Reduce Heating Costs by 50% This Winter

Programmable thermostat to save money on heating costsIs your heating bill stressing you out this winter? Heating your home in the winter can be expensive, and 42 percent of the average American’s utility bill is solely from heating costs. As the weather gets cooler, don’t waste all of your money overworking your heating system. Most of these costs are due to wasted energy that can easily be prevented to cut costs. Follow some of these simple tricks that can save you up to 50 percent on your next heating bill.

Prevent Heat Loss

Much of the heat produced by your heating system is lost through cracks, windows, doors, and your roof. This can be stopped by adding insulation to your home, or improving the quality of your home’s insulation. This process can sometimes be expensive, but some easy, inexpensive fixes might be as simple as adding insulation to your attic access door to prevent hot air from rising, or using carpet to insulate tile, wood, or linoleum floors. Another method is to add an insulator film to your windows. This film reflects heat back into your home and blocks any heat escaping through the glass of your windows. This film has proven to save 10% on heating costs.

Insulate windows to save money on heating costs in the winterAlmost 25% of all heat in your home is lost through air leaks in your doors and windows. You can reduce these leaks by replacing old weather strips on doors and windows, making sure that windows are securely closed, and replacing old windows frames. If there is a gap under your door, door seals can be a great help to stop warm air from leaking out. Taking the time to seal these small gaps alone can save you 10% on your heating bill.

Turn it Down at Night

At night or when you’re away from home, turn down your thermostat a few degrees. Turning the thermostat down even by one degree at night can save you 3% a month.

Programmable thermostats allow you to program an automatic temperature drop at night. Upgrading to a programmable thermostat will also save you money and reduce heating energy. Nest’s Learning Thermostat is expensive, but can program itself to shut off the air when you don’t need it, and use heat wisely. It has proven to reduce heating energy and reduce users’ heating bills by 10-12%.

Change the Air Filter

Another simple trick is to change your air filter regularly. A dirty, old filter forces your heating system to work harder than it needs to, and wastes unnecessary energy. Changing the filter every three to six months will save you 7% on your heating bill.

Reverse the Ceiling Fan

During the winter months, ceiling fans should be changed to spin clockwise. This may seem like an odd trick, but it can save you up to 8% on your bill. As hot air rises, the ceiling fan will blow hot air back down and prevent it from escaping through the ceiling.

From Mathews Plumbing, your fan should spin clockwise in winter and counterclockwise in summer

Seal Air Ducts

Lastly, make sure that your air ducts are properly sealed, and up to code to prevent major heat loss. Insulating air ducts can increase savings by another 10%. If you’re not sure if your air ducts are properly sealed, Mathews Plumbing can help inspect them.

If you have any questions about other ways to save money on your heating bill, call Mathews Plumbing at 208-357-3439.


Water Heater

Choosing The Right Water Heater


By: Kathryn Hyer


The average family uses anywhere between 28 to 56 gallons of hot water per day. With all of this water usage, perhaps one of the most important and overlooked appliances is the water heater. No one seems to notice the water heater until it breaks, leaving you with nothing but cold water, and a broken heater to replace.

Hot water heaters in Idaho are a must have, especially during those cold winter months. There are two types of water heaters you can have in your home, a traditional tank heater, or a modern tankless heater. Knowing the pros and cons of these two types of water heaters will assist you in choosing the right water heater for you and your home.

Traditional Water Heaters

Traditional tank heaters store anywhere between 30-50 gallons or water. The preheated water is used whenever someone does the laundry, washes dishes or showers. Once the water is used, the tank refills and reheats again.

  • Lower installation cost– Installation of a storage heater unit costs nearly half that of a tankless unit.
  • Inexpensive unit to replace– Storage heater units are less      expensive than tankless, making them a viable option for those on a tight budget.
  • Size– The large size of these heaters require more floor space, and can’t be placed outside.
  • Limited water usage– The water in the tank is the only hot water available. Once it’s gone, it’s goodbye hot water and hello cold showers. This happens often with larger families or frequent usage.
  • Short lifespan– Tank water heaters have a lifespan of 10-15 years, nearly half the lifespan of its counterpart. This means       replacement will be needed more frequently.
  • Higher utility bill– Because water is being continuously heated, energy costs for traditional water heaters are higher than that of tankless water heaters.
Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters use a heat source, usually electricity or gas, to warm up water on an as-needed basis, instead of storing hot water. The water is run through a pipe connected to the heater, where it is heated instantly.

  • Unlimited hot water– Never running out of hot water means       never having to take a cold shower again. This is a luxury one could easily get used to.
  • Lower cost overall– Tankless water heaters tend to be 24%-34% more energy efficient than storage tank heaters, saving you money in the long run.
  • Small size– The small size of these units allows them to be placed basically anywhere, even outside.
  • Longer lifespan– The average lifespan of a tankless water heater is 20+ years, making it last twice as long as a traditional storage heater.
  • Higher installation cost- These units can cost up to twice as much to install compared to traditional heaters, depending on the model and distributer, costing you more upfront.
 Which Water Heater Should You Choose?

Choosing the right water heater for you depends on your budget and lifestyle. If you’re in a large family that uses a lot of water, you may want to consider a tankless heater, so as to never have to worry about running out of hot water. Tankless heaters cost more initially, but will save you money in the long run.

A traditional heater may be the better option for you, though, if you have a limited income and are in need of something fast. Keep in mind, however, traditional water heaters do end up costing more in the long run.

While both tank and tankless water heaters have their pros and cons, neither of them are perfect. Mathews Plumbing and Heating is here for you when things go wrong. Our specialized technicians are the experts on hot water heaters in Idaho, and are trained to inspect and maintain them to ensure your comfort. Give us a call at 208-357-3439 for all of your water heater needs, and we would be happy to assist you.



Programmable thermostat to save money on heating costs

6 Ways To Save Money On Your Air Conditioning


By: Kathryn Hyer


It’s summertime in Southeast Idaho, and chances are your air conditioning bill isn’t the only thing making you sweat. The average AC bill during summer months can be as high as $120, posing the question of how to stay cool without breaking the bank. Read below to learn seven ways to save money on your air conditioning while still keeping cool this summer.


1. Open windows during evenings and mornings

By opening your windows in the evenings and early mornings, you allow natural, cool air to flow through your home. Check your local weather forecast to know the best times to open and close your windows.


2. Block the sun from your home

Your home will be less likely to overheat if the sun is blocked from entering it. You can prevent the sun from coming into your home and create shade by doing the following:

  • Purchase blackout curtains. These nifty curtains are available in most department stores, and do exactly what it sounds like- block the sun from entering your home.
  • Plant trees. Strategically planted trees will provide shade to your home and block the intense summer sun from increasing the temperature in your home. A more long-term solution, planting trees may seem like a hassle but will ultimately keep your house cooler, saving you more on your AC bill.


3.  Use portable fans

Simple as it may seem, utilizing portable fans will increase the airflow in your home without increasing your bill. Portable fans use 80-90% less electricity than air conditioners, making them a nice option for those looking to save money. These fans come in all shapes and sizes, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your space.


4. Spend more time in the basement

Basements can be anywhere from 2 to 15 degrees cooler than the rest of your home, so never underestimate the relief they can provide. Because they are below ground level, the moisture in the soil creates a cool atmosphere, making the basement a nice getaway from the heat.


5. Adjust your thermostat

The most efficient setting of your thermostat is 78 degrees during the summer months. This temperature will neither lower or increase your AC bill. However, every degree above 78 has the potential to lower your AC bill by six to eight percent. Take care not not to lower your thermostat dramatically and then forget about it, resulting in a larger AC bill.


6. Keep your AC unit maintained

AC repair in Idaho Falls can be expensive, but doesn’t have to be. One of the best ways to save money on your AC is to keep your unit well maintained, in order to avoid costly repairs. Here are the main things you’ll want to look out for with your AC unit:

  • Clean the evaporator drain
  • Change the blower filter at least twice a year
  • Remove debris from interior and exterior of unit regularly
  • Clean the evaporator coil regularly by brushing it off with a toothbrush, and then spraying it with coil cleaner



Summer should be enjoyable and not overbearing because of the extreme heat. Take the necessary steps to stay cool and save money this summer! If you need an air conditioning unit installed, need an AC inspection, or would like more tips on how to increase your AC’s efficiency, feel free to give Mathews Plumbing a call today! We offer AC repair in Idaho Falls and its surrounding areas, allowing you to better enjoy the summer and stop sweating about the bill! Call today!



6 Common Summertime Plumbing Problems


By: Kathryn Hyer


Summertime is here, and you know what that means! Kids are running around, grass sprinklers are always in use, and there are cookouts galore. While summertime is fun and exciting, there are a few plumbing issues which are more prevalent during this season than any other. Read below to know what these problems are and how to avoid them.

1) Clogged Garbage Disposal

Warmer weather means more barbeques, more barbeques means more food, and more food means more frequent use of the garbage disposal. Simply put, the best way to avoid damaging your garbage disposal is to be careful about what you put in it.

Solution: Fruit rinds, bones and husks should be thrown in the garbage, not the disposal. By running cold water through the drain for 10 to 15 minutes before and after each use, you can clear the drain and prevent a bigger plumbing problem. Likewise, being careful of what you put down your disposal will save you a big headache down the road.

2) Clogged Toilets

If you have school-aged children in your home, chances are they’re pretty excited to be out of school for the summer. Having kids home more often means more toilet usage, and likely more clogged toilets due to the increased use.

Solution: Take the time to educate your children about the importance of proper toilet usage. Teach them how much toilet paper to use, and what not to flush down the toilet.

3) Sprinkler Issues

After sitting for months on end without being used, automatic sprinklers are prone to have more issues and leaks. Automatic sprinkler heads also tend to suffer more abuse during the summer months due to more frequent lawn mowing.

Solution: Make sure to check your sprinkler heads for any damage and replace them when necessary. Avoid driving over sprinkler heads with a lawn mower. Also, check your sprinkler hose for any leaks at the beginning of summer and check it periodically.

4) Inefficient Sump Pumps

If you live in a home that is prone to flooding, chances are you probably have a sump pump. Summer rainstorms can be relentless and damaging if you’re not prepared for them.

Without a proper sump pump, unwanted water can leak into your sewage system and also cause flooding in your home.

Solution: Make sure that your sump pump is in proper, working condition. It’s a good idea to have your sump pump inspected regularly to avoid any kind of damage in the future.

5) Backed Up Shower Drain

It’s no secret that sand can be pretty messy. After a fun day at the beach, sand not only gets tracked into the house, but ultimately into the shower, where it can cause buildup and slower drain times.

Solution: Many public swimming areas have a public shower you can use to rinse off afterwards. Be sure to rinse off at the beach before coming home, to avoid tracking sand into your bathrooms and showers. Also, utilizing a drain cover is beneficial to help prevent larger objects, such as pebbles or seashells, from slipping down the drain.

6) Overworked Washing Machine

During the summertime, your washing machine is likely running overtime to keep up with all of your outdoor activities. Such frequent use of the washing machine can cause issues to arise.

Solution: Run smaller loads to avoid blockages and overflows. Also be sure to regularly check the hose for leakage.


Don’t put a damper on your summer fun by having to worry about your plumbing. Be sure to take all of the necessary precautions to avoid these plumbing problems, so you can have a carefree and fun-filled summer. As always, give Mathews Plumbing a call at (208) 357-3439 if you have any problems, or need a preliminary plumbing inspection. We’re here for you to ensure you have a worry-free summer!



Conserving Water On A Daily Basis


By: Kathryn Hyer


We use water everyday, for multiple reasons. From brushing our teeth and taking showers to cooking and doing the dishes, our use of water is pretty consistent. How much water are we really using, and how much of an impact is it making on our water supply? Everyday water usage has become a part of our everyday lives, but we don’t have to be wasteful with our water. Read below to find out and to know how you can begin your water conservation process.


Stats on Water Usage


The average American household uses 300 gallons of water per day. Nearly 70 percent of water usage occurs indoors, while 30 percent occurs outdoors. Daily, the amount of water we use per person in the United States is about 88 gallons. If water-saving devices were installed into every U.S. household, our use of water would decrease by a whopping 30 percent, saving an estimated amount of 5.4 billion gallons per day. This would add up to savings of $11.3 million dollars per day, and $4 billion per year.


With all of the water we use on a daily basis, we’ve come up with a few solutions of how you can conserve water in your home. To start off, we suggest you get an estimate of how much water your household is currently using by accessing the water usage calculator. After viewing your daily water usage, check out ideas for water conservation listed below.


Water Conservation Solutions

  • Install water efficient products in your home
  • Turn water off while shaving or brushing teeth
  • Utilize a pool/hot tub cover


Water conservation isn’t as difficult as it may sound. For instance, here are a few easy ways to conserve water. First, we recommend buying water efficient products for your home.  Different products with different water efficiency options include shower heads, toilets, washing machines, faucets and sprinklers. After some research and installation of these products, you’ll be cutting back on your water usage in no time.


Along with these products, water usage can easily be lessened simply by paying attention to how you’re using your water. If you keep the water running while brushing your teeth, try turning the tap off while you brush.


Likewise, water may be turned off in the shower while shaving, the sink can be turned off when washing your face, etc.  When doing laundry, only do a load when it’s full. Making these little changes in your daily routine can significantly cut back on your water usage in a year.


Secondly, look for ways to cut back on water usage on home features that can’t be easily updated, such as a pool or hot tub. By simply using a cover for your pool or hot tub, you decrease the chance of water evaporation by 90-95 percent. Without a cover, a pool loses about 1 inch of water per week in the summer due to evaporation. That can add up to 3,500 gallons in 6 months, but can easily be avoided with a pool cover.


Before beginning your water conservation journey, be sure that your plumbing is in good shape! As always, Mathews Plumbing and Heating is here for you to assist with all of your plumbing needs. Give us a call today at 208-357-3439!




Sources: Life

4 Easy Ways To Fix Hair Clogged Drains


By: Kathryn Hyer

The normal human sheds an average of 100 to 125 hairs each day. Whether you know it or not, this consistent loss of hair may be adding to drainage problems in your showers, tubs, and sinks. Long hairs are especially more likely to clog drains, and can lead to other extensive plumbing problems down the road. If you would like to learn more about how you can prevent a hair-clogged drain, or learn how to fix one on your own, continue reading below for easy and helpful plumbing tips!

Solution #1: The Snake

These thin little tools are simple to use, and tend to be effective. The tool is a slender, plastic rod with little hooks coming out of it that is easily lowered into a drain, while the hairs are snagged on the hooks on the way out. Most convenience stores carry them, or they may be ordered online. These disposable “snake” tools are are a cheap, easy way to keep your drains hair-free.

Solution #2: A Drain Cover

Hair clogged drains can completely be avoided if preventive measures are taken, such as using a drain cover. Although these are mainly used in showers and tubs, they may also be used in sinks. These plastic cylinder-like covers are placed over the drain, and act as a sort of strainer, allowing the water to flow easily into the drain but preventing the hair from doing so. These are inexpensive and a great way to prevent drains from getting clogged in the first place.

Solution #3: DIY Drain Cleaners

In an effort to forgo using liquid cleaners made with harmful chemicals, more and more people are opting to make their own drain cleaner, most of which are very simple and easy to make. Here is one of the more simple “recipes” for drain cleaners, that has proven to be effective for most:

  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • ½ cup of white vinegar
  • Boiling water
  1. Pour the baking soda down the drain, followed by the vinegar
  2. Cover the drain with a rag or plug
  3. Allow the mixture to break down anything that may be clogging the drain
  4. Flush with boiling water


Solution #4: Use A Plunger

For a drain that is already clogged, using a simple plunger could do the trick to clear it. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to use a plunger to unclog sink and tub drains.

       To unclog the drain:
  1. Remove/unscrew the drain stopper and plug the drain with a rag/towel.
  2. Apply petroleum jelly to the lip of the plunger (This creates a tighter seal)
  3. Run enough water over the drain to barely cover it
  4. Plunge the drain vigorously 3-6 times
  5. Remove the rag (The water should drain quickly)
  6. If the drain is still clogged, repeat the process


Despite all of your efforts, occasionally there will be drains that simply won’t unclog. In these instances it’s best to call a plumber to help, and Mathew’s Plumbing & Heating is here for you! Our professionally trained plumbers are experts in the art of unclogging drains, and would love to assist you. If you’re experiencing difficulties with your drains in the Rexburg, Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Pocatello or Shelley areas, give Mathew’s Plumbing & Heating a call today at (208) 357-3439.



Idaho Falls Water Heaters

When to Get a New Water Heater

By: Karli

An Essential Home Appliance

Nothing is quite as shocking as a cold shower or bath. Even if you know what’s coming, it’s shocking every time! Warm water is a personal luxury most Americans enjoy on a regular basis. Providing heated water for showers, tubs, washing machines, or dishwashers, water heaters are a universal convenience homes struggle to do without.

Most home appliances aren’t made to last forever, no matter how efficient and well-made they may be. Home appliances wear out over time and will need to be replaced when they reach their expected lifespan. Water heaters aren’t exempt from this natural fate. It is important for homeowners to know when it is time to get a new water heater and that it is essential not to wait too long. Delaying the purchase of a new water heater could be costly, and even downright dangerous. Below are some general signs it is time for a new water heater in your home.

Signs of Needed Replacement

  • Water Heater Struggling to Heat
  • Leaking around Water Heater
  • Water heater poorly installed, maintained
  • Appliance is  8-15 years old
  • Water Pressure is Poor
  • Deposit Buildups
  • Water Heater Less Efficient
  • Rusting From Interior

Age of Water Heaters Matter. Water heaters generally are designed to last between 8-15 years. Some models can last longer or shorter than that, depending on how well the water heater was installed, the location of the water heater, and how well the water heater was maintained. After reaching that point, water heaters start to have a lot more issues. Water heaters that are maintained on a yearly basis will last longer than those that haven’t been maintained frequently. If your water heater has reached its expected lifespan, but it is still functioning properly, just be sure to keep an eye on it and to have it checked regularly.

Lack of Hot Water. One of the most obvious signs a water heater needs to be replaced is when it ceases to be reliable for hot water. Maybe you’ve noticed this when you’re filling up the tub, taking a shower, or even just doing the dishes. When the water doesn’t heat up as it has in the past, or maybe doesn’t heat up at all, it’s time to have it fixed or replaced. 

Leak in the Water Heater. These, in particular, can be a sign of serious issues, and definitely should get checked out immediately. Leaks in the water heater may be caused by a variety of issues, some trivial, others serious, but ultimately it is better to be overly cautious than careless. Flooding and water damage can be costly compared to simply getting it check out.

Deposit Builds Up. Water heaters tend to have a shorter lifespan when deposits from hard water builds up on the bottom of the appliance. Typically, when hard water deposits collect on the bottom, issues with overheating become a problem since the bottom layer of the water heater is more insulated due to the build up.

Less Efficient Over Time. Older models of water heaters will be less efficient over time, requiring more energy to function while providing less satisfying results. If your water heater takes a long time to heat up, runs out of hot water quickly, or is using more energy than it normally should, call in a professional. Newer models of water heaters will save you more in the long run. 

Water Heater Inspection

Regularly having your water heater inspected by a professional can prevent unexpectant issues down the road. Forgetting to check on your water heater every once in awhile could be dangerous, and lead to flooding, or even an explosion on rare occasions. If you suspect something is wrong with your water heater, do not hesitate to get it inspected. Water heaters should be checked and maintained every year or two to ensure everything is functioning appropriately.

Idaho Falls Water Heaters

Water Heater Repairs & Replacement

If you have recently had your water heater inspected, and replacement is needed, Mathews Plumbing can recommend and install a variety of water heaters. Sometimes, though, all your water heater may need is a few repairs, and not a total replacement. Either way, Mathews Plumbing offers its water heater services in Eastern Idaho cities of Pocatello, Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Ammon, Rigby, and Rexburg. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for a water heater inspection, repair, or a new water heater installation.



Solutions to Foul Tasting Water

By: Karli Willden

Foul tasting water is up there on the list of unpleasant life experiences. If you currently have hard water issues, or you have in the past, this will hit close to home. Nothing is worse than coming inside for a quick drink, only to gulp down a nasty glass of water. So what causes the water to smell or taste how it does? What can be done about it? Here are a few things you should know.

Common Smells or Tastes In Bad Water

  • Rotten Eggs
  • Earthy/Dirt
  • Pool Water/Chlorine Taste
  • Copper/Iron
  • Mineral Taste

Why Does Your Water Taste or Smell Bad?

Water does not always have a universal flavor. The taste, and even the smell of water, can vary from location to location. Some home residents may complain their water tastes like dirt, chemicals, minerals, or even rotten eggs. Water flavor may be caused from a variety of issues. According to many of these unsavory flavors “may originate from algae, bacteria, wildfires, minerals, and decaying vegetation, but for the most part these things are not generally dangerous to people’s health.” If you live in an older home with older plumbing, however, there may be a cause for concern. Homes with outdated plumbing, particularly those with lead pipes or polybutylene, could have more serious water contamination issues. Causes of bad tasting water include:

  • Minerals
  • Algae
  • Bacteria
  • Chemicals
  • Outdated Plumbing

What’s the Solution?

No one should needlessly consume foul tasting water when solutions are available! Installing a new water filter is highly recommended. A water filter can help remove the impurities from the water, improving the quality and taste of the water. If you already have a water filter, it may be time to replace it. Water filters generally will need to be replaced every six months. Another option is to install a water softener. A water softener can be a good solution for hard water, to make it taste better and also to prevent buildup in your pipes or appliances. If you are not sure which solution may be best for you, consider having your water your tested. Possible solutions include:

  • Install or Replace Your Water Softener
  • Install or Replace Your Water Filter
  • Have Your Water Tested
  • Have Your Plumbing Checked

Who Can Help?

Mathews Plumbing and Heating can assist you with your drinking water problems. If you are unhappy with how your tap water tastes, give Mathews Plumbing a call and we can discuss which option may be best for your unique situation.

Hard Water Can Affect Your Plumbing & Appliances

By: Karli Willden

Did you know that the vast majority of homeowners in the United States have hard water problems? While some areas are more adversely affected than others, it is a common problem homeowners deal with on a daily basis. So, what is hard water and what are its impacts on your plumbing and water? Hard water is the condition when a large quantity of minerals are detected in your water, most commonly calcium and magnesium. Hard water can impact homeowners in a variety of ways, such as the following below:  

Hard Water Affects

  • Pipe Blockage
  • Water Flow, Pressure
  • Water Taste/Smell
  • Plumbing System Efficiency
  • Difficulty Cleaning  
  • Water Stains
  • Calcium Deposits
  • Impact Appliances, Water Heater

Hard water can wreak havoc on your indoor plumbing and appliances if not treated properly. Buildup can occur within the plumbing pipes from mineral deposits, which could ultimately lead to a clog. While these deposits in your plumbing will generally not make you sick, it will affect the plumbing’s overall efficiency and function. It will affect your water pressure, water flow, and could impact the efficiency of your home appliances, making them work harder than ever. Hard water in the home also can leave water stains in your bathrooms and sinks, which can be difficult to clean. Sometimes hard water can smell, and even taste different than normal water, which can motivate you to do something about your hard water problem. Unresolved hard water issues can lead to other problems down the road.  

Testing for Hard Water

If you are unsure if you have hard water at your home, there are a few ways to find out. Some methods involve testing the water yourself through an at-home kit. Another option is to send a water sample to a water testing company, or you can have a professional come to your home for testing. One of the easiest ways to detect if you have hard water, however, is to watch for its signs. See the most common signs of hard water below.  

Signs of Hard Water

  • White Buildup in Sinks, Bathrooms, Dishes
  • Water Smells
  • Water Tastes Different
  • Hard Water Stains
  • Clogged Pipes
  • Skin Irritation
  • Appliances Having Trouble

Hard Water Solution

One of the best solutions for hard water is a water softener. A water softener can eliminate the issues mentioned above and increase your overall plumbing and appliance efficiency and lifespan. Without one you will most likely encounter issues requiring more frequent plumbing or appliance repairs. A water softener is a great investment for your home and can even help increase your home’s marketability. If you would like to learn more about water softeners and how they can make a big difference treating hard water, feel free to give Mathews Plumbing and Heating a call at 208-357-3439. We offer water softener installations in Pocatello, Shelley, Blackfoot, Rigby, Rexburg, and everywhere in between!