Take Care of Your Air…During Monsoon Season

August 9th, 2015
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Now that the Tucson Monsoon season is in full force, let’s talk about how you can keep your air conditioning system running effectively in spite of the rain, lighting, wind and dust of the reason.

Change your filters once a month during monsoon season. It’s the best course of action to combat all the dust that is kicked up. Changing your filter is also one of the easiest and most cost effective things you can do to ensure a long, efficient life of your air conditioning system.

Did you know that your air conditioning unit is in danger whenever there’s a lightning strike nearby? An electrical surge or strike in your area can impact your system. Your best bet to keep your system safe is to invest in a surge protector. The surge protector absorbs the electric surge before it can even get to your A/C unit.

Keep your air conditioning unit free of debris. Check the area around your unit periodically, especially after a monsoon, to clear away the debris. This keeps your system working more efficiently.

At Russett Southwest, your comfort is our goal. Since 1947, we have served as one of the top heating and cooling companies in the Tucson area. Our experience means that you’ll get the best service and products for you and your home. To learn more or to schedule a visit, check out our website or call (520) 629-9676.

Keep Cool & Save Money with this Strategy

July 27th, 2015

Tucson summers and extreme heat go together like peanut butter and jelly. To stay comfortable without breaking the bank on energy costs, check out this strategy.

Step 1: Maintain Your Air Conditioner

Maintenance is vital to keeping your system running efficiently. Regular maintenance also helps you prolong the life of your system and ultimately saves you money by proactively addressing small issues before they become big problems.

Replace your air filters every 1-2 months during the summer months. You can use your energy bill as a reminder to do this. You also want to check the evaporator coil periodically (at least once a year) and clean it as needed. The area around your outdoor condenser coils needs your attention too. Make sure to remove debris and keep foliage trimmed at least 2 feet around the condenser for airflow.

Step 2: Your Cooling Strategy

There are several things you can do keep your home cool without excessively high energy bills.

For starters, invest in a programmable thermostat. When you’re home, keep it set to 78°. When you’re not home, increase the temperature at least a few degrees. You can also take advantage of the cool, breezy evenings and mornings by opening your windows and turning your air off. The use of ceiling fans when you’re in a room allow to turn up the thermostat by as much as 4° without compromising your comfort.

To keep in the cool air in and the hot air out, locate any air leaks and seal them with caulk or weather stripping.

Step 3: A Cool Lifestyle

The temperature inside your home is comprised of many factors. In addition to the Tucson heat, things like cooking and the proximity of appliances to your thermostat have an impact on the comfort of your home.

To keep temperatures down without cranking the AC, limit the heat generation of your appliances. Make grilling meals a regular habit to keep the heat outside. When you do cook on the stove, use the fan on the range hood to remove heat and humidity. Try not to use your washer and dryer in the heat of the day and keep the fan running while showering.

Finally, move lamps, TVs and other appliances away from the thermostat. The extra heat generated can cause the air conditioner to run for longer periods of time.

At Russett Southwest, your comfort is our goal. For more than sixty years, we have served as one of the top heating and cooling companies in the Tucson area. Our experience means that you’ll get the best service and products for you and your home. To learn more or to schedule a visit, check out our website or call (520) 629-9676.


5 Tips for Saving Energy (and money) this Summer!

July 13th, 2015

Did you know that heating and cooling account for nearly half of the energy use in a typical home? This makes heating and cooling the largest energy expense in your home. With this in mind, and with the triple digit heat upon us, we’re sharing our top 5 tips for saving energy and money this summer.

  1. The quickest way to save energy on home cooling is to regularly clean and replace your cooling unit’s filters. A clogged filter restricts airflow which decreases the unit’s efficiency and ability to cool the air. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can reduce your air conditioners energy consumption between 5-15%
  2. A programmable thermostat can help you save up to 10% on heating and cooling a year according to the Department of Energy. Keep the house warmer than normal when you’re away and set it to 78° when you’re home. You could save as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.
  3. Air loss through ducts accounts for about 30% of a cooling system’s energy consumption. Have your ducts insulated and sealed.
  4. Take advantage of your ceiling fans. The use of fans allows you to raise the thermostat up to 4 degrees without compromising your comfort.
  5. If you’re ready for a new air conditioning unit, consider buying an ENERGY STAR qualified unit. These models are up to 15% more efficient than standard models. Talk to an expert to make sure you are getting a unit that is the right size for your home and comfort needs.

In total, these changes can help you reduce air conditioning energy use by 20-50% and that’s great news for your energy bill!

At Russett Southwest, your comfort is our goal. For more than sixty years, we have served as one of the top heating and cooling companies in the Tucson area. Our experience means that you’ll get the best service and products for you and your home. To learn more or to schedule a visit, check out our website or call (520) 629-9676.

Dangerous Toxins that Can Compromise Indoor Air Quality

June 26th, 2015

filterIndoor air quality affects how well you can breathe in your home. There might be certain toxins that negatively affect your indoor air quality without your knowledge. Keep reading to learn more about the toxins that could compromise your indoor air quality and how they might affect your health:

Biological Toxins

There is a wide range of biological pollutants that could hinder your indoor air quality. Bacteria, viruses, pollen, and even dander from animals could create potentially dangerous breathing conditions for you and your family. Dust mites and cockroaches could also lead to significant problems. Biological pollutants might lead to infections, allergic reactions, or asthma attacks.

Secondhand Smoke

Although actually smoking cigarettes is considered the fastest way to ingest tobacco smoke, secondhand smoke could be just as dangerous. With more than 200 known poisons, even secondhand exposure puts you at great risk for coming into contact with toxins like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. If you or someone else smokes inside of your home, it could severely affect your indoor air quality. Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk for certain cancers and causes health issues like pneumonia, respiratory tract infections, and ear infections. Secondhand smoke could even lead to asthma and asthma attacks.


Asbestos was a popular construction material used in older homes. If your home was built in or before the 1970’s, you might have asbestos interfering with your indoor air quality. Inhaling asbestos could scar your lung tissue and increase your risk for cancers like mesothelioma. Asbestos was used in floors, insulation, walls, pipes, and even heating equipment.

If you are worried about your indoor air quality, Russett Southwest is here to help. Our heating and cooling experts can check out your home to make sure the indoor air quality is not causing any major problems for you or your family. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, visit us online or call (520) 629-9676.

Changing Your Air Conditioning Filters

June 15th, 2015

156534187Changing the air conditioning filters is one of the most important aspects of your HVAC maintenance. Clogged filters could keep your unit from functioning as well as it should, which could raise your home cooling costs. It might also negatively affect the air quality in your house. Use the following guide to figure out how to change the filters so you can keep your air conditioner functioning at its best:

Change It Every Three Months

For the best results, you should change the filter every three months. If you are using the air conditioner a lot, like you would during a Tucson summer, you should check the filter once a month to make sure it still looks clean. If it is very clogged, you might have to change it more frequently to keep the air conditioner working as efficiently as possible.

Use Quality Filters

It is important to invest in quality filters that will work harder to remove dirt, dust, and other pollutants from the unit before they can compromise the way it works. Filters are rated with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) that runs on a scale of 1-12. The better filters have higher rating. The higher numbers require more energy to pull pollutants out of the air, though, so you might want to choose a filter closer to the middle of the scale.

Call for Professional Maintenance Checks

On top of changing the filter regularly, it is also important to schedule regular appointments with a professional HVAC company. Before you start to really use the air conditioner for the season, you should request a professional maintenance visit. The HVAC crew can check out your air conditioner to make sure everything is functioning properly so it works the best for you.

Russett Southwest is here to help you keep your air conditioner in top condition. We have been focusing on the heating and cooling needs of Tucson residents and businesses for more than 65 years. To learn more about our services or to request a visit, check out our website or call (520) 629-9676.