips to save you time and trouble:

  • Placing all utensils in the dishwasher facing the same direction – Placing forks in point up is fine, as it prevents the tines from bending. Spoons and knives however tend to easily fit together – which prevents a complete clean. Next time try alternating some up and others down.
  • Spraying cleaner directly on a surface – Every once in a while this is acceptable, but should really be saved for extremely dirty surfaces. Spay the formula onto a microfiber cloth instead! Wipe-downs done this way require less solution, cutting down on residue buildup.
  • Putting a rinsed toilet brush right back in the holder – Moisture breeds bacteria! Put the brush between the toilet seat and the base of the toilet to allow it to drip dry for 10 minutes. Then feel free to return it to the holder.

For more cleaning tips visit Real Simple’s full article here »
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!

Foods to Avoid Putting Down the Garbage Disposal

Pouring water

Your garbage disposal – a handy appliance that has rescued you from unwanted odors. It’s primary function is to shred food waste into pieces small enough (generally less than 2mm) to pass through plumbing. But this doesn’t mean ALL food waste should skip your garbage or compost and head straight for the disposal. In fact, many foods can actually render your trusty assistance useless.

As we head into the holiday season, the last thing you want to deal with in the midst of holiday gatherings is a faulty disposal. Below, we’ve listed some items to avoid putting down the disposal and some other maintenance tips to keep everything functioning well through the New Year!

Foods to Avoid:

  • Greasy Foods (meat fats and cheese) – These foods leave a film over the disposal’s blades, which can diminish their effectiveness. They may also clog your drain!
  • Hard Things (any shells, bones, seeds, etc) – Anything hard has the power to dull or worse, break, the blades and jam the unit, causing the motor to burn out.
  • Peels (carrots, bananas, potatoes, etc) – These foods’ peels can easily wrap around the blades and keep the motor from operating.
  • Expandable Foods (pasta and rice) – Even SMALL amounts of these foods can swell with water and clog the trap.
  • Egg Shells – Their stringy membranes can wrap around the shredder ring while the shell itself is ground to a sand like consistency that can clog pipes.

Be sure to practice proper disposal maintenance in case any of these damaging foods do slip in – you’ll be prepared. Always keep the water running for 30-60 seconds after the food has cleared the drain because the waste still has a ways to go. The water will help the waste go down easier, pushing it as it goes. Also, always use cold water. Using hot water can melt fat which can then re-solidify as a blockage further down the drain. Finally, throw some ice cubes down it every once in a while. The cubes will not sharpen the blades (as commonly believed) but it does knock off any debris build up that keeps the disposal from grinding food properly.

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we’re available for all of your plumbing and heating needs. Give one of our expert technicians a call today: 719-544-4922. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates and industry news.

November is Child Safety & Protection Month

Two children playing with electricity

September brought Baby Safety Month, and now – we have child safety and protection month. The goal of this month is to create awareness about the potential dangers children face in everyday situations, including around the home.

As parents, we try to protect our children from all the dangers of the outside world, but sometimes we forget what could cause harm right in our own homes! Here are five tips to keep your child safe under your own roof:

  1. Install safety gates before your children start crawling to keep kids out of harms way (including at the top and bottom of all stairs)
  2. Keep storage bins around to hold all toys and supplies, preventing anyone in the home from tripping
  3. Cover up and lock it up. Any outlets should be covered and locks should be included on anything that can open (cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink? Don’t need little hands going in there).
  4. Be cautious of choking hazards. From coins, to jewelry, to crayons, to food – anything little can easily be swallowed, and just as easily lodged.
  5. Set your hot water heaters no higher than 120 degrees F to prevent burns, and consider spout guards on the bathtub faucet to manage the temperature of your child’s bath.

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we’re available for all of your plumbing and heating needs. Give one of our expert technicians a call today: 719-544-4922. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates and industry news.