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winter tips for the home

Easy Home Prep for Winter and the Holiday Season

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We may be fairing well weather wise thus far, but soon enough winter’s cold temperatures will arrive. Prep your home for winter and the holiday season, try your hand at the following easy projects:

  • Maintain walkways – With the lack of daylight hours and the influx of guests, having a safe passage to your door is critical. Clear away any obstructions and install some lighting along your walkways. Now is also a great time to check and fill any cracks in your sidewalks or driveway to avoid water damage. Water can easily seep into these cracks in the colder months and freeze, expanding the cracks even more.
  • Prep your landscape – There’s still time to ensure your turf is in good condition before heading into the winter months. Applying a fertilizer with a high phosphorus formula now will encourage root growth so that your lawn can green quicker in the spring. This also helps it become more resistant to disease and drought.
  • Install outdoor lights – Pathways aren’t the only thing that need to be lit. Walking around outside your home in dark, snowy and icy terrain can be an accident waiting to happen. Install motion sensor floodlights in areas where you could benefit from some extra illumination.
  • Weatherstrip your doors – Over time, your door’s weather seals can wear out or tear – resulting in outside cold air free roam inside your home (or inside heat to leave). Easy enough for you, you can fix this in an afternoon. Learn how here »
  • Maintain your washer and dryer – Replace old rubber hoses from your washing machine and remove all lint from your dryer. Excess lint not only prevents your machine from drying clothes but it can be a serious fire risk. Disconnect the exhaust pipe and remove any lint you find, making sure the outdoor tube vent is free of obstructions. You’ll also want to clean out your lint filter after each wash.

Patterson Plumbing & Heating is a full service company prepared to handle your winterization needs. Give one of our expert technicians a call today: 719-554-4922 to diagnose the plumbing or heating problem, make recommendations and prepare pricing by the job – not the hour – so there are no surprises.

How to Prevent Fires at Home This Winter

Patterson Plumbing & Heating

In winter months, our heating, lighting, and cooking tends to increase dramatically, and with them – the risk of home fires. According to the United States Fire Association, more than 900 people die in winter home fires each year, causing over $2 billion in property loss.

What many people may not realize is that home fires can easily be prevented with just a few, simple precautions:

  • Address frozen pipes correctly — Water pipes at home can freeze if your home gets cold enough. You may be tempted to melt such pipes by flame, not realizing the danger of this tactic. The pipe may conduct enough heat to ignite the wall structure inside the space and spread throughout your home. Instead, try using hot water or a laboratory-tested handheld dryer if you suspect frozen pipes. These easy alternatives can save both lives and money!
  • Use caution when lighting your fireplace — Fireplaces create a cozy aura and look beautiful in a home, but they must be treated with care. Shy away from using flammable liquids to fire up a flame. Also, be sure to install a screen to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out of the fire and onto materials that could cause a hazard to your home.
  • Inspect Smoke Alarms — It may slip your mind, but it’s important to periodically inspect your smoke alarms year-round. These devices can signal fires early on and alert you before spreading throughout your home. Double-check that you have at least one properly functioning alarm on each level of your home.
  • Have the furnace inspected — If you haven’t had your furnace inspected yet, now is the time. It’s best to let professionals handle all the complexities of this machine, so give us a call! During your annual furnace checkup, your Patterson Plumbing technician can identify issues that may seem harmless, but are actually quite dangerous. Your furnace is designed to emit exhaust out of a flute of chimney. If a component isn’t working properly, deadly carbon monoxide could poison your home’s air.

Finally, while not recommended, we know that some of you may still be using portable heaters to heat your home. While they are convenient for you, they are also the MOST dangerous. If you must use a space heater, be sure to keep them far away from flammable materials and turn them off when leaving the room or house. These machines may be small, but they are one of the leading causes of winter home fires.

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we’re available for all of your home’s 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.

photo credit: Fire at Cultra Inn via photopin (license)

Winterizing Your Home

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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..

Save Money On Your Heating Bill This Season!

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We know how much Colorado weather fluctuates. While now, information on saving on your heating bill may seem irrelevant – once the winter chill officially sets in having this in your back pocket is sure to help you prepare for the fall/winter season.

Keep the below tips in mind when looking to save on your heating and energy bills:

Turn Down The Thermostat: Did you know you can save about 3% on your heating bill for every degree that you set back your thermostat? When you leave the house, turn your thermostat down and turn it back up a bit when you return home. There’s no need to heat the house while nobody’s in it!

Insulate: Make sure your home is properly insulated. Insulating is an affordable way to retain heat in your home. You can save as much as 20-30% on your heating bills by insulating your attic and basement.

Lower Your Hot Water Heater: We understand there is nothing better than taking a hot, steamy shower in the middle of winter to thaw out. However, keeping your water heater set to a high temperature is burning money faster than you can imagine. Sacrifice a few degrees for tremendous savings!

Turn On Your Ceiling Fan: Hot air rises! Turning your ceiling fan on in reverse can actually circulate warm air around your home.

Start A Fire: If you have a wood-burning fireplace in your home, start a fire! This is an inexpensive way to heat your home without turning up the thermostat.

Open Blinds and Curtains: Opening your blinds and curtains during the day will allow natural heat from the sun to enter through your windows. Close them at night to retain the warmth.

Our plumbers, drain cleaning techs and home heating and air conditioning professionals can repair any problem with your home’s plumbing, furnace, boiler or air conditioning. To learn more about what we can do for you, dial (719) 554-4922 today!

Plus, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @PatPlumbingInc to keep up-to-date with Patterson Plumbing.