News

Now is the Time-Spring Checklist

February 7th, 2017

One of the reasons we love the Old Pueblo is because the weather this time of year is amazing. While other parts of the country are still dealing with bitter cold, we are enjoying mild temperatures in the 70s and 80s.

Now is the time, before it really heats up, to have your air conditioning system looked at by an expert.  Pre-season maintenance is important as it can help you avoid a system failure during the scoring heat of the summer. Not to mention that catching and addressing issues proactively is going to save you time and money later.

While we always recommend a service check from a professional to review the performance and efficiency of your air conditioning system, there are things you can do yourself.

  • Remove any objects or vegetation within 18 inches of the unit. It’s not a bad idea to take a hose and spray off the coils. Use a hose with a nozzle and spray the coils at a 45-degree angle to remove debris between the fins.
  • Check the filter for the air conditioning unit. Homeowners often overlook the inside part of the central air system, and this is where many problems begin. Changing the filter regularly is the best thing you can do for your central air system. Before you turn on your central air system for the first time, make sure you have a new filter in place and that there are no gaps where the air can pass unfiltered.
  • Test it! Turn your thermostat to cool and the fan to auto. Once your system kicks on, check your unit. Check the condenser to make sure the fan is spinning. You should be able to hear the hum of the condenser too.

Remember that Russett Southwest offers services to help you maintain your system and keep it running in tip top condition. This includes pre-season maintenance checks. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact the experts at Russett Southwest. Contact us at (520) 629-9676 or russettsouthwest.com to get started.

 

3 Biggest Energy Wasters in Your Home

January 30th, 2017

Energy costs are the biggest expense in home ownership. Here are the top 3 biggest energy wasters in your home and what you can do to avoid them.

 

Duct Work/Sealing

In houses with forced-air heating and cooling systems, ducts are used to distribute conditioned air throughout the house. In a typical house, however, about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. The result is higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.

 

We recommend having air ducts in homes cleaned every 3-5 years. Clean air ducts improve the indoor air quality in your home and enhance the efficiency of your air conditioning/heating system, which may lead to a reduction in energy bills. (All duct cleaning services begin with our duct test.)

 

Old HVAC equipment

Old outdated central air units and window units are big on the list of the top home energy wasters. Look for a high SEER Rating. The SEER rating or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating is a measure of how efficient the unit is in using energy to heat or cool. The top rated HVAC units have SEER ratings of as high as 19. Many older central air systems have SEER ratings of half that.

 

You can save up to fifty percent or more on you heating and cooling bill by replacing an old outdated HVAC unit with one that has a high SEER rating. Look for SEER ratings of 14 or better.

 

Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs.

 

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact the experts at Russett Southwest. We help Tucson homeowners handle all of their heating and cooling needs and can answer any questions you may have on heating and cooling efficiency.  Contact us at (520) 629-9676 or russettsouthwest.com to get started.

 

 

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor

January 25th, 2017

 

Your heating and air conditioning systems are vital to the comfort of your home. So when you need a repair or replacement on your equipment, hiring an expert with integrity ensures you get exactly what you need at a fair price and good service.  Here are the top 5 questions that all home owners should pose before making a decision on hiring an HVAC contractor.

 

  1. How long have you been in business? The longevity of a company, especially a HVAC company, is an indicator of the business practices, expertise, service level and integrity of the company.
  2. Does the business meet state certification and licensing requirements?
  3. What kind of training and/or certifications do the technicians have? Technicians need to have a competent understanding of how things like electrical wiring, refrigerant, combustion systems, and airflow through heating ducts all work together to add heating or cooling comfort to a home. Not only is comfort important, but safety is critical – knowing the proper operation of home ventilation and exhaust systems when working with a furnace can be the key to preventing death or injury from events like carbon monoxide poisoning, which can occur if an HVAC system is malfunctioning or improperly installed.
  1. References-A professional heating and air conditioning company should have a list of recent customers you can contact in order to verify that the company performed the work in a timely manner and to the customer’s satisfaction. It’s important to actually call those references to get relevant details about how their projects fared.
  2. Check homeowner and business resources like Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau. You can see verified reviews and ratings and gain insight into the customer experience.

 

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact the experts at Russett Southwest. We help Tucson homeowners handle all of their heating and cooling needs! Contact us at (520) 629-9676 or russettsouthwest.com to get started.

 

Keep Your Heating Costs Down This Winter

January 2nd, 2017

Winter is in full swing in the Old Pueblo. Here are a few tips on keeping your home comfortable and your energy costs down.

 

Adjust your thermostat

According to the Department of Energy, you can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. By making this adjustment, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating.

 

Take care of the filters

Replace or clean furnace filters as recommended. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Consider a tune up for your system.  Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5% of heating costs.

 

Seal the leaks

Caulk leaks around windows and doors. Look for places where you have pipes, vents or electrical conduits that go through the wall, ceiling or floor. Check the bathroom, underneath the kitchen sink, pipes inside a closet, etc. If you find a gap at the point where the pipe or vents goes through the wall, seal it up.

 

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact the experts at Russett Southwest. We help Tucson homeowners handle all of their heating and cooling needs! Contact us at (520) 629-9676 or russettsouthwest.com to get started.

 

Is it Time to Clean Your Air Ducts?

December 20th, 2016

 

Over time, air ducts become littered with debris, accumulated dirt and allergens such as pollen, dust and pet dander. Clean air ducts improve the indoor air quality in your home and enhance the efficiency of your air conditioning/heating system, which may lead to a reduction in energy bills.

It is not uncommon for the average homeowner to be unaware of what can be building up in the air ducts of their home. These tips help you determine if your ducts need your attention:

  • Examine your return air registers. If they’re coated with a buildup of pet hair, dust and other debris, it’s time to consider having your ducts cleaned.
  • Pull out the air filter. If the air filter is clogged with dust, then air flow is being choked off. This lets more dust settle and build up in the return ductwork.
  • Have you noticed little wisps of dust puffing out from an air duct every time you turn on your home’s heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system? It may be time for a cleaning.
  • It’s been more than 5 years since you’ve had the ducts cleaned

To determine whether or not your air ducts need cleaned and/or sanitized a professional routine testing is recommended. By taking small dirt samples from your air ducts, we search for any contaminants and allergens.

 

To learn more about air duct testing and cleaning, contact the experts at Russett Southwest. We help Tucson homeowners handle all of their heating and cooling needs! Contact us at (520) 629-9676 or russettsouthwest.com to get started.