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Stay Comfy Minnesota Blog

When is the Best Time for a Chimney Cleaning?

Posted by Keith Hill on Apr 18, 2018 9:00:00 AM

"Chim  Chiminey , Chim  Chiminey , Chim Chim Cher-ee..." That Mary Poppins song sure brings back memories, doesn’t it? Bert, the chimney sweep, knew the importance of his job. These days, it’s easy to forget that our chimneys need a good “sweep” now and then. But, when is the best time for your chimney cleaning? It turns out that it’s spring and here’s why.

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Topics: Home Maintenance

What You Need to Know About Smart Thermostat Compatibility

Posted by Keith Hill on Apr 11, 2018 9:00:00 AM

"Hey, Alexa, can you turn the temperature down to 68º?" Of course she can, at least in the millions of homes that have smart thermostats and digital assistants.

Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), you can turn down the heat, turn on the lights, adjust the shades, and lock the doors simply by tapping a phone app or talking to a digital assistant. It's the kind of technology you might have dreamed of while watching the Jetsons or a sci-fi movie, but now it's becoming commonplace.

However, the smart home technology is still evolving, so it's important to check compatibility.

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Topics: Smart Home

19 Common Things Air Filters Catch in Your Indoor Air

Posted by Keith Hill on Apr 4, 2018 9:00:00 AM

How many of us really pay attention to the work our HVAC filters do? Most of us know the importance of regularly inspecting and replacing furnace or AC filters, but you may be surprised by some of the pollutants those filters actually capture and remove from your breathing air.

Here are some of the most common indoor air pollutants, and ways that air filters can eliminate them.

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Topics: air filters

The Future of Air Conditioning: What to Expect

Posted by Keith Hill on Mar 28, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Driverless cars, personal care robots, medical 3D printing. It seems everywhere you look, technology is advancing at an amazing rate. That’s as true for the HVAC industry as any other. In particular, there are new advances in air conditioning, some of which are right around the corner and others a little further off.

Here are some of the notable innovations you can expect to see in the coming months and years.

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Topics: air conditioning

Vacation Prep: The Ideal Thermostat Temperature for While You're Away

Posted by Keith Hill on Mar 21, 2018 9:00:00 AM

It's the middle of winter and you're ready to go on vacation. You pack your swimsuit, check your flight info, and get ready to turn down the thermostat. After all, you don't want to waste money or energy warming up a house that won't have anybody in it. But how low is too low? And will you really save that much money? Or does it take just as much energy as you saved to warm your house back up after turning it down?

Here's what we know:

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Topics: Heating, Thermostats, temperature differencial

Bypass vs. Fan-Operated: Which Central Humidifier is Best for My Home?

Posted by Steph Marsh on Mar 14, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Itchy, dry skin, fly-away hair, scratchy throats, and nosebleeds. What do they all have in common? Dry indoor air. That’s why so many homeowners choose to add a central humidifier. But which type is best for your home?

We asked Keith Hill, resident HVAC expert at Stay Comfy, and here’s what we learned.

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Topics: humidity control

What to do if Your Heat Exchanger Cracks

Posted by Keith Hill on Mar 7, 2018 10:00:00 AM

It’s the dead of winter and your home doesn’t seem to be heating up as effectively as it used to. Your neighbor asks if you've had your heat exchanger checked recently, but you don't know what she's talking about.

Your heat exchanger is an essential part of your heating system, so understanding what it does, what issues can occur, signs there is an issue, and how to fix it are important. Here's what we know.

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Topics: heat exchangers

Furnace Size Calculator: What's Best for My Type of Home?

Posted by Keith Hill on Feb 28, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Time for a new furnace and you’re wondering what capacity unit you’ll need? You’ve come to the right place. While you’ll want to consult with a qualified HVAC professional before making your final decision, our furnace size calculation guidelines can give you a good idea of what you’ll want to be shopping for. 

The most accurate and recommended method of determining your furnace size is to have professional perform a heat loss calculation following ACCA or ASHRAE guidelines. Most heating contractors have the software to perform such a calculation and they can work with a set of plans or perform the calculations on-site. If you’d like to get a rough idea of your heating needs there are some rule-of-thumb numbers you can use.

Of course, heating capacity needs vary by climate, so the following rules-of thumb values are specific to the Upper Midwest.

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Topics: Heating

The Do's and Don'ts of Thermostat Placement for Your Home

Posted by Keith Hill on Feb 21, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Your thermostat is a key component of your heating and cooling system. Without it, your furnace wouldn’t know when to heat your home or your air conditioner to cool it.

Your thermostat reads the air temperature in the surrounding area and compares it to the target temperature you’ve set for your home. When those don’t match, the thermostat sends a signal to your furnace or AC to adjust the temperature accordingly.

Getting an accurate reading is critical to keeping your home at the comfort level you need and where you place your thermostat determines how accurate that reading is. Here are some tips for where to and not to place your home’s thermostat for best performance and comfort.

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Topics: Thermostats

Smart Vents vs. Zone Heating: What's the Difference?

Posted by Keith Hill on Feb 14, 2018 10:00:00 AM

With all the modern options available for your heating and cooling system, it can be a challenge to keep them all straight. A common question from homeowners is "What is the difference between using smart vents and zone heating and cooling?" Both are options to optimize the efficiency of your HVAC system and provide optimal comfort for you and your family. But they do so in different ways and have different advantages and disadvantages. This article will help you determine which one may be right for your home.

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