Wintertime Checklist for Plumbing and HVAC

During these winter months when we’re stuck inside, there are home maintenance routines that can help you have more free time in the spring. Here are some tips to survive the winter chill without unexpected plumbing problems and keep your home running smoothly.

  1. Every season change should start with a standard service call. We will make sure your HVAC equipment is operating in spec, we’ll check for system errors and perform basic services like replacing your air filter.
  2. Replace your air filter. More for your equipment than your air quality. No filter would cause the internal components to gunk up. A dirty filter and the system can choke. The desert dust and incredibly dry periods mean you need to change your HVAC filter every 4-6 weeks.
  3. Avoid the unexpected frozen faucet. “I was sitting in the living room when I heard a ‘thunk!’ Then the sound of water like the sprinklers were on. I went out to see a fountain spraying from the side of the house.” Cover your outdoor faucets with insulated protection to keep these freezing nights from busting faucets. If the faucet is failing (dripping, hard to turn) schedule a faucet replacement service.
  4. Winter time is as good a time as any to drain/flush your water heater. Extend the life of your tank with bi-annual or annual cleaning of your hot water heater tank.
  5. Don’t use Draino on your drains! Long term effects can lead to damaged pipes and bigger plumbing problems down the road. To prevent standard hair clogs from becoming a bigger issue, use a plumber’s enzyme instead. A cup down trouble drains once a month can reduce the amount of build up in the pipes.

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DI Why?

Sure, you can do a lot of things yourself, but do you really want to?

Build a website? Change your oil? Build a deck? Plumb a new sink?

Whether you are handy or not, there are a lot of reasons to let a licensed and trained professional do these tasks. Plumbing is a time honored tradition for a reason. We are doing this __ everyday. When you do things all the time, you become faster, more efficient and better at it. We know you can figure a lot of stuff out on your own and there is always you tube, but listen to this story from our customer, who recently got new counter-tops but signed up to do the plumbing themselves.

“My wife and I haven’t fought with this much veracity for a while, but by day three, trip to the store three – we were frazzled. ‘Oh, how hard can it be?’ Let me tell you, it can be incredibly frustrating, disgusting and wet to stumble through a plumbing project. The real problem started with copying an existing drain configuration that was wrong in the first place. That was day one. Got it done, but when I looked at it in the morning it was all wrong. Needless to say by day three, we were ready for some expert help and we called Jones Mechanical. They pointed out how a better drain design could alleviate many of the problems we experienced with our old configuration. Thanks Scott, we now have a greater appreciation for your knowledge and expertise.”

Stinky old plumbing parts

You can avoid plumbing nightmares first by not bringing them on yourself. Jones Mechanical has a team of plumbing and mechanical professionals who can walk you through the process. Start your project today by giving us a call and letting us know what you are thinking about or struggling with. Whether you are tired of smelling old bathroom sinks and want the traps replaced or if you are replacing counter tops and need new plumbing installed, we are here for you. And if you are ready for an instant on hot water heater or a new furnace, we’ve got you covered.

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Do you know where your plunger is?

And other questions you want to ask yourself before you have company…

What are top plumbing nightmares that happen during the holidays?

Survey Says

  1. Garbage Disposal Clogged or Jammed.
    There are a couple of reasons disposals get jammed, clogged, or backed up. Other than our standard harp of keeping fats like bacon grease out of your pipes (that goes for fatty turkey drippings too), keep peels like potato, carrot, beet out of the disposal. And never put egg shells or lemon/lime peels down either. Fibrous vegetables jam the levers and can clog/stop a disposal. Just remember to take it easy on your disposal, It probably can’t handle being stuffed full and then turned on suddenly. And always run warm water first before using the disposal and always run water while operating your disposal.
  2. Toilet gets stopped up.
    If you are having company and you have a finicky toilet, you should have us look at it in advance. Best practices include, keeping a waste basket next to the toilet and dispose of facial tissues and feminine napkins in the trash not the toilet. Over eating can add to toilet time, so try to get guests to use multiple bathrooms if possible and keep your plunger handy.
  3. Hot Water Heater Fails.
    It is always best to flush your hot water heater once or twice a year depending on your use. This will help keep your heater from going critical on you unexpectedly. If you are having guests, try to space out when people are showering. You may need to get up earlier to shower. Another common problem may be your pilot light going out on your hot water heater. Additional hustle and bustle and colder temps can contribute to pilot lights getting blown out. If you don’t know how to light your pilot, have us show you the next time we are out. Without the pilot lit a gas heater can’t achieve ignition.

No Hamburger Grease Down The Drain

Remember, as cooler temperatures having us cooking inside, you should treat hamburger grease like bacon grease and NEVER pour it down your drain. Dispose of fat by soaking with paper towels or drain it to your same bacon can or jar for storage and disposal.

PNM REBATES

Ask us about your PNM Rebate when we install qualifying smart thermostats, heat pumps and refrigerated air units.

 

Cold Temperatures and Hot Rebates Heater Edition

Brrrr. Fall can always be full of surprises for your heater. A sudden cold snap can lead to a restless night’s sleep if you haven’t switched to your heater. If you are tired of the bi-annual swamp cooler switch, then install a new system. New Mexico Gas company is offering rebates on both heaters and hot water tanks. PNM is offering rebates on energy efficient air conditioning units. Lucky for you, we can help you find qualifying equipment and get it installed for you.

https://www.nmgcgetrebates.com/space-heating

https://www.nmgcgetrebates.com/water-heating

https://www.pnm.com/coolrebate

Heater meter - electric meter - energy use

There are a number of energy saving benefits to upgrading your water, heating and cooling systems in your home. Improved technology has increased efficiency of both gas and electric units for your home. Consult with an HVAC Professional like Jones Mechanical to find out the best fit for your home. We offer a variety of reliable appliances that can fit your personal use.

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Preparing for a Power Outage in Rio Rancho

What would you do if the power went out in Rio Rancho?

Depending on where you are, let’s say Home?

Are you ready for this? Can you find out if it’s your house or your town?

What if it was a power outage for an extended period?

“One of our customer’s recently retold the story of a power outage that happened while they were on vacation at an individual cabin resort. The place had all the amenities of home, if you had power. Lightning struck the area’s transformer and the nearest new one was 3 hours away. They were luckily prepared for camping, so when the power came on the next day, they were no worse for the wear.”

Are you familiar with the rule of 3s in survival?

Three minutes without air.

Three hours without shelter.

Three days without water.

Three weeks without food.

And according to a teenager, 3 seconds without a device.

Items you should have on hand at home in an emergency

  • Flashlight or lantern
    Check every month that your flashlights work and your lanterns are fueled or charged
  • Supply of Fresh Water
        Don’t assume that your water will work in your home if the power goes out. If the main system’s water pumps aren’t operating or if you have a pumping system yourself you may not have water. A 5 Gallon jug lasts 4 people drinking normally only 2 days.
  • A fully charged cell phone or iPad (a back up battery)
    Also, have your favorite movies downloaded on a device. While everyone else is playing Parcheesi, you can be watching movies. But, remember, no power, no wi-fi. And cell towers may be affected by power outages as well.
  • Dry foods / Foods that don’t require microwave or electric stove
  • Important documents like Driver’s License and Passport
  • A Battery or hand cranked radio
    Yes you need a radio with batteries. If the power goes out the internet goes down, local radio may be one of your only sources of information.
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Poncho or rain coat
  • Utility knife / Cooking knife
  • Cordage / Rope

For extended periods, consider a gas cooking stove so you can boil water and cook food.

Items you should have in your car for an emergency

  • Jack and tire iron
  • Flashlight / Floodlight
  • First Aid Kit
  • Glass or stainless water bottle with water
  • Poncho or rain coat

Specials and Rebates

About Jones Mechanical

Weekend Plumbing Tip – Bacon

It’s Friday, and the temperature finally dropped a bit, so we thought we’d celebrate weekends!

One way to not have to call your plumber on the weekend has to do with what you put down your disposal. Bacon is still the number one weekend offender. Sure that grease flows smoothly down the drain, but when it hits cool pipes or gets doused in cold water, it can seal up your drain. Also, avoid putting fibrous materials from your weekend bbq into your disposal. Corn husks, celery, broccoli stem, etc. can seize up your motor and can lead to drainage problems as it builds up in your pipes. But, we’re here for you if you need us.

505.934.0817

Summer is warming up, cooler days for you ahead

Time to Schedule Maintenance

Heat Trends and Air Conditioning

dirty ac compressor coilWe have been telling everyone for a couple months now that the heat would sneak up on you. How’s your air conditioning unit working? It’s June and that means warmer temperatures. Based on June averages, New Mexico can see it’s hottest temperatures of the year at the end of June and beginning of July. Combine that with higher precipitation trends in July and your swamp cooler can’t even keep up. Dirty air conditioning units can reduce efficiency.

Swamp Coolers

June is a time for making sure your equipment is running optimally. If you are running an evaporative cooler, you need to make sure to refresh your pads and make sure connections are clear of mineral build up. Pads need to be getting thoroughly saturated for full cooling potential. Caring for you cooler is a lot of work, schedule routine maintenance with us to stay on top of it.

Refrigerated Air Conditioners

If you really want to keep cool with the smallest amount of work, then you should convert that swamp cooler or upgrade that low efficiency air conditioning unit. Jones Mechanical is your HVAC expert that can walk you through the right unit for your space.

I can’t tell you what a difference it has made since we switched to refrigerated air. We’ve had it a couple years now and besides normal up-keep it has been worry free. It keeps the house right where I want it on a hot day.

Call Jones Mechanical to schedule a Free Estimate for changing your old cooler into an air conditioner.

For refrigerated air conditioning maintenance, it is recommended that you do an annual check-up. We aim to keep the unit running in optimal condition and maintain it’s energy efficiency. Regular cleaning of your air conditioning compressor and coils is recommended in New Mexico weather conditions. Rio Rancho air conditioning units and air filters collect a lot of dust and require cleaning and replacements. Jones Mechanical annual customers receive an annual check up that includes evaluations and recommendations.

Our check up includes:

  • Checking temperature variance between the home’s thermostat and the unit.  We don’t want to see energy efficiency go out of wack by 5 degrees and suddenly your electric bill is rising with the temperature.
  • Check freon levels. Decline in efficiency can indicate other problems like low freon levels.
  • Checking condition of compressor / coils. Regular cleaning to make sure coils are free of dust and debris is recommended.
  • Check home for carbon monoxide emissions.

For an additional fee, we will include:

  • Complete cleaning of AC Coil and removal of debris from the compressor.
  • Clean and evaluate compressor unit.
  • Charge Freon if needed.
  • Replace air flow filter if appropriate.

Changing your air filter on a regular schedule is highly advised in Rio Rancho’s dust, wind and heat.

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