Author Archives: Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Residential Heating and Cooling Systems

We all want to save money and lower our bills in the process. We love to pinch our pennies, cut coupons, and be saving-savvy in all aspects of our lives. So when you don’t want to be sweaty all summer or freezing all winter, how do you get the most out of your residential heating and cooling system without spending the big bucks? We’ve put together these 8 tips to help you achieve that goal.


1) Clean around the unit

Outdoor heating and cooling systems work most effectively if they are clean and clear of debris. Dedicating a few minutes a week to keeping the unit clean is the most effective use of your time and money.

2) Keep up on routine maintenance

Along with keeping the unit clean, keep the area around the unit clear and don’t forget to clean those air filters. Keeping up on routine heating and cooling maintenance can keep larger problems from developing and allow the unit to work most effectively, all which save you money.

3) Figure out where air is escaping in your house

One of the worst feelings has to be when you realize that you’ve been cooling down the outdoors by finding a window open after you’ve had the air conditioner on. These situations can be easily prevented and so can other air leaks. It is worth the time to figure out which areas of the house leak air, as this can be a large reason why you stay hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Sometimes these problems can be easily fixed or they may require a more thorough house sealing, but taking care of large air leaks will save you money in the long run on heating and cooling costs.

4) Clean your windows screens and keep them open when weather allows

Take advantage of the few weeks of the year that allow for pleasant outdoor temperatures to cool and freshen your house. Also, clean window screens ensure that only fresh air is getting inside. Additionally, cleaning dust and debris regularly from the screens can be important for your health. If opening your windows is making you sick, you won’t want them open.

5) Do what you can to cool down your house in the summer

Plant shade trees around your house to keep the summer sun from coming in, and keep curtains and blinds closed in the heat of the day for the same reasons. Avoid dryer and oven use in the heat of the day as these appliances will quickly heat up your house. Cook outside at every opportunity you have, whether that be in a sun-oven, grill, or other outdoor oven. If possible, only run the dryer at night when the sun is down so you do not have multiple forces heating the house.

6) Use exhaust fans to keep humidity and water out

Whenever the shower or bath are in use, make sure to turn on your exhaust fans! These fans are a great tool to get the humidity and water out of the air in the bathroom that will eventually travel throughout the house. In addition to keeping mold out of your house, these fans eliminate humidity which can have adverse air effects in both the summer and winter since humidity makes the hot air feel hotter and the cold feel colder.

7) Schedule service early

Tune in to tune-ups! Whether it’s home AC repair, heating and cooling maintenance, or furnace repair services that you are in need of, make sure to schedule maintenance early and regularly to keep your unit in the best care.

8) Keep thermostat temperatures regular

While it can be tempting (especially if people in the house don’t agree on the temperature) to constantly change the thermostat temperature, the constant juggling of the thermostat can cause secondary heating systems to kick in which result in high-cost energy charges that you will really see reflected in your bill. Changing the thermostat for most of the day when people are not home and then changing it again when people get home won’t give you adverse effects (this practice definitely saves money) but consistent thermostat changes is something to avoid.

When it comes to residential heating and cooling, you want to do all that you can to keep your bills down and your heating and cooling sources running. At Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air we are dedicated to helping you get the best use out of your air and heating systems for the lowest cost.

Having trouble with an air unit? Need heating and cooling maintenance? Give us a call today at 831-244-6718 or check out our website.

Dealing with Kitchen Drain Clogs

Kitchen plumbing will try to get the best of you. Luckily, the information and services we provide will help you win the piping battles. 

Clogs and drainage backups can happen when food like grease or starch create a blockage. However, avoiding putting these down your drain won’t always prevent a problem.

 When You Need Us

There are home remedies for a clogged sink, but when these don’t do the trick, Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air is equipped with licensed professionals in the Santa Cruz, Marin, and Santa Clara County areas.

 Your Trusted and Dedicated Plumber

After you schedule an appointment online or call our 24/7 service, one of our technicians will arrive at your home, assess the problem, and offer a solution. You can rest easy knowing that here at Bellows we have pledged to put you first, and we have the experience necessary to solve any plumbing problem you can throw at us.

Some of the Services We Offer for Drainage Clogs Include:

  • Hydrojetting
  • Disposal Replacement and Repair
  • Clogs and Rooter Service


The go-to solution for impossible drain clogs is hydro jetting. This option is particularly advised if your drainage clog is due to:

  • years of built-up trash and food
  • caked-on grease
  • small trapped objects like toys

For any questions about our hydro jetting service, call 831-244-6718

Disposal Replacement and Repair

If our technician finds that a replacement or repair may be necessary, those services can be provided to you. Advised replacements or repairs will be explained to you in depth before any work starts.

Clogs and Rooter Service

Damage to pipes due to roots, rocks, and wear can create serious clogs and drainage backups. Our plumbing technicians are trained on how to recognize what the cause of the problem is, and how to fix it without creating any further damage.

Plumbing work isn’t for everyone. If you would prefer to have a professional assist with even a minor clog, we are here for you. There’s nothing worse than dealing with an inconvenient drain backup in your home, but cleaning out piping and traps, repairing drain damage, and giving you peace of mind is what we live for.

To make your kitchen usable again, contact us today to make an appointment.

5 Ways to Unclog A Drain

Types of Drain Clogs

Drain clogs can be found in many different pipes throughout the house; from a toilet to a shower, or even a kitchen sink. Drain clogs can be caused by a number of different things; the following are a few different types of drain clogs and the most common causes:

  • Toilet Drain Clogs are commonly caused by flushing improper items, like feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, diaper wipes, and more, down the toilet.
  • Shower Drain Clogs are oftentimes caused by a combination of dead skin, dirt, and hair that combines with soap scum in the pipes, causing a blockage.
  • Kitchen Sink Drain Clogs become a problem when oil, grease, and food particles that start to expand combine in the sink drains and back them up.

Tools You May Need to Remove Drain Clogs

  • Tweezers
  • Drain Stick
  • Plunger
  • Chemical Pipe Cleaner
  • A Professional

5 Ways to Unclog a Drain

1. Remove Stopper

Some drain clogs are as easy as removing the stopper and cleaning out the gunk that has piled up at the top of the drain.

  1. Most stoppers can be twisted off rather easily.
  2. Once the stopper is twisted off, you can use tweezers to pull out the clogged hair and soap scum.

2. Use a Drain Stick

  1. Remove the stopper by twisting off the top.
  2. Stick the drain stick down the pipe and pull it back up. The barbs on a drain stick are great for catching the gunk and helping pull it up if it’s a little bit deeper than just the surface of the pipe.

3. Get Out the Plunger

A plunger helps with drain clogs that are bad enough to have standing water accumulating.

  1. Remove the stopper by twisting off the top.
  2. Place the plunger over the drain and pump up and down a few times to help remove the clog.
  3. Once the standing water is able to drain down, flush the pipe with water to help move everything out.

4. Chemical Drain Cleaner

  1. Make sure the type of drain cleaner you are looking to use works for your pipes, fixture, and type of clog.
  2. Use the chemical drain cleaner as directed on the bottle.
  3. Do not leave the chemicals in the drain for longer than suggested on the bottle, it can cause damage to the pipes that will then create more issues than the initial drain clog.

5. Call a Professional Plumber

There are many instances when it is wisest to call in a professional to take care of the drain clog for you. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have no idea what you’re doing when it comes to drain clogs?
  • Are you worried you might make things worse?
  • Have you tried the above DIY options and they didn’t work for your clog? Sometimes clogs won’t budge unless you try hydro jetting!
  • Are you in a hurry to have it fixed?
  • Does it appear the problem could be worse than just a drain clog?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, be sure to call in a professional plumber. Here at Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air, we are happy to help with any type of drain clog or plumbing issue you may have. Bellows serves the Santa Cruz, Marin, and Santa Clara areas.

Contact us today to set up an appointment and get rid of your drain clog now by dialing 831-244-6718