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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 and other vented combustion appliances may have air intake and exhaust vents that exit the home through an exterior sidewall rather than a chimney. Water heaters, clothes dryers, and air-to-air heat exchangers may have similar sidewall vents. If the vents are covered by snowfalls or drifts, it may prevent the fresh air intake needed to operate the appliance. Some furnaces will shut off automatically if intakes or exhausts are smothered by snow and ice. However, for those that continue to run, carbon monoxide (CO) can build up in the home and cause a very dangerous situation. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can be lethal.

To prevent the dangerous backdrafting of CO and to help keep your combustion appliances operating safely:

Make sure CO detectors are working throughout the house. Minnesota law requires CO alarms in every single-family and multifamily dwelling.

Keep vents clear and free of snow and ice. Check them regularly.

Minnesota building code requires that intake and exhaust vents be located not less than 12 inches above ground to prevent clogging. Also, buildup of snow and ice on gas and electric meters can cause them to malfunction; utilities recommend keeping them clear.

A well-functioning, older, less-efficient furnace that vents through the chimney will usually create exhaust temperatures that are hot enough to melt any snow that might collect on the chimney. But it’s a good idea to check chimneys and rooftop vents (such as on mobile homes) to make sure they are not snow clogged. If you suspect a problem, clear the snow if it can be done safely or hire a snow removal professional.

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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Recycling 101 - 2.10.14

By LaVerne C. Paulson

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

Most of you are aware that there are six sites throughout the county where you will find the large, green rural recycling containers. Hundreds of Fillmore County residents prefer to deposit their recyclables in one of these containers rather than d ..... 
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Fire deaths drop in 2013: Education will help save more lives this year

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

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The number of people killed in fires last year is down 14 percent from 2012, according to preliminary numbers from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD). There were 43 fire fatalities in 2 ..... 
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Nitrate Testing

Fri, Jan 31st, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

On Saturday, February 8 from 10 a.m. until noon the National Trout Center (NTC), along with the Fillmore County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Fillmore County Community Health will conduct nitrate testing of water and provide informat ..... 
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Southeast Minnesota real estate market continues to strengthen in 2013

Fri, Jan 31st, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The real estate market in southeast Minnesota saw strong gains in nearly every indicator in 2013, with the result being a residential housing market that continues to improve. The results were announced by the Southeast Minnesot ..... 
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Recycling 101 - 1.20.14

By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Jan 17th, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

Fillmore County’s next Household Hazardous Waste Day is a few months away, but I would like to pass this information on to you at this time and answer some of the questions you may have about hazardous waste. As most of you are aware, Fillmore Co ..... 
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