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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Air Duct Cleaning FAQs

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There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding air duct cleaning, including why it is beneficial and whether or not it is a necessity for homeowners. As Pueblo, Colorado’s leading HVAC professionals, the experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about air duct cleaning.

What is air duct cleaning?

Air duct cleaning is just what it sounds like – cleaning the air ducts in your home. Generally, a large rotary brush is used to loosen the buildup of debris inside your air ducts, and a truck-mounted vacuum is used to remove it.

Why do I need to have the air ducts in my home cleaned?

Having your air ducts cleaned offers a variety of benefits for homeowners. As dust and debris accumulate on the inside of your ducts, your HVAC system can’t efficiently heat or cool your home. A duct cleaning can improve your energy-efficiency and extend the lifespan of your HVAC equipment, in addition to improving the overall quality of your household air.

What kind of contaminants are commonly found in air ducts?

Air ducts can accumulate all kinds of contaminants, which can use the ductwork at a transportation system to spread throughout the entire home. These pollutants can trigger allergic-like reactions such as coughing and sneezing, and can even cause respiratory infections. Some of these contaminants include:

  • Dust

  • Mold

  • Animal Dander

  • Cigarette Smoke

  • Rodent Droppings

How often should I have my air ducts cleaned?

Most experts recommend having the air ducts in your home cleaned every 3-5 years. This should be even more frequent if you smoke in the home, have pets, or have recently completed a remodeling project.

How can I find a qualified duct cleaning service in my area?

One of the reasons there is so much skepticism surrounding the air duct cleaning industry is because there are several “blow and go” companies posing as legitimate businesses. These companies offer unreasonably low rates, but actually do little-to-no real work. Make sure a company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau before trusting them to clean your air ducts.

If you are looking for a reputable air duct cleaning company in the Pueblo area, then look no further than Patterson Plumbing and Heating. We have offered a variety of HVAC solutions to Colorado for more than 30 years, including heating and cooling repair, installation, and maintenance services. Contact us online or call (719) 544-4922 for more information.

10 Fun Facts About Plumbing

FUN PLUMBING FACTS

At Patterson Plumbing and Heating, we are experts in all things plumbing related. Over the past 30+ years we have seen it all, and picked up a lot of information along the way. This ranges big things like how to repipe an entire home, to trivial facts such as the first American hotel to have indoor plumbing. Check out some of these these fun plumbing facts – we bet you didn’t already know most of them.

  1. The word “plumbing” comes from the word plumbum, which is Latin for lead. This is also why lead is abbreviated as Pb on the periodic table.

  2. The Tremont Hotel in Boston became the country’s first hotel to incorporate indoor plumbing in 1829.

  3. Since 1963, there has been enough copper piping installed in American homes to wrap around the Earth 200 times – about 5.3 million miles worth.

  4. The first patent for a flushing toilet was issued in 1775 to a man named Alexander Cummings. However, he was not the first man to invent the flushing a toilet. A man named John Harrington did this in 1596, which is why we sometimes refer to the bathroom as “the John”.

  5. Think a leaky faucet is no big deal? Think again. A faucet that drips just once per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year.

  6. The toilet is flushed more times during the Super Bowl halftime than any other time during the year.

  7. 75% of people prefer to position the toilet paper with the flap in the front (overhand) as opposed to in the back (underhand).

  8. Albert Einstein said if he could do it all again, he would be a plumber.

  9. Manhole covers are circular so that they can’t fall through the hole when turned sideways.

  10. Mario and Luigi were both plumbers.

Patterson Plumbing and Heating provides a variety of home services to the Pueblo, Colorado area including heating solutions, plumbing repairs, air conditioning, water treatment, and more. If you are in need of any of these services, contact us online or give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

5 Questions To Ask Yourself When Remodeling Your Bathroom

Female hands framing custom bathroom design.

Whether you are looking to improve your home’s resale value, or you just want to freshen things up a bit, a bathroom remodel might be just what you need. Remodeling a bathroom can feel like overwhelming at times, but the key is to take it step by step.

Make sure to ask yourself the following questions during the modeling process to ensure you get a final result that you are pleased with.

1). What is my total budget for this project?

In order to avoid dreaming too big, the first thing you should do is identify your budget. With all of the glamorous bathroom designs available online, it is easy to quickly shop yourself out of your price range.

2). How do I use my bathroom?

What is your daily routine like, and how does your current bathroom hinder your efficiency? Asking yourself these questions will help you improve not just the appearance of your new bathroom, but the functionality as well.

3). Am I content with my current layout?

Do you want to replace your sink, shower, and toilet with newer fixtures, or do you want to move them around as well? This is one of the biggest considerations you will have to make, because rearranging these fixtures will require you to alter your plumbing, which can add a lot to your total bill.

4). Can I see myself living with this for the next ten years?

The internet is full of Pinterest boards and bathroom idea books, so it can be easy to fall in love with a design at first sight. Try not to be impulsive; take a step back and ask if you can see yourself living with it for the next decade. A good way to judge this is by looking at it every few days for a month or two. If you still love it after a few months, chances are good you will still love it years down the road.

5). Which contractor can I trust to get the job done right?

This is probably the single biggest choice that you will have to make when remodeling your bathroom. You have the image of your perfect bathroom in mind, now who can you trust to turn that dream into a reality?

If you live in Pueblo, Colorado or the surrounding area and are considering remodeling your bathroom, look no further than Patterson Plumbing. Our bathroom remodeling division, Re-Bath of Pueblo, is guaranteed to get the job done quickly, correctly, and at an affordable price. Call us today at (719) 404-4242 to get started.

5 Ways to Lower Your Home Heating Bill

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Cold winter weather goes hand-in-hand with warm sweaters, hot cocoa, and high energy bills. If you are looking to stay cozy this season without breaking the bank, these five tips can help you cut your energy bills without sacrificing comfort.

Change furnace air filters.

Changing the air filters on your furnace every month is not only a good way to cut back on heating costs, it can prevent future breakdowns too. In fact, some experts estimate that the vast majority of all furnace problems are caused by dirty air filters.

Improve your insulation.

If the insulation in your home isn’t up to par, your comfort and wallet could suffer as a result. Make sure you have adequate insulation in your walls, attic, and basement. Adding storm doors and windows can help reduce home heat loss too.

Invest in a programmable thermostat.

Programmable thermostats cost a little bit of money up front, but they pay for themselves rather quickly with the energy savings they provide. Instead of running your furnace all day every day, have it turn off when everyone is at work and school. Then, have it kick on an hour before you get home, so you still arrive to a warm house.

Open and close your curtains accordingly.

The sun is a source of free heat, use it to your advantage! Open up your curtains during the daytime, allowing the sun to naturally help warm your house. Just make sure to close them once the sun sets, otherwise you will lose a lot of heat through your windows.

Have your heating equipment tuned up.

A professional tune up can help your heating system use less energy and prevent future breakdowns. In fact, many heating equipment manufacturers will void their warranty if annual service is not performed by a licensed professional.

Patterson Plumbing & Heating provides a variety of home heating solutions to residents of Colorado. Some of our heating services include furnace installation, repairs, tune ups, air duct cleaning, and more. If you live in Pueblo, Colorado, call us today at (719) 544-4922.

Do’s & Don’ts of Drain Maintenance

The pipes and drains in our homes are usually an afterthought for most people – until there is a problem. Dealing with a clogged drain or a burst pipe is much more difficult than preventing them in the first place, so keep this advice in mind to keep your plumbing system in tip top shape.

DO this to properly maintain your home’s drains.

  • Use a drain guard. They can catch food, hair, and other debris that could clog your pipes.

  • Flush your drains with warm water every month to help clear debris. Use a stop to fill your sinks to the edge, then let them drain fully. The pressure created by this volume of water can dislodge debris deep down in your pipes.

  • Keep your home’s heat on at least 60° at all times during the winter – even while you are away on vacation.

DON’T put these things down the drain — doing so is asking for trouble.

  • Oil, grease, and fat. These can all solidify in your pipes and cause clogs.

  • Flushable wipes, cigarette butts, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, etc. Your toilet isn’t a garbage can, don’t treat it like one. Only flush down waste and toilet paper – even “flushable” wipes should be thrown away.

  • Hair. Hair from your head, face, body, pets, dolls, it doesn’t matter. Keep it out of your drains.

  • Commercial drain cleaners. They release harmful toxins into the air and damage your pipes more than they clean them. Use a homemade combination of baking soda and vinegar instead.

Despite your best efforts, the occasional plumbing problem is inevitable. If you run into a clogged drain, burst pipe, or any other issue, contact the experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating. We provide fast, friendly service to Pueblo, Colorado and the surrounding area. Get in touch with us online or by calling (719) 544-4922.

Get The Facts About Indoor Air Pollution

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When you think of “air pollution”, you probably picture an overpopulated city clouded with smog. But did you know that the same type of pollution is happening inside of your own home, right now?

It’s true. In fact, the air in most of our homes is worse than even the dirtiest of cities – up to five times worse. It’s not getting the national attention that it deserves, but indoor air pollution can have some serious side effects on your health.

Just take a look at some of these facts and figures:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency listed indoor air pollution as one of their top five environmental risks to public health.
  • 96% of homes tested in North America had at least one problem with air quality.
  • Whether in the office, at school, shopping, or at home, we spend about 90% of our time indoors.
  • Common sources of harmful chemicals include cleaning products, pesticides, paints, candles, and ironically – air fresheners.
  • Indoor air pollution is linked to health conditions such as COPD, pneumonia, heart disease, and lung cancer.
  • The World Health Organization states that more than 4 MILLION people prematurely die every year from symptoms associated with indoor air pollution.
  • Biological pollutants such as pet dander, mold, dust mites, and pollen all promote poor indoor air quality.

One of the most surprising places in your home that many of these contaminants hide is inside of your HVAC ducts. If you haven’t had the air ducts in your home cleaned within the past five years (or ever), they could be contributing to your indoor air pollution.

Patterson Plumbing & Heating offers professional duct cleaning services to Pueblo, Colorado and the surrounding area. Contact us online or call (719) 544-4922 today.

How To Fix A Clogged Sink

A clogged sink drain is nowhere near as common as a clogged toilet, but it is still a problem that many homeowners will encounter. Whether it be hair in the bathroom or grease in the kitchen, not everything you pour down your sink makes its way to the sewers.

Don’t worry, though. More times than not, a sink can be unclogged without the help of a professional plumber. Try some of the following methods to unclog your sink:

Bent Coat Hanger

Take a wire coat hanger and straighten it the best you can. Make a small hook on one end and go fishing – you might be able to pull up a surprising amount of hair. Remember, your main goal is to fish up the clog, not push it further down.

Plunger

Fill the sink with about 3-4 inches of water to ensure the plunger seals around the sink hole. Hold a wet rag tightly around the other drain if you are dealing with a double sink. Then, roll the head of the plunger into the water (you want to force water down the drain, not air) and begin pumping vigorously.

Homemade Drain Cleaner

Do not use a commercial drain cleaner, such as Draino. These contain harmful chemicals that can deteriorate your pipes. Instead, make a homemade solution that is completely safe using one part baking soda and one part vinegar. Let the solution sit in your drain for an hour or two, then flush with hot water.

Snake

The snake is a very handy plumbing tool that can clear up nearly any clog in the home. If first three options were unsuccessful, the snake is usually a good bet to get the job done. This video shows you exactly what to do.

If you’ve run through all of these options and your sink is still clogged, call the experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating. We have been Pueblo’s leading plumber for over 20 years! If you live in Colorado, contact Patterson Plumbing online, or call (719) 544-4922.

What You Need To Know About Water Softening

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Is the tap water in your home cloudy, distasteful, or downright dirty? You could be dealing with something known as “hard water”.

Don’t worry – there are ways to purify your home’s water to make it cleaner, clearer, and better tasting. This process is called water softening; here is what you need to know about it.

What is hard water?

Water is said to be “hard” when it contains dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Hard water is generally no threat to our health, but it can harm our home’s plumbing system and appliances. The minerals in hard water can accumulate to clog pipes, reduce water flow, and hinder energy-efficiency.

How do I know if I have hard water?

Be on the lookout for the following signs around the home, which could indicate that you have hard water:

  • Bad-tasting water

  • Cloudy or rusty-looking water

  • Water spots on freshly-washed dishes, glasses, and cutlery

  • Film or residue on shower faucets, curtains, or doors

  • Soap does not work as effectively on your skin, clothes, or dishes

  • Your hot water bill has skyrocketed

What is water softening and what are the benefits?

Water softening is a technique used to remove minerals from hard water. It works by using a process called ion exchange. Just like magnets, the minerals in water contain a charge. Two opposite charges attract each other, and two similar charges repel. The water softener is charged in order to attract the minerals in the tap water, removing them before they ever make it to the faucet.

Some benefits of water softening include:

  • Clean water that tastes good

  • No more soap spots on your dishes

  • Softer skin and smoother hair

  • Improved performance of plumbing system, as well as appliances such as washing machine and dishwasher

  • Reduced water heating bill

Many homes in Pueblo, Colorado and the surrounding area suffer from hard water. As an authorized retailer and installer of Kinetico water softening products, the experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating can solve your hard water problems once and for all. Call us at (719) 544-4922 to schedule a free in-home water quality analysis.