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Stay Comfy Minnesota Blog

Can Low Humidity Be Bad for My Home?

Posted by Gregg on Sep 29, 2016 11:25:31 AM

The simple answer is: yes. Low humidity can be bad for your home. Just like too much humidity can be bad for your home as it can cause mold and other issues – too little moisture can also cause problems. Here are some of the signs of a home with low humidity and what you can do to prevent it.

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Topics: Air quality

Radon Removal is Incredibly Important. Here's Why.

Posted by Gregg on Sep 27, 2016 10:41:35 AM

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that can seep up from the earth and into your home. As the weather gets colder, you may start seeing ad campaigns that warn you to get your home tested for this safety hazard. They are not there to strike unnecessary fear into homeowners, but to potentially save many people from the dangers of long-term exposure to radon gas. Here’s why it’s so important to get your home tested, and if you get a positive result, why radon removal is crucial.

The Dangers Of Radon

Radon occurs naturally in the environment, but it’s not healthy for you to breathe or be around in high levels. It’s a gas that seeps up through the soil as uranium decays and breaks down into radium, which then turns into radon gas. In low levels, it’s not harmful, but once it’s trapped inside you home – especially when you have it sealed up from the cold winter air – it’s very dangerous.

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Topics: Air quality

Understanding the Basics to Home Humidity Control

Posted by Gregg on Sep 20, 2016 11:41:48 AM

The humidity levels in your home play a big factor when it comes to the comfort of you and your family. If you have too much humidity in the air, your skin can feel wet and sticky when it’s hot out and cold and clammy when it’s cooler. Too little moisture, and you’ll get dry, cracked skin that will feel itchy and uncomfortable. It’s so important to achieve that balance, so that’s why we want to share some of the basics of home humidity control.

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Topics: Air quality

Air Quality Control: How to Help Prevent Fall Allergies

Posted by Gregg on Sep 8, 2016 3:39:23 PM

Fall means the kids are back at school, football is back on TV, bonfires are burning again, and — unfortunately for many people — fall allergies are rearing their ugly symptoms again.  So what can we do to keep the air cleaner, feel more allergy free, and breathe easier when in our homes?  Here are some simple tips for air quality control to help prevent fall allergies!

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Topics: Air quality

How To Check Your Home Humidity Levels

Posted by Gregg on Aug 16, 2016 1:35:09 PM

Have you ever gone down into a basement and it smells like a wet dog? How about walking down a creaky hallway, trying not to wake family members in your house? Both are signs of a humidity problem in a home and should be remedied for maximum comfort – and, in some cases, safety. Here’s how you can check your home humidity levels. 

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Topics: Air quality

Advantages of High Efficiency Filters

Posted by Kelly on Jun 21, 2016 2:44:05 PM

 If you’ve ordered a new filter for your HVAC recently (and you should, because you are supposed to change it every few months), you may have seen – or even bought – a high efficiency filter. So what does a high efficiency filter do differently than a regular HVAC filter, and what can it mean for your system and your home’s air? Let’s explore the advantages of high efficiency filters.

What A High Efficiency Filter Does Differently 

A regular filter (about 1 inch thick) is meant to protect the HVAC equipment and not improve indoor air quality, as many homeowners believe. It takes the big stuff out of the air, but helps very little with regard to air quality for our lungs, because it’s not specifically designed for that purpose says our expert Keith Hill, manager of technical support at Minnesota Air. 

On the other hand, high-efficiency filters are better for filtering dirty air, but may need duct modifications if you choose the thicker kind. 

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Topics: Air quality

Top Tips for Knowing When to Use a Dehumidifier

Posted by Kelly on Jun 9, 2016 4:37:07 PM

‘Tis the season for rain and thunderstorms – and, in turn, humidity. An air conditioning unit can take excess moisture from the air to help you feel more comfortable but on those no-so-steamy days you may find your AC unit turning off before it gets a chance to dehumidify your home all the way. That can be bad for your air and your comfort according to Keith Hill, manager of technical support at Minnesota Air. Here are some signs you need to use a dehumidifier.

You Notice Mold Or A Musty Smell

“When the AC is simply is not running enough to take the humidity out of the air … is when the moisture in the home may climb to 50% or higher, which not only feels uncomfortable (cool and clammy), but allows mold and mildew growth,” Keith notes.

He says that many people think that you need liquid moisture – like flooding or a leaky pipe – for mold to grow, but humidity in the air at 50% or more will allow mold growth on a dry surface.

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Topics: Air quality

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

 Ask 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

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