4 Bathroom Cleaning Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

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How long do you spend cleaning your bathrooms each week? Probably a lot more time than you ever expected, right? Well, whether you’d like to admit it or not, your cleaning method could probably use a new plan and we’ve got a few tricks that will make your life much easier. Let’s get started:

  1. Dirty Mirrors: have water spots or toothpaste particles covering your bathroom mirrors? Use black tea to clean them. Pour room temperature tea into a spray bottle and apply liberally to the mirror. The tannic acid in the tea will help get rid of stubborn water spots.

  2. Cloudy Shower Doors: you probably have a big stack of dryer sheets sitting in the laundry room, right? Well, did you know they work wonders when it comes to cleaning shower doors? They contain ingredients that cut through soap scum with ease and all you need to do is dampen the doors and get wiping!

  3. Rust Rings: metal containers have a tendency to leave rust rings whenever they get wet, but that’s no match for a lemon. The acidity will help get rid of the stains left behind and if you want to prevent your cans from rusting further, coat the bottom ring with clear nail polish.

  4. Dull Faucets: have faucets that are lacking the luster they once had? Believe it or not, toothpaste is great for shining up chrome. Just be sure to use a non-gel type.

For all the plumbing needs in your Minneapolis–St Paul home, Uptown Plumbing will provide you with expert installations, repairs and solutions and provide per-job pricing and satisfaction guaranteed service. Call us today at 612-284-5789 to learn more about our services.

How To Increase The Value Of Your Older Minneapolis Home

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Whether you’re planning on selling this year, or see yourself staying put for a while there’s one surefire way to increase the value of your Minneapolis home. Even if your home is much older than your neighbors, which tends to be the case quite often in the Minneapolis area and space comes at a premium, you can drive up the price drastically by having a ductless mini-split system installed. Hear from one of our customers below about how adding air conditioning increased the value of his home:

 

“One thing that people need to consider when they’re thinking about investing in an air conditioning system, in an older home in Minneapolis.. Is that it’s becoming the norm and the expectation of buyers, that when they’re purchasing a home, the home will have an A/C system.”

It’s one less item on a potential buyer’s checklist and it goes beyond simply enjoying comfort in your own home.

Pair that with the fact that we offer FREE estimates on new air conditioning systems and will help you choose the best new system for your home and you’d be crazy not to consider it!

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

The Perfect Bath For Your Dog

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Are you a pet owner? If you are, you probably realize what can happen when your dog comes back in from playing outside. Do muddy paw prints on the carpet sound familiar? If you’re tired of Fido tracking in dirt, sticks and other things that make your house look well, like the outdoors, it’s time to consider a dedicated bathing area. Find out more about how to plan a dog cleaning station, below:

Pick a Convenient Area
We recommend creating a washing station near the mudroom or the entrance to the front or back of your house. Why? This is a great spot to clean off your pet before they get too deep inside.

Choose a Tub

Mop sinks tend to work best. They’re deep enough to keep water inside but are shallow enough so that your dog can easily get in and get out. We also recommend searching for one that is scratch-resistant and will be able to handle some wear and tear.

Shop For Fixtures

It’s a good idea to put the faucet hardware on the wall, but go with a detachable sprayer. This will make cleaning difficult-to-reach areas a breeze. Just remember to place them high enough on the wall so that they’re out of the way.

Don’t Forget About Storage

You may want to add a shelf for shampoo and conditioner and another one for towels. Both of these will come in handy!

Whether it’s a drain, fixtures or the tub you need installed for your new doggy bath, the expert plumbers at Uptown have you covered! Give us a call today at 651-315-7995 and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook!

Community Gathering Space FAQs

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At Uptown Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, we’re committed to participating in the lives of our community residents and making our neighborhoods the best possible place to live, work and play. For that reason, we’ve created three unique gathering spaces that are free to use and open to all.

We tend to receive lots of questions regarding our community gathering spaces, so we’ve decided to compile a list of a few of the most frequently asked questions. We hope this clears up some confusion:

I CLICK ON “CLICK HERE TO BOOK”, BUT NOTHING IS HAPPENING.
Is the pop up blocker on? It needs to be off.

IT ASKS ME TO INSTALL SILVERLIGHT.
Silverlight is a software plug-in that lets our scheduling system work, you need to use it to make a reservation.

I INSTALLED SILVERLIGHT AND IT’S ASKING ME TO INSTALL AGAIN?
Silverlight and our software work through Internet Explorer and Firefox. It is not compatible booking through Google Chrome or Safari.
Keep in mind – If you are trying to book through a work computer, it may not work. Some companies may block Silverlight because the plug in is used for gaming and video streaming.

I GET THROUGH ALL THE STEPS AND IT STILL WON’T LET ME BOOK.
If you get through log in and go through nearly all the steps except booking, it means the times you want are partially or fully booked by other people or you are trying to book outside of the available booking windows.

CAN I BOOK BY PHONE WITH THE OFFICE? IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY TO BOOK THE SPACE?
No. All bookings must be done through the website to insure no double bookings and that those making the reservations sign off on the liability waiver. Someone at the office may be able to view the schedule, but they cannot book it.

Have additional questions? Feel free to contact the friendly staff at Uptown by calling 651-315-7995.

Find Out Why Your Home Needs A Dehumidification System

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It gets hot in Minneapolis during the summer, plain and simple. And when warm weather strikes, it usually brings high levels of moisture along with it. Not only does high humidity make it more difficult for our bodies to cool down, but it can have negative effects on our homes as well. Find out how a whole-home dehumidification system can keep things under control as we head into the warmer months of the year, below.

What is Humidity?

It’s the measure of the volume of moisture present in the air and it dictates how we perceive temperature. When there’s too much of it, it’s more difficult for our bodies to cool down and can potentially increase the effects of ailments like asthma and other breathing difficulties or headaches.

But there’s more to it than just the effects it has on our bodies. Humidity can peel paint, cause mold to grow and cause floor boards to expand. High humidity also attracts termites, rats and roaches which can all wreak havoc on your home.

Why Consider a Dehumidification Solution?

If your home has damp or musty areas (such as in kitchens and basements) or you've noticed condensation pooling on window sills and walls then you probably have too much humidity in your home. A dehumidification solution will help reduce the levels of humidity and provide greater comfort while allowing you to save money on cooling bills at the same time. Just think, you won’t have to run your air conditioner as frequently if the air inside your home feels dry and more comfortable.

Take control of the humidity levels in your Minneapolis - St. Paul home, and call and speak with the home comfort experts at Uptown Air Conditioning today.

How To Properly Shut Down Your Home's Heating System

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If you haven’t stopped using your heat yet, you’ll likely only need it for a few more weeks. Spring has officially sprung and warmer temperatures will be making their way into the Twin Cities in no time. With that said, it’s important to shut down your home’s heating system the right way so there are no surprises when you need it again next fall.

 

  1. The first thing you’ll want to do is turn off the pilot light. Unless you manually turn it off, the pilot light remains lit all the time and if it’s not fueling another appliance, you don’t need to be wasting money by leaving it on around the clock.

  2. Change over from the “heat” setting to the “cool” setting on the thermostat. If you have a programmable or smart thermostat, take this time to input your new temperature settings so that you’re comfortable all spring and summer long.

  3. Clean or replace the filter now and it’ll be one less thing you need to remember when we transition from summer to fall.

  4. Clean up the area around your furnace. Keep in mind there should be at least 3 feet of space around the unit and it’s a good idea to vacuum up dust and debris that may have collected.

  5. Take this as a reminder to schedule HVAC maintenance to make sure your cooling system will be ready when it’s put to work in the upcoming weeks.

Maintain reliability and energy efficiency in your air conditioning system in Minneapolis - St. Paul, and book a system tune-up by calling the team at Uptown Air Conditioning today.

My Air Conditioner Isn't Working: Should I Repair or Replace?

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Remember how your air conditioning system just wasn’t pumping out cold air at the end of last season like it used to? Now that it’s just about time to start thinking about A/C again, you might be thinking, “should I try to get it repaired or would it be worthwhile to finally replace that old system?” It’s an age old question lots of homeowners face every single year and we’ve got some great insights for you below:

 

Age

Most residential cooling systems only last about 10 years. If you keep it well-maintained and give it a little TLC every so often, you may be able to stretch the lifespan a bit, but 10 years is a good average. If your system is 10 years or older, it’s probably time to replace it whereas if it’s only a few years old and things have gone awry, it might be more cost-efficient to have it repaired.

Efficiency

Older systems tend to be less efficient. Advancements in technology and new standards allow for more efficient pieces of equipment and if your old system is has a lower SEER rating (below 14) and an AFUE rating in the 70s or 80s, there’s not much that can be done in order to bring it back to normal. If this is the case with your system, it’s probably a better idea to replace it.

Repair Costs

It’s not a bad idea to get an estimate on the repair before making any final decision. Consider the repair costs and then do some research on the price of new systems. Keep in mind there are government rebates and cost-saving initiatives that could make upgrading a no-brainer.

Still unsure about whether you should repair or replace your air conditioning system? That’s where we come in! The HVAC specialists at Uptown are more than happy to assess your situation and provide you with a number of options. Call us today at 612-284-5789.

5 Things You MUST Do in the Twin Cities This Spring

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It’s been a long winter here in the Twin Cities and now that spring is finally here, most us are thoroughly enjoying watching the ice melt and the snow subside for good. It’s time to get outside and enjoy warmer temperatures and longer days and we’ve got a list of 5 things you must do this season - we can guarantee they won’t disappoint:

 

  1. Take Me Out To The Ball Game: the Twins’ home opener that is! Get your hands on a set of tickets and head out to Target Field on Monday, April 3rd as the Twins take on the Royals.

  2. Lace Up Your Running Sneakers: Goldy’s Run is taking place on Sunday, April 9th. Have what it takes to trek the 10 mile route? If not, don’t worry there’s a 5k option as well. All proceeds go to the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Children’s Hospital.

  3. Hunt For Easter Eggs: head out to the American Swedish Institute on Saturday, April 15th and let your kids hunt for eggs in a castle this year. Stay after the hunt is over for an arts and crafts session.

  4. Clean Up The Parks: Earth Day takes place on April 22nd and various Minneapolis Parks could use a good cleaning. All you need to do is show up with a pair of gloves and you can do some good for the environment.

  5. Smell The Roses: enjoy the brightly colored blooms and floral varieties that come to fruition during the spring? Check out the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s museum in a whole new light from Thursday, April 27th through Sunday, April 30th.

Now that warmer weather is here, it’s time to get your home’s cooling system in tip-top shape. Give the HVAC specialists at Uptown a call today to make an appointment.

5 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Plumber

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You wouldn’t just go to a car dealership and choose any old car off the lot, right? So, why would you consider hiring a plumber without doing any research first? A trusted professional is the key to success when it comes to any project, so here’s what you need to ask to make sure your plumber is right for the job:

  1. Are you licensed? If a plumber can’t show you the proper credentials, run. Okay, maybe you shouldn’t necessarily run, but this is a clear indication that this company is not qualified to do the job and unlicensed, unregistered or uninsured “professionals” can cost you lots of money in the long run.

  2. Is this the final cost? It’s always a good idea to get an estimate in writing before any work begins. And while there are some things that just can’t be predicted upfront, they should be able to give you an accurate estimate of the cost in the very beginning.

  3. When do you want payment? Some plumbers want the money upfront, some will collect payment after the project has been completed and some will be a combination of both. Regardless, knowing ahead of time can help you budget and make sure you make timely payments.

  4. Who will be doing the work? Sometimes, a master plumber will show up to take a look at the project, but then send a rookie back to do the work. It’s important to find out who will be showing up so you can make sure they send the right person for the job and that you’ll know exactly who to expect.

  5. Do you have any references or testimonials? Sure, any plumber can tell you they’re the best in town, but if they don’t have any proof, chances are they’re not quite telling the truth. Are most of their customers happy with the work? Would they use the plumber again?

For quality plumbing solutions and on-time service across Minneapolis - St. Paul, rely on the professionals at Uptown Plumbing. Our company has been trusted in tens of thousands of home in our 100+ years of service: read testimonials from happy customers here or about our great service level commitment here.

Quick Fixes For a Leaky Pipe

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The first thing you should do when you notice a pipe is leaking is to get a hold of a plumber. However, finding a reliable plumber who’s ready to roll as soon as your call comes in is not always the case, so you may find yourself in a slippery situation. You’ve got water leaking all over the house and you don’t have much time to lose. What can you do?

Since the solutions below are only temporary, we DO NOT recommend relying on them instead of calling in a plumber. But when you’re in a pinch, they could alleviate some of the issues commonly caused by leaky pipes:

  1. Epoxy compound: while they don’t work on all types of pipes, you can plug up some leaks with an epoxy compound until the plumber arrives to replace it. They work best on cast iron pipes and while a minor repair might be all that is needed to solve the problem, you may want to consider replacing old pipes altogether.

  2. Clamps: pipe clamps are often used on aircraft carriers and submarines, so they’ll likely be able to contain your leaky pipe until the plumber comes in to save the day.

  3. Wraps: you can wrap a piece of rubber around the leaking section of the pipe to keep the leak under control. Once you’ve wrapped it, use a C-clamp and small blocks of wood to make sure the rubber is wrapped tightly in place. Don’t have old rubber tubes lying around? An old garden hose will suffice.

  4. Sleeves: have a pinhole or joint leak? Repair sleeves work best with smaller cracks, but if they’re left too long, the problem can spread.

A leaky pipe is an issue that should not be treated lightly. Call on the expert plumbers at Uptown right away and we’ll make it a point to get to you as quickly as possible. After all, fast service is a top priority.