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Stay Comfy Minnesota Blog

How Can I Lower My Xcel Energy Bill?

Posted by Gregg on Nov 10, 2016 10:57:21 AM

It’s a fact that your Xcel energy bill, or those from other providers, can be among your highest home maintenance expenses. It just makes sense to want to lower it as much as possible, and that’s even more important as we approach the heating season. So, if you're worried about your heating bill this winter, here are some ways you can conserve energy and save cash for other things at the same time.

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Topics: Heating, Energy Efficiency

How to Select the Right Energy Efficient Furnace

Posted by Gregg on Nov 1, 2016 2:31:39 PM

As temperatures fall in the upper Midwest, it’s natural to start thinking about heating your home for the coming season, and a perfect time to consider installing an energy efficient furnace. But unless you’ve recently purchased a new furnace, you may not be aware of current innovations in both efficiency and comfort. Here are a few tips to help you get started researching and selecting the right furnace for your home.

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Topics: Heating, Energy Efficiency, Winter

Heat Pump vs. AC: What's Best For Me?

Posted by Gregg on Aug 18, 2016 9:43:22 AM

When it comes to staying cool during a Minnesota summer, the default device that many think of to keep them comfortable is an air conditioner. The next appliance that may come to mind is a heat pump. Although not as popular in our state, a heat pump can provide not only cool air in the summer, but heat in the winter too. Let’s look at a comparison of heat pump vs. AC to find what’s best for you!

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Topics: Energy Efficiency

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Posted by Gregg on Aug 11, 2016 11:37:05 AM

You may have heard of people using heat pumps in their homes as an energy efficient alternative (or supplement) to furnaces and air conditioners. Despite the name, a heat pump can both cool and heat a home and they are great for those with moderate heating and cooling needs. So how does a heat pump work?

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Topics: Energy Efficiency

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 Complete HVAC Guide: Easy Answers to Hard Questions

Posted by Brittany on Sep 29, 2015 3:00:00 PM

If you are new to homeownership, learning about HVACs and furnace and air conditioning maintenance can seem daunting – or even boring. But never fear, you’ve come to the right place, because we at StayComfy Heating and Air Conditioning want to arm you with the knowledge you need to understand your system. Your Complete HVAC guide is filled with simple, but crucial, stuff. No over-your-head info here.

Did we lose you yet? Good. We’ll make it easy, starting with basic questions.

What is an HVAC?

Don’t feel silly asking, we know you can get the answer with a Google search, but who wants to wade through all the mucky muck?

An HVAC is the whole system that helps you stay comfortable in your home.

HVAC stands for Heating (H), Ventilating (V) and Air Conditioning (AC). It refers to the whole system that heats, cools and conditions the air in your house – keeping you comfy no matter the season. The components that make up your HVAC are typically a furnace, air conditioner, thermostat (controls), ductwork, and vents/grilles. Some people have additional components like heat pumps, humidifiers, air cleaners, and UV lamps. These are not necessary to make your HVAC system work, but they are great add-ons for comfort. (If you’d like to learn more about what they do, click here to see our products page.)

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Topics: Energy Efficiency, HVAC

Smart Thermostat Comparison: Côr™ vs. Nest vs. Honeywell

Posted by Brittany on Aug 11, 2015 11:12:00 AM

The marketplace for smart thermostats got even bigger with the launch of Carrier’s Côr™ thermostat earlier this year. If you are doing a smart thermostat comparison, there’s many to choose from – Côr™, Nest, Honeywell Lyric, etc., and we at Carrier and are here to tell you why the Côr™ Thermostat stands out above the rest.

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Topics: Carrier, Energy Efficiency, The Côr Thermostat

Are High-Efficiency AC Units More Expensive To Fix?

Posted by Kelly on Jun 4, 2015 11:13:00 AM

Adding Up The Costs and Benefits of High-Efficiency Air Conditioners 

Buying any appliance or electronic device that uses new, cutting-edge technology comes with a price tag. However, when it comes to top-of-the-line air conditioners, the higher price tag is usually accompanied by energy savings – often substantial energy savings. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, making the switch to a high-efficiency air conditioner and taking other actions to keep your home cool could reduce energy use for air conditioning by 20 to 50 percent. That adds up to savings you can notice on your bills!

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Topics: Cooling, Energy Efficiency

Finding Air Leaks through Thermographic Inspection

Posted by Brooke on Oct 16, 2014 2:45:47 PM

What is Thermographic Inspection?

Some people opt to do a home inspection on their own. They check their windows and doors for air leaks, and the attic for proper insulation, and then they do the repairs themselves. But some people opt to call in the pros – contractors who can take a more high-tech look at a building to see exactly where the heat loss is coming from. Thermographic Inspections use infrared scanning to detect thermal defects and air leaks in buildings. By knowing exactly where those problem areas are, and fixing them, consumers can save 5%-30% on their energy bills. But what exactly is a thermographic inspection?

In the simplest explanation possible: An energy auditor uses this technology to detect where your home is losing heat. 

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Topics: Energy Efficiency

How to Winterize your Minnesota Home

Posted by Brooke on Sep 16, 2014 12:42:00 PM

Protect Your Home From Winter Wear and Tear

The time has come to tackle some home winterization projects. Although it’s not winter yet, completeing these tasks now will save you from both a freezing home and a freezing chore later. Here are some important and simple winterization projects you can do to save energy and protect your house from Minnesota's coldest months.

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Topics: Home Maintenance, Heating, Minnesota, Energy Efficiency