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Homeowner Tips: How to Winterize Your 3 Season Porch

Posted by Gregg on Sep 21, 2017 1:50:46 PM

Minnesotans love their porches and sun rooms, so they're certainly missed in the cooler months as temperatures begin to plummet during late fall and winter. Not to mention they’re a common source of heat loss from our homes. So winterizing your three-season porch is a good idea as cold weather approaches. How far you take that process depends on your goals for using that room. Here are some ideas for what will work best to winterize your 3 season porch.

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Topics: Home Maintenance, Heating, Zone Heating and Cooling

9 Long-Term Benefits of Switching to an Energy Efficient Furnace

Posted by Gregg on Sep 19, 2017 9:48:41 AM

Buying a new furnace is a major investment and it’s a decision you’ll live with for years to come. So, it pays to consider all your options. And there are a lot of them, with a correspondingly wide range of pricing options.

Not surprisingly, the higher efficiency units fall into the higher-end price range. But before you exclude those options based on upfront costs, take a look at what your long-term gains might be with a higher-end system.

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Topics: Energy Efficiency

Furnace Motor Diagnostics: 4 Ways to Prepare for The Cold Months Ahead

Posted by Gregg on Sep 14, 2017 10:12:07 AM

Winter is on its way — you can almost feel it in the fall air. It’s the time that Minnesotans start thinking about the cold months ahead and begin making sure they’re ready for a comfortable, maintenance-free heating season. Planning ahead should include an annual inspection — always a good idea to make sure everything is in tip-top shape.

But beyond a general check-up, there are some more in-depth diagnostics to consider. And one really important one is the condition of your furnace motor. No one wants to get caught with a failed motor — or one that is working at sub-par efficiency — in the middle of a Minnesota winter.

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Topics: System Maintenance, HVAC

How Can I Trust Furnace Reviews? What To Ask Before Investing.

Posted by Gregg on Sep 12, 2017 11:01:54 AM

Customer reviews have become a mainstay of the Internet, and for the most part, they’re usually pretty helpful. Reviews are really helpful when you're looking at a restaurant or even thinking about buying a new digital camera or laptop computer. But what about when it comes to bigger decisions, the kind you'll have to live with for the next 10, 20, or more years? Decisions like your next furnace? When the stakes are that high, you’ll want to make sure you're looking at reliable information in the furnace reviews you check out.

All reviews are not created equal, so here are some tips to make sure you can trust what you find online.

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Topics: Carrier, HVAC

Should I Invest in an Air Conditioner Cover for the Winter Months?

Posted by Gregg on Sep 7, 2017 11:54:44 AM

With fall weather approaching, it won’t be long before it’s time to turn off the AC for the season. Homeowners often ask if it’s worth it to cover their outside unit for the winter months. While many HVAC pros say it’s not absolutely necessary, it's worth a discussion. Here are some of the reasons both for and against investing in an air conditioner cover.

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Topics: Home Maintenance, air conditioning

Why High Performance Furnace Motors Are Worth the Investment

Posted by Gregg on Sep 5, 2017 11:11:10 AM

Fall is coming quick and now is a great time to make sure your furnace is ready for the winter months ahead. To get started, here’s a checklist for winterizing your whole HVAC system. Beyond getting your current system ready for winter, this is the time of year that a lot of homeowners are thinking about replacing or upgrading an aging furnace. If you’re thinking along those lines, then you’ll want to seriously consider a high-performance motor — or ECM.

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Topics: Heating, Energy Efficiency, HVAC

6 Common Indoor Air Pollutants You Can Avoid with an Air Cleaner

Posted by Gregg on Aug 31, 2017 9:51:28 AM

We often think of air pollutants as being outdoors. While that’s true, there are also plenty of common indoor air pollutants that can affect your family’s comfort, health, and even safety. It can be easy to forget or overlook these indoor irritants, so we’ve created a list of some of the most common air pollutants and their causes. If you have any of these issues in your home — we have a great idea for cleaning things up.

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Topics: Air quality, Electronic Air Cleaners

AC Blowing Hot Air? 7 Possible Causes and Solutions.

Posted by Gregg on Aug 29, 2017 2:38:09 PM

It seems like it always happens at the worst time: friends are coming over for dinner, you’re hosting a birthday party, or it’s family movie night, and suddenly your air conditioner either goes out or starts blowing hot air. Don’t panic, there are a number of common AC issues that you may be able to solve quickly and cheaply on your own.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before calling in the pros.

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Topics: Cooling

Air Conditioners and Freon: What You Need to Know

Posted by Gregg on Aug 24, 2017 12:18:36 PM

Freon is the trade name of a group of refrigerant gasses that have been in use since the late 1920s. Freon products have been used extensively in commercial applications, such as food storage, processing, and transportation. Most homeowners are familiar with Freon’s use in refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioning units.

Freon gasses fall into the categories of chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFs), which have been found to negatively affect the earth’s ozone layer. As a result, they have been in the process of being phased out since 1987 as part of the Montreal Protocol. That’s raised a number of questions for homeowners as they look to repair or replace household appliances, especially air conditioning units, that use Freon.

Here’s what you need to know to decide how to handle your Freon-based AC.

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Topics: Cooling

Plasma Air Purifiers: An Alternative Approach to Air Quality Control

Posted by Gregg on Aug 22, 2017 3:41:59 PM

Homeowners are increasingly concerned with providing their families with the cleanest indoor air possible. Fortunately, technology is keeping up with that demand. Among the latest developments are plasma air purifiers. They’re definitely an option to consider if you’re looking for ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality.

What is a Plasma Air Purifier?

Plasma purifiers were originally designed for use in hospitals because of their effectiveness in eliminating bacteria, viruses, and other allergens. They were also quite large and not feasible for in-home use. However, in recent years the technology has improved and plasma air purifiers are now much smaller, and consequently have become more practical for home use. They’re installed as part of your overall HVAC system and use a combination of ionization and very small filters. Together they eliminate dust, smoke, and pollen, which other types of purifiers can miss.

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Topics: Air quality