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Stay Comfy Minnesota Blog

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

Optimize Air Flow: Do I Need a Home Ventilation System?

Posted by Kelly on Apr 21, 2016 5:22:24 PM

 AdobeStock_2616844.jpegAsk any health expert, HVAC technician, engineer, or contractor, and they’ll tell you that ventilation is critical in a home. Ventilation is the ‘V’ part of your HVAC system and is absolutely necessary for maintaining healthy airflow, clean breathable oxygen, and the best overall indoor air quality (IAQ) for your home. There are numerous types of ventilation systems – with varying degrees of efficiency and quality – but on a whole, they are all made to bring fresh air in and push stale air out. Here’s a little breakdown of the types to help you decide how to optimize the air flow in your home. 

Natural Infiltration

According to our resident heating and cooling expert Keith Hill, the manager of technical support at Minnesota Air, the simplest and least expensive type of ventilation is natural infiltration. However, it’s also the most unreliable. 

“This is a process in every home where the wind blows, causing air to leak in by way of the cracks and crevices in the doors and windows,” he says. “It is a form of natural ventilation. The stronger the wind the more ventilation you get.”

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Topics: Air quality

The Importance of Thermostat Placement for Your Home

Posted by Kelly on Apr 19, 2016 2:37:45 PM

A place for everything and everything in its place — or so the saying goes. We’re not sure if the person who first said that was referring to thermostat placement in your home, but we sure are. If you own a home in a cold climate like Minnesota, there’s no doubt you’ve been acquainted with your thermostat. But, did you know that there are optimal places to mount it? We’re turning up the dial on the importance of thermostat placement with the hopes that you’ll walk away with a few tips and a better understanding of how the command center for your HVAC systems works.

What Does A Thermostat Do?

“A thermostat is the ‘user interface’ to your HVAC system,” says Keith Hill, technical support manager at Minnesota Air. “It is the temperature sensor for the home. It’s supposed to be monitoring the air temperature in the general area.”

Think of it as the command center – it tells your furnace or air conditioner when to kick on to get your home to the optimal temperature setting, and, in turn, tells it when to turn off once it’s reached that optimal temperature. Keith says that if you have zone heating – or a heating system that lets you set different areas of the home at different temperatures – you would have multiple thermostats or temperature sensors for each area or zone. 

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Topics: Home Maintenance

Why Spring Is the Best Time to Buy a New Furnace

Posted by Kelly on Apr 14, 2016 12:08:10 PM

Spring has sprung! And hopefully your HVAC made it all the way through the winter and will last you for many winters to come. But if not, you’ve found the right article. Spring is the time of year when we turn off the furnace and prepare the air conditioner for the summer heat, but it’s also the off-season for HVAC contractors. That means it’s one of the best times of the year to buy a new furnace. Here’s why:

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Topics: Heating

3 Reasons To Get Your HVAC Preventative Maintenance Right Now

Posted by Kelly on Apr 12, 2016 12:23:19 PM

You can procrastinate on cleaning the gutters, mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, and even calling your mother back, but there are certain things in life you need to take care of on time. For example, your taxes, a doctor’s checkup, your dentist appointment – and, in our opinion – your HVAC maintenance. (And in our mother’s opinion – calling her back.)

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Topics: HVAC

Best In Minnesota: Air Quality Experts To Hire Today

Posted by Kelly on Apr 8, 2016 10:00:56 AM

Improving air quality in your home takes work – especially at first. Most of the time, it is not as simple as opening a window to drastically improve and clean your indoor air, particularly in Minnesota, where we often need to keep our homes sealed up from the elements. That’s why most of us need a professional on our side to show us the way and help us improve IAQ (indoor air quality). Here are some things to consider when you’re looking to hire an air quality expert.

Research Reputable HVAC Companies

In order to find an expert in air quality, look to the experts in HVACs. Keith Hill, Minnesota Air’s technical support manager, says that all reputable HVAC companies have a pretty good knowledge base in the area of IAQ.

“It’s inherent to the business – filters, humidifiers, air cleaners are all part of the HVAC world,” he says. “Some specialize more than others in IAQ and offer services such as testing for radon or mold.”

Certain companies may have specific people who deal with combating mold on a daily basis. Those are the people to hire if you have a mold issue. Other homeowners may have tested high for radon, that’s when you need to find a company that installs radon abatement systems. Get referrals, read reviews and make the hire.

Know Or Learn About What You Need 

Do you find yourself getting frequent colds? Are you coughing, sneezing, or wheezing from outdoor allergies even when you are inside your home? Does your home smell stale, and do you find yourself grabbing for air fresheners to cover up odors? 

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Topics: Air quality

Spring Cleaning Tips: How To Clear The Air In Your Home

Posted by Kelly on Apr 5, 2016 3:14:53 PM

You may have already gotten out the mops, buckets, and brooms to help with your Spring cleaning. However, now that you’re in the mood to tidy up and perhaps open a window and feel that warmer breeze – don’t neglect the air quality in your home. That’s right; the air in your home needs to remain clean for you to feel comfortable living in it. Here are some Spring cleaning tips on how you can clear the air in your home.

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Topics: Cooling

Bring On Spring: Why Now Is The Time To Get A Chimney Cleaning

Posted by Kelly on Mar 31, 2016 5:08:07 PM

The weather is warming up and now is the time to get a jumpstart on spring cleaning. Most people remember to pick up the yard, clear the gutters, and even plant spring bulbs, but your chimney is one of the areas you won’t want to forget, as well. Here are some reasons why spring is the time to get a chimney cleaning. 

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Topics: Home Maintenance

Is It Spring Yet? 10 Ways To Fight Stale Air At Home

Posted by Kelly on Mar 29, 2016 11:10:50 AM

While waiting for spring to finally get here, you may be wondering what you can do to keep your air spring fresh. Some people use household candles and air fresheners to spruce up the scent of their house during the doldrums of winter, but did you know that those can contain harmful chemicals? So, is there anything a homeowner can do to get rid of that stale air versus just masking it? The answer is yes – at least 10 of them. 

Ventilation 

According to our resident expert Keith Hill, technical support manager for Minnesota Air, ventilation is the best way to stop stale air.

“Exchanging the stale with fresh is healthy and it doesn’t add chemicals or particles to the air,” he says.

Ventilation is really the only way to bring fresh air in. Whether you get ventilation naturally or by the help of a mechanical device, there are a few methods to help. 

  • Natural ventilation – Open windows and doors. This can help push old, stale air out, but may also bring pollen or pollutants in, depending on outdoor conditions.
  • Air Exchanger – A mechanical device that can push old air out and bring new air in. Plus, with the use of filters, it filters out the pollutants and particles.
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Topics: Home Maintenance

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