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.

Broken Boiler Noises

broken boiler noises - McQuillan Bros

Be On Guard for These Broken Boiler Noises

In our last blog, we covered a few common boiler troubles that plague Minnesota residents during winter months. While some familiar heater problems are sneaky and silent, others alert you with annoying and worrisome noises. Take this clanking, popping and banging seriously! If your heater sounds like a whining kettle or mimics the neighbor’s amateur garage band, it’s time to call in the best HVAC company in Ramsey County.
Steam and hot water boilers may “sound off” as they age when limescale builds in the tank or air gets trapped in the heating system. While a noisy boiler isn’t always unsafe, a faulty appliance could be hazardous. Approaching every repair with your safety in mind, McQuillan Bros’ certified technicians handle loud boiler systems with care to prevent scalding or electrical risk.

Sounds You Shouldn’t Hear From a Healthy Boiler

  1. Rumbling & clanking due to limescale. Known as “kettling,” knocking or clunking noises usually occur when a mineral coating builds inside the boiler’s heat exchanger. Excess sediment blocks water flow and leads to water expansion, steam buildup and rapid boiling. The result: a loud sound similar to a kettle that’s boiling over on the stovetop. Your steam or hot water boiler contains a pressure relief valve designed to minimize the dangers of kettling, but, over time, limescale causes internal damage and takes a toll on efficiency.
  2. Rumbling & clanking due to thermostat setting. When your thermostat is set too high, it can also lead to rapid boiling inside the water heater tank. Reduce the thermostat setting to eliminate this type of kettling noise. In some cases, your thermostat may be defective and should be changed out by a boiler repair technician.
  3. Gurgling or whistling. These sounds may occur when pipes or traps are frozen or air has accumulated in your boiler or radiator system. A boiler repair professional can thaw frozen pipes or bleed the radiator system to release trapped air and restore normal water flow. If you decide to bleed the system yourself, proceed with caution. Hot water is purged during the process and could lead to scalding.   

McQuillan Bros Boiler Replacement Specialists

Noisy boilers are unsettling and may put your family at risk. Our HVAC company in Ramsey County is the region’s No. 1 boiler specialist. Responding quickly to troubleshoot your problem or provide cost-effective boiler replacement in Minneapolis, our family-owned business has over 135 years of heating experience.
Don’t lose sleep over your noisy boiler! Schedule heating service at 651.237.5097 or request steam or hot water boiler repair online. Proudly serving generations of Twin City residents, we offer no-obligation estimates for boiler replacement in Minneapolis and surrounding counties.