What is a sump pump and how does it work?

  • Plumbing

Your sump pump plays an essential role in protecting your home from water damage. Since it is usually tucked into a corner of the basement, you might not see or think about it every day. The team at Always On Call Mountain Mechanical in Anchorage, Alaska believes that understanding how your plumbing equipment works can help you avoid indoor flooding.

Do you have questions about your sump pump? This explains what these devices are and how they function.

Are you considering turning off your furnace in the summer?

Homeowners often ask us if they should turn off their furnace in the summer months.

Summer is coming. The days are longer, and the weather is starting to warm up. Now, what do you do with your furnace in the summer? Turn it off? Leave it on? We’re here to help answer some of the questions you may have.

Spoiler alert, the answer is not a simple “yes” or “no” because of several factors like your furnace, household use, and personal preferences.

March/April Madness From Mountain Mechanical


Hey there, Alaska homeowners! As we navigate through the tail end of winter and edge closer to spring, we all understand too well the role our heating systems play in keeping our homes cozy and safe. This time of year, we’re excited to share some warm news that’ll keep your spirits high and your homes warmer.

Keeping Your Furnace Fit: Why It Matters

Regular check-ups for your furnace aren’t just about avoiding the chill; they’re about keeping those energy bills in check and ensuring your family’s safety. Think of it like this: a well-maintained furnace is like a reliable car. It gets you where you need to go efficiently and without unexpected breakdowns. Plus, catching issues early can save you a bundle down the line, steering clear of those emergency fixes or the need for a total system overhaul.

Score Big Savings This March/April

Here’s the deal—Mountain Mechanical is rolling out a slam dunk of an offer to keep your home heating game strong. Snag a shiny new heating system and pocket a cool 5% off, guaranteeing at least $200 back in your pocket. And because we know clean air is as important as warm toes, we’re throwing in a $150 discount on duct cleaning with every new furnace installation. It’s a one-two punch for quality air and warmth, but remember, offers like this don’t stick around forever.

Why Team Up with Mountain Mechanical?

Choosing us means betting on a crew that knows Alaska’s climate inside out. We pride ourselves on our 70% repeat business rate—it speaks volumes about the trust and satisfaction our clients have in our services. Specializing in residential heating solutions, we’re here to ensure your home becomes the cozy haven it should be during those chilly Alaskan months.

Heating Systems 101: What’s on Offer

Whether you’re team boiler, all about forced air, or radiant heating is the way for you we’ve got you covered. Each system has its own set of perks tailored for Alaska’s unique climate. Our team is ready to walk you through the options to find your perfect match, without diving into the nitty-gritty of repairs or replacements. It’s all about getting you the right fit for your cozy space.

Breathing Easy with Clean Fresh Air

Did you know that a clean duct system can significantly impact your health and your heating efficiency? It’s true. Pairing a new furnace with duct cleaning not only gives you a breath of fresh air but also enhances the performance of your heating system. It’s a win-win for your well-being and your wallet.

Getting Your Home Ready

Thinking about taking advantage of our offer? Here’s a quick heads-up on what to expect. Preparing for a new heating system installation is straightforward with us by your side. And when it comes to duct cleaning, we make the process smooth and hassle-free, ensuring minimal disruption to your daily life. Most of our heating system replacements are done in less than one business day.

Jump on This Offer

Ready to warm up to our March/April madness? Getting started is simple. Give us a call, and we’ll guide you through the steps to claim your savings and ensure your home is set for comfort and warmth. Don’t wait too long, though; these deals are as fleeting as the Alaskan spring.

As we bid farewell to the colder days and welcome the milder ones, remember that a reliable, efficient heating system is key to enjoying the changing seasons. Our limited-time offer is here to make that transition smoother and more affordable.

For more information or to get the ball rolling on your new installation, give us a shout.



Warmer Winter Giveaway Submissions Are Open

ANCHORAGE – Always on Call Mountain Mechanical is announcing a giveaway of a free furnace and boiler to Anchorage residents to ensure Alaskans stay warm during the cold winter months.

The Warmer Winter Giveaway contest submission period begins on February 1 and continues through February 29. The contest, now in its seventh year, reflects the company’s commitment to the community it serves.

“We started the contest in 2017 with the desire to help those people in Anchorage who are in need with old or failing heating systems, but simply cannot afford to replace their heating systems due to hardship or circumstance,” said Emily Knowles who is Vice President for Mountain Mechanical.

There will be two winners, one for a furnace and one for a boiler. Each recipient will receive brand new equipment, installation, a municipal permit, inspection and the warranty. Finalists are determined by many factors including their narrative about why they, or the person they are nominating, need a new furnace and boiler.

“We know it’s expensive, and home ownership is hard, but as a small family-owned business, we want to give back to the communities we serve, in a meaningful way, which can have a great impact on families who are struggling,” said Knowles.

To participate in the Warmer Winter Giveaway, residents in Anchorage can submit or nominate through February 29th.


About Mountain Mechanical

Always on Call Mountain Mechanical is the plumbing & heating company Alaskans can trust with residential and small commercial plumbing and heating needs. Taking care of our customers, throughout our service areas, and providing the best service, parts, and equipment available are our top priorities. Visit to learn more.

An Anchorage Plumbing and Heating Company you can trust.

  • Anchorage Plumbing & Heating

Always On Call Mountain Mechanical is the Anchorage plumbing & heating company you can trust with your residential and small commercial plumbing and heating needs. 

We are committed to exceptional service. 

Whether if you are calling about plumbing or heating, you are greeted with exceptional customer service. Our team of experts will walk you through concerns, options, and costs. 

Our friendly staff will be happy to explain your options clearly and, when possible, provide a range of options. As experts in all types of Anchorage plumbing and heating jobs, we have solutions on hand for most plumbing and heating issues.

We are family

Always on Call Mountain Mechanical was started by Pat and Danielle Knowles in 1986. Today, the company is still run by the Knowles family – now more inclusive of the next generation: Emily Knowles, Jessie Embley, and Matt Schumaker. 

This family-owned and operated business makes customers feel like family. Mountain Mechanical takes pride in serving all of its clients with all their plumbing and heating needs. 

We offer specials

Keep an eye on our specials page. Mountain Mechanical saw a need to help people save money on some of the most important, most basic needs Alaskans have: heat, hot water, and safe home heating systems. That is why they offer Winter Start-Up specials and March Madness heating system install, and duct cleaning specials. 

An Anchorage plumbing & heating company you can trust

Always on Call Mountain Mechanical can handle everything from simple pipe repair to heating system installations with the professionalism you need and deserve. Call us with all of your Anchorage plumbing & heating needs

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What you need to know about furnace repair.

  • Furnace Repair

Furnace Repair

We understand the stress and headache that a malfunctioning furnace in the middle of winter can cause. Not only is it an inconvenience for you and your family, but it’s also a concern for safety in your house. 

If you start to notice inaccuracies in your furnace like not producing heat, not turning on, blowing cold air, etc., we encourage you to have an HVAC expert address your concerns. 

Here are some common furnace repair questions you may have:  

#1: How much does furnace repair cost?

The short answer is that it depends on what repairs are needed. We see a ballpark average furnace repair cost around $500 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Gas Furnace

Due to the complexity of gas furnaces, furnace repairs may require more time to service and additional costs for parts. Gas furnaces can run (on average) $450 – $1,200 for repairs. Costs will vary based on the manufacturer, availability of parts, and the time it takes to do the repairs.

#2: How much do furnace parts cost?

Here are some of the most common parts that we replace when furnaces malfunction. Please note that prices vary based on furnace and part makes and models. Some manufacturers allow universal parts to be used on their products, others require brand specific parts, which can affect the price of the parts.

  • Blower Motor Capacitor $150 – $450
  • Blower Motor $400 – $1,500
  • Igniter $150 – $300
  • Relay Switch $150 – $300
  • Thermocouple $100 – $250
  • Control & Circuit Board $200-$1250

#3: How much does an after-hours emergency call cost?

We understand that furnace malfunctions happen at all times of day, which is why we are always on call to help you. 

  • Service Calls: During business hours the base service rate is $140 per hour, with a 1 hour minimum. During this time, our HVAC experts will assess your heating unit, discuss any repair or replacement recommendations (with costs) and get to work right away, or schedule time for future repairs. 
  • After-Hour Services: (evenings and weekends). We understand that our response time is critical during after-hours and emergency calls. The average emergency call service fee is around $360 – $500. Please note this does not include part costs. 

Prevent furnace malfunctions with annual maintenance. Our winter start-up inspections detect problems early before they cause issues or require replacement. Call us today to schedule a furnace maintenance check with one of our experts.

3 Reasons for a garage heater

  • Garage Heater

When you think of HVAC, do you think about your garage heater?

Garage Heater

Most Alaskan homes don’t have basements to house HVAC systems, so we rely on space in our garage for our furnaces and heaters. Because our heating units are often in cold places, it is critical to think about the heating solutions that surround them. In many cases, a garage heater can be a resource.

Did you know when it comes to heating your house for winter, a majority of Alaskans don’t think of the temperatures in their garage? 

Efficiently heating your garage is one area that can impact the comfort levels for the rest of your house. A garage heater can also protect your HVAC equipment (if your heating equipment is in your garage). A garage heater can increase longevity and protect your home and vehicles from the harsh Alaska winter weather that causes wear and tear. 

Do you heat your garage? Here are three reasons why you might want to consider using your garage heater or getting a garage heater installed. 

  • Protection for your heating systems and pipes

Because our heating systems are likely in our garage, a garage heater can help maintain temperatures that allow HVAC equipment to operate efficiently. Garage heaters keep our HVAC equipment from getting too cold or from freezing. These heaters also decrease the possibility of pipes freezing as well as overflow vents and equipment sweat.

  • Temperature comfort to your home

 A garage heater helps maintain warmer temperatures inside of your home. A garage heater will help to eliminate large drafts of cold air that come in from using your garage during the winter. A heated garage will also provide comfort for the rooms surrounding and above or below the garage space. Adding additional insulation to garages and crawlspaces can also help increase comfort. 

  • Protection for your vehicles

Parking your car in your garage during the winter months can help decrease unexpected car problems. A heated garage will help to protect your car battery. Car batteries are not to endure cold temperatures over an extended period. A cold car battery is often the number one cause of cars not starting up in the winter. By parking in a heated garage, you will extend the time between maintenance checks.

When it comes to heating your garage, you do not need to heat it to a comfort level equal to the remainder of your home (often between 65°F – 68°F). Keeping your garage thermostat steady at a temperature between 40°F and 50°F will give you benefits to the three listed items above. You may find that while working on projects in your garage during the colder months that you will want to increase the temperature for comfort. 

If you find your garage heater working overtime to keep your garage temperatures between 40°F and 50°F, call us for a maintenance check. We can analyze the BTUs, potential heat leaks and offer solutions for improvements to your heating system. 

We install garage heaters

Our team of experts is certified to install and maintain garage heater units. Our team of experts at Always On Call Mountain Mechanical can help you select a garage heater with the correct BTU output appropriate for the size and environment of your garage. We are your one-stop HVAC team for all of your HVAC needs. PLUS, if you call us for our Winter Start-Up Inspection, you can rest assured that we will check not only your heating system, we will also check your garage heater and your gas fireplaces (when applicable).

We are committed to providing exceptional customer service and are proud to serve our loyal clients in Anchorage and Eagle River, Alaska. Always on Call Mountain Mechanical is the plumbing and heating company you can trust with your needs. From repairs to installations, we perform every job with the professionalism it deserves. 

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When do you need a plumber? 4 Warning Signs

Did you know that the average American uses nearly 100 gallons of water a day? We understand that when you have a plumbing problem, you will need a plumber urgently.

After reading a few articles and watching a few YouTube videos, some small leaks look like they can be an easy, quick fix. In some cases, this is true but, in others, not so much. We’re here, at Mountain Mechanical in Anchorage, for when you need a plumber!




If you turn on your faucet and nothing comes out, you’re in trouble. No water is a warning sign that there may be a big emergency in your home.

In this emergency, you will want to call a plumber. It’s also wise to call a neighbor to see if they are experiencing a water outage as well. If it appears to be more than just your house, a plumber can help you figure out who to call for your property. If it’s just your house, a plumber will come out to assess and diagnose the situation.


One way to wake up in the morning is jumping in a cold shower, but that is not ideal! Lack of hot water may be a warning that something is wrong with your water heater! Let our plumbers be your plumbing partner! We can help troubleshoot an issue with your water heater, included why a water heater may be sweating.  


If you’re experiencing lower water pressure in one faucet, you’re likely experiencing a clog or clogged aerator! Clogged pipes may be a plumbing problem you can handle yourself. However, if it’s more than one faucet, you may be experiencing a broken or cracked piped.


A sewage system, sump pump, or toilet will be the first place you want to look. Whenever you smell something wrong, it’s a tall tell sign that you need a plumber.  

Always On Call Mountain Mechanical is the leading heating & plumbing company in Anchorage, AK. We service all of Anchorage, Eagle River, and Chugiak Alaska. Call us if you have questions about water heaters, sump pumps,  and more.

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4 Types of Furnaces. Here’s what you need to know.

    What if my furnace breaks down? 

    Furnaces are a necessity in Alaska, so when yours breaks down, it becomes an urgent problem, fast. Rest assured, Mountain Mechanical is a group of certified technicians, always on call, to handle any of your HVAC needs, no matter what type of furnace you have.  

    There are four types of furnaces:

    • natural gas
    • oil
    • baseboard
    • propane