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Stay Comfy Minnesota Blog

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

Should I Be Closing Vents to Warm Up Other Rooms in My House?

Posted by Keith Hill on Jan 31, 2018 10:45:00 AM

The upstairs is too warm, the downstairs is too cool, and the basement is flat-out cold! Sometimes it can feel like a constant effort to keep home temperatures balanced. That’s when homeowners think that closing vents to redirect airflow can help. But that’s not really a good idea. Here’s why.

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Topics: Heating, Zone Heating and Cooling

7 Things to Check Before Firing-Up Your Gas Fireplace for the Season

Posted by Gregg on Oct 2, 2017 11:55:58 AM

There are few things more welcome than a warm, inviting fire in the middle of a Minnesota winter. So now is the time to take a look at your gas fireplace and make sure it’s ready for the season ahead. While gas fireplaces typically require less maintenance than wood-burning ones, they still should be inspected and serviced at least once a year. Here’s a checklist for making sure your fireplace is in safe working order for the winter months ahead:

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Topics: Heating

Winter Preparation: What You Need to Know About Home Insulation

Posted by Gregg on Sep 26, 2017 9:27:08 AM

As winter approaches, it just makes sense to prepare your home for the colder months ahead. That’s especially true if you’ve experienced drafting issues in the past. Fall is a really good time to make sure your home's insulation is adequate for the bitter cold, especially if you're hoping to get a second opinion from a professional. It’s a slower time for the pros and you’ll find it easier to book an appointment now, rather than later in the season. Here’s some information on home insulation to help get you started.

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Topics: Home Maintenance, Heating, Inspections

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

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

Reasons Why You Should Consider Zone Heating Your Home

Posted by Gregg on Jan 26, 2017 10:59:11 AM

Perhaps you’ve heard of zone heating and are wondering if it’s right for your home. If it’s comfort, convenience, heating, and quiet operation that you want from your HVAC system, zone heating may be the perfect choice for you. While it’s more commonly installed in new home construction, zone heating is still a viable option for many homeowners.

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Topics: Heating, HVAC

Furnace Not Working? Try These Steps Before Calling in a Professional

Posted by Gregg on Jan 5, 2017 1:57:24 PM

Is your furnace not working? Before you become your own DIY HVAC professional or call in an expert, it will help to know a little about your heating system, how it works, and its functional components. For example, does your furnace have a pilot light? How about a motor and blower? Does your thermostat need batteries to operate?

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Topics: Heating, HVAC

Energy Tips: 3 Ways to Lower My Gas Bill

Posted by Gregg on Dec 29, 2016 10:14:44 AM

Winter is officially here and we’ve already had some real deep-freeze days. That can trigger thoughts about the cost of staying warm and what it means to your winter gas bill. To keep costs down, it helps to understand the three basic ways you can lose heat from your home. Because that heat loss is what can really add up to extra gas usage and a higher gas bill.

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Topics: Heating, Gas Bill

Farmer's Almanac Forecast for Early 2017

Posted by Gregg on Nov 29, 2016 4:00:38 PM

Brrr! The Farmer’s Almanac forecast for 2017 predicts a colder than normal winter for the upper Midwest. Here’s what the venerable (and 80% accurate) almanac has to say:

“Winter will be colder than normal, with the coldest periods in mid-December, through most of January, and in early and late February. Precipitation will be a bit above normal in the east and below normal in the west, with snowfall above normal from Minneapolis eastward and below normal in the west. The snowiest periods will be in early to mid- and mid- to late December, mid-January, and early to mid- and late February.”

So, what can we do, besides pulling out some extra sweaters and blankets? Read on.

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Topics: Heating, Winter