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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Thinking it might be time for a furnace replacement, but not quite ready to take the leap? That’s understandable. It’s a big decision and can be a significant investment. While you’re deciding, here are a few “heat hacks” to get the best performance and value out of your current unit.
It makes sense to want to save on heating and cooling costs, which are among the highest home maintenance expenses. One great way to do that is to install a high-efficiency furnace to replace an older, less efficient model. But how much would you really save? The honest answer is, it depends on a number of factors, including: