Time for a Checkup: Preventive Maintenance for Your Plumbing, Heating and Cooling

You know the saying: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, a quick look at your plumbing and HVAC system today can keep the professionals at bay. Your body is a machine, and so is your plumbing, heating, and cooling. Simple, regular checkups can prevent small issues from turning into major repairs — and headaches. Here are 5 tips to keep your pipes and HVAC system running smoothly all year long. Fix leaky pipes and faucets. A leaky pipe is one of the most common examples of a small problem that can turn into a big issue very quickly. By design, the water in our plumbing systems is under constant pressure. This pressure is what allows us to turn a faucet on and off, easily starting and stopping water flow. A leaky pipe could mean that something is about to burst. Repair leaky pipes right away to avoid a plumbing disaster. Locate and test your main water supply line and main water cut-off valve. At one point or another, you’ll probably need to shut off water to your home through the main supply line. If a pipe bursts and water starts gushing out, you can avoid turning your bathroom into a lake — and incurring costly flood damage — if you know how to shut off the main supply line. If you are unsure where this is or how it operates, ask your plumber to help you find it and show you how it works. Locate and test supply valves for sinks, showers and tubs, sprinkler systems, toilets, and large appliances. As an extra precaution, know where supply valves are located throughout your home so you can cut off water to specific appliances and systems quickly in case of emergency. Note that secondary shut-offs can fail; if that happens, you’ll need to shut off the water from the main line. Be sure to locate your supply valves and test them to make sure they are working properly. If you find a faulty valve, be sure to have it repaired in the event you need to quickly shut off the water. Change your HVAC’s air filter. Having a clean filter isn’t just good for your HVAC system, it’s also good for your health. Cleaning the filter regularly will improve air flow and reduce allergens in your home. As a rule of thumb, replace your HVAC filter at least...

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Holy Hail! Be Sure to Check Your HVAC for Damages After a Storm

The Denver Metro area was hit with a brutal hail storm earlier this month, and damage to homes, vehicles and businesses was widespread and severe. You may be busy making repairs to shattered car windshields, broken windows, and torn up roofs but have you checked your HVAC unit for damage? If your area was hit hard by the hail, there’s a good chance that your unit was damaged. Making repairs now will save you energy costs and will help ensure your unit remains operable for years to come. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to check your HVAC unit after a storm. HVAC units are particularly vulnerable because they are outside and are generally not covered. Hail of any size can damage a unit. Even though HVAC units typically include a protective grille or metal covering to protect the unit from falling debris, hail can still puncture this protective shield and wreak havoc on your unit. One of the most common repairs needed to an HVAC unit after a hail storm is to straighten its metal fins. Fins are flexible and can easily get smashed or bent. If this happens, air can’t flow to the coil and will cause the unit to run for longer periods with reduced cooling. This can lead to higher energy bills and a reduced lifespan of your unit. Mr. Green Plumbing’s HVAC experts are here to help! Our technicians can usually repair damaged metal fins by combing and straightening them with a special tool. In some instances, (i.e. if the fan was damaged during the storm) the unit may need to be replaced. Call us today and enjoy $55 off your service...

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Why it’s time to Start Thinking About AC Install and Repair for Summer

It may not look like it now with the cold snap we just had, but summer is coming, and so is the heat. While we may have our heaters on now, when the warm weather comes, we’ll be ready for the snow to come back. That is of course only for those of us who aren’t getting ready to install or repair our Air Conditioners before it gets too warm out. In a previous entry, we discussed how to do a few basic repairs to our own air conditioning systems that are already in place, but if you’re thinking about buying new and getting started, you’ll be glad to know that the price of a central air conditioning has been on the decline for the last few years now. There are also several other options to keep you cool this summer: Through the Wall Air Conditioners Through the wall ACs are exactly what they sound like – AC units that fit through the wall. Much like window ACs, they are single units that exhaust heat and humidity from the room outside. The unit brings in fresh air from outside and cools it through coils, which releases cool air into the room. These units are generally designed to cool a single room but can be sufficient cooling for a condo, townhome, or individual apartments. However, in order to use these units, you have to cut a hole into your wall and insert a heavy sleeve that is sturdy enough to support the unit. These are great for rooms with a single window or no windows, especially for people who don’t want to lose the use of their windows. Make sure you measure your walls accurately and take account of any wall studs and the thickness of the walls. Using these measurements will help you choose a unit that fits. Window Air Conditioners Just like through the wall air conditioners, window ACs work the same, but they fit in a window instead of a wall, which makes it much easier on homeowners and for people who rent. These ACs don’t require much for installation and normally you can do it yourself. These are awesome and energy efficient if you’re cooling one or two rooms or a small apartment. Most of them are also quiet, although they can be louder than other ACs because everything happens in one unit. They can also...

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Earth Day Starts at Home: 7 Tips to Conserve Water and Energy

Earth Day is April 22 and it’s a great time to make some energy adjustments to your home. Every little bit you do helps keep our planet healthy, and as an added bonus will cut down your energy costs. Pick one tip to start with, or go big and try all seven! Roughly half of the average home’s energy costs are spent on heating and cooling. One way to reduce your air conditioning costs is through regular maintenance of your HVAC unit. Call in a pro every 2 to 3 years to inspect your unit and keep it running at peak efficiency. Another way to reduce energy costs on your heating and cooling is by using a programmable thermostat. Be sure to adjust the schedule to turn off your A/C when you are not at home. Also, consider using a ceiling fan along with your air conditioning. This will allow you to set the thermostat to a higher temperature without you feeling the difference since the fan will circulate the cool air more efficiently. Landscaping is an area that often gets overlooked by homeowners looking to improve home energy efficiency. Place trees, shrubs or vines strategically to create effective shade in the summer, maximize the warming effects of the sun in the winter or act as a windbreak. A well-planned landscape can save up to 25% of the energy used by a typical household. Heating the water you use in your home can account for up to 25% of the energy consumed in your home. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to around 120°F to save energy. Or consider switching to a tankless water heater, which is more energy efficient than traditional storage versions. In our technical age, we have many household appliances, media devices, and computers. These devices use energy when they are plugged in–even when they are not in use. An easy way to save money is to unplug your idle electronics. (Bonus tip: power strips make it easy to kill power with the flip of a switch). Did you know that about 10% of your home energy costs are spent on lighting? Save up to 75% of that energy by switching all of your lights to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). CFL bulbs last longer, which means you save even more money on fewer replacements. Even a slow-dripping faucet can waste 20 gallons of water per day;...

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The 3 Most Common Springtime Plumbing Issues in Denver

Springtime is the worst season for plumbing problems just about everywhere, but because of the crazy weather patterns, Springtime plumbing issues in Denver are especially tricky. Plumbing problems can spring up all year long, but the trend has been that the nastiest problems will rear their ugly heads in during April and May. In Colorado, April is usually our wettest month. It isn’t uncommon for us to see a snowstorm during the night and watching all the ice and snow thaw the next day. The warm sun and the thaws can make it so the plumbing issues we may not have seen in the winter finally make their appearance. Luckily, most of the problems that come along with springtime plumbing are simple fixes, so you won’t have to call a plumber. These are the 3 most common springtime plumbing issues and how to fix them before they start to do serious damage and cost you money! Gutter Trouble Springtime is the biggest time for clogs in drains, gutters and more due to all the new budding leaves on the trees or the debris from the previous fall. This leaf debris can fall unto your gutters and cause clogs as the winter progresses with all the freezes and the thaws. When the rains come in April after a winter full of clogged gutters, you’ve got yourself a castle moat all around your house. Standing water can be dangerous for the structural integrity of your home. You don’t want a lake, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your home’s gutters so that you can avoid these clogs and the water build up that happens as a result of the clog. Wearing rubber shoes with good traction, you can easily stand on a ladder or on your roof to clean out your gutters. Make sure that you’re being very careful, as so many accidents are caused on ladders in the home and the hospital visit will definitely cost you. If you’re cleaning gutters near a power line, make sure you use a plastic ladder, and not a metal one to prevent electric shocks. You can use a hose, gutter scoop, or a gutter cleaning tool that acts similar to a snake for a clogged toilet. Using these tools will help you to clear the debris from your gutters and prevent clogs. Make sure that the downspouts on your...

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Under Pressure: Why It’s Important to Fix Your Water Pressure

Does your faucet trickle to a low stream when your dishwasher is running? Or does water burst out of your faucet at an excessive rate? Faulty water pressure can be annoying, but it is usually a sign of a more serious underlying problem – which could be causing havoc on your plumbing system. Avoid a plumbing disaster and check your water pressure today. Is Your Water Pressure Too High? High water pressure (80 psi or greater) not only wastes water, but it also puts strain on your plumbing system. Over time this strain will cause your pipes to spring leaks and fixtures and fittings to break. You may have high water pressure if your faucet flow comes out in too forceful a blast or if you notice a consistent thumping sound when you turn your faucets on or off. Leaky faucets may also be a sign of high water pressure. A common way to fix high water pressure is to have your plumber install a pressure regulator on your main water line. This device helps regulate the pressure from the public water main and reduces it to be compatible with household plumbing and fixtures. It also prevents pressure surges from entering the home plumbing system from the public main line. Is Your Water Pressure Too Low? While low water pressure might just seem like an inconvenience, it can actually be a sign of a serious problem. Low pressure could be caused by a clogged pipe, such as mineral buildup. Or worse, you might have a leaky or damaged pipe, which could be causing slow but considerable damage to your home. To determine if you have low pressure, pick up a water pressure gauge from your hardware store. Be sure to call your plumber if the reading is below 30 psi. If you suspect your pressure is too high or too low, Mr. Green Plumbing is here to help. Our experts can test your water pressure, diagnose why it is too high or low, and make any needed repairs to your plumbing system to keep your water flowing within an optimal pressure...

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