Water Heater Buying Guide

water heater buying guide - Stillwater MN

Water Heater Buying Guide

Water heating expenses consume nearly 20% of your household income, second only to what you spend on heating and cooling your Twin Cities home. Homeowners don’t usually give their water heaters a thought until they malfunction. Common water heater problems include abnormal noises, cold water, and water leaks. If your water heater is approaching the end of its life, you’ll need to search “plumbing and heating company near me” for a water heater installation estimate. At McQuillan Bros, we offer free estimates on our home services. The Water Heater Buying Guide below helps homeowners like yourself decide if a new water heater is right for them.

Which Hot Water Heater is Right for My Twin Cities Home?

Usually, households substitute their old water heater with one of the same sorts and operate on the same fuel—natural gas or electricity. Switching from a water heater to a tankless unit can be costly because it allows you to change your plumbing and probably your electrical grid. But if you build a new home or add an existing one, installing a tankless water heater can make economic sense.

Market Studies tested several full-service electric and gas water heaters from brands such as Bosch, Navien, Noritz, Rheem. The test used a high drawing pattern equal to the usage of 84 gallons of water per day. Payback time was slower for the tankless unit, which replaced the original storage tank, but was more realistic for the new construction. The average maintenance cost and projected installation expense were measured to determine the payback period on both new and repair installations. The findings were contrasted with those of traditional tank heaters, one gas, and one electric heater.

water heater buying guide - Stillwater MN

Most Common Types of Water Heaters

There are all kinds of water heaters available today. Whether you’re looking to repair or replace your water heater, it’s good to know which water heaters will save you money versus drive up your energy costs. The following are the most common types of water heaters we see in the Twin Cities, MN area.

  • Storage Tank Water Heater – Most homes over ten years old have storage tank water heaters. These types of water heaters are designed to heat and store water until it’s needed. Additionally, storage tanks water heaters tend to cost more.
  • Tankless Water Heater – Instead of storing water like traditional water heaters, the tankless water heaters heat the water as you need it. This saves you both water and electricity. 
  • Heat Pump (Hybrid) Water Heater – Heat pumps are designed to capture heat from the air, which later heats the water. Those who have heat pumps will save more than 50% on energy than they would on a standard electric water heater tank.

Consider The Water Heater Capacity 

The size of your tank water heater depends on the size of your household. Remember the first-hour rating, which is the number of gallons a water heater can produce in an hour. Tankless water heaters don’t carry a lot of water, so the amount to aim for is a gallon-per-minute value. The higher the GPM, the cooler the device will produce. If you have a large family and multiple bathrooms, you’ll need a higher GPM tankless water heater.  Stillwater plumbers can measure what the FHR should be at your house to make sure it’s just the right size for your tank.  

Water Heater Features to be Consider

Warranty:

Water heater coverage is usually three to 12 years. Although you’re usually paying a little extra for longer warranty versions, we’ve noticed that they appear to have bigger parts or burners that can speed up water heating and have thicker insulation for less heat loss. Appleton plumbers at Tureks Plumbing recommends choosing a water heater with the longest warranty.

Anti-Scaling Devices

Some brands sell features that are designed to reduce the build-up of the mineral scale at the bottom of the tank by stirring the bath. Although the scale will shorten the heating system’s life, you don’t need to invest in advanced features to get a water heater that lasts. Just look for one with a 12-year warranty that usually contains a longer or thicker part.

Digital Displays

Help you track your level and customize your activity. Some electric/heat-pump hybrid water heaters allow you to set a vacation mode that uses only a heat pump to maximize performance while you’re away. Solar water heaters also view tank and collector temperatures, as well as pressure readings and other data.

Water Heater Replacement Twin Cities

Professional Water Heater Services

At McQuillan Bros, we offer the best water heater service in Twin Cities and beyond. We’ve been proudly serving the homeowners and business owners of Minnesota since 1883. No matter what your needs are, our McQuillan team is happy to help. We offer free estimates on our heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical services. Contact us today to let us know how we can better serve you. 

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Complete the form below and one of our team members will give you a call to help get you scheduled. If you have an urgent need please call us at
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How to Save Energy This Winter

How to Save Energy This Winter - Twin Cities MN

How to Save Energy This Winter 

If you’ve heard of the term “heat or eat,” you may also know that many people have a very real problem when temperatures are falling at this time of year. Energy bills are known to rise this time of year, which can be a financial burden for some. The good news is that there are ways to keep your energy levels low. In the article, our HVAC company in Minneapolis, MN, shares how to save energy this winter.

Deal with Draughts 

Gaps in your doors, windows, and floors will let cool air in and warm air out. So consider mounting the drag excluders on your doors and windows. You may use an appropriate sealant, insulating strips, wooden beads, or even paper pieces. Rolled-up blankets make excellent draught excluders under your doors, too. 

Floors with holes and cracks are also responsible for heat loss, so check your floors carefully and consider getting any gaps sealed with a silicone-based sealant. Look out for other areas that can also be left in cold air. But never cover air vents, as the air vent may increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In the meantime, if your windows are not double-glazed, it’s a good idea to close your curtains, blinds, or shutters when the sun sets-but leave them open throughout the day as the sun shines through your windows will help your room stay warm.

How to Save Energy This Winter - Twin Cities MN

 

 

 

Avoid Leaving Devices On

Try not to leave electrical equipment such as TVs, DVD players, laptop boxes, cell phone chargers, and other standby appliances. If they’re on standby, they’re still turned on, which means they’re wasting their resources instead of leaving them on standby, switching them off completely. Our friends at Specialized AV, a Norcal audio and video company, adds that there are plenty of smart home automation systems that will help you save time and money.

Insulate Your Home

There are substantial energy savings to be made if your home is well-insulated. For example, experts say that about a quarter of the heat from homes goes straight out of a roof with no proper insulation. You can insulate your roof, cavity walls, and even solid walls, and even place insulation under your floorboards, all of which can contribute to lower energy bills as well as a warmer home climate.

Depending on the type of water heater you have, you might also want to insulate your hot water tank and pipes, which will help keep your water cooler for a longer period of time. You can get relatively inexpensive foam tubes to cover the pipes between your hot water tank and the boiler.

Keep Heating Under Control

Installing a thermostat, timer, and thermostatic radiator valve can help you save also. This ensures that you can configure the timer to switch your heating on before you get up or before you get home, which saves more energy compared to turning your thermostat up to warm up your home instantly. Individual thermostat valves on your radiators will also give you control over which rooms you want to heat and which temperature you want to heat.

Bleeding your radiator might be helpful as well since trapped air in the radiators will make them hotter and less effective. Plus, try not to position the furniture directly in front of the radiators, as it might mean that the heat will be absorbed into the furniture rather than heat the air.

Our Minneapolis HVAC techs highly recommend smart heating controls. These are the latest technologies that help you monitor your heating remotely through your smart device.

Heat Check Twin Cities MN

Turn Your Thermostat Down

Reducing your room temperature by just 1° could reduce your heating bills by up to 10%. If you’re healthy and under 65, you can comfortably get your home cooler than 65°F if you’re relaxed. Otherwise, heat your home to at least 65°F.

You will also want to turn the thermostat down on your water heater tank, as it saves both water and power, so you don’t need too much cold water to keep the temperature of your bath or shower warm.

Switch to LED Bulbs

Replacing all of your light bulbs with energy-saving LED bulbs might be an expense, but it’s worth it. Many LED light-bulbs are rated life of up to 50,000 hours, which means that if you use them 12 hours a day, they will last more than 11 years. LED bulbs often use less energy than other bulbs.

An average household will spend $134, replacing all its LED bulbs. But that will save about $47 a year on expenses. So if you’re not replacing them for 11 years, you’re going to save a huge amount. Although LED is still a relatively new lighting technology, the prices have fallen. Find them in your nearest supermarket or DIY shop.

Often strive to get into the habit of turning off the lights when you don’t need them. Switching off the light for just a few seconds saves more energy than it takes for the light to start up again, no matter what sort of bulb you use. This will save you about $19 on your annual energy bill.

Service Your Home’s Boiler

If your Minneapolis home has gas or oil central heating, try to ensure that your boiler is serviced every year by a professional heating company in Minneapolis, MN. If, on the other hand, your boiler is getting old, it could be worth replacing it with a more powerful one that could save you money in the long run and keep your home warm. New boilers are expensive-usually around $3,000. 

If you’re concerned about how to save energy this winter, contact McQuillan Bros. One of our HVAC techs will examine your heating and cooling systems and plumbing to see if there are ways to improve. If you’re looking to save on HVAC repairs or plumbing repairs, check out our coupons and special offers

Contact an expert

We Can't Wait To Serve You!

Complete the form below and one of our team members will give you a call to help get you scheduled. If you have an urgent need please call us at
(651) 243-4002

How to Get Your HVAC Unit Ready For Fall

How to Get Your HVAC Unit Ready For Fall - McQuillan Bros

How to Get Your HVAC Unit Ready For Fall

Are you wondering how to get your HVAC system ready for fall? As the hottest time of the year begins to get slightly cooler, you’ll want to ensure that your HVAC system is in its best condition during the fall season. Your HVAC system is one of the most important appliances in your Woodbury home. 
Don’t worry, our Woodbury HVAC contractors are here to help ensure that your HVAC system is running efficiently. Here Is how you can get your HVAC unit ready for fall. 

Change the Air Filter 

Your air filter is responsible for the clean air in your home. It filters air by trapping all impurities from outsides. It also prevents bacteria growth within the HVAC unit. 
Your air filter has a short lifespan and should be replaced every 30-90 days. Since the summer season requires that you use your HVAC system more, it is only natural that your air filter is covered with dirt and dust particles. Change the air filter every 30 days if you use it often. 
Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing, a residential AC company in Placerville, agrees that maintaining a functional air filter ensures that your air remains clean and the rest of the system works smoothly. 

Update Your Thermostat Settings 

Your thermostat manages the heating and cooling of your house. If you are using an older model for a thermostat, it will help if you change it to a smart thermostat during your next air conditioning maintenance in Woodbury. These are usually programmable and can be managed through phone applications. 
This way, you can use it only when you need it. For example, With a smart thermostat, you can easily switch it off when you are not at home and back on right before you get to the house in order to create the right temperature conditions before you get there. 

Check Your Outdoor Landscaping 

Your outdoor landscaping affects the quality of the air you get with your HVAC unit, the amount of work it does, and the level of maintenance it will have to undergo after some time. Remember, half of your HVAC unit is positioned outside the house, where it will come into contact with your landscaping. 
Take some time and trim grass or shrubs growing around the unit. Give it some 2 feet of unobstructed space to allow the unit to operate without any problems. During your lawnmowing sessions, make sure not to direct the loose grass towards the HVAC system and clean out any fallen debris such as leaves and twigs away from around the unit. 

Check the Humidity Levels in Your House 

The humidity in your house influences how comfortable you and your family will feel. Too much of it, and you will get mold in your house. Your house will also feel dump. Too little of it and the air will feel dry. The best range for your humidity levels is between 30-50 percent 
One of the most recommended and easy ways to fix your humidity is to use a ceiling fan and the right ventilation. For bigger ventilation problems, a Woodbury HVAC contractor can suggest a humidifier and dehumidifier. 

Get Professional HVAC Maintenance

So, the best way to get your HVAC system ready for fall is to get a professional HVAC technician to perform proper maintenance. Contact McQuillan Bros for professional home maintenance services to keep your home comfortable throughout the year. 

Protect Your Home From Holiday Disasters

protect your home from holiday disasters

Practical Tips for Safety & Comfort

‘Tis the season to be merry, so Minnesotans are making plans to welcome holiday guests, host family celebrations and brave busy airports. When schedules are already packed with parades, shopping, decorating and tree-trimming, the last thing families want to deal with is an HVAC or plumbing emergency. Unfortunately, frigid weather and increased equipment use can adversely impact home systems. Before the season’s activities are in full swing, minimize the chance of holiday hiccups by scheduling professional inspection and maintenance of HVAC systems, drains and plumbing.
McQuillan Bros, Minnesota’s Original plumbing and HVAC contractor, has helped generations of Twin Cities families prepare their homes for safe and cozy celebrations. Pre-holiday services include drain checkups and drain cleaning, gas line safety inspections, water heater installation, furnace and boiler repair in Minneapolis and boiler repair in Washington County.
McQuillan Bros’ certified experts know that equipment breakdowns or plumbing failures are disastrous when you’re entertaining or traveling away from home. To help you survive the season in comfort, check out these helpful plumbing and heating maintenance tips.

Five Ways to Minimize Holiday Heating & Plumbing Disasters

1. Maintain hot water for all your needs. When family and friends stay with you during the holidays, hot water heaters can have a tough time keeping up. Follow these suggestions to ensure ample hot water for everyone:

  • Turn the temperature on your water heater up to 120 degrees.
  • Ask guests to shower at 20-minute intervals.
  • Only use your dishwasher and washer during quiet times of day. Avoid running these appliances during meal prep and bath times.

If you are planning a long trip over the holidays, turn off your water and water heater to avoid unnecessary energy use and prevent damage from undetected leaks.

2. Protect garbage disposals from misuse. A stalled or clogged garbage disposal can bring meal prep to a standstill. Grinding dense and fibrous foods, eggshells, bones and large quantities of food with too-little water can damage a disposal or cause a plumbing emergency. When entertaining a crowd, put out extra trash cans and avoid using the disposal for food waste.

3. Be prepared for bathroom clogs. Holiday guests give sinks, tubs and toilets a workout. Before houseguests arrive, schedule professional drain cleaning and pipe inspection. Then, protect bathroom drains by:

  • Installing screens in sinks, tubs and showers to prevent hair and foreign objects from going down drains.
  • Keeping a plunger in each bathroom.
  • Placing wastebaskets where guests can use them conveniently.

4. Give your heating system TLC. Lower your home’s indoor temperature when you’re expecting a crowd of people. For efficient furnace operation, install new or cleaned filters before holiday parties. You may even consider installing a programmable thermostat to save money while optimizing guest comfort. As a bonus, this device delivers high-efficiency heating, all season long.

5. Keep McQuillan Bros on speed dial. Even with the most diligent maintenance, equipment can break down or you could end up coping with a holiday home disaster. You’ll appreciate McQuillan Bros’ prompt, 24/7 emergency service and upfront pricing. Our trucks are stocked with the parts and supplies to restore your home to full-function, as quickly as possible. When things go wrong, call 651.237.5097. Our experienced, certified technicians are ready to provide frozen pipe repair in Saint Paul or boiler repair in Minneapolis.

McQuillan Bros Is Your Year-Round Home Maintenance Partner

McQuillan Bros has been protecting the year-round safety and wellbeing of four generations of discerning Minnesota residents. Whether you need boiler repair in Washington County, plumbing installation in Ramsey County or emergency repairs during the Christmas and New Year holidays, we offer service you can count on and pricing that won’t break your budget. Call 651.237.5097 to schedule pre-holiday maintenance or use our simple online contact form for service requests.

Homeowner Tips for a Worry-Free Winter

indoor air quality

Homeowner Tips for a Worry-Free Winter

As summer winds down and days grow shorter, it’s wise to tackle DIY tasks that ward off the inconveniences brought on by bad weather. You may already have plans to winterize the RV, put the garden to bed and drain the pool, but don’t overlook basic home maintenance to prepare for frosty days ahead. No matter what type of heating system you have, McQuillan Bros reminds homeowners that prepping now for winter’s onslaught will keep you safe and warm when frigid temperatures wrap the Twin Cities.

4 Essential Fall Maintenance Tasks

  1. Schedule boiler & furnace maintenance. Before temperatures drop to uncomfortable lows, make sure your home’s heating system is ready to perform. Homeowners with a DIY frame of mind should clean or replace furnace filters and vacuum vents, combustion chambers, and flues where dust and soot may have settled. You should also lubricate moving parts like fans, motors, and circulating pumps. To be sure your heating system is functioning at its peak, schedule a seasonal inspection with the HVAC specialists at McQuillan Bros: boiler repair experts in Minneapolis. During your inspection, our certified technicians will also check system ignition, electrical connections and combustion efficiency to let you know if you need boiler replacement in Minneapolis before winter’s arrival.
  2. Clear gutters, downspouts & drains. A buildup of ice on roofs and sidewalks can damage your home and pose a serious safety risk. Clear debris from gutters and downspouts and make sure drainage extends beyond walkways and driveways. Adding extra length to downspout drainage helps to channel water away from your home’s foundation while preventing ice from forming on walking paths.
  3. Winterize windows & doors. Stopping air leaks around windows and doors pays big dividends in energy savings. It also lightens your furnace’s load and adds years of useful service before you succumb to boiler replacement in Minneapolis. Replace old or damaged weather stripping and repair dry and broken caulking. Consider installing storm windows and doors or replacing the old and inefficient single-pane glass with energy-saving options.
  4. Cover faucets & drain outdoor water lines. With freezing temperatures, water expands into ice. Winterize outdoor faucets, hoses, and sprinkler systems to prevent damage. Remember to protect outdoor kitchens and landscaping features that include running water, as well.

McQuillan Bros Offers Seasonal Inspection Discounts

McQuillan Bros has been taking care of the heating and plumbing needs of Minneapolis families for over 130 years. To help valued customers prepare for winter, we are offering discounts on preseason heating inspections. Discerning homeowners count on our certified specialists for furnace and boiler maintenance, water heater replacement and boiler repair in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and surrounding counties. For friendly, local expertise, quality craftsmanship, and upfront pricing, call 651.237.5097 to schedule service with Minnesota’s Original plumbing and heating company.