Gopher Heating & Air Conditioning

Serving the Twin Cities southern metro area since 1953, for all your home heating, cooling and environmental needs!

Category Archives: Heating

High Efficiency Furnace Regulation Postponed

Blog by: Dennis, President of Gopher Heating

Recently, Minnesotans looking to upgrade their furnaces had until May to do so without being required to purchase a furnace that was at least 90% efficient. If you were in the market for a new furnace these last few months, chances are you were urged to purchase sooner rather than later so that you would not be held to these standards and you could save some money. However, officials have postponed the regulation that would go in to effect in May, stating that the proposal would be revisited again in one year.

This is a plus for homeowners looking to do some home projects, including upgrading their furnace, as lower efficiency furnaces are often cheaper than the 90% efficient models. The downside, noted by environmental groups, is that this amendment would have saved billions of dollars in heating bills and reduced emissions that contribute to global warming.

So for at least another year, Minnesotans can purchase furnaces without any efficiency regulations.

If you’re in the market for a new home heating system or have questions regarding the energy efficiency of your system, give Gopher Heating a call at 952-890-3466 (Twin Cities) or (507) 665-3300 (Le Sueur, MN).

The Importance of CO Detectors

Blog by: Dennis, President of Gopher Heating

Winter is in full gear, which means most likely your furnace has been in full gear, too. This is a very important time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly, or even more importantly – to install a carbon monoxide detector if you don’t have one.

First and foremost: what IS carbon monoxide (CO)? It is an odorless, colorless gas that is created whenever any carbon based fuel (oil, wood, natural gas, etc) is burned. Many home heating systems such as furnaces and water heaters, generate some amount of carbon monoxide, which is typically sent out through a flue and then outdoors so it can’t harm you in your home.  However, if a flue becomes blocked or starts leaking, your home may become a hazardous trap for CO.

Because CO is odorless and colorless, it is very important you take steps to ensure your home is safe from this dangerous gas before it is too late, as it often is not noticed until the consequences are fatal. If you feel dizzy, nauseous, or experience headaches – these are early signs of potential exposure to carbon monoxide. Prolonged exposure can be deadly, so make sure you give your CO detector a check if you experience these symptoms.

When choosing a CO detector  to install, find a detector with a battery back up. These systems require less maintenance and will still continue working if the power in your home goes out. CO detectors are available for as little as $12, and are worth the investment to keep your home and your family safe.

Another way to make sure your systems are in working order and your home is CO free is to have a Gopher Heating professional inspect your furnace regularly. Give Gopher Heating a call to set up an appointment today at 952-890-3466 (Twin Cities) or (507) 665-3300 (Le Sueur, MN).

Furnace Safety

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You’ve probably been running your furnace rather consistently for at least a couple months at this time. While you continue to use your furnace throughout these cold winter months, keep in mind these safety tips to keep you and your family safe and healthy!

  • The lifespan of a typical gas furnace is 15 to 20 years – give or take a few years. Maintenance and upkeep are necessary to ensure a long lifespan of your heating system.
  • The best thing you can do to ensure your furnace stays in working order is to schedule a maintenance check up once a year, done by a trained professional. A check up can do wonders for it!
  • Pay attention to your furnace. If something doesn’t smell or sound right – make sure to have it looked at.

If you need any assistance with the upkeep of your furnace or if you need a tune up (now $50 off until 12/31/12) call Gopher Heating at 952-890-3466 (Twin Cities) or (507) 665-3300 (Le Sueur, MN) and we’d be happy to help!

Blog by: Dennis O’Brien, President of Gopher Heating

Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning (Infographic)

Blog by: Dennis, President of Gopher Heating

This is a great infographic from WellHome that we just had to share with you! This graphic is aimed at informing people about the nature of HVAC systems, which are often complicated and hard to understand. This graphic gives great insight in to the basic functioning of heating and cooling systems. Take a look and learn something new today!

Lennox Product Selector

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As the cool weather has settled in to stay, undoubtedly you are powering up your furnace once again and snuggling up inside your nice warm home. If you’ve powered up your furnace and your home isn’t feeling quite as warm as it should, or your furnace is acting up, now is the time to act. Temps are only going to get lower, and you don’t want to be faced with furnace problems once it’s freezing.

If you are in the market for a new HVAC system, let Lennox help you make a decision that is right for you with their quality product selector. This product selector takes your needs, and your home’s features in to account so that you can come to a solution that is the perfect fit for you. Just enter in your zip code to begin!

Click here to get started with your search and test the product selector for yourself!

Blog by: Dennis O’Brien, CEO, Gopher Heating

Gopher Heating Takes Part in Heat Up Minnesota!

Gopher Heating had the good fortune of taking part in Lennox’s Heat Up Minnesota program this October, a campaign which gave 100 deserving Minnesotan families brand new high efficiency furnaces. Submissions were collected via, and responders were asked to share a story of someone they knew who was in need of heating for their home. The submissions were then reviewed by a panel of heating and cooling dealers and Lennox staff. Candidates were chosen based on need and feasibility.

The Gopher Heating team was thrilled to be a part of Heat Up Minnesota, and on October 6, they helped out Judith Jones of Le Sueur, MN by installing a new high efficiency furnace in her home. Gopher Heating’s technicians donated their time, tools, and hard work to make sure Ms. Jones has a nice warm house for the upcoming cold season and many more to come.

Ms. Jones’ home

The Gopher Heating team ready to install a high efficiency furnace for Ms. Jones

Members of Gopher Heating with Ms. Jones’ new high efficiency furnace

Gopher Heating on WCCO

Last evening, Gopher Heating’s president, Dennis, was on WCCO‘s evening news discussing the rising cost of heating this winter season. In case you didn’t catch it  – watch the video here!

Here is the article from WCCO’s website:


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Heating costs hit record lows because of last year’s mild winter, but predictions of a “normal” season this year could mean a big increase.

Minnesota’s Energy Department estimates a rise in heating bills: 20 percent for houses using oil, 15 percent for natural gas customers, 13 percent for propane and 5 percent for electricity.

The price of natural gas is only predicted to rise less than a percent over last year, but the experts at Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning say anything can happen.

“We’re on the low end now, but they do fluctuate, so who knows,” said owner Dennis O’Brien.

O’Brien says saving starts with a good furnace tune up for peak performance.

“If you have a 95 percent efficient furnace, but it’s not working up to its potential you’re wasting money,” said O’Brien.

O’Brien also says make sure your home’s “envelope” is well sealed. That means good insulation — especially in the attic — and tight seals around doors and windows.

Then there’s the thermostat. A programmable model could save you 20 percent in heating costs.

When it comes down to it, natural gas and propane costs aren’t really going to be the issue — the cold weather is. So, taking those steps is your best bet.

As for people using heating oil, global demand for crude oil and instability in the middle east could send prices to record highs.”

Fall To-Do List!

Blog by: Dennis O’Brien, President of Gopher Heating

Now that we are officially experiencing the autumn season, it’s time to prepare for all that autumn and even the upcoming winter seasons bring. We’ve put together a fall to-do list to keep you on track and ensure all your HVAC systems are running properly.

  1. Replace air filters. Get rid of your dirty summer filters, and replace them with clean, fresh filters. This will dramatically improve the air quality in your home. Remember, each HVAC system has different changing requirements, so follow all instructions carefully.
  2. Get the fireplace ready.  Clean out any dirt, dust, and ashes so you can stoke up a hearty fire during the cold seasons. Make sure your chimney is clean and in working shape, and prepare to warm the house with an excellent source of natural heat. Don’t forget to chop the firewood!
  3. Check out your HVAC system. Make sure all gas pipes are connected and unbroken, take a look at the control box and wiring, lubricate the motor and peek at and replace fan belt if needed. Look over your entire system – if anything looks funny or odd, give Gopher Heating a call for a proper inspection. Leave any fixing to a professional.
  4. Think about insulation. Is your home drafty in the colder months? Are your attic and basement leaking cool air in to your home? Consider adding extra insulation to keep heat in and cool air out.
  5. Call Gopher Heating. The most important step you can take to ensure your home is warm and toasty all fall and winter long is to schedule a routine maintenance appointment. Our trained technicians will make sure your HVAC system is in proper working condition – no hidden charges, no phony fixes, no price gauging. You can trust Gopher Heating. Give us a call today at: 952-890-3466 (Twin Cities) or 507-665-3300 (Le Sueur area).

Heartwarming HVAC

Normally, we specialize in warming our customer’s homes and businesses, but today we’re in the business of warming something else – hearts! We came across this story today and wanted to pass it along, because it shows the difference quality HVAC services can make, but it also tells a story of kindness and generosity on behalf of the HVAC company Michael and Sons Services located in Virginia.

The video itself is a bit long, but long story short – 15 year old Brandon has trouble breathing due to Muscular Dystrophy. After the earthquake that rocked Virginia last August ruined their oil boiler, it’s been a struggle for him. Humidity and cold air both make breathing even more difficult. When Basim Mansour met Brandon, and also found out he was a big Eagles fan, he felt a connection and he he inspected their house and decided to make repairs to their HVAC system. The kicker? All the charges were covered by Mansour’s company. But that’s not all – he also threw in an Eagle’s helmet signed by Brandon’s favorite Eagle’s player, Michael Vick. Truly a heartwarming story!

Repairing and upgrading your HVAC systems can make a world of difference, especially if you suffer from respiratory issues. In the case of 15 year old Brandon, this will greatly improve his breathing. To make sure your home or company’s air is clean and healthy, give us a call today at 952.890.3466 (metro area) or 507.665.3300 (Le Sueur area).

Time for a Tune-Up

Maybe we’re preaching to the choir, and surely we’ve given you friendly reminders all winter about how necessary a furnace tune-up is, but we just have to say it again – it’s important!! It finally feels like winter in Minnesota, with temperatures dipping in to the negative range, and it feels much colder than it truly is. After a mild Midwest winter, Mother Nature finally remembered what season it is here in Minnesota.

These below freezing temperatures make it doubly important to make sure your home heating systems are functioning properly. When this cold weather makes an appearance, your heating systems are more likely to shut down because they are working so hard to keep up with the weather. The last thing you want is to worry about your heating system quitting on you during this cold spell.

A check up will not take much time, and it could potentially save you money down the road. By having a specialist make sure your furnace is good to go, you could potentially save yourself the hassle of a small problem turning in to a large problem, and it will definitely spare you from dealing with the winter chill due to a failing furnace.

This weather is something we’re used to here in Minnesota, but these jarring temperatures that came seemingly out of nowhere have reminded us how nice it is to be snuggled up, nice and warm in our homes. We want to make sure you stay that way, so give us a call at 952-890-3466 (Metro area), or 507-665-3300 (Le Sueur area) and we’ll give your home heating system  a quick fixer-upper!

P.S. Because of this chilly weather, we’ve decided to extend our Winter Warmth contest until the end of this month! Make sure to enter today – it’s really simple! All the information you need to know can be found HERE! 🙂