4 Fast Ways To Troubleshoot Your Programmable Thermostat

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Technology can be your best friend, but it can also seem like your worst enemy at times. Sometimes, gadgets can be too smart for their own good, or at least they can seem too smart for the average homeowner but there’s no reason to get disgruntled. When it comes to having problems with a programmable thermostat, there are a few simple solutions that’ll get it back up and running in no time.

  1. Temperature Reading Doesn’t Seem Accurate: feel like your thermostat is giving you an inaccurate room temperature reading? This could certainly be the case. Digital thermostats often get knocked out of whack and need to be calibrated so that the set point and room sensors are brought back into balance. The instructions to perform this task can usually be found either in the manual or on the inside cover of the actual thermostat. If you can’t find it in either of these places, give the manufacturer a call.

  2. Wires Are Not Secure: if all seems in check, but there still seems to be an issue, check to make sure the wires and connections are correct. Sometimes, poorly connected wires can vibrate to an inactive state even though they look like they’re connected properly. All wire connections should be tight and no stray strands should be in contact with any other wires.

  3. The Screen is Blank: if your thermostat isn’t displaying anything at all, it could mean the batteries have died or that there is a tripped breaker or a blown fuse. Check to see if your thermostat is running on batteries first and change them if applicable. Otherwise, head to your circuit panel to check for a tripped breaker.

  4. The Digital Display Reads “HOLD”: when a thermostat is set to “HOLD” mode, it means all other program settings will be overridden. In most cases, you need to press the “hold” button again to engage the other program settings to return to normal operation.

Still can’t seem to fix the thermostat? That’s where we come in! The heating experts at Uptown will help you diagnose and solve the problem right away so you can enjoy the comfort of a warm, cozy home this winter. Give us a call at 612-284-5789.

What To Do When Your Heat Suddenly Stops Working

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Hosting the holidays this year? We know you probably have a lot on your plate - literally and figuratively. You have barely have time to breathe let alone deal with a furnace issue. Well, there’s never a good time for your heat to go out, especially when you have a house full of people. See below to find out what you can do when your heat suddenly stops working.

Check The Thermostat

The problem may not actually be the furnace at all - it could be an issue with your thermostat. Make sure it’s switched over to the “heat” setting and then check the temperature setting. It’s also important to make sure the time and date are correct, otherwise the system may not kick on when you need it.

Clean The Filter

One of the most common causes of furnace-related failures is when homeowners forget about the filter. A dirty or clogged filter limits airflow through the system which can cause heat and pressure to build up inside. Most newer systems will recognize this problem and shut the system down to avoid any major damage before it happens. If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned or replaced the filter, chances are this is the reason your heat isn’t working.

Consider The Fuel

If your furnace runs on gas or oil, check to make sure there’s fuel left in the tank. You’ve likely been using the heat for at least a month now and if you haven’t refilled in awhile, you may need to schedule a delivery. We recommend checking beforehand so you can avoid ushering your guests into a freezing cold house!

Have a more serious heating problem that seems like a job for a professional? Call on Uptown Man any and all heating repairs this season! After all, he is the #HolidayHero! 651-315-7995.

How To Make Your Toilet Last: Tips The Experts Swear By

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Toilets don’t last forever. Unfortunately, lots of homeowners believe they do and this theory can lead to some serious problems and major headaches down the road. However, a little bit of maintenance and a few minor repairs can go a long way. We get it, replacing a toilet can be pricey, so follow the tips below to extend the lifespan of your throne:

 

For A Better Flush

Find yourself having to hold down the handle for several seconds to make a complete flush? Your toilet isn’t broken, you simply need to adjust the chain. Remove any excess slack and adjust the lift so that the chain hands straight from the handle lever (a tiny bit of slack is normal).

For A Loose Toilet Seat

Lots of people think that when they sit down on the bowl and the seat shifts, it needs to be replaced. This is not the case. The screws holding the seat in place can loosen overtime and all you need to do is tighten them up for a secure experience. Lift the bolt caps and tighten the nuts.

For Constant Running

Hear water constantly running or trickling into the bowl? It’s probably just a worn flapper. You can replace this piece in just a few minutes and a brand new one will only cost a few bucks. Just be sure to take the old flapper to the store with you to make sure you’re purchasing the proper replacement.

Don’t forget - regular cleaning goes a long way! Just be sure to stay away from harsh chemical cleaners. Although they might get the toilet sparkling clean, they have the ability to damage the porcelain and the pipes.

For all the toilet plumbing service needs in your home in Minneapolis-St Paul, enjoy fast repairs and installations along with satisfaction guaranteed service from Uptown Plumbing.

Festive Holiday Events in the Twin Cities

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Here in the Twin Cities, we already have the first snowfall under our belts and now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s officially time to get in the holiday spirit! Push your thoughts of hibernating aside and get out there and have some fun! See below for a list of family-friendly holiday events taking place in our own backyard:

Christmas Carol at Guthrie Theater

This one is a true holiday favorite and Charles Dickens’ haunting tale won’t disappoint this year! Bring the kids on out to Guthrie Theater through December 30th for a night out. Tickets start as low as $15.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Who’s going to save Christmas this year? Find out in the Children’s Theatre Company’s rendition of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. This holiday tradition is guaranteed to grow anyone’s heart three sizes. Enjoy the show through January 7th.

Holidazzle 2017

There’s no better way to celebrate the holidays than with the winter wonderland at Loring Park. This year, some of the main features include local people, products and places focusing on the food scene, the art district, the park system, active lifestyles and everything else that makes Minneapolis unique.  It runs Thursdays - Sundays through December 24th.

Holiday Lights Trolley Tour

Want to check out some of the most spectacular holiday displays around the Twin Cities? Now is your chance! Go on a public tour or rent a private rise around the cities. You’ll be accompanied by holiday music and special treats. Rides take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in December.

Need a plumbing or heating specialist this season? You know how to call! The experts at Uptown have been serving the Twin Cities for over 100 years so you know you can count on us!

Five Thanksgiving Foods That Should NEVER Go Down The Garbage Disposal

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You’ve got enough to worry about on Thanksgiving - the last thing you need is a stopped up drain or a broken garbage disposal. As you prepare the feast this year, remember that not all foods can be processed and discarded by the disposal and repairs can be costly. See below for a list of common Thanksgiving fare that should NEVER be disposed of via the kitchen sink.

 

Turkey Bones

Would Thanksgiving really be Thanksgiving without a turkey? It’s the centerpiece of just about any dinner table during the holiday and while it tastes great going down into our tummies, the bones won’t taste so great to your disposal. Even if they pass through the blades, they won’t make it through the pipes.

Pasta

Whipping up your famous homemade mac n cheese for a side dish? We’re sure your guests can’t wait to dig in and if there happens to be any leftover pasta, please do not throw it into the sink. Pasta swells when it comes in contact with water and it can easily cause a clog in the drain.

Potato Peels

There’s nothing like sweet potato casserole or candied sweet potatoes to light up your tastebuds in between fork fulls of turkey and stuffing. It is important to note though, that potato peels don’t get along well with garbage disposals because they often create soupy mess.

Carrots & Celery

Stringy vegetables tend to wrap around the disposal blades and cause serious problems. This can result in grinding teeth which can lead to motor issues. Use the garbage can for carrots and celery instead.

Egg Shells

Whether you’re cooking up a feast for breakfast or using eggs as part of an appetizer, do not throw the shells into the disposal. The stringy membrane can wrap around the shredder and crushed up shells have the ability to clog the pipes.

For on-time sink and garbage disposal installations and repairs in your home or business in Minneapolis-St Paul, call and speak with the professional plumbers at Uptown Plumbing today.

3 Simple Ways To Keep Your Guests Comfortable On Thanksgiving

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Hosting Thanksgiving this year? Aren’t you lucky that you don’t have to wrangle all the kids, pack into the family vehicle and drive for what seems like forever to your relatives’ house. While you’ll probably be busy with the big bird and the side dishes, remember that your family did all of the above the come to your place. With that said, it’s all about making them feel at home and that starts with making them feel welcomed and comfortable.

Comfort in the Kitchen

Does your front or back door lead directly into your kitchen? Not only should you spruce up the entrance most of your guests will be passing through, keep in mind that opening and closing the door means cold air will blow through. You’ll also want to stop the cool draft coming in - you can do so with a door snake and a little bit of caulk for the cracks and gaps.

Comfort in the Living Room

If your family is like most families out there, the guests will likely end up in the living room to relax after filling up on the delicious food you cooked. There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting down next to a warm fire so it’s a good idea to get the fireplace going. You may also want to place a humidifier or an air purifier close by to promote a clean and pleasant indoor environment.

Comfort in the Bedrooms

With all of the cooking and the commotion going on in the main living spaces of your house, chances are the heat produced will travel into the bedrooms as well, especially if they’re located upstairs. For this reason, you can probably get away with lowering the thermostat a few degrees to cut down on heating costs.

Wishing all a very Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Uptown! And remember, for fast, quality, same day repairs on your heating system across Minneapolis - St. Paul, call and speak with us today.

Don't Let Heating Costs Affect Your Holiday Budget

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Imagine you had lots of extra cash stashed away to spend on holiday gifts, food and experiences this year? Instead of spending hundreds to heat your home, wouldn’t it be nice if you could spend that money on your friends and family or treat yourself to something nice? Well, it’s time to start making some changes and trust us when we tell you you’ll be quite happy this holiday season!

Don’t Heat The House When Nobody’s Home

Sure, you want your home to be warm and cozy while everyone’s home, but why keep it warm while it’s vacant? A simple solution for this is to install a programmable thermostat. This way, you can set a desired temperature for the hours you’ll want the heat to come up and then have it drop down a few degrees while your family is away.

It’s Closed-Flue Season

There may not be anything better than relaxing by the fire on a cold winter day. With that said though, an open flue lets out about as much warm air as a wide-open 48-inch window. Be sure to close the flue as soon as the fire goes out and the inside of the fireplace cools off.

Drapes Are For More Than Just Privacy

If you haven’t done so already, we recommend swapping out your lighter summer drapes for heavier materials. Why? Well, drapes shouldn’t only be used to keep the light out or for privacy - they can actually be used to keep warm inside and cold air out.

Layer Up

We’re talking about your clothes and your bed. There’s harm in wearing a few layers while you’re hanging out at home. Don’t be afraid to throw on a sweatshirt and warm pants if you feel chilly. It’s also a good idea to pack away your “stay-cool” sheets and break out the flannel.

For a simple solution to aid in increasing energy efficiency without lowering comfort levels in your Minneapolis - St. Paul home, consider the benefits of a digital programmable thermostat professionally installed by the team at Uptown Heating. Call us today at 612-284-5789.

4 Festive Ways To Spruce Up The Bathroom For Thanksgiving

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What colors come to mind when you think of Thanksgiving? We think of oranges, golds and browns and when you incorporate all three, the results are stunning! So, if you’re looking for ways to spruce up the bathroom since you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, we’ve got a few foolproof decorating tips that’ll leave your guests in awe.

  1. Break Out The Festive Fabrics: fall is the perfect time of year to give your bathroom a reasonable makeover. Swap out the nautical-themed shower curtain and window treatments for your favorite palette of fall colors. We recommend oranges and whites for the shower curtain and darker colors like gold or brown for the windows.

  2. Light Up The Night: sure, it’s rather tricky to swap out your lighting fixtures, but it’s quite simple to add things like pumpkin-themed night lights, colorful string lights or fall-scented candles. We do however, suggest leaving the candles unlit so you don’t forget about them while you feast!

  3. Bring Nature Indoors: it’s no surprise fall offers some spectacular foliage and gorgeous colors to go along with it. Fill a vase with fresh seasonal flowers or create your own potpourri with leaves, sticks and acorns.

  4. Soften The Look: keep non-fall colored towels in the closet and stock the shelves with oranges and browns. You can even create an elegant feel by rolling them up like you’d see in a spa.

Need a plumbing or heating company this holiday season? We’ve got you covered. The experts at Uptown want you to enjoy a stress-free, care-free time with your friends and family members so let us take care of the dirty work. Give us a call at 651-315-7995 to schedule an appointment and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook!

Don't Ignore This Furnace Sound or Smell

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You hear some strange noises coming from the furnace but it doesn’t sound like anything too bad, so you leave it alone. You smell a strange scent coming from the furnace, but again, it doesn’t seem too bad, so you leave it alone. “Everything will be just fine,” right? Wrong. See below for one particular noise and one particular smell you should NEVER ignore:

Screeching Sounds

If you’ve ever heard a screeching noise, you know it’s not particularly easy on the ears. Well, it’s definitely not a good sound when it comes from the furnace either. Screeching could mean there’s something wrong with a certain bearing, the belt or the motor. In any case, a technician should be called in to make some adjustments or apply lubrication where it’s needed. Otherwise, you could be left without heat in the dead of winter.

Smell of Gas

Notice a gassy scent coming from the furnace? It could be the systems exhaust not venting properly or it could be the result of a leak in the heat exchanger which can be a very serious problem. Just like a gas leak anywhere else in the house, it can cause possible fires, explosions or even carbon monoxide poisoning. You’ll want to call in a professional right away to diagnose the problem and get it fixed before it’s too late.

That’s where we come in! If you experience any issues with your home’s heating system this season, don’t hesitate to call on the experts at Uptown Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving the Minneapolis - St. Paul area for over 100 years so you know you can count on us!

Are HEPA Filters Really Worth It?

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Do you suffer from allergies? If not, do you have a family member who does? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, the simple answer is yes, High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters are worth every penny. Why? Find out, below:

 

Your Indoor Air Is More Polluted Than You Think.

Air pollution doesn’t just come about in the form of car exhaust or factory smoke. Believe it or not, most of the air you breathe every single day is polluted in one way or another. Dust mites, pollen, pet dander and mold are all things that can be found in the air that can cause serious health problems.

How Do HEPA Filters Work?

These are types of mechanical air filters that force air through fine mesh. The mesh acts by trapping the harmful particles we mentioned above, so you don’t breathe them in.

Why HEPA Filters Are Worth It:

Any air that passes through your home’s HVAC system will pass through the HEPA filter, if you have them installed. With that said, most of the air you breathe passes through your home’s HVAC system which means it’s being cleaned as it passes through. The result? You’ll breathe in fresher, cleaner air that will help alleviate some of your worst allergy symptoms.

Still not convinced? Give the heating and cooling experts at Uptown a call today to learn more about the benefits of HEPA filters. After all, we’ve been serving the Twin Cities for over 100 years so you know you can count on us!