M&M Andrews, Inc.
dba: Lakes Area Plumbing
MN Plumbing Contractor License PC643829
MN Master Plumbing License 037805-PM
Armstrong Air

Logos Armstrong Air Water-Right Steffes Heating Systems Uponor Gerhards Showroom



AO Smith


Heating & Cooling Questions

Plumbing Questions

Energy Tips

What size heating system do I need for my home?
The most effective size heating system for any home is determined by the structures cubic area, current insulation values as well as the number and size of windows and doors. Contact us to discuss your heating situation, we will provide suggestions to fit your needs and budget.

How do Heating and Cooling efficiency ratings affect my energy costs?
Heating and cooling costs can account for more than half of your home's total utility bill. If your home is operating with an out-dated heating or cooling system you can very easily be paying well above the normal amount to maintain optimal comfort. In regards to efficiency ratings (SEER and AFUE), the higher the efficiency rating the less you pay to maintain your desired comfort. Use the Energy Calculator link provided below to see how various efficiency ratings impact your heating and/or cooling costs.

Energy Calculator

What is SEER?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is the ratio used to measure the efficiency of air conditioners. It is the measure of how efficiently a cooling system will operate over an entire season. In terms of rating, the higher the SEER, the more efficient the cooling system.

What is AFUE?
AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency and is the rating standard used to measure the efficiency of heating systems over an entire year/heating season. AFUE is always expressed as a percentage (i.e. 78%) and like SEER, the higher the rating/percentage the more efficient the system.

How long will my ETS furnace store heat?
The Steffes Heating System stores enough heat to satisfy all heating requirements on the coldest days of the year. When accurate size recommendations are followed, the ETS system will satisfy your desired comfort at all times. The brick core heat storage unit is super insulated.

Are you a licensed plumbing contractor?
Yes, Lakes Area Plumbing is a licensed plumbing contractor in the state of Minnesota. We maintain a MN Plumbing Contractor License PC643829, and a MN Master Plumbers certification License 037805-PM.

How do you fix a running toilet?
In most cases a running toilet is the result of the flapper or the chain being too long. A worn flapper can easily be replaced. A chain that is too long can get caught under the flapper, if this is the case make sure to shorten the chain immediately.

When should I replace my water heater?
There really isn't a set lifespan or time frame in which a water heater needs to be replaced. If you experience a tank leak then replacement is vital but otherwise water heater replacement depends on its condition and usage. The following are indicators to either start shopping around for a replacement water heater or consult a licensed plumber:

  • Cold water from the hot water tap
  • The systems inability to produce and keep up with the amount of water needed for your home or family
  • The systems inability to produce hot water consistently
  • Clanging, popping or other noises from the water heater
  • The interior of the tank appears to have excessive rust

Energy Tips
Adjust Your Thermostat - Setting your cooling system 5° (F) higher can save you up to 20% on your cooling costs.

Adjust Your Water Heater – Save money by turning your water heater down to 120° or the "Normal" setting when you're home, and to the lowest setting when you're gone. Water heating accounts for about 13% of home energy costs.

Supplement Your AC with Ceiling Fans – Install and use ceiling fans to reduce cooling costs, they assist in air circulation and most use less energy than a light bulb. In addition to ceiling fans, try to keep windows, doors and shades closed during the day.

Cold Water Washing – Wash your clothes in cold water whenever possible, this will reduce the work on your water heater, saving you money. About 90% of the energy used to operate a washing machine comes from water heating.

Use a Programmable Thermostat – By using and maintaining the various settings on your programmable thermostat you can save money on energy costs throughout the year. Visit Energy Star for more information on the proper way to use a programmable thermostat.

Change Your Furnace/AC Filter – Change your furnace or air conditioning filter regularly, most often this is at least every 3 months, but consult with your heating or cooling systems manual for exact recommendations. Dirty filters slow air flow, making your system work harder and wasting energy. You may need to change your filter more frequently if you have pets (cats or dogs) in the home or during months of heavy usage.

Lakes Area Plumbing - PO Box 186, Merrifield, MN 56465
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