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Stay Comfy Minnesota Blog

Advantages of Geothermal Energy for Cooling

Posted by Kelly on May 27, 2016 3:17:45 PM

Harnessing geothermal energy for your home is a wonderful way to reduce your carbon footprint, while also saving yourself some cash if you are in it for the long haul. In fact, it is one of the best ways to get clean, renewable energy, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Here are four advantages of using geothermal energy for heating and cooling your home.

The Power Of Using The Earth

There is currently no other system that is as energy efficient as geothermal, because you are literally using the power of the Earth. No run-off gasses, no carbon emissions, just the earth itself to heat and cool your home. However, it does use some electricity to extract the heating and cooling from the ground – but far, far less than any other system uses to get the job done.

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Topics: Geothermal

How to Fix My AC: 3 Easy Fixes to Try Before Calling a Pro

Posted by Kelly on May 25, 2016 11:26:04 AM

If it’s in the middle of a hot day, and your air conditioner goes out, won’t turn on, or is just blowing hot air. But you don’t have to call a repairman, yet. There may be a simple solution right in front of you that can save you some time and money before you bring in help. Here are three ways to fix your AC, easy things to try before calling a pro.

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Topics: Cooling

What You Need To Know Before An Air Conditioner Installation

Posted by Kelly on May 20, 2016 11:59:19 AM

Summer is the season for enjoying the heat while also finding ways to keep cool. For example, after having fun at the beach, ballgame or park, it’s nice to return to a cool, comfortable, air conditioned home. Not to mention sleeping in comfort after a blistering hot summer day. So, if you’ve been jealous of the folks with AC, and plan to get a new air conditioner this summer, here’s what you need to know before an air conditioner installation.

Make Sure You Get The Right Size Unit

 Bigger is not necessarily better when making upgrades to your air conditioner. According to our resident expert, Keith Hill, technical support manager at Minnesota Air, the process leading up to a new AC installation is pretty straightforward — and finding the right size is step one.

 “The pro needs to determine the size of the new unit,” he says. “If you’re replacing an old unit, you should not assume that the old unit is sized correctly. Larger units run less frequently and do a poor job of dehumidification.”

 Homes that feel cooler but still have humidity trapped inside feel cold and clammy. They are not only uncomfortable, but can be unhealthy, especially to those suffering from allergies or other respiratory problems. A correctly sized unit won’t cool too quickly, so there will be the proper amount of time to also remove humidity.

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Topics: Summer

A Homeowner's Guide To Creating A Zoning System

Posted by Kelly on May 17, 2016 4:51:56 PM

If you have been doing your research on HVACs you may have heard of zone heating – or zoning. Zoning is a way to heat and cool your home by breaking your house into different zones, and then only heating and cooling the areas when you are going to use them. It’s a very effective and efficient way to heat and cool a bigger home, because the larger areas of the home that are not used often or are used on a different schedule than other parts of the home can only be cooled or heated when needed. Here are some basic guidelines when creating a zoning system.

Zoning Can Use Multiple Thermostats And Multiple HVACs

There are many ways to create an HVAC zoning system in your home. Some homes use multiple furnaces/ACs for each zone, and a different thermostat for each area, as well. Others use one furnace/AC combo, then have separate thermostats for each zone that will trigger a set of dampers to open or shut ducts and vents depending on where heating or cooling is needed. And some use multiples of both HVACs and thermostats but still have certain zones share an HVAC and use dampers. It’s all what you and your HVAC professional decide is best for your home and needs. 

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Topics: HVAC

Beat the Heat: 4 Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill

Posted by Kelly on May 12, 2016 3:59:18 PM

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We’re getting excited to feel that summer sun, but perhaps not as excited to pay that summer electric bill. To keep cool on the hottest days, we crank up the AC, turn on fans, and may even take refuge inside in front of the TV when it’s really steamy. So with all energy being used to keep you comfortable, how can you keep your electric bill comfortable, too? Here are our four ways to beat the heat and lower your electric bill.

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Topics: Summer

5 Tips For Setting Thermostat Temperature In The Summer

Posted by Kelly on May 10, 2016 4:29:37 PM

It’s an arduous battle; one that has gone down in household history as a clash for the ages, repeating itself time and time again, year after year, season after season. It has been fought for what seems like eternities amongst young and old, man and woman, friend and foe: What temperature should your thermostat be set to?

All exaggerations aside, thermostat temperature really can be a household or workplace sticking point. It’s just hard to function when you’re uncomfortable. 

That’s why we’ve put together this list of 5 battle-tested tips for setting your thermostat temperature in the summer to help settle some of those arguments.

Pick The Highest Temperature That You’re Comfortable With

It may come as no surprise that one of the best ways to stop fighting about where to set the thermostat (and save some money on your energy bill) is to find out what is the highest temperature that you’re all still comfortable. Your body adjusts depending on the difference between indoor and outdoor temperature, but a person who tends to be colder will want it set higher to maintain warmth and a person who runs hot, will usually want it turned down lower. Because of that, a general rule of thumb you should be to set your thermostat between 72-76 degrees in the summertime when you’re home.

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Topics: Summer

Using A Carrier Infinity Control In The Summer Heat

Posted by Kelly on May 6, 2016 9:39:40 AM

AdobeStock_88671011.jpegFeeling that hot, sweltering, summer sun upon our faces may be nice for a day at the beach, but in our homes, we want to feel comfortable. That’s why Carrier designed its Infinity Control series to give you the most powerful control in home comfort yet! Here are some of its features that can help you beat the heat.

Better Temperature And Humidity Controls

With so many features, the Carrier Infinity Control System makes you more comfortable in hot weather than a traditional thermostat. “Ideal temperature and ideal humidity are the two big features of the control,” says Keith Hill, technical support manager at Minnesota Air. “Most thermostats provide temperature control to within a degree or so of the set point. The Infinity Control maintains precise control to within fractions of a degree. “

In fact, if you integrate it with the whole Infinity line of products, it’s accurate to 1/6th of a degree. This is because the thermostat works by running in stages or modulating, depending on the air conditioner you have, so that it only uses as much energy as needed to maintain precise temperatures. Older thermostats will tell your AC to constantly run until it cools down to the desired temperature and then it turns off. Unfortunately, your home could still have too much humidity in it when it turns off, and that will still leave you clammy and uncomfortable.

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Topics: Summer

What Is A BTU And How Does It Affect My Home?

Posted by Kelly on May 4, 2016 5:31:16 PM

If you’ve seen the abbreviation “BTU” on heating and cooling products or noticed it listed on your energy bill and wondered, what does that mean, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Our resident expert, Keith Hill, technical support manager at Minnesota Air, answers the FAQs on BTUs and how they affect your home.

BTU Explained

“We all have heat energy moving about our homes throughout the year,” says Keith. “In the world of HVAC, we measure heat leaving our homes (heat loss) or coming in (heat gain) in BTUs. A BTU is a British Thermal Unit. It’s a unit of measure like a calorie or a joule, but it’s an English unit. Like using yard instead of meter, we use BTU instead of calorie.”

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Topics: Energy Efficiency

The 4 Considerations When Choosing a New Air Conditioning Unit

Posted by Kelly on Apr 28, 2016 2:33:00 PM

Shopping for a new air conditioner may not be as fun as shopping for a new outfit or even a new car, but just like buying a car, you need to do your homework before you make the purchase.  “Price is important,” says Keith Hill, manager of technical support at Minnesota Air, “but you want to get the right features.”

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who walked onto a car lot with no knowledge of the vehicles and walked away that day with the best deal on the best car. The same goes for an AC unit; don’t just walk into your local hardware store and pick. Do some research and consider these four things when picking out a new air conditioner.

1. Price/Cost Of Operating

This may seem like a no-brainer, but not all ACs are built the same. Some have better efficiency, better comfort features, and better overall performance. You get what you pay for, so don’t skimp if you really want the best. In addition, you need to weigh the upfront price tag with the cost to operate it once you bring it home.

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Topics: Cooling

Everything You Need To Know About Air Quality Testing In Your Home

Posted by Kelly on Apr 26, 2016 2:00:00 PM

 AdobeStock_90961545.jpegSo you want a healthier home, but realize that takes more than just eating your fruits and veggies and putting some exercise equipment in the basement. For a truly healthy home, it’s also about what you breathe – or don’t breathe. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is vital to maintaining a healthy home, and, in turn, a healthy you.

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Topics: Air quality

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