Strange Noises Coming From The Furnace

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Boom. Clang. Click. Thud. You probably weren’t giving your home’s heating system much attention, if any at all, until you started hearing these noises. While some sounds coming from your HVAC system are completely normal, others could be signs that your system is on the fritz. So, what do these noises mean? Find out below:

 
  1. Screeching: oftentimes, screeching sounds coming from the furnace means there is a problem with the motor. It could either be the motor itself, or one of the bearings in the motor that’s making noise. This is a noise you’ll want to have checked out right away.

  2. Rattling: if your hear rattling sounds when your system kicks on or shuts down, it could be indicative of loose hardware. The louder the sound, the more serious the problem in most instances.

  3. Chirping: noticing a chirping sound when the motor turns on? It could mean the wheel is out of alignment or that the mounting plate is warped and rubbing. Call in a heating expert to diagnose the issue.

  4. Boom or Thud: sometimes these noises come from the ducts, which can expand and contract in cold weather. There also might be a problem with dirty burners in the furnace. If the sound is really loud, one of the moving parts might be broken.


Whatever the case may be, strange noises coming from your furnace means you should have it checked out as quickly as possible and that’s where we come in! Give the heating experts at
Uptown Plumbing, Heating and Cooling a call and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook!

5 Weatherizing Tips To Hack Your Energy Bill This Fall

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Aside from pumpkin spice flavors, apples, flannels and sweaters, fall also brings with it the need to turn on the heat. And with the need to warm up your home, comes higher energy bills and there aren’t too many homeowners who are happy about that. But if you play your cards right, and follow a few simple energy-saving hacks, you can sip on your pumpkin spiced latte from the comfort of your living room. See the tips below to get a head start!

 
  1. Find and seal leaky ducts. This is a major source for heat loss that drives up heating costs during cold fall and winter months.

  2. Fill gaps and cracks around windows and doors and in the roof and ceiling with spray foam insulation. Spray foam is an excellent way to plug up hard-to-reach places, again putting a stop to costly air leaks.

  3. Have drafty windows? Window films provide a buffer against cool drafts - and they’re easy to install!

  4. Consider having a zoned heating system installed. This way you can control which rooms or sections of the house receive heat during different times of the day or night. Why heat a room that is unoccupied?

  5. Lots of heat is lost through the chimney. Make sure the flue is closed when it’s not in use. Just remember to open it back up again before you light a fire.


When it comes to home heating systems in the Twin Cities, trust the experts at
Uptown! We’ve been serving the area for over 100 years so you know you can count on us!

5 Spooktacular Halloween Events in the Twin Cities

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Ready for a good scare? Prefer to dress up and show off your creativity? Looking for a traditional Halloween Party? The Twin Cities have it all! Halloween weekend is officially here, so it’s time to enjoy some spooktacular events!

 
  1. Ghosts and Graves Tour: all aboard the tour bus! Take a trip through St. Paul and learn all about the haunted past of the city. You may even be able to sneak a peek into the back caves at Wabasha Street Caves. More info here: wabashastreetcaves.com.

  2. Halloween Lights on York: what’s better than a spooktacular Halloween light show? Head out to York Avenue in St. Paul at witness more than 10,000 lights twinkling in time to a radio station. The event runs from dusk until 10pm through October 31st.

  3. Haunted Basement: enter if your dare! And be sure to bring a flashlight as that will be your only defense against the twisting darkness. More info here: soapfactory.org.

  4. Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze: make your way through Minnesota’s largest corn maze, play in the corn pit and see if you have what it takes to sling a pumpkin. This event includes fun activities for the entire family and runs from 10am - 6pm through October 30th. More info here: twincitiesmaze.com.

  5. The Great Halloween Get Together: if you prefer a more relaxing environment, this is for you! Enjoy music, games and treats from 5pm - 7pm on October 31st. Southstpaul.org.


Good luck out there! Wishing all a very happy and healthy Halloween from your friends at
Uptown Plumbing, Heating and Cooling!

4 Simple Ways To Cut Down On Household Trash

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How many times do you take out the trash on a weekly basis? Probably seems like way too many, right? Well, contrary to popular belief, there are lots of ways to cut down on the amount of household trash your family produces. Try these ideas out and see if you find yourself making trips to the cans less frequently:

 
  1. Recycle and Repurpose: instead of throwing all that trash away, find creative ways to reuse it. You’d be surprised at how many ideas you’ll find it you spend a few minutes on Pinterest. You can even use empty wine bottles as flower vases or a decanter for olive oil.

  2. Use Your Own Shopping Bags: some areas are installing a fee for using the store’s plastic shopping bags and if that isn’t incentive enough for you to bring your own, just think about how much less trash you’ll create.

  3. Get Rid Of Your Old Things: before the holidays hit. Take some time to clean out your house. But instead of throwing away things you no longer need, donate them to charity. It always feels good to give back to the community.

  4. Quality Over Quantity: do you find yourself purchasing inexpensive replicas or lesser versions of whatever it is you need? Cheaper items tend to fulfill a much shorter lifespan and then you have to throw them away so it’s not always a bad idea to spend a few extra bucks.

Uptown Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has been serving the community for 100 years. It’s important to us to continuously extend our support to those living in our community.

How To Prevent A Costly Plumbing Leak

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If you’ve lived in the Twin Cities for some time now, you probably know that we are faced with hard water. But did you know that hard water is a major cause of costly plumbing leaks? Save your pipes and your wallet this season by finding out how to prevent leaks before they happen and knowing what to do should your plumbing fail. See below for a few quick tips:

 

Preventive Maintenance

  • Reduce water pressure. Even though a shower head with high pressure might feel nice when it’s time to bathe, it adds stress on your pipes.

  • Soften water. Mineral buildup in hard water can cause your pipes to tap out faster. There are a number of water-softening systems available and we recommend having a professional take care of the installation process.

  • Pipes aren’t for laundry. Lots of times homeowners turn to exposed pipes for hanger rods when they run out of space in the closet. But doing so can loosen joints can lead to plumbing leaks.

  • Have shutoff valves installed. Notice that your individual fixtures don’t have their own shutoff valves? Have a professional install them for you, they will likely come in handy down the road.

 

During An Emergency

  • Locate your main water shutoff valve or the valves on individual fixtures and turn them off right away.

  • Turn on faucets to drain any stagnant water remaining in the pipes.

  • Dry up water spots or leaks with a towel and call in a plumber. That’s what we’re here for!

If you have a leaking pipe or are in need of a repipe solution in Minneapolis-St Paul, you can rely on the fast repairs and expert re-pipe solutions from Uptown Plumbing. Call us today at 612-284-5789.

3 Common Tankless Water Heater Fallacies

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Tankless water heaters are what the fuss is all about lately when it comes to comfort and convenience. The technology behind them is largely appealing to homeowners all across the Minneapolis area and it’s no wonder - the efficiency and endless amounts of hot water are unmatched. But before you replace your current water heater, we want to clear up a few misconceptions.

 

 

False: Plug it in and it’s ready to go.

Truth: Most tankless water heaters are more involved than a simple swap out. Your current gas meter and line may not be sized appropriately to hand the new load and new tankless water heaters often require the installation of a new exhaust vent.

 

False: Tankless water heaters provide hot water faster.

Truth: Homeowners often replace the word “tankless” with “instant.” Sure, you will be replacing your conventional heater with a new piece of equipment that has lots of benefits, but it won’t necessarily deliver hot water faster. The water still has to run through the pipes to the desired location and that takes some time.

 

False: All tankless water heaters are the same.

Truth: From firepower to the size of the unit and amount of maintenance required, there’s a great deal of differences between models.

 

For the best in service, advice and expert installations for your new water heater in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area, call and speak with the heating professionals at Uptown Heating today.

Minnesota Monster Dash

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Ready to strap on your running shoes and take to the streets this Halloween? Team Ortho Foundation and Monster Dash are teaming up to present the Half Marathon, 10 mile and 5K races. Do you have what it takes?

For the more serious runners, the 2016 Half Marathon and 10-mile Monster Dash course in St. Paul is fat, beautiful and entertaining! The course is virtually all downhill with 400 vertical feet total from start to finish. Looking to set a personal record? This is your chance!

And if you can handle the extra challenge, run the distance in costume! All participants will be entered to win the Party City costume contest.

For those who aren’t so serious, take part in the Monster Dash 5K. This super-fun costume race is wonderful for the whole family!

Once you cross the finish line, get ready to celebrate at the Beer Garden at Upper Landing Park and watch yourself finish on the 50ft. Jumbo Tron at CHS Field.

For more information about the event, or to register, head over to http://www.minnesotamonster.org/Information/. Make this a Halloween weekend you’ll never forget!

How To Get Your Plumbing Ready For Winter

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Have you ever dealt with a major plumbing disaster in the middle of winter? If you have, you know how devastating, costly and time-consuming it can be and if you haven’t, well consider yourself lucky. That is, unless you take a few minutes here and there during the fall season to make sure your plumbing is ready for colder temperatures that come along with winter.

Want to find out what you can do now to get your pipes, faucets and fixtures prepared? See below for a few key tips:

  1. Insulate Pipes: take a look around your home? Do you have any pipes that are exposed to exterior walls or are lacking insulation? If so, it’s time to insulate. Pipes can freeze when exterior temperatures dip below 20ºF so be sure to wrap pipes in unheated areas with fiberglass or polyurethane insulation tubes.

  2. Keep Cabinet Doors Open: on days when you’re expecting temperatures to drop down below freezing, you may want to consider opening up cabinets that contain pipes. This will allow heat to enter the area and keep pipes from freezing.

  3. Plug Up Cracks and Gaps: take a quick lap around the outside of your home. Keep an eye out for any cracks or holes along walls or in the foundation. If you spot any, fill them with spray foam insulation or caulk to prevent cold air from coming in contact with water pipes.

In case of a plumbing emergency this fall or winter, call on the experts at Uptown. We’ve been serving the entire Minneapolis - St. Paul area for over 100 years so you know you can put your trust in us!

Keep Drafts Out With Window Sash Balancers

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If you live an older Minneapolis - St. Paul home, chances are your windows are quite old, too. And while we understand that antique-style windows can add lots of character and charm to your home, they can also be the reason your heating bills are so high each winter. Why? Well, they’re probably not very energy efficient for starters, and if the sash isn’t balanced correctly they could be letting cool drafts in.

Here’s how you can replace old antique window sash balancers and replace them with new and improved parts:

  1. Remove the stop beads from the side of the window. Then pull the window out of the jamb and remove the tension hooks of the old balancers. Pliers tend to do the trick.

  2. Then remove the old sash balancers using a screwdriver or drill.

  3. Sand the jamb and the edges of the sash smooth with a sander and then spray a lubricant on the jamb and sash to reduce friction.

  4. Installed new balancers by driving screws into old mortises.

  5. Attached new hooks on the sash balancers.

  6. Reinstall the window stops on the jamb using nails a hammer to keep it in place.

This is one of many steps you can take this fall to make your home more energy efficient and keep energy bills to a minimum. For more information on heating your home, give the experts at Uptown a call today! 612-284-5789.

Clean Your Gutters in 5 Simple Steps

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When was the last time you thought about your rain gutters? Probably not since the last time you had a problem with them, right? Well, you should be thinking about them at least once a year - preferably during the fall season - when they could use a good cleaning. After all, blocked gutters can cause them to fall, lead to flooding and can even lead to a cracked foundation.

If you want to avoid severe headaches both down the road and in the near future, we strongly encourage you to get outside and clean the gutters. It’s simple. You can tackle the entire project in just about an hour with the simple steps below:

  1. Set up a ladder on sturdy, flat ground near the downspout or section of the gutter that needs to be cleaned first.

  2. Head up on the ladder, we recommend having a buddy hold it in place, and clean out large debris using your hands or a plastic trowel. Toss it into a large bucket instead of throwing it onto your lawn.

  3. Once all the large debris is removed, cleaned out the rest with a garden hose. Attach a spray nozzle and spray toward the downspout.

  4. If you notice a clog in the downspout, spray the hose up inside from the bottom end. If that doesn’t do the trick, you may need to take the pieces apart.

  5. Once all is clear, spray both the gutters and the downspout one final time.

Staying on top of projects like this can help keep your home protected from disasters. Notice a leaky hose or hose bib during the cleaning process? Contact the plumbing professionals at Uptown right away. Leaks can lead to cracked pipes and other problems with your plumbing system as temperatures get down near freezing.