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Back To School Safety: Texting And Driving

Some temptations are hard to resist. While driving, we typically hear that “ding” on our phone and we feel the urgent need to check it. We know we shouldn’t, but we reason that we’re going to make an exception – just this once. Why do we indulge in behavior we know to be wrong, dangerous and illegal?

According to American Automobile Association (AAA) research, most people feel they are better-than-average drivers. After all, we have busy lives and are accustomed to multitasking, but research and thousands of deaths every year prove that we may not be as skilled as we think.

As a new school year begins, children are using the crosswalks while young drivers and school busses are on the road. The reality is that using a phone while driving creates potential for injuries and fatalities. 

At Nodak Electric, safety is foremost in everything we do – for our employees and the members of the communities we serve. We routinely remind our crews of the dangers of distracted driving, and we hope you’ll have similar conversations with your teens, who may be new to the roadways and are especially susceptible to the lure of technology. 

Let’s work together to keep everyone safe on the roads. Remember: that text can wait and waiting just might save a life.

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Pole Top Rescue Training: Nodak Electric Puts Safety First With Annual Training

Nodak Electric pole top rescue training was held in June. Training was facilitated through the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA).

Each year Nodak’s lineworkers, along with the GFAFB airmen, review what to do in the case of an emergency that involves a fellow crew member. At this time, lineworkers re-certify their climbing skills and practice different emergency scenarios. If a lineworker was to have an emergency while climbing a pole, the training would ensure another lineworker would be able to rescue them, lower individuals safely to the ground, and begin first aid. Using different rigging combinations lets the lineworkers practice for a variety of situations. Nodak always puts safety first, and by performing safety training, the cooperative is assuring that its employees are properly trained to handle any situation. 

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Keep It Cool!

An air conditioner’s filters, coils and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service. Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air-conditioning performance, while energy use steadily increases.


The most important maintenance task to ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean its filters. Clogged, dirty filters reduce the amount of airflow and significantly reduce a system’s efficiency. In addition, when airflow is obstructed, air can bypass the filter and deposit dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.

For central air conditioners, filters are generally located somewhere along the return duct’s length. Common filter locations are in walls, ceilings or in the air conditioner itself. Room air conditioners have a filter mounted in the grill that faces into the room.

Some types of filters are reusable; others must be replaced. They are available in a variety of types and efficiencies. Clean or replace your air-conditioning system’s filter or filters every month or two during the cooling season. Filters may need more frequent attention if the air conditioner is in constant use, is subjected to dusty conditions or you have fur-bearing pets in the house.


The air conditioner’s evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over their months and years of service. A clean filter prevents the evaporator coil from soiling quickly. In time, however, the evaporator coil will still collect dirt. This dirt reduces airflow and insulates the coil, reducing its ability to absorb heat. To avoid this problem, check your evaporator coil every year and clean it as necessary.

Outdoor condenser coils can also become dirty if the outdoor environment is dusty or if there is foliage nearby. You can easily see the condenser coil and notice if dirt is collecting on its fins.

You should minimize dirt and debris near the condenser unit. Your dryer vents, falling leaves and lawn mower are all potential sources of dirt and debris. Cleaning the area around the coil, removing any debris and trimming foliage back at least 2 feet allow for adequate airflow around the condenser.


The aluminum fins on evaporator and condenser coils are easily bent and can block airflow through the coil. Air-conditioning wholesalers sell a tool called a “fin comb” that will comb these fins back into nearly original condition.

Hiring a professional

When your air conditioner needs more than regular maintenance, such as when it does not reduce the indoor temperature to a comfortable level, hire a professional service technician. A well-trained technician will find and fix problems in your air-conditioning system. The technician should:

  • Check for correct amount of refrigerant
  • Test for refrigerant leaks using a leak detector
  • Capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated from the system, instead of illegally releasing it to the atmosphere
  • Check for and seal duct leakage in central systems
  • Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
  • Verify the correct electric control sequence and make sure the heating system and cooling system cannot operate simultaneously
  • Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary
  • Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear
  • Check the accuracy of the thermostat
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Nodak Electric Cooperative

Nodak Electric Cooperative is dedicated to being an efficient provider of quality electric service with leadership that demonstrates the highest regard for its members/owners.

To report an outage call
800-732-4373 or 701-746-4461

July/Aug 2023

The Official Publication of Nodak Electric Cooperative

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