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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Things To Know About Your First Home’s HVAC System

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In our recent blog, we discussed what new homebuyers’ should check for where their plumbing is concerned – but what else should they keep front of mind?

The HVAC system.

If you’re used to renting homes, you probably haven’t had to worry much about dealing with air conditioning and heating problems. But when deciding to purchase a home, HVAC equipment can easily result in costly repairs or replacements down the road if you’re not careful.

Below are some things to consider when looking at a potential home’s HVAC system:

The Units. Perform a spot inspection of all heating and cooling units in the home. If there is rust, water spots, other decay – or if you hear loud noises, the system may be old. Ask the owner for any maintenance records to see if replacement is needed.

Ducts. Look at all visible ducts in the basement or attic and those that run into the HVAC unit. Keep an eye out for any rust, loose connections, gaps, condensation on the ducts, or the infamous “Ductopus.” These issues can make your unit work harder than it needs to, thus increasing your utility bills.

Insulation. Although this is unseen to the eye, ask your realtor information about the home’s insulation. As you walk through rooms notice if any have significant temperature changes. Most often this can occur in homes with additions (like sun rooms or enclosed porches). Find out as much information as you can about what insulation has been used as this is key for keeping you and your family comfortable.

Air Leaks. Inspect the seals around all doors and windows to ensure they are sealed properly. If possible, preform a leak test. Simply light a stick of incense and pass it over any window seals or duct connections. If the smoke starts to drift – you have an air leak.

In the long run your home inspector will discuss any technical issues with you, but spending the time to recognize the above problems on your own may save you from investing in a home that isn’t right for you.

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we want to ensure our new homeowners are prepared. If you have any questions about your home’s plumbing or HVAC system – our expert technicians are here to help. Call us today to schedule an appointment: 719-544-4922.

Should You Leave Your AC on During a Thunderstorm?

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When thunderstorms creep into the forecast, the air is often hot and humid – the prime setting for keeping cool in your air conditioning. However as much as you may want to sit back and relax in the AC, keeping your unit running during a storm could be dangerous. Consider these reasons:

With thunder, comes lighting. Lightening is possible whenever you hear thunder. In fact, bolts can strike 10 miles or more from their point of generation and while a strike is rare, they are certainly possible. One strike to your electric could cause 5 billion joules of energy to surge through your wiring – toasting your AC unit.

Surge protectors don’t ward off a lightening strike. These devices are used for protecting appliances against power spikes, not the surge of a lightening strike. Even if your unit is plugged into a surge protector, if lightening hits your electric damage could still be done.

The damage done. While air conditioners are electrically insulated for safety, a strike to your electric could melt the plug and damage the electrical circuits in your unit’s control panel. If you have a central cooling system with an outdoor compressor, lightening could knock out the controls to your entire system if it hits while the unit is running. Repair will be a major one.

Whether you have a central air system or a window unit, air conditioners normally aren’t vulnerable to rain. In fact, running your system while raining can be beneficial as the evaporative coils inside the home draw moisture from the air and lower the humidity, which can make the space more comfortable on warm days.

If you have additional questions about your home’s air conditioning system, contact the heating and air experts here at Patterson Plumbing & Heating. We’re the Pueblo, Colorado area heating and air conditioning specialists, offering upfront pricing and clean and courteous technicians. Call and make an appointment that’s convenient for you today! 719-544-4922.

#WellnessWednesday – Is Your AC Making You Sick?

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Imaging working in a building or living in a home with no methods to keep cool in the peak of summer heat? Doesn’t sound too appealing. As much as we rely on our air conditioners, truth be told they may not always be the best for our health, and here’s why:

1. Breathing Problems
If your AC is not cleaned properly and the filters are not changed regularly it can easily create an environment for all sorts of mold and bacteria.Once this bacteria and microorganisms go airborne, they can lead to a variety of breathing problems and potentially fatal infectious pneumonia. To avoid this, make sure you clean your units regularly and change out your filters every few months.

2. Fatigue, Headaches & Feeling Ill
Many individuals find that after a day at work, they are more tired than normal, have headaches, or generally feel ill. Often times office buildings with central air are set at a cooler temperature – which doesn’t always agree with the body. Try raising the temperature slightly and make an effort to step outside a few times throughout the day to regulate your body temperature.

3.Contamination
Since central air conditioning circulates old air instead of bringing in new, fresh air you are more likely to be exposed to pollutants inside your home. Mold, dust and other airborne infections now have the opportunity to circulate through your living space, exposing any individuals that come in its path. Try letting in a slow “leak” from the outside – open up a window a crack to get in some fresh air.

4. Dry Skin
Cold and dry air can cause your skin to lose its moisture. Thus the longer you stay in an air conditioned environment, your skin (and hair) may face the consequences. A quick fix for this? Get a great moisturizer and apply daily!

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.

A Homebuyers’ Plumbing Checklist

If you’re looking into purchasing a new home, you also know about the importance of home inspections. With such a big investment on the horizon, the last thing you want is to discover issues with your new home – and its plumbing system too late. Some plumbing problems may be obvious, while others not so much. Home inspectors are trained to check different parts of a home for any hazards or violations, but how much do you know? See below for a plumbing checklist of things to keep in mind and questions to ask the seller during your search:

Infographic via Angie's List

Infographic via Angie’s List

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we want to ensure our new homeowners are prepared. If you have any questions about your home’s plumbing system – our expert technicians are here to help. We offer complete plumbing, water heater, drain and sewer services for Pueblo, Colorado area home owners. Call us today to schedule an appointment: 719-544-4922.

Conserving Water at Home

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Water is by far the most valuable resource on our planet but there isn’t an abundant supply. Even though 70 percent of the Earth is covered by water, less than 1 percent can be used for human use.

Considering the recent water shortages in California and evidence of rivers and lakes evaporating, we may be in for a rude awakening should our supply continue to dry up. Now while we can’t control the climate or environment, the least we CAN do is work on conservation efforts ourselves. Take a look at the below to help play your part:

Don’t leave the tap running
It’s easy to just leave the water running while doing things like brushing our teeth or even washing the dishes – but this can easily waste two gallons of water per minute!

Cut the shower time down
Maybe its you or maybe it’s a friend or family member, regardless we all know someone infamous for taking those painfully long showers. With a five minute shower taking 15 to 25 gallons of water – how much is wasted when we extend out shower times to contemplate life? If you can’t bear the thought of giving up your typical shower routine, install a low-flow shower head to save two gallons per minute!

Use one cup and stick to it
Noticing piles of cups in your sink? Are they from filling glasses of water? Instead of grabbing a new cup each time, keep one by the sink that you can easily reach for when you want a glass of H2O. This way you help cut down on dish-washing time. OR, buy a water bottle to refill daily.

Don’t rush that flush
By far the largest percentage of indoor water use occurs in the bathroom – with 41 percent used for flushing. The saying is, “If it’s yellow keep it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down.” Consider that motto next time!

Call your plumber
Get that leaky faucet fixed! Even the slightest leak can waste gallons over the course of the year. If you notice any leaky fixtures in your home, be sure to give us a call!

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, our plumbing and drain cleaning experts are prepared to repair any problem you may have. Our technicians provide the highest level of service and technical excellence: 719-544-4922. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates and industry news.

Design Ideas for Your Bathroom Makeover

From unique tubs to brightly colored walls, bathroom design has certainly evolved throughout the years. If you’re thinking of giving your master bath a makeover, take a look at some of these refreshing design ideas:
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Organic Accents – With all the ceramic and porcelain surfaces found around the bathroom, adding some natural textures can make the space a bit more personal. Consider a woven basket, wooden decor, or fringed towels.

Black & White Combo – The black and white combo has been gaining popularity. For a chic look, choose white subway tile floors and charcoal gray paint on the walls. Bump this up a notch with patterned hand towels.

Quote Wall – With stencils or letter decals, put some of your favorite quotes on display – right on your wall! If selecting decals, stick with the vinyl type as they hold up better in humidity,

Statement Tile – Make a big impact with a graphic tile back splash. Choose from store options or even choose to create a hand-painted design. Or instead of tiny floor tiles, consider using shapely tiles with a bit more heft.

Unique Mirror – Sometimes, the only thing you need to do to give your bathroom a fresh look is updating the mirror. Swap out your medicine cabinet for an over-sized statement mirror.

Deciding on how to update your bathroom can be a difficult task, especially if you’re torn between what designs you’re looking for. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our bathroom remodeling division, Re-Bath, and let us guide you towards your dream en suite!

July Home Maintenance

How ready is your home for summer? We’ve spoken at length about the importance of AC tune-up and maintenance, but what about the other aspects of your home? Check out the below fast fixes to keep up your home during summer stress:

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Clean up your landscape: If shrubs or trees are in need of trimming, now’s the best time as they’ve already established their new spring growth. Additionally weed smarter – remember hand-pulling is easier after rain fall thanks to softened soil. Finally, ensure your outdoor sprinkler system is up to par!

Know your storm plan: Severe summer weather has lead to power outages and worse – damages to homes and belongings. With weather as unpredictable as ours, it’s important to know the location of your gas and water shutoff valves as well as knowing how to turn off the electricity in the case of an emergency.

Clean your bathroom fans: Give your fan a good, quick cleaning! First, disconnect the power at the circuit breaker. Then with a damp cloth, wipe down the blades and cover.

Tackle sidewalk mildew: Has your walkway seen better days? Clean away mildew by first spraying an outdoor mildew remover on the concrete before scrubbing away. Hose the area generously before and after to ensure you protect surrounding plants.

If you find yourself in need of plumbing, air conditioning, or home remodeling services this summer – call your trusted Pueblo, CO technicians at Patterson Plumbing & Heating. Patterson Plumbing & Heating provides the highest level of service and technical excellence. Give us a call today:  719-544-4922 or fill out our contact us form on the web.

Tips for Reducing Your Utility Bills This Summer

Colorful clothes on a laundry line and sun shining

It’s not uncommon to see unusually higher energy bills during the summer months. After all, your air conditioning is working to keep your home comfortable, kids and guests can be in and out of the house, and extended vacations can have your home working on overdrive when not needed! Since your wallet shouldn’t have to feel such heavy summer time woes, see below for some tips for reducing your utility bills this season:

Unplug – Be sure to not only turn off devices but unplug them as well! Many still use energy even when in the off position. Don’t want to be bothered unplugging? Opt for a Smart Strip which will automatically cut power when devices don’t need it.

Keep doors and vents shut – Keep doors and vents closed to rooms that are not in use. No need to waste energy cooling off a guest room with no guests!

Turn off lights – Similar to our previous tip, keep lights off in rooms not in use. You may also want to make an effort to keeps light off during the day and instead rely on natural light to brighten the home.

Add insulation – Perhaps not too much can get through a crack in the wall, but one important thing that can is air. Your home can easily lose cool air (or warm air in the winter) by drifting outside through these spaces. Fill these gaps with insulation to reduce energy costs!

Take advantage of vacation settings – Whether its for your water heater or thermostat, if you know you’ll be away from the house for extended time adjust their settings to vacation mode. This way they aren’t working as hard to cool or heat your home.

Hang laundry outdoors – Bypass the dryer and let your clothing air-dry outside! Dryers can be a huge energy zap, so give them a break when not absolutely needed.

Call for AC maintenance – The air conditioning experts here at Patterson Plumbing will help make sure your unit is operating as efficiently as possible. Also make sure you have been changing your air filter, a dirty filter can easily restrict air flow!

If you’re looking for a new air conditioning system or have questions about your current one – we’re the Pueblo, Colorado area heating and air conditioning specialists. At Patterson Plumbing & Heathing, we offer upfront pricing and clean and courteous technicians. Call and make an appointment that’s convenient for you today! 719-544-4922.