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Monthly Archives: June 2016

6 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

NewPolen filter

Did you know that the air in your home can be up to ten times more polluted than the air outside? Household air pollution can have a variety of side effects ranging from allergic reactions to lung cancer, so it is important to keep your contaminant levels in check.

Here are six things you can do to improve the indoor air quality in your home:

Invest in a HEPA air filter.

If you want to clean up the air in your home, purchasing an air filter is a good place to start. Don’t buy just any filter though – HEPA products are tested and proven to remove at least 99.97% of the particles in the air.

Ditch the commercial cleaning products.

You may think those store-bought products are cleaning your home, but they are actually just filling it with harmful chemicals. Natural ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and salt do just as good of a job for half of the price and no negative health effects.

Implement a strict no-shoes policy.

Wearing shoes around the house doesn’t just track in dirt, it also tracks in pollen, pesticides, and all other sorts of pollutants. Place welcome mats outside of all your entrances and make family and guests take off their shoes at the door.

Add more plants around the home.

Houseplants aren’t just for looks; NASA actually determined that they can help improve your air quality. Certain plants – such as aloe vera, english ivy, and peace lilies – can remove harmful particles from the air and act as a natural filter!

Keep the moisture to a minimum.

Excess moisture almost always leads to mold growth, which can not only make you sick, but also compromise the structural integrity of your home. Keep your moisture levels in check by using a dehumidifier in problem areas and running your exhaust fan for 15 minutes after a hot shower.

Have your air ducts cleaned every 3-5 years.

Over time, the air ducts in your home accumulate allergens such as dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold. Once these particles are in your ducts, they can use them as a transportation system to spread throughout your entire home.

Professional equipment is necessary to adequately clean air ducts, so it is a job best left to the experts. Residents of Pueblo County, Colorado can depend on Patterson Plumbing for a professional duct cleaning at an affordable price. Contact us online or give us a call at (719) 544-4922 to schedule your appointment today.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Air Conditioner this Summer

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We rely on our air conditioners to keep us cool all summer long, but are you getting the most out of yours? Follow these tips from Patterson Plumbing to beat the heat this summer by maximizing the cooling power of your air conditioner.

Seal any air leaks around the home.

Air leaks around your windows and doors could be costing you tons of money by allowing cold air to escape your home. Sealing these up is a simple DIY project that only requires weatherstripping or a caulking gun.

Use ceiling fans to make a room feel cooler.

Ceiling fans can be used to supplement your HVAC system year-round. Set the blades to rotate counterclockwise during the summer months; this forces air back down into the room, creating a windchill effect.

Control your humidity levels.

Humidity can make your home feel much warmer than it actually is. If you feel warm and sticky, you might not need to reach for the thermostat. Instead, try setting up a portable dehumidifier.

Have your A/C tuned up by a professional.

During a tune up, a professional technician will clean, lubricate, and inspect the various components of your cooling system. This helps keep your energy bills lower, prevents breakdowns, and maximizes cooling capacity.

Trust the home cooling experts at Patterson Plumbing to keep you cool all summer long. We offer a variety of HVAC services to Pueblo County, Colorado including A/C installation, repairs, tune ups, air duct cleaning, whole-home dehumidifiers, and more. Contact us online to schedule your service, or give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

8 Ways to Conserve Water This Summer

Drop Of Water

When it comes to conserving water, even the smallest of changes can make a big impact. Take a leaky faucet for example. Even if it drips just once per second, it can wind up wasting more than 3,000 gallons of water over the course of a year.

If you are looking for ways to reduce your water consumption, here are eight things you can try:

 

1. Water your lawn in the morning or early evening.

Water evaporates faster during the middle of the day, when the sun is at its strongest. Watering your lawn during the morning or early evening ensures more moisture actually stays in the soil.

2. Cover your pool when it’s not being used.

Evaporation can affect your pool, too. Minimize water loss by covering it up when it is not being used.

3. Utilize your dishwasher.

Washing your dishes by hand can use up to 25 gallons of water or more. An Energy Star dishwasher, on the other hand, only uses three. Just make sure your dishwasher is full before you run it for maximum efficiency.

4. Don’t wash your car at home.

Washing your car by hand requires a lot of time, effort, and water. Going to the car wash doesn’t just save you time and energy, it also requires less than half the amount of water.

5. Invest in a rainwater harvesting system.

Every time it rains, you are missing a great opportunity to collect free water for your lawn. Installing a rainwater harvesting system can be done for under $100 and can eliminate your landscape irrigation costs.

6. Reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower.

Now that the warm weather is here, you don’t need to take those long, hot showers. Shortening your showers by just two minutes can save nearly 2,000 gallons of water per person every year.

7. Take advantage of your greywater.

Greywater is a name given to non-toilet waste water (ex: from your shower, sink, washing machine etc.). While it looks dirty and unsafe, it is actually a perfectly good source of water for your landscaping.

8. Fix any leaks in your plumbing system.

A dripping faucet, leaking pipe, or running toilet seems like no big deal, but these things can waste thousands of gallons of water if they aren’t fixed.

Looking for more ways to save water? Check out this list of 190 ideas from Water: Use it Wisely.

If you have any leaks in your home, Patterson Plumbing can fix them. If you live in Pueblo County, Colorado, trust us for all of your plumbing, heating, and cooling needs. Contact us online to schedule your service, or give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

6 Germ Hotspots in Your Bathroom

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We all know that the bathroom is one of the most bacteria-ridden areas in the home, but these six spots in particular are extra germy.

Your toothbrush.

Toothbrushes are damp and placed in your mouth twice per day, making them a perfect bacteria breeding ground. Replace yours every 2-3 months to stay as sanitary as possible. Take it a step further by storing your toothbrush in anti-bacterial mouthwash between uses.

The bathtub.

It turns out the place you clean yourself isn’t so clean after all. Despite the amount of soap that comes in contact with your tub on a daily basis, it is still one of the dirtiest surfaces in your bathroom. According to WebMD, a recent study found staph bacteria in more than 25% of the tubs they tested.

Shower curtains.

Shower curtains are known to collect mold, especially when they are left open in between showers. Stretching out the curtain from end to end helps it dry off faster and can ward off mildew growth.

Body sponges.

Not only does bacteria from your body cling to your loofah, its constant dampness makes it a hotspot for mildew. Keep clean by replacing yours every 2-4 weeks.

Floor mats.

Mats outside of the tub save our floors from getting wet, but they can get moldy if you don’t hang them up to dry in between showers. Make sure to wash yours weekly to keep it fresh – rubber mats can be cleaned in the dishwasher; cloth ones can be thrown in the washing machine.

Toilet bowl.

The toilet bowl seems like an obvious answer here, but its effects are probably worse than you think. Flushing a toilet with the lid up can send fecal matter flying throughout your bathroom; covering your walls, floor, and even your toothbrush.

Patterson Plumbing is Pueblo County’s most-trusted plumbing service. Some of our specialties include drain cleaning, plumbing repairs, hot water heater installations, sewer line replacement, home heating and cooling solutions, and more. If you live in Pueblo, Colorado or the surrounding area, contact us online to schedule a service, or give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

How Humidity Affects Your Home

Condensation on glass window with water drops

Humidity can make a hot summer day feel 10 degrees warmer, but that’s not the only way it can impact our lives. In fact, humidity can affect our homes just as much as it affects our bodies.

Humidity is a measure of the level of moisture present in the air – too much or too little of it can have damaging affects. Here are a few ways to tell that the humidity levels in your home are too high.

  • Mold Spots. Water invites mold to grow. Long-term humidity problems can eventually lead to mold growth, so keep your eyes out for spots on your walls and ceilings.

  • Window Condensation. When warm, humid air comes in contact with your cold windows, condensation occurs. This does not happen to the same extent with warm, dry air.

  • Warping wood. Too much moisture in the air can cause the wood in your home to warp, crack, and rot. This includes wood framing, furniture, and flooring.

  • Sticky situation. Does it feel uncomfortably sticky in your home? Sometimes, this is the only sign you need to take action and lower your humidity levels.

So, what can you do if you spot these signs around your home? There are two basic ways to fix high humidity problems:

  • Portable humidifiers: These can be purchased at your local pharmacy for under $50, and are good for problem areas such as the basement or attic.

  • Whole-home humidifiers: These connect directly to your HVAC system and can control humidity levels throughout your entire home, rather than being limited to just one room.

Do you suffer from high humidity in your Colorado home? Trust the experts at Patterson Plumbing to keep you comfortable all year long. We offer a variety of humidity control solutions to homes and businesses in Pueblo County. Contact us online for more information, or give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Cooling Bill This Summer

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Summer may not officially be here for another week, but the warm temperatures outside would have you thinking otherwise. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to keep cool this season – just follow these tips from Patterson Plumbing.

Invest in a programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat lets you preset your desired temperature for different times and days. This allows you to come home to a cool house after work without running your air conditioner all day.

Improve your insulation.

More insulation = less air escaping from your home. A well-insulated house prevents the loss of cold and warm air, helping you save money all year long on heating and cooling bills.

Turn up the temperature.

You don’t need to sacrifice your comfort to save money. You will barely notice the difference in turning your thermostat up two degrees – a move that could potentially trim your energy bill by 10%.

Keep kitchen cooking to a minimum.

Cooking with the stove or oven generates a lot of heat, which can easily raise the temperature of your kitchen and adjacent rooms. Use the microwave, toaster oven, and outdoor grill as much as possible during the summer months to prevent this from occurring in your home.

Schedule a professional tune up for your cooling system.

Experts recommend having your air conditioner tuned up before the start of every summer. Not only will a tune up keep your cooling system running efficiently, it can save you money in the long-run by preventing costly breakdowns and repairs.

If you live in Pueblo County, Colorado, trust the home cooling experts at Patterson Plumbing to help you beat the heat this summer. We offer a variety of air conditioning services including installation, repair, and maintenance. Contact us online or give us a call at (719) 544-4922 to schedule your appointment with one of our licensed technicians.

4 Common Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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The kitchen is the heart of the home, which is why it is one of the most popular rooms for homeowners to renovate. Turn the kitchen of your dreams into a reality by avoiding these common remodeling mistakes.

Mistake #1: Things that open into other things.

Two drawers that collide into each other, a cabinet door that opens into a wall, a refrigerator that swings the wrong way – all things you don’t want in your kitchen.

Solution: Measure once, measure twice, and measure again. Imagine every cabinet, drawer, and appliance were opened at the same time. Is there anything that might come in contact?

Mistake #2: Forgetting your workflow.

Your new kitchen should be just as functional as it is beautiful. While it’s important for your new space to look good, it is also important that it helps improve your workflow – or, at the very least, doesn’t make it any worse.

Solution: When planning the layout of your new kitchen, consider the “golden triangle” – your refrigerator, stove, and sink. These are the three busiest areas of the kitchen and should all be easily accessible.

Mistake #3: Not designing the kitchen around your appliances.

Your appliances are the focal points of your kitchen, and the least flexible to work around. You can easily design cabinetry to fit around your wall stove or built-in microwave, but it’s much harder to find appliances if you are tightly constrained by size.

Solution: Select which appliances you want first, then work on building the rest of your kitchen around them.

Mistake #4: Choosing an inadequate contractor to complete the job.

Chances are we all know someone with a kitchen remodeling horror story. Whether the contractor took longer than expected, performed shoddy work, or left town with the deposit check, trying to save a few dollars by hiring cheap will only cost you more in the end.

Solution: Pick a reputable contractor with a BBB-accreditation, list of references, and a history of performing good work.

For more kitchen remodeling mistakes to avoid, check out this article from Martha Stewart.

Planning a kitchen remodel for your Colorado home? Trust 5-Day Kitchens of Pueblo to get the job done right! As Patterson Plumbing’s trusted kitchen remodeling division, we will make sure that your remodel goes as quickly and smoothly as possible. If you live in Pueblo County or the surrounding area, give us a call at (719) 404-4242.

Preventative Maintenance Tips for Your Home’s Plumbing System

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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to your plumbing system. Use these tips from Patterson Plumbing to keep the drains and pipes in your home running like new.

Sinks

  • Don’t pour grease down your drains. Grease and cooking oils solidify as they go down the drain, causing clogs and backups.

  • Prevent over-tightening sink handles. Tightening valves is not a test of strength – sometimes turning that wrench too tight can cause leaks, rather than preventing them.

Toilet

  • Think before you flush. Your toilet isn’t a wastebasket, don’t use it like one. The only household item that can safely be flushed down the drain is toilet paper.

  • Test your toilet for leaks. Put a couple drops of red food dye in your toilet’s tank and let it sit for a few hours. If any red appears in the bowl, you have a leak on your hands.

Bathtub

  • Clean your shower head with vinegar. Water pressure can be affected when your shower head is clogged with sediment. Clean it every few months by filling a sandwich bag with vinegar, tying it around your shower head, and letting it sit overnight.

  • Use drain screens. Mesh drain screens can be purchased for as little as $2 and do wonders in preventing clogs.

Everything Else

  • Avoid using drain cleaner. Take care of clogs using a plunger, plumbing snake, or homemade baking soda solution. Commercial drain cleaners are harmful to your health, as well as the health of your pipes.

  • Routinely inspect supply hoses. Washing machine and ice maker hoses should be periodically checked. If you notice a small leak or tear, replace it immediately before it completely bursts.

Looking for more preventative maintenance tips for your plumbing system? Check out this article from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.

Unfortunately, despite our best intentions, problems can still occur. If you run into any issues with your home plumbing system, the experts at Patterson Plumbing area just a phone call away. We offer professional plumbing services to homes and businesses in Pueblo County, Colorado. If you live in the Pueblo area and are in need of a professional plumber, contact us online or call us at (719) 544-4922.