Now’s the Time to Check Your System

March 22nd, 2018

We love this time of year! Warm days and mild evenings are one of the reasons we love the Old Pueblo. It won’t be long though until the thermometer rises and we’re looking at triple digit temperatures.

Now is the time 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.

In addition to having your system serviced by an expert, here are a few things that you can do yourself. 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.
  • Have an expert check your system to make sure it’s prepared to handle the Tucson summers. We recommend a service check from a professional to review the performance and efficiency of your air conditioning system.


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 to get started.


The 3 Biggest Energy Wasters in Your Home

February 22nd, 2018

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 to get started.


Questions for Your HVAC Contractor

January 24th, 2018

Your heating and cooling system is more than a couple of boxes, it is part of your home. Your home is like your body, it has many systems that must work together to be efficient, healthy and comfortable.

Before calling a contractor, you should contact the Better Business Bureau and the Registrar of Contractors to check on their work record.

Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona:  Phone: (520) 888-6161

Arizona Registrar of Contractors:  Phone: (602) 542-1525


  1. How long have you been in business? A minimum of 5 years is recommended. Also ask if they have a business address.
  2. Will you test and measure my home? Some tests are required for the permit. Testing will help determine if you have problems with your duct system and help properly size the new A/C system.
  3. Do you take a permit? It is ultimately the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure a permit is taken. Under the new codes, the home must be tested for duct leakage and home air leakage and a Manual J load calculation must be done for the proper sizing. If no permit is taken it could cost the homeowner $500,000 or more to have the tests done and get the permit in the future. Having the contractor get the permit at the time of the job will cost you less.
  4. Ask if rebate programs are available from manufacturers and utility companies. Most manufacturers have programs in the spring and fall of the year. Tucson Electric Power has a rebate program for upgrading your air conditioner.
  5. Ask for options. Don’t let the contractor price just one unit. You should compare the cost and benefits of 2-3 different efficiencies.
  6. Ask what are the advantages and disadvantages of different types of equipment. Not every system will meet the needs of every homeowner.
  7. Ask what other work could be done to improve the health, comfort and efficiency of your home.
  8. What are the warranties of the new equipment?
  9. Do you include a maintenance program? Annual maintenance will keep the system operating efficiently and lower your utility bills.


TIP: A good contractor should ask a lot of questions to determine what your needs are. Such as: What are your present utility bills? Have you made any changes to the home? How long do you plan on living in your home? Do all the rooms heat and cool evenly?

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 to get started.

A Resolution for the New Year-Maintenance!

January 16th, 2018

Routine inspection and service is a vital necessity for maintaining and extending the life of your heating and air conditioning system. A well-maintained system can provide faithful heating and cooling for years before equipment replacement is needed. Why risk losing such an important part of your home earlier than necessary? So this year, why not resolve to maintain your heating and cooling system? Here are a few maintenance tips:


Filter Maintenance

Check the air filter for your heating and air conditioning system each month and replace your filter when necessary, or clean it if you have the washable type. Most air filters are designed to protect your heating and air conditioning system; and a dirty filter will cause excessive wear on your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump. Keeping your air filter clean will help extend your system’s longevity and help your system perform at its peak efficiency. We know that servicing your filter can be difficult, so schedule a filter service with us and we’ll take care of it for you.


Regular Maintenance

Keeping the equipment in your home operating at peak performance is important, and has been proven to prolong the efficiency and life span of your system(s). Russett Southwest offers a variety of maintenance agreements to help you make that happen including our Peak Performance Service. 

The benefits of this program include a twice-yearly inspection of the equipment in your home, typically in the spring and fall, to ensure your home is ready for the summer and winter seasons. Our warranty package provides complete mechanical coverage and offers coverage on all parts and labor for the life of the contract (restrictions apply, existing customers only). Our courtesy priority scheduling allows you to relax and let us call you when it’s time for your service visit.


By performing routine maintenance your benefits may include:

·        Extended Equipment Life

·        Priority Customer Status

·        Priority Service Status

·        Improved Capacity

·        Transferable Agreements

·        Fewer Repairs

·        Lower Utility Bills

·        Inflation Protection

·        Discounted Remodels/Upgrade



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 to get started.


Signs Your Furnace Needs Attention

December 28th, 2017

The average furnace lifespan is about 15 years. Keeping your furnace properly maintained is vital to performance and longevity. Watch and listen for signs your heater might need a tune up, so you can spot trouble before it shortens the life of your furnace. Here are 9 signs that your furnace needs your attention:

#1: It’s been more than a year since your furnace was checked by an HVAC professional.

To maximize the performance of your furnace it’s important to have it checked annually by a trained HVAC expert. This allows you to catch small issues before they become big problems and extends the life of your system.

#2: You notice water pooling around the furnace

This is generally caused by a clogged condensate line, a problem best left to professionals because it requires a mix of HVAC and plumbing expertise to fix.

#3: You smell gas leaking

If you smell gas from your furnace, shut it down immediately. . Next, open up your furnace, find the gas supply valve, and turn it off. No not light matches or turn on any lights in your home—and call a local HVAC technician as soon as possible.

#4: Things that go bump in the night

If you hear strange noises it may be an indicator that your furnace is in need of repair.

#5: Weak airflow

Weak airflow could be caused by minor issues with fans to more significant issues with belts and motors.

#6: The furnace blows cold air

The most common causes for this are issues with the thermocouple or pilot light, both of which are complex components that need specialized expertise to evaluate.

#7: Thermostat trouble

If you find yourself turning the thermostat up higher and higher to warm the house, it’s a sign that your furnace needs your attention and may be in need of repair.

#8: High utility bills

Another indicator that something is amiss with your furnace is a dramatic increase in your utility bills that doesn’t coincide with use.

#9: Frequent or constant cycling

If you hear your furnace kicking on and off repeatedly, this likely indicates that it’s over cycling, which means it’s running more often than it should be. That’s a problem that may be caused by a clogged filter, improper air circulation, or complications with the thermostat.

The best thing to do to address these issues and avoid further problems is to keep to a regular maintenance schedule. Preventative check-ups are a great way to lessen the odds of experiencing these troubles in the first place.

Russett Southwest offers a Peak Performance Service just for this reason. Give us a call at (520) 629-9676 or visit us at to learn more.