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Monthly Archives: April 2016

10 Ways to Save Money On Your Cooling Bill This Summer

When it comes to your cooling bill, saving money doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your comfort. Use these tips from the heating and cooling experts at Patterson Plumbing to save energy without adjusting the thermostat:

  1. Upgrade your cooling system. If your cooling system is more than 10 years old, you should consider having it replaced. Newer models are much more energy efficient and could save you money in the long run.

  1. Reverse your ceiling fans. Set the blades on your ceiling fan to rotate counterclockwise; this forces air down into the room and creates a windchill effect.

  1. Seal air leaks around the home. Sealing up air leaks around your windows and doors helps prevent cold air from escaping.

  1. Install energy-efficient windows. Energy efficient windows are coated in a special film that helps prevent air loss.

  1. Avoid cooking on your stove or oven. These can quickly heat up your home. Use a microwave, toaster oven, or cook outside on the grill instead.

  1. Invest in a programmable thermostat. You can set your cooling system to automatically use less energy when it isn’t needed, such as when your house is empty.

  1. Supplement with dehumidifiers. Humidity can make a home feel warmer than it really is.

  1. Add shade around your home. Use curtains, install awnings, or plant trees to shade your home.

  1. Clean your air ducts. If you have a central air system, your air ducts could be clogged with dust, dirt, and other pollutants that are hindering your energy efficiency.

  1. Have your air conditioner tuned up. A tune up will help improve your energy efficiency and prevent future breakdowns.

Looking for even more ways to save? Check out this list of tips from the Department of Energy!

If you live in Pueblo County, Colorado, let Patterson help you beat the heat this summer! We offer a wide variety of cooling services including A/C installations, repairs, tune ups, and air duct cleaning. Visit our website for more information, or give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

The Dangers of Drain Cleaners

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If you’ve got a clog in your toilet, sink, or shower, you might be tempted to reach for a bottle of Drano. While this is a quick and effortless way to clear the clog, it is not necessarily a good choice. In fact, Drano even admits that you shouldn’t use their standard product on your toilet.

The experts at Patterson Plumbing know a thing or two about getting rid of clogs – they only have been doing it for more than 30 years. Here are a few reasons why they say you should avoid using these chemical drain cleaners:

  • They are harmful for your health. Drain cleaners emit harmful fumes that are dangerous to inhale. These chemicals can stick around long after the product has been washed down the drain. Coming in contact with the cleaner can also cause severe burns to your skin.

  • They are harmful for your drains. The main ingredient in these cleaners is hydrochloric acid, a chemical that deteriorates pipes. Plastic pipes can be affected right away, and metal piping can corrode long-term if you use these cleaners frequently.

  • They are harmful for the environment. Drain cleaner doesn’t magically disappear after it is flushed through your pipes, and can have damaging effects on aquatic wildlife.

So, what should you use to clear your drains?

Using a plunger or a plumbing snake is usually an effective way to remove a clog without damaging your plumbing system, but you can also make your own homemade drain cleaner using baking soda and vinegar. Here’s how:

  1. Flush the drain by pouring boiling water down it.

  2. Dump in ½ cup baking soda. Allow to sit for five minutes.

  3. Combine 1 cup vinegar with 1 cup hot water. Pour it down the drain.

  4. Your drain should fizzle up. Allow the chemicals to react for a few minutes, then flush again with hot water.

If you’ve got a clogged drain that you can’t seem to clear up, the professionals at Patterson Plumbing are here to help. If you live in Pueblo County, Colorado, count on us for all of your plumbing needs! Contact us online, or give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

Things to Consider When Shopping for an A/C

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With temperatures rising across the country, homeowners everywhere are starting to think about their home cooling systems. If you are in need of a new air conditioner, you should start the buying process now before it gets too hot. Don’t go unprepared – read this list of factors you should consider when shopping for a new air conditioner.

Window unit or central air

The biggest consideration you will have to make when shopping for a new air conditioner is whether you want to purchase a window unit or a central air system. Window units are obviously cheaper, but you will need to put one of them in every room to keep cool. On the other hand, central air installations cost a pretty penny, but can cool your entire home and most units also double as an air filter and dehumidifier.

Cooling capacity

Air conditioners are sized according to BTUs, which determine how quickly and effectively the unit can cool an area. BTU ratings can range anywhere from 5,000 to over 20,000 – it is important to find the one properly sized for your room (for a window unit) or home (for central air). Factors that impact required BTUs include square footage, ceiling height, insulation, climate, and more.

Energy-efficiency

The energy efficiency rating of your air conditioner will determine how much you have to pay every month for the rest of its lifespan. Energy Star models may cost a little more upfront, but they can quickly pay for themselves with the energy savings they provide.

Extended warranties

Air conditioners are not cheap, make sure your investment is protected in the form of a warranty. Many manufacturers and retailers offer extended warranties for an extra charge; it may be worth considering so that you aren’t on your own if your unit breaks down prematurely.

If you live in Pueblo, Colorado, trust Patterson Heating & Cooling this summer for all of your air conditioning needs. We offer cooling system installations, repairs, and tune ups to the entire Pueblo County area. Contact us online or call (719) 544-4922 to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed technicians.

How to Relieve Your Spring Allergies Without Medication

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Many people look forward to spring due to the warm temperatures and blooming flowers, but for those of us who suffer from allergies, this season is a nightmare. Fortunately, relief is available, and it doesn’t have to come from a pharmacy. Use these five tips to minimize your allergy symptoms this spring.

Limit your exposure to pollen.

Pollen is the most common trigger for people with seasonal allergies. Pay attention to your city’s pollen count in the morning, and avoid going outside during peak hours. Use the air conditioner in your house and car to prevent pollen from entering through open windows.

Dust and vacuum regularly.

Your carpeting could be harboring all kinds of allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and animal dander. Dust your house and vacuum your carpets regularly, and implement a strict “no shoes” policy for your family and guests.

Wear sunglasses outside.

Sunglasses aren’t just for looking cool – they can actually provide allergy relief, too. Sporting a pair of shades can block pollen from coming in contact with your eyes, which reduces itchiness and irritation in both your eyes and nose.

Change your air filters.

Your cooling system has an air filter designed to trap airborne particles before they can enter your home. In order for the filter to work, it needs to be periodically cleaned or replaced. Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions specific to your unit.

Clean your air ducts.

The air ducts in your home could be harboring all types of pollutants such as dust, mold, pollen, and chemicals from cigarette smoke. Even worse, these particles can use your ductwork as a transportation system to spread throughout your entire home.

Looking for more ways to beat your allergies? Check out this article from Reader’s Digest.

If you live in Pueblo County, Colorado, don’t trust anyone but Patterson for all of your air quality needs. Our air conditioning tune ups and duct cleaning services are sure to provide you with instant allergy relief. Contact us online or call (719) 544-4922 today to schedule your appointment.

How the Air in Your Home is Making You Sick

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Many of us think of our homes as a sanctuary – a safe haven from germs and air pollution. Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Read below to discover how the air in your home could actually be making you sick.

What is indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution is just what it sounds like. While most people think of smoggy cities when they hear the word “pollution”, the fact is that the air in our homes and offices is polluted too. In fact, the EPA states that indoor air is often 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside.

What are the health effects of indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution is nothing to sneeze at – no pun intended. Exposure to indoor air pollution has many negative impacts on your health, both in the short and long term. Short term effects include allergic-like reactions such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, headaches, and dizziness.

Long term effects are much more severe. The World Health Organization has linked indoor air pollution to serious diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

What causes indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution can come from many sources, including everyday items we think are completely safe. Some household products known to emit harmful toxins include: carpeting and furniture; paint; cleaning products; candles; heating equipment such as stoves and furnaces; and most ironically, air fresheners.

What can I do to improve the air quality in my home?

There are many steps you can take to promote better air quality in your home. Start by changing the air filters on your HVAC system every month. Switching to homemade cleaning products, such as vinegar and baking soda, and regularly mopping and vacuuming your floors are good habits as well. Always use paints and strippers labeled as “low VOC”, and keep your windows open when the weather permits to promote better air flow.

Another little-known place that pollutants are known to hide is inside of your air ducts. Allergens such as animal dander, dust, mold, and pollen can all be found here in high quantities. Your air ducts act as a transportation system for these particles, circulating them throughout your entire home. For this reason, experts recommend cleaning your air ducts every 3-5 years.

Proper air duct cleaning requires specialized knowledge and equipment, so it is best to leave this job to a professional service. Homeowners in Pueblo County, Colorado can count on Patterson for a thorough duct cleaning at a reasonable rate. Contact us online to schedule your service or give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

Remodeling Your Bathroom? Here’s A Tip to Keep in Mind

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A lot can go wrong when remodeling your home. One small mishap during the design or installation process can turn the bathroom of your dreams into one from your nightmares. Everyone has different preferences and tastes, but this one piece of bathroom remodeling advice is sure to agree with everyone’s style.

So, what’s the tip?

If you want a visually appealing bathroom, don’t put the toilet directly in front of the door. Whatever is in front of the door generally becomes the focal point of your bathroom. When you open the door, it is the first thing you see. When you leave the door open, it is what your family and guests have to look at every time they walk by the bathroom.

And let’s face it – the toilet isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing fixture to look at. So, what can you do to hide your toilet? Here’s a few ways to keep it out of sight:

  • The room inside the room. If your bathroom and budget are big enough, you can create a separate room inside of your bathroom for your toilet. Not only does this keep the toilet out of sight, but two people can use the bathroom in privacy at the same time!

  • Build a half-wall. We don’t all have the space or money to divide our bathrooms, and we don’t need to. Building a half wall or a nib wall can easily get the job done for a fraction of the price.

  • Divert with art. When all else fails, draw the eye away from your toilet with an extravagant piece of art.

Looking for more ways to hide your toilet? This ideabook from Houzz offers plenty of solutions.

Thinking about remodeling your bathroom? Make sure you hire a good contractor! Residents of Pueblo County, Colorado can count on Patterson for all of their bathroom remodeling needs. That’s right – your family’s favorite plumber also has a bath remodeling division! Contact Re-Bath of Pueblo online or give us a call at (719) 404-4242.

Spring Cleaning Your Medicine Cabinet

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It’s time for some spring cleaning! While its likely that you have already cleaned up your toilet and shower, you could be forgetting a very important item on your bathroom checklist: your medicine cabinet.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to make sure that your medicine cabinet is spick and span for the spring season, and all of your old medication is properly disposed of:

Step 1: Sort out expired medications and products

Go through your entire medicine cabinet item by item and put aside any medications which have expired. Taking medication after its expiration date is bad for you and can make you very sick.

Step 2: Test your devices

If you have any medical instruments – such as thermometers, blood pressure meters, or blood sugar monitors – make sure they are all working properly. There is no reason for a broken device to be taking up precious space in your medicine cabinet.

Step 3: Clean your cabinet hardware

Take advantage of your medicine cabinet being empty by taking the time to wipe off all of the shelves and mirrors.

Step 4: Safely dispose of your old medication

Don’t simply throw away your medicine. Kids or pets could get their hands (or paws) on it, and people have been known to scavenge through trash cans in search of pills. Instead, take them to a medicine recycling center in your area – you can find one here.

If there is no recycling center near you, combine your medicine with an undesirable substance (such as coffee grounds, dirt, or kitty litter) in a sealed plastic bag before throwing it away.

Step 5: Replenish your stock

Replace any essentials that you had to throw away. Some medical products that all homes should have include acetaminophen (or ibuprofen), adhesive bandages, allergy medicine, antiseptic, and stomach medication.

When cleaning out your medicine cabinet, you should also take the time to tidy up your sink, toilet, and shower. If you notice an issue with any of these fixtures, the experts at Patterson Plumbing are here to help! If you live in the Pueblo, Colorado area and are in need of any plumbing services, don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at (719) 544-4922.

Bathroom Cleaning Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

Rubber-gloved hand scrubbing bathroom tile with a sponge

Let’s face it, nobody likes cleaning the bathroom. It’s dirty, it’s gross, and it’s not a quick job. Most of us put it off until it can’t be put off any further, which ultimately makes it even worse. These bathroom cleaning hacks will help cut down on your cleaning time and make the job that much more tolerable.

  • For the grout… spray with Resolve carpet cleaner. Let sit for 5 minutes and scrub with a toothbrush.

  • For the shower head… fill a plastic bag with distilled vinegar and tie it around the shower head using an elastic band. Let soak for two hours.

  • For clogged drains… flush the drain with boiling hot water. Dump in ½ cup of baking soda and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Pour a 50/50 mix of vinegar and hot water down the drain, and let it fizz up. Let it sit for a minute or two, and flush one more time with hot water.

  • For your faucets… rub shaving cream on all of your chrome fixtures and wipe with a damp cloth for a sparkling finish.

  • For the toilet bowl… drop in two tabs of Alka Seltzer and allow to fizz for 15 minutes before scrubbing with your toilet brush.

  • For the shower door…wipe it with a dryer sheet. It should easily cut through soap scum. Rinse with soap and water afterward.

  • For the mirrors… use a glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Paper towels cause streaks and leave behind lint.

Patterson Plumbing is Colorado’s number one choice for plumbing repairs, installations, and services. With more than 40 years of experience serving Pueblo County, you can trust our experts to get the job done right. If you live in Pueblo or the surrounding area, contact us online or call (719) 544-4922.