"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
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No foolin’ - Commerce recommends an advanced home energy assessment before making major home improvements, upgrades


Fri, Apr 4th, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

Before embarking on home energy improvements or remodeling, especially major projects, the Minnesota Department of Commerce strongly recommends having an advanced home energy assessment. An assessment, or energy audit, of how your house is functioning can help you decide what needs fixing or replacing. A follow-up inspection after the work has been completed can help document the energy savings.

An energy assessment will identify some simple low-cost measures you can take, such as weather-stripping doors, and it can help prioritize more expensive but cost-effective measures, like adding insulation and air-sealing or replacing a heating system. Analyzing the operation and interactions of the various components of the home upfront can save in the long run. For instance, consider an energy assessment before replacing major equipment such as a furnace or boiler. Determining and addressing air leakage, insulation, and other issues can help to correctly size a new heating system and ensure that it will work as efficiently as possible.

An advanced energy assessment should include the following:

• A review of energy bills to help assess home performance and identify savings opportunities.

• A blower-door test to determine air leakage.

• Infrared scans to detect insulation levels and sources of air leaks.

• Efficiency and safety testing for combustion appliances.

• A thorough visual inspection for attic, wall, crawlspace, foundation, basement, window, door, and roof problems.

Contact your gas or electric utility to arrange an advanced energy assessment. More comprehensive assessments are available from private contractors specializing in comprehensive home performance reviews. Advanced energy assessments range in cost from about $100 to several hundred dollars, depending on the level of detail. An energy assessment will be your first step to saving energy and saving money on your utility bills.

For more information on home energy assessments and energy-saving improvements, check out the “Home Envelope” consumer guide on the Division of Energy Resources website.

Minnesota Energy Tips is provided twice a month by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. Contact the division’s Energy Information Center at energy.info@state.mn.us or 800-657-371 .....
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Recycling 101 - 3.24.14

By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Mar 21st, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

A lot of information from the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM), Call2Recycle, and Earth 911 has come to my attention lately and I thought you might find some of this interesting or helpful. Amber perscription bottles are not recyclable in ..... 
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Bluff Country Multi-County HRA working with Minnesota Housing to provide first-time homebuyer loans

Fri, Mar 21st, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

Bluff Country Multi-County HRA, serving Fillmore and Houston Counties is partnering with Minnesota Housing to make resources available to first-time homebuyers. Homebuyers can take advantage of these resources through the Minnesota Housing Start U ..... 
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Recycling 101 - 3.3.14

By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Feb 28th, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

There have been several questions concerning medicine disposal in the last few months. Today’s article will address this subject. Although medical waste has very little to do with recycling, the correct disposal of medicine is extremely importa ..... 
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Energy assistance program participation encouraged by Minnesota Energy Resources

Thu, Feb 20th, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - Minnesota Energy Resources is encouraging customers who may be eligible for the State of Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program, to apply as soon as possible. Senior customers who may be having difficulty paying higher winter bil ..... 
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Keep vents, air inlets clear of snow, ice to keep furnaces operating safely

Thu, Feb 20th, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

The Department of Commerce is encouraging Minnesotans to keep furnace exhaust vents, air intake hoods, and chimneys clear of snow and ice in order to keep the heat on and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Homeowners with high-efficiency furnaces ..... 
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Take a minute to clear snow and ice from your gas meter

Thu, Feb 20th, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – Now more than ever, make sure you carefully clear snow from your natural gas meter and furnace vent. With the substantial amounts of snow in recent storms, and the high winds, Alliant Energy crews are reporting several meters ..... 
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Frozen pipes plague Fillmore County residents

By Angie Rodenburg

Fri, Feb 14th, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

Fillmore County has been plagued by a brutally cold winter. It’s the kind of cold that takes your breath away and makes you want to stay at home under a pile of blankets. However, the issues that the subzero temperatures cause have made their way ..... 
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Governor Dayton expands eligibility for heating assistance

Fri, Feb 7th, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

As many residents of Minnesota are feeling the pinch of sky-rocketing propane costs, Governor Mark Dayton announced on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 that he has taken action to expand eligibility for the Minnesota’s heating assistance program by signi ..... 
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