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Stay Comfy Minnesota Blog

Should You Invest in an Electronic Air Cleaner?

Posted by Gregg on Dec 1, 2016 2:13:28 PM

If you’re looking to improve the quality and freshness of your indoor air, an electronic air cleaner (EAC) may be your answer. An EAC is a sophisticated air filtering device that is installed as part of your HVAC system. It uses electricity to attract particles and causes them to “cling” in a way that’s similar to static cling on your clothes — although in a much more powerful way.

How an EAC Works

Standard filters work by impingement or straining. Big particles in the air simply can’t fit through smaller openings. This limits the size of particle that can be filtered, of course, based on the size of the filter openings. Impingement filters can only catch larger particles.  

But an EAC operates through a transformer, with power applied to the air stream, creating a positive charge to particles. On the receiving end, the collecting plates or the negatively charged media capture the particles like a super-powered “static cling.”  

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Topics: Air quality

Farmer's Almanac Forecast for Early 2017

Posted by Gregg on Nov 29, 2016 4:00:38 PM

Brrr! The Farmer’s Almanac forecast for 2017 predicts a colder than normal winter for the upper Midwest. Here’s what the venerable (and 80% accurate) almanac has to say:

“Winter will be colder than normal, with the coldest periods in mid-December, through most of January, and in early and late February. Precipitation will be a bit above normal in the east and below normal in the west, with snowfall above normal from Minneapolis eastward and below normal in the west. The snowiest periods will be in early to mid- and mid- to late December, mid-January, and early to mid- and late February.”

So, what can we do, besides pulling out some extra sweaters and blankets? Read on.

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Topics: Heating, Winter

9 Heat Hacks to Avoid Furnace Replacement

Posted by Gregg on Nov 24, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Thinking it might be time for a furnace replacement, but not quite ready to take the leap? That’s understandable. It’s a big decision and can be a significant investment. While you’re deciding, here are a few “heat hacks” to get the best performance and value out of your current unit. 

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Topics: Heating, Energy Efficiency

How Much Money Can I Really Save with a High-Efficiency Furnace?

Posted by Gregg on Nov 22, 2016 11:18:57 AM

It makes sense to want to save on heating and cooling costs, which are among the highest home maintenance expenses. One great way to do that is to install a high-efficiency furnace to replace an older, less efficient model. But how much would you really save? The honest answer is, it depends on a number of factors, including: 

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Topics: Heating, Energy Efficiency

A New Homeowner's Guide to Buying a New Furnace

Posted by Gregg on Nov 17, 2016 10:13:39 AM

In the market for a new home? Or making your first home purchase? Whether experienced or a first-time homebuyer, there are a lot of things to consider when making your buying decision. One is ensuring that the home you’re purchasing is in good condition and will be as worry-free as possible. Nowhere is that more important than making sure that your heating system is in order. But what if you think your dream home may need a new furnace? Here’s a 6-point checklist to help you decide.

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Topics: Heating, Energy Efficiency

Why is My Gas Bill So High?

Posted by Gregg on Nov 15, 2016 11:29:33 AM

For many of us, our monthly gas bill can be among our highest home-related expenses. This is especially true in climates like Minnesota’s where winter and summer temperatures can be extreme. However, there are ways of monitoring, adjusting, and reducing those costs.

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Topics: Heating, Energy Efficiency

How Can I Lower My Xcel Energy Bill?

Posted by Gregg on Nov 10, 2016 10:57:21 AM

It’s a fact that your Xcel energy bill, or those from other providers, can be among your highest home maintenance expenses. It just makes sense to want to lower it as much as possible, and that’s even more important as we approach the heating season. So, if you're worried about your heating bill this winter, here are some ways you can conserve energy and save cash for other things at the same time.

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Topics: Heating, Energy Efficiency

No Heat? Don't Panic, Follow These 6 Simple Steps

Posted by Gregg on Nov 8, 2016 11:13:52 AM

No one wants to come home and find there’s no heat — especially in a Minnesota winter! But if that happens to you, keep in mind that often the cause may be minor and something that you can correct yourself. Here are six simple steps to take to see if you can correct your "no heat" problem without a service call. 
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Topics: System Maintenance, Heating, HVAC, Winter

The Best Wi-Fi Thermostats to Consider

Posted by Gregg on Nov 3, 2016 9:21:14 AM

Wi-Fi thermostats aren't just the latest tech gadgets, although they certainly have plenty of cool functions. They are a great way to make your home more energy-efficient. We recently looked at the benefits of installing a Wi-Fi Thermostat as part of your heating system. But what if you want to buy one? We turned to our resident HVAC expert, Keith Hill, the technical support manager at Minnesota Air, for some of the best Wi-Fi thermostats to consider. But first, here are some tips on what to look for in the new generation of thermostats.

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Topics: The Côr Thermostat, Wi-Fi Thermostats

How to Select the Right Energy Efficient Furnace

Posted by Gregg on Nov 1, 2016 2:31:39 PM

As temperatures fall in the upper Midwest, it’s natural to start thinking about heating your home for the coming season, and a perfect time to consider installing an energy efficient furnace. But unless you’ve recently purchased a new furnace, you may not be aware of current innovations in both efficiency and comfort. Here are a few tips to help you get started researching and selecting the right furnace for your home.

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Topics: Heating, Energy Efficiency, Winter