Stop Allergy Hot Spots In Their Tracks

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Did you know that certain areas of your house could be hiding thousands of allergy offenders? You may not even realize that you become more irritated as you walk past specific things, or finding yourself rubbing your eyes, sneezing or coughing. Well, we’re going to let you in on a few allergy hot spots and tell you how you can keep them under control.

The Front Door
Think about how many times the front door opens and closes each day. That alone is enough to let billions of grains of allergens inside. Pair that with people tracking them in on their shoes, clothing and hair and it’s not wonder why the front door area is a hot spot. We recommend wet mopping hardwood floors (just be sure not to use too much water) and lay doormats both inside and outside of the house.

The Bedrooms

Dust mites can make your allergy symptoms worse and they tend to stick around all year long. They thrive in beds by living off of dead skin cells and moisture produced by body heat. Be sure to wash your sheets regularly and don’t make the bed as soon as you wake up so that moisture can evaporate rather than be trapped inside.

The Bathrooms

Here, mold and mildew take the prize. Damp areas serve as breeding grounds and the tub, shower and sink make the perfect home. Remember to turn on the exhaust fan before you bathe and leave it on for at least 15 minutes after you leave the room.

At Uptown, we take indoor air quality very seriously - especially during peak allergy months. Give us a call at 651-315-7995 to find out how we can help!

DIY Fixes For a Runny Toilet

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A running toilet can not only be irritating but wasteful. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to fix. With minimal parts, your issue could quickly become a problem solved. So before you run out to the supply store, here’s how to know what parts you’ll need to fix your toilet woes:

Check The Refill Tube and Ball Cock. If you notice your toilet is running sporadically, either of these could be the issue. In a properly running fixture, the tube should be above water level, and the ball cock should fill the tank after each flush. If the bowl is not filling up, it’s time to do some replacing.

Inspect the Chain. An improper chain size can interfere with the flapper closing causing your toilet to continuously run.

Rule Out a Faulty Overflow Tube. If the tank water is always draining into your overflow tube, adjust the arm of the float ball or lower float cup.

The Flapper. Responsible for the water flowing into the bowl, it should be properly sealed. Check for mineral deposits and scrub if necessary. If you’re still seeing issues, it might be time to replace it.

Beyond The Tank.  If you are noticing any leaking, it could be a seal problem, and the wax ring might need replacing. If your toilet shifts or moves, it could be the Closet bolts or Closet Flange. You can tighten the nuts at the base, but be sure to avoid over tightening as it can leave you with a cracked bowl.

If you still can’t seem to find what’s causing your toilet to run, reach out to the experts at Uptown. With over 100 years of experience, we’ve been offering the residents of Minneapolis - St. Paul fast service and satisfaction is always guaranteed! Schedule online or Call at 612-284-5789.

What's Lurking In Your Tap Water?

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Notice a funky smell coming from your tap water? Notice that it tastes funny when you go to take a sip? Notice that the water coming from your plumbing fixtures isn’t as clean and clear as it should be? There are lots of things that could be lurking in your H2O and in honor of National Water Safety Month, we’re hoping to educate you!

Aside from the hard water we have here in the Twin Cities - which usually consists of some minerals that don’t pose many serious threats - there could be things in there that are making you sick. You may want to have your water tested for the following:

  1. Chlorine: while it’s most commonly used to disinfect pool water, too much of it your drinking water can cause birth defects and has been associated with breast cancer and cancers of the urinary bladder.

  2. Fluoride: it’s mostly associated with promoting dental health, but it has been known to reduce IQ in children and can trigger the growth of tumors.

  3. Lead: this stuff can be tricky because it’s difficult to detect. Once dissolved in water, it does not cause a change in color and doesn’t have any distinct smell or taste. It is however, extremely toxic and cause severe health problems.

  4. Arsenic: this chemical is a natural byproduct of certain types of rocks. The runoff can contaminate ground water which ultimately ends up coming through your tap. Arsenic can cause a variety of skin problems and has been linked to organ failure.

At Uptown, we offer a wide range of water softening, conditioning and quality improving features to help you enjoy the purest, cleanest water in your Minneapolis - St. Paul home. Give us a call today at 651-315-7995 to find out how we can help!

5 Natural Ways To Rid Your Home Of Indoor Air Pollutants

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We’re going to take an educated guess and say the air inside of your home probably isn’t very clean. What do we mean by that? We mean that there are lots of things you use on a daily basis that are actually giving off toxic chemicals. Luckily, there are lots of quick and easy ways to rid your home of indoor air pollutants and we’re sharing them with you, below:

  1. Increase ventilation - especially while you’re cooking and bathing. Be sure to turn on the kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and leave them on for 10-15 minutes after you’ve completed your task. In addition to using exhaust fans, open up windows on clear days when the allergy count is low.

  2. Stop using certain candles - those made from paraffin wax, that is. If you like to have your home smelling nice, choose candles made from soy or beeswax instead. Paraffin wax releases benzene, toluene and soot into the air which can cause serious health issues.

  3. Get rid of commercial cleaners - and opt for natural cleaning solutions instead. Most cleaners on the shelf at the store contain VOCs. Instead, make your own cleaner using water, vinegar and baking soda.

  4. Avoid using bathroom sprays - instead of using commercial bathroom sprays that contain harmful chemicals, put a few drops of your favorite essential oil inside the toilet paper roll. As you pull, a fresh, natural scent will be released into the air.

  5. Control your home’s humidity - because mold and mildew along with other toxic chemicals tend to prefer dark, damp climates. Humidity levels really shouldn’t be higher than 55% for a healthy environment.

To improve the air quality in your home in Minneapolis - St. Paul, call and speak with the indoor air quality experts at Uptown Air Conditioning today. We’ve been servicing the entire area for over 100 years so you know you can count on us!

Stop Allergens In Their Tracks

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Tired of reaching for the tissues? Can’t live another day with a sore throat? Have trouble seeing because of itchy, watery eyes? Allergy season is in full swing and we know how miserable it can be. With that said, there’s no reason to live it with any longer. There are lots of things you can inside your own home to keep your allergy symptoms at bay.

Dust Often, But With Caution: dusting is a wonderful way to get rid of dust, dirt and debris that could make your symptoms worse, but be careful. It can actually kick these particles into the air if you’re not careful. Use a damp towel or rag and consider wearing a mask while you clean.

Vacuum: in the off-season, you may be able to get away with vacuuming once a week. But now that pollen and other particles are more abundant, you should consider vacuuming at least 2-3 times per week.

Close Windows and Doors: while you may be inclined to open up windows and doors to get some fresh air on nice days, this will only make matters worse as it gives allergens a clear entryway into your home. Utilize ceiling fans and your home’s hvac system to stay comfortable.

Take Advantage of Humidity Control Systems: lots of allergens thrive in humid conditions so it’s important to keep levels under control. A whole-home dehumidification system can severely improve overall indoor air quality.

Use HEPA Filters: in both your vacuum and your hvac system. They’re known for capturing tiny airborne particles and keeping dust and pet dander subdued.

To improve the air quality in your home in Minneapolis - St. Paul, call and speak with the indoor air quality experts at Uptown Air Conditioning today.

Should I have My A/C Repaired or Replaced?

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With warmer weather in the forecast, homeowners all across the Twin Cities will be turning their central air conditioning systems on in the near future. And although they’re never welcomed, problems are inevitable. It’s difficult to tell if you should try to have the issue repaired or if it makes more sense to replace your system entirely, but we’re laying some of the groundwork down below to help you make an educated decision:

Age

Before you start looking around for a repair specialist, consider the age of your current system. Most air conditioning systems only last 10 to 12 years so if yours is approaching this time frame, you can expect additional repairs in the future. The bottom line? If your system is more than 10 years old, it might be worthwhile to have it replaced.

Technology

Do you still have the same cell phone you had 10+ years ago? Technology is changing virtually every day and you better believe most systems on the market now are more advanced than they were a decade ago. By deciding to replace your old system, you’ll be able to experience smart features and increased efficiencies.

Repair Costs

It’s never a bad idea to get a few opinions on the matter before making a decision. If the cost of repairs is less than 50% of the cost of a new system, you may want to go ahead with the repair. If the cost is greater, why not have a brand new system installed?

If you are looking for a new air conditioning system for your Minneapolis - St. Paul area home, then trust the experts with over 100 year proven track record and speak to Uptown Air Conditioning. And even if that’s not the case, our friendly technicians will help you make a decision that is both wise and affordable. Call us today at 651-315-7995.

Our Guarantee

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You wouldn’t purchase something if it wasn’t expected to last, the service was poor or you didn’t know how much it costs before making a decision, right? So then why would you do that when choosing a plumbing, heating and air conditioning company? When you choose Uptown, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll also be getting our Guarantee.

Here are some of the things we include with our commitment to your service satisfaction:

Satisfaction-Guaranteed Service
Enjoy the best in service as well as expert air conditioning and heating solutions with our customer service level commitment that we back with a satisfaction guarantee.

Rapid & Reliable
We can be with you today to provide quality AC and heating solutions quickly, on-time and at a time to suit you.

Comprehensive Cooling and Heating Experts
Expect and receive a first-class level of expertise from Uptown Plumbing, Heating and Cooling. Our skilled technicians receive ongoing training to always provide you with the best advice and workmanship.

Clear Prices in Advance
Stay in control with a per-job price that is provided to you in advance and stays the same through to completion.

On top of that, we are fully licensed and insured and we’ve been trusted in the Twin Cities for over 100 years. Our techs are background checked and drug tested and you better believe they’re neat, tidy and trustworthy.

For an outstanding level of service for your home service requirements in Minneapolis - St. Paul, call and speak with the friendly team at Uptown Plumbing, Heating and Cooling today.

Essential A/C Maintenance Checklist for Homeowners

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You wouldn’t let your car go multiple years without an oil change, right? So why would you let your home’s cooling system go years without maintenance? After all, proper maintenance is essential for efficient operation and a longer lifespan so here’s what you need to do now that warmer weather is making its way into town.

Step 1: Turn off the main power source to your cooling system. There should be an exterior shutoff box near the condenser unit outside and you can turn the power off at the breaker inside.

Step 2: Remove the fan cage and get rid of any debris that may have fallen into the system. We recommend using a garden hose to clean off the fan blades and to get rid of dust and dirt that has collected.

Step 3: Make sure the area around the exterior unit is clean (you’ll want to make sure there is at least 3 feet of open space). Then make sure the unit is level.

Step 4: Head inside and clean or replace the air filter. Keep in mind that most of the air you’ll be breathing in passes through this filter so the cleaner, the better.

For the remainder of the maintenance that needs to be performed on the interior parts of your air conditioning system, it’s best to call in a professional. That’s where we come in!

For the best in service, advice and expert installations for your air conditioning system in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area, call and speak with the air conditioning professionals at Uptown Air Conditioning today.

3 Ways To Unclog A Toilet When A Plunger Is Nowhere To Be Found

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There’s probably no worse feeling than clogging a toilet - that is, unless there isn’t a plunger in sight. Most of us have been there before, we tend to use lots of toilet paper and sometimes the toilet just can’t handle the load. So, is there actually a way to unclog a toilet without a plunger? Find out below.

Method 1: Dish Soap & Warm Water

Chances are you have some dish soap in the kitchen. Contrary to popular belief, you can use dish soap for more things than simply getting your dishes clean. In the event of a clogged toilet, squirt a generous amount into the bowl. Then add a gallon of very warm, but not boiling, water. Wait a few minutes and watch the combination of soap and water break up the toilet paper.

Method 2: Coat Hanger

Have a wire coat hanger in the closet? Unravel it and use it to poke through the clog. Push the obstruction until it frees up and flows down the drain.

Method 3: Baking Soda & Vinegar

Two more common household items come into play with this method. Pour 1 cup of baking soda into the bowl, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. Wait a few minutes and then pour a gallon of warm water in.

Still can’t seem to unclog the toilet after trying all of these methods? It could be something more serious. Call on the plumbing experts at Uptown and we’ll be over right away to get things flowing again.

5 Ways To Make Your Bathroom Smarter This Spring

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Wouldn’t it be nice if you could incorporate some of the features your smart thermostat or smart security system brings to your life in your bathroom, too? Let’s face it, they make things much easier around the house so you can focus on other aspects. Well, the time has come where smart bathroom gadgets have come to fruition and we’ve picked out 5 of the best tech products, below:

 

  1. Shower Power: if you consider yourself Beyonce when it comes to singing in the shower, you’re going to love Kohler’s Shower Speaker. It’s small and sleek but it packs a punch when it comes to sound so your music will sound as clean and crisp as you feel.

  1. Touch-Free Flushing: does the thought of reaching your hands anywhere near the toilet bowl gross you out? Well, with Delta’s FlushIQ toilet, all you need to do is wave your hand past the sensor to activate the flush. And the engineers over at Delta have placed the sensor so that it won’t flush unless you want it to!

  1. Touch-Free Soap Dispenser: save yourself from having to touch a soap dispenser handle after you’ve used the bathroom. The Touchless Foaming Soap Dispenser from Kohler will dispense soap into your hand as you place it underneath the sensor.

  1. Towel Spa: love the sound of warm towels to wrap yourself in after a shower? The Towel Spa gently heats your towels for a spa-like feeling in your very own home.

  1. Digital Shower Controls: want your shower to remember your preferences each time you get in? Although it might make you feel a little bit like James Bond, and LED-illuminated digital interface will help you set the temperature and spray intensity.

For expert bath and shower installations, repairs and maintenance in Minneapolis–St Paul, call and speak with the helpful and friendly team at Uptown Plumbing today.