Gopher Heating & Air Conditioning

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

Category Archives: Home Improvement

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).

Final Week for Holiday Savings!

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


We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and continue to enjoy the rest of the holiday season and New Year!

While Christmas may be over, the good deals aren’t over just yet! This week marks the final days of our 2012 holiday promotions, aimed at saving our amazing clients some money during this spendy season! Don’t miss your chance to claim these great deals to replace your filters, get your systems looked at, or to buy a brand new heating or cooling system!

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Furnace Safety

Image via homeinsights.org

 

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

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 heatupminnesota.org, 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

ARTICLE: HVAC Issues for Multi-Level Homes (via Fox 10)

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

 

In multi-level homes, heating and cooling from level to level can be quite the task. Different levels create inconsistencies in temperature and HVAC function. This fantastic article from Fox 10, helps multi-level homeowners remedy these frustrating HVAC issues. For the full article, click here.

Common reasons for temperature variances between floors:

  • Restricted air flow from the furnace to the registers.
  • Inadequate or improperly sized and sealed ductwork.
  • A heating and cooling system that’s not sufficient for the size of the home.

Angie’s List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews, asked highly heating and cooling companies about the options that are available today.

  • Run the furnace blower continuously: Heating and cooling professionals recommend homeowners switch their thermostat fan to the ‘On’ position to allow the blower on the furnace to run continuously, which better circulates air throughout the house. First, though, make sure your air filter is clean. Adjusting the vents can also help redirect the forced air to the places it’s needed.
  • Add a second system: Certainly the most expensive fix – a second system could run upwards of $7,000, but is the best option for two-story homes with one furnace. Adding a second system allows the homeowner to better control the temperature on each floor.
  • Add a zoning system: Zoning systems are a less-expensive alternative than adding another system. Zoning systems allow a homeowner to control the temperature independently from a thermostat placed on each floor. Zoning systems are easiest to install in new construction, however existing homes can sometimes be retrofitted to accommodate the system. Most zoning systems cost $3,000 and up.
  • Add a ductless split: Essentially an air conditioner without the ductwork, these small room-based units pass cold air through small air handlers mounted on the wall. The homeowner can control the temperature independently in each room the air handler is installed. Cost for ductless air conditioners typically starts at about $1,500 per unit.
  • Have ductwork inspected: Improperly sized and leaky ducts are often the culprits. Ultimately, homeowners with temperature variance issues should consult a reputable heating and cooling contractor to diagnose the issue and determine possible solutions. Doing so could not only make their home feel more comfortable, it can help ensure they are using their heating and cooling energy as efficiently as possible.”

Did You Know…?

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

….Gopher Heating is currently working on projects as far as South Dakota. Our knowledgeable and award winning  staff of trained professionals are available for projects big and small, and for consulting wherever your needs may be.

Gopher Heating provides consultation on your HVAC needs, wherever they are. This not only saves you time and money, but it allows you to get answers you need from people who are professional, timely, and well-versed with all HVAC problems or opportunities. When you need fast and efficient answers, you know who to call.

Gopher Heating

Twin Cities: 952-890-3466

Le Sueur area: 507-665-3300

Consumer Reports’ Central AC Buying Tips

image via concentricav.com

 

 

 

 

 

Comfort is key when it comes to your home HVAC needs. Comfort is possible when you make informed AC purchase choices. By heeding these tips from Consumer Reports, not only can you spare yourself the sweat, but you can feel confident about making important buying decisions for your home’s AC system.

  • Size Matters: The biggest AC unit isn’t always going to be the best. Pick an air conditioner that fits with the size of your home. If your home is smaller, the highest powered AC isn’t the answer. If you’re in the market for a new AC, chat with our professionals at Gopher Heating to help you find the right size AC unit for your home.
  • Consider the Details: The three most important things to think about when you’re shopping for a new AC unit are design, efficiency and size. Is the right AC for you the “split system” or the “heat pump” design? How much power is necessary for your home’s cooling needs? What size is right for you?
  • Tried is not always True: If you’re looking to upgrade your old AC unit, don’t just assume that the exact same model and size of your previous AC will do the trick the second time around. If you’ve made any changes in your home with windows or insulation, this could affect  your home’s cooling needs. Have a contractor reevaluate what is necessary for your home. Just assuming that the same size will cut it could lead to inefficiency and system malfunctions that can easily be avoided with a bit of research.
  • Make Sure You’re in Good Hands: Get the most bang for your buck, and make sure that you trust who you hire to install your new AC. Read reviews, ask friends or neighbors about their own experiences, and make an informed choice.

For the detailed article, click here.

 

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

Set Your Thermostat in Style!

The days of turning your AC on with a boring circular thermostat are gone! You can keep cool in style this summer with Lennox’s new iComfort WiFi Touchscreen Thermostat! Not only is this cool new design super-stylish, but it will also save you money! You can set the temp and control your energy costs from anywhere using your cell phone, tablet, or computer! Clunky control settings be-gone: come home to a nice cool house! You won’t have to suffer in the heat to save money while you’re away during the day!

Other cool features include Weather On-Demand, which allows you to see the five day forecast. The Alerts and Reminders feature keeps you up to date on diagnostics and service updates so you never miss necessary maintenance. Automatic Updates keep your thermostat working the best it can. And perhaps the coolest feature is  One-Touch Away Mode which overrides your normal programming when you’re away to save you on energy and money!

For more information about this awesome new gadget, visit: http://bit.ly/LW3H5O

Air Conditioning Maintenance

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image via air-conditioners.us

A great article out of Florida this week is giving HVAC users some helpful tips for maintaining their air conditioners. This is important because, as the article states, “Each year your air conditioner goes without maintenance, it will lose about 5 percent of its overall efficiency.”  As temps in Minnesota are higher than normal for May, many of us have already broke the air conditioning seal for the year, so here are some helpful tips to make sure your AC keeps you cool from some of Angie’s List‘s highest rated service specialists.

  •  Call a professional to give your air conditioning unit a routine check-up. In order to ensure efficiency for the summer it is important to have it inspected, cleaned, and tuned by a professional.
  • Make sure to replace air conditioning filters (check filter for how frequently you should change it, or ask a professional) which is especially pertinent in the summer season when allergens build up along the filter wall.
  • Consider shading your air conditioner to increase efficiency. As the article states, “Air in a shaded space is cooler than the surrounding air, meaning · the A/C will have an easier time cooling the air.”
  • Arguably, one of the most interesting points made in this article states, “Remember that each degree you dial below 78 increases your energy consumption by about 8 percent. If your monthly electric bill is about $100, you’ll save $8 a month with EACH degree you can stand above 78.”
  • If you’re a forgetful person and don’t often remember to adjust your thermostat before heading out for work, or leaving for a weekend, consider a programmable thermostat to help you save money on your bills.
  • If your unit is dated by more than 10 years, it’s time to think about getting a newer, more efficient model that will be far more environmentally friendly, and will also save you money.

To make sure your air conditioning unit is ready to go for the summer season, give Gopher Heating a call (952.890.3466 [metro area] or 507.665.3300 [Le Sueur area]) and one of our talented professionals would be happy to make sure you don’t spend a day braving the heat this summer!