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winterize home tips

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.

Fall Maintenance Tips: Winterizing Your Home

When the seasons change, we not only have to prepare ourselves for the weather but our homes as well. Get a head start on winterizing your home, well before the harsher temps roll in:

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Clean Your Gutters- When leaves are falling, the last place you think to clean them out of are your gutters. But over time, leaves and other debris can easily clog up your gutters which can prevent them from draining properly.

Check Heating Systems- This is the furthest thing from your mind in the summer, but come winter a malfunctioning heating system isn’t ideal. Make sure you are prepared for the colder temps to come and have your system inspected by a professional.

Drain Outdoor Faucets/Hoses- Any water left in outdoor faucets or hoses can expand when frozen, causing a pipe to burst. Be sure to drain water and store away garden hoses inside.

Seal Leaks- Drafty windows or doors can waste 5 – 30 percent of your home’s energy. Check around your home and add or replace any run down weather stripping to prevent cold air from coming into the house (and likewise, warm air from leaving!).

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.

New Year, New Resolutions – Tips for Saving Money

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It’s a tradition each New Year’s Eve to plan out a resolution or two for the year ahead. Most plan to exercise regularly, volunteer more, or finally cross an item off their bucket list. Many also pledge to save more money.

To help you get a jumpstart on your New Year’s resolutions, we have some tips to help you save money quickly, easily, and right in your own home – by reducing your energy costs this winter:

Adjust the thermostat – By simply turning down your thermostat 10 – 15 degrees for eight hours, you can save about 10% per year on your heating bills. You can do this overnight – just opt for flannel sheets, thicker comforters, and warmer PJs, or if you are away for long periods of time during the day at work/travel.

Only heat the rooms you use – Have a spare guest room or office space that has instead turned into a storage area? Close and seal off the vents in those rooms to be more energy efficient and instead direct the flow of air to the rooms you use most.

Turn it off! Keeping lights and appliances off when not in use is one of the best habits you can develop. Unplug your computer, TV, toaster oven, microwave and any other appliances to protect them from power surges. According to the Consumer Energy Center, many appliances can use power even if they are turned off.

Eliminate drafts – Drafts can waste 5%-30% of your energy according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Draft guards are great for drafty doors and for a quick fix, weather-stripping can fill gaps and minimize air infiltration. Also, be sure to keep the damper closed on your fireplace when not in use to eliminate drafts through the chimney.

Get efficient – If you know you are in the market for upgrading your appliances and fixtures – go the energy efficient route. Refrigerators, ovens, washers and dryers as well as toilets, shower heads and faucets all have  energy efficient options available.

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..

The Guide to Winter Maintenance

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Tis the season for gathering with friends and family near a warm fire. But this is also prime time for Mother Nature to wreak havoc on our homes and even our health. Follow the below winter maintenance checklist, courtesy of Angie’s List, to protect your most valuable assets this season:

HVAC System –

Call for an inspection: Lack of proper HVAC maintenance is one of the number one reasons for “no heat” calls. Not only does calling for an inspection help ensure everything is in good working condition, but it can also detect potential health hazards (ie: carbon monoxide leak).

Change Dirty Filters: Switching to clean filters helps your system operate more efficiently and thus reduces your energy costs. More importantly, a cleaner filter means improved indoor air quality!

Check Ductwork: Make sure all ductwork is sealed at joints and intersections to prevent heated air from leaking. Your warm air may be seeping out into the attic or crawl space – where it’s not needed. Or, the cold outside air can be drawn in instead. Either way, this increases your heating costs and reduces your indoor comfort.

Plumbing

Insultate Exposed Pipes: Pipes located in unheated areas are the most likely to freeze, while pipes that have been frozen in the past are more susceptible, now, to damage. Adding heat tape to these pipes prior to insulating can offer an extra layer of protection. Be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions.

Keep Cabinet Doors Open: If you have small children, remove anything that could be hazardous. Otherwise, open cabinet doors below the kitchen and bathroom sinks to help warm air circulate around those pipes.

Locate Your Shut Off Valve: If you have a winter retreat planned that will be taking you away from the home, shut off the water at the main shut-off valve to prevent any emergencies while you’re away!

For more information on prepping your home this season, download Angie’s List’s full guide here »

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

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..

Preparing Your Lawn for Winter

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As far as our trees, plants, and grass are concerned – winter is the off-season of the landscaping game plan. But with the below tips, you can prepare your lawn now for greener grass later:

  • Aerate while your lawn is still green! Fall aeration breaks up the dry, compacted soil and allows for nutrients and water to reach the roots.
  • Keep it green! Aeration and over-seeding helps to fill bare spots to provide a thick, green lawn. And, if you choose to fertilize in the fall, you’ll have a better chance at killing perennial weeds more effectively than spraying in the warmer months.
  • Fall and winter watering – Usually, the driest months in Colorado are November – February. As long as temperatures are above freezing, plan to water your shrubs and trees every 3-4 weeks.
  • Winterize your sprinkler system – Disconnect all garden hoses and flush out any stagnant water in the lines. Choosing to winterize your outdoor system now before the real cold hits can prevent costly repairs in your home down the line.

For more landscape prep tips, please visit Angie’s List »

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, 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. If you have questions or concerns when winterizing your home or lawn, go ahead and give us a call 719-544-4922!

Fall Plumbing Tips

Man cleaning the roof in autumn

Prevent pipes and water lines from freezing – winterize your home before it’s too late! There are a number of preventive maintenance steps you can take around your home in order to avoid any serious problems as temperatures begin to drop.

Take care of these maintenance steps today, so you can relax and snuggle up near the fireplace later.

  1. Be sure to disconnect all garden hoses and flush out any stagnant water in the lines.
  2. Turn off all exterior faucets and check for leaks or dripping.
  3. Clear your gutters of leaves and sticks. Clogged gutters will cause drainage problems and lead to overflow.
  4. Have your septic tank pumped to keep the system running smoothly through the winter.
  5. Ensure that your pipes are properly insulated to prevent freezing and cracking.
  6. Close and turn off any valves leading to the exterior of your home.
  7. Seal any leaks or cracks around doors and windows.
  8. Test your water heater to make sure it is working properly before freezing temps arrive.
  9. If leaving your home for an extended period of time, leave the heat on a low setting to prevent pipes from freezing.
  10. Give us a call if you have any additional questions!

Patterson Plumbing & Heating provides the highest level of service and technical excellence. Broken plumbing, heating or air conditioning can make life uncomfortable and unpleasant – give us a call to make these problems go away FAST!