Minnesota Department of Commerce Home Energy Guides

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has published nineteen easy to use pamphlets with tips, suggestions and instructions about a variety of energy related issues around your home. The guides are from 8-12 pages long.

Appliances & Electronics (Acrobat - 319K)
This guide helps homeowners understand the major energy-consuming appliances in the home including refrigerators, freezers, ovens, stovetops, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers. It also describes specific energy saving features to look for when shopping for home electronics.
Attic Bypasses.pdf (Acrobat - 199K)
Before you insulate, read this guide explaining the hazards of these "hidden air passageways," how to find them and how to fix them to prevent ice dams, costly water damage to roofs, ceilings, walls and insulation.
Basements.pdf (Acrobat - 462K)
This guide includes recommendations for both new and retrofit foundation wall insulation. Completely revised as of 6/02.
Caulking & Weatherstripping.pdf (Acrobat - 846K)
This guide tells you how to identify air leakage points in your home, describes various types of caulk and weather stripping materials and provides illustrated how-to-apply instructions.
Combustion Air (Acrobat - 516K)
This guide describes the causes of dangerous combustion air problems and offers practical methods for supplying outside combustion air supplies. It includes a list of warning signs and tells you how to test your home for combustion air.
Energy Saving Landscapes.pdf (Acrobat - 669K)
This guide describes how to best utilize trees and shrubs for long-term heating and cooling energy savings. It includes a list of trees and shrubs identifying characteristics, including soil and water needs by type.
Home Cooling.pdf (Acrobat - 128K)
This guide describes methods of passive cooling and the use of air condtiioners and fans for cooling needs.
Home Heating.pdf (Acrobat - 196K)
This guide explains how your furnace works and describes the proper maintenance techniques. If buying a new heating system, this guide helps you sort through the array of choices and terms so you can be an educated shopper.
Home Insulation.pdf (Acrobat - 307K)
This guide helps you determine if you need to add insulation, what kind to use and how to install it to improve your home's energy efficiency.
Home Lighting.pdf (Acrobat - 256K)
This guide looks at new technologies for residential lighting, identifying four basic strategies and providing specific examples for putting them into practice in the home.
Home Moisture.pdf (Acrobat - 487K)
This guide describes the symptoms of moisture problems, lists common indoor and outdoor causes, and discusses ventilation as a preventative and corrective measure.
House Diagnostics (Acrobat - 345K)
Having your house 'diagnosed' by a building performance specialist will tell you critical facts about your house -- facts you should know before you invest in any major home improvement projects.
Ice Dams.pdf (Acrobat - 195K)
Illustrated explanations of causes and prevention of ice dams.
Indoor Ventilation.pdf (Acrobat - 198K)
Low Cost & No Cost Energy Saving Ideas.pdf (Acrobat - 319K)
Because it is often the little things that can add up to big savings, this guide addresses the often-overlooked energy saving tips for all areas of your home that cost little or nothing to implement
New Homes.pdf (Acrobat - 336K)
Designed for those involved with or thinking about new construction, this guide discusses a wide range of options for increasing energy efficiency beyond the normal code requirements. Subjects include insulation, ventilation, air/vapor controls, furnaces, windows, doors and appliances, as well as common design pitfalls.
Water Heaters.pdf (Acrobat - 264K)
This guide helps you determine whether to buy a new water heater or improve the old one. It explains the efficiency of different types of water heaters and provides helpful installation tips.
Windows & Doors (Acrobat - 428K)
This guide helps you decide whether to repair or replace windows or doors and provides a good summary of available energy efficient replacement options.
Wood Heat.pdf (Acrobat - 579K)
This guide offers advice on purchasing and installing a wood stove, with special emphasis on safety. You will learn how to properly exhaust the smoke, how to build an efficient fire and how to avoid chimney fires.

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This website offers suggestions for how you should properly maintain and operate your home. However, you should always refer to your builder warranty, maintenance and homeowner manual documents for the specific operation and maintenance requirements for your individual home and its equipment.