5 Houseplants that Improve Indoor Air Quality

One of the easiest ways to improve the air quality in your home is to bring in some plants. According to research published in the Journal of American Society of Horticultural Science, certain houseplants have ozone-depleting properties that can help clean indoor air.

Which house plants improve indoor air quality? Below, we look at five houseplants that can help clean the air in your home or office:


1. Aloe

Aloe is easy to grow — as long as it has access to lots of sun. It can help clear formaldehyde and benzene, which may be produced by certain cleaners and paints.

2. Spider plant 

Even self-professed brown thumbs can grow this resilient plant! It’s known to clean up benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene.

3. Gerber daisy

Trichloroethylene — which may enter your home via dry cleaning — can be removed by the Gerber daisy. Plus, it flowers beautifully!

4. Snake plant

Lots of personal care products contain formaldehyde. Fortunately, the snake plant can filter it out, making it the ideal houseplant for bathrooms.

5. Golden pothos

Your garage may also have high levels of formaldehyde, due in large part to car exhaust. Hang the golden pothos to keep the air in your garage clean.

If these houseplants don’t significantly improve your home or business’ indoor air quality. contact the experts of Rusk Heating & Cooling. We understand that managing indoor air quality is a three-sided battle: filtration, humidity and infiltration.

Call us to learn about our indoor air quality solutions!

Greater Cincinnati: 513-771-4040
Indiana: 812-926-3939
Northern Kentucky: 859-431-4040
Looking for more tips on indoor air quality? Connect with Rusk Heating & Cooling on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

Federal Regional Efficiency Standards

New Federal Regional Efficiency Standards for air conditioners and heat pumps went into effect in January of this year. Are you up-to-date with the changes? We’ve broken them down below:

The new standards affect contractors, distributors and manufacturers in different ways, and they vary depending on  geographic area and equipment type.

The main goal of the updated standards is to make sure that HVAC systems being used across the country are as efficient as possible. Increased efficiency means less reliance on fossil fuel and other sources of energy.

This agreement divides the United States into three regions — the north, the south and the southwest.

Each region must comply with standards regarding split air conditioning systems, split heat pumps, packaged air conditioners, packaged gas and electric, and packaged heat pumps. Refer to the table below for more information:

For more information, click here or call Rusk Heating & Cooling!

Greater Cincinnati: 513-771-4040
Indiana: 812-926-3939
Northern Kentucky: 859-431-4040
Want to keep up with tips, tricks and updates from Rusk Heating & Cooling? Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube!

Tips for Blocking Out Heat & Keeping Cool Air Inside

Air leaks can also be looked at as money leaks. In the summer, they let cool air leave your home, driving up your utility bills.

Although summertime is more than a month away, temperatures in our area are already exceeding 80 degrees. Having said that, here are some tips for blocking out heat and keeping cool air inside:

Find the leaks. Using a flashlight at night, look for possible gaps. You can also detect leaks with a fan — if air is being pushed through, there’s an undesirable amount of space.

Buy a door sweep. These are great for sealing up the space underneath doors. Without one, cool air could be escaping from between the bottom of a door and threshold.


Purchase and install weather stripping. You should buy enough for all the windows and doors in your home. Remember, it’s better to overestimate than to underestimate! Follow the instructions on the package.


Install caulking. Look for high-quality silicone caulking that can survive hot summer temperatures. Don’t forget to remove old caulking first to ensure an effective seal.

 

If you require the help of an AC repair professional, contact Rusk Heating & Cooling. We offer 24 hour emergency service, and we’re available 365 days a year!

Greater Cincinnati: 513-771-4040
Indiana: 812-926-3939
Northern Kentucky: 859-431-4040
Are you on social media? We’d love to connect! Find Rusk Heating & Cooling on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

5 Air Conditioning Mistakes to Avoid

During the warmer months, air conditioning may use more electricity than any other appliance in your home. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of bad air conditioning habits!

Below, we take a look at five air conditioning mistakes to avoid:

1. Running an AC that’s too big

Going big isn’t always the best option. An air conditioning system that’s too big won’t cool your home faster. In fact, it will be less efficient, because it will tend to cycle on and off rapidly.


2. Installing your air conditioner somewhere hot

An air conditioner operates best under a shady spot on the north or east side of a house. Here, it will be hit by less of the sun’s rays, allowing it to worker more efficiently.

3. Foregoing maintenance

You simply can’t get away with ignoring your air conditioner — no matter how self-sufficient it may look. Replacing filters and cleaning the evaporator coil will extend your unit’s lifespan.


4. Keeping temperatures very low

 
Most people can be comfortable at or around 78 degrees. Don’t set the thermostat to 70 degrees in an effort to cool your home faster!

5. Not using ceiling fans

We’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Running a ceiling fan can make you feel up to 6 degrees cooler. This means you can set the thermostat to 80 degrees, and yet you’ll feel like it’s just 74 degrees.

Don’t fall victim to these air conditioning mistakes! Otherwise, you could end up with a tired air conditioner and high energy bills.

If you run into a problem with your cooling system, give Rusk Heating & Cooling a call:

Greater Cincinnati: 513-771-4040
Indiana: 812-926-3939
Northern Kentucky: 859-431-4040

Don’t forget to look for us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube as well.

How Your Landscaping Affects Energy Efficiency

More goes into your home’s temperature than you realize. Outside air temperature, sunshine and air leaks can all impact how hot or cold your house is.

Your landscaping also has an effect on the temperature of your home. If you don’t have enough trees and bushes planted around your house, you may be spending more on cooling than necessary.

 
Let’s take a closer look at how your landscaping affects energy efficiency:

Focus on the south and west sides. “Trees planted within 40 feet of the south side or within 60 feet of the west side of the house will generate about the same amount of energy saving,” reports Live Science. That’s because the shadows fall perfectly throughout the day. Conversely, trees placed on the east side of a house has no impact on electricity usage.

Shade your air conditioner. Keep your AC cooler and running more efficiently by planting trees around it. However, don’t get too close, as overcrowding can lead to a slew of other problems.

Don’t forget about winter energy costs. Planting trees can help cut down on your fuel consumption, too. “Trees, fences, or geographical features can be used as windbreaks to shield your house from the wind,” advises the U.S. Department of Energy. In fact, windbreaks to the north, west and east of your home could cut fuel consumption by up to 40 percent.

Landscaping affects energy efficiency in a number of ways. To learn more, reach out to Rusk Heating & Cooling at one of the following numbers:

Greater Cincinnati: 513-771-4040
Indiana: 812-926-3939
Northern Kentucky: 859-431-4040
Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube for more tips!

Get the Most out of Your Ceiling Fans

Did you know that running a ceiling fan can make you feel up to 6 degrees cooler? However, to get the most out of your ceiling fans, you may have to make a few adjustments. Get tips and pointers from Rusk Heating & Cooling below:

1. Choose an energy-efficient model

“The fans with the best blade and motor designs are 3 to 9 times as efficient as the worst models,” reports Home Energy Magazine. So when you’re shopping for a ceiling fan, pay close attention to air flow efficiency. Look for the ENERGY STARĀ® label, as well.

2. Control your fan’s direction

Throughout the cooler months, a ceiling fan can be run clockwise at a low speed to keep warm air away from the ceiling. However, to get the most out of your ceiling fans in the summertime, run them counterclockwise. “The airflow produced creates a wind-chill effect, making you ‘feel’ cooler,” advises ENERGY STARĀ®.

3. Keep them off in unoccupied rooms


Remember, ceiling fans don’t cool rooms; they cool people. Keeping a ceiling fan running while you’re out is simply a waste of energy and money.

Installing a ceiling fan in each room can help lower energy costs this spring and summer. Contact Rusk Heating & Cooling to learn more:

Greater Cincinnati: 513-771-4040
Indiana: 812-926-3939
Northern Kentucky: 859-431-4040
Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube!

How to Keep Cool on a Budget

As summer approaches and temperatures rise, so too will your utility costs. That’s why it’s so important to find alternative ways to keep your home comfortable. Here’s how to keep cool on a budget:

Utilize ceiling fans. Switch your ceiling fans to counterclockwise for a cooling effect of up to six degrees! It won’t actually chill the room, but it will make anyone in the room feel cooler. “Since a fan saves you money only when the room is occupied, be sure to turn it off when you leave,” advises Fox Business.

Grill, don’t bake. Turning on indoor appliances only makes your house hotter. This includes your oven, dishwasher and clothes dryer. Instead of cooking dinner in the oven or on the stove, fire up the grill! If it’s raining, use the microwave instead.


Update your landscaping. Yes, the plant life around your home has an effect on its temperature. Planting trees and vines in front of windows that get a lot of sun will help reduce how much heat gets in. Talk to a professional landscaper for tips specific to your home.

Follow these pointers to keep your home cool and avoid overworking your air conditioner. If you do require service on your cooling system, Rusk Heating & Cooling provides the following:

  • Complete analysis of your current system
  • New system installation and repair
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Financing available

Give us call to learn more about how to keep cool on a budget. We’re available 24/7!

Greater Cincinnati: 513-771-4040
Indiana: 812-926-3939
Northern Kentucky: 859-431-4040
Get more tips by connecting with Rusk Heating & Cooling on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips

Are you cooling your home as efficiently as possible? If you’re like most people, there are probably a few things you can improve upon!

From changing your filter to upgrading to a programmable thermostat, here are some simple air conditioning efficiency tips:


1. Change or clean your filter regularly

The cleaner the filter, the more smoothly your cooling equipment will run. On the other hand, a dirty filter makes your air conditioner work harder to cool your home. Not very efficient!

2. Install a programmable thermostat

This upgrade will allow you to set temperatures ahead of time. During the daytime when nobody is home, for example, you don’t need the A/C blasting. Why spend money on cooling an empty house?

3. Schedule a tune-up

Tune-ups from Rusk Heating & Cooling can help make sure your system stays reliable and efficient. For increased cooling capacity and peace of mind, become a Maintenance Agreement Customer!

As summer approaches, keep these air conditioning efficiency tips in mind. Remember, Rusk Heating & Cooling is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so don’t hesitate to call us with your cooling emergency!

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube for more tips.

The Benefits Of A Ductless System

If the idea of adding ductwork to your home or business is out of the question, then perhaps you should consider going ductless. A ductless air conditioning system can help keep your home or business comfortable — without spending thousands of dollars in construction and product costs.

 
Below, we take a closer look at the benefits of a ductless system:

1. Easy installation

There’s a lot involved with installing a traditional ducted heating and cooling system. In fact, it can take several weeks and disrupt your day-to-day activities. A ductless system, on the other hand, could potentially be up-and-running in just one day.

2. Energy efficiency

“Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic,” reports the U.S. Department of Energy. Because a ductless system doesn’t use ductwork, you avoid certainly energy losses.

3. Improved air quality

Ducts tend to collect dust, dander and debris over time. As air is pushed through them, that buildup can travel into your living space. This is a non-issue when you have a ductless system.

For more information on the benefits of a ductless system, visit Rusk Heating & Cooling’s website. You can also give us a call any time!

Greater Cincinnati: 513-771-4040
Indiana: 812-926-3939
Northern Kentucky: 859-431-4040
 For more tips, connect with Rusk Heating & Cooling on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

Common Spring Cooling Problems

Things are warming up here in the Tri-State area. Are you already running into issues with your air conditioning? Below, we offer quick fixes for common spring cooling problems like high energy costs and excess humidity.

High energy costs

Running your air conditioner doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. If your energy bill looks higher than it should be, give the evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils a good clean. “Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the
system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of
the equipment,” advises Energy Star.

Excess humidity

As temperatures increase, so does the humidity in your home. If there’s too much moisture in your air, inspect the caulking around your doors and windows. Caulk any areas that have worn down to “keep out heat and humidity in the summer,” recommends HGTV.

Air conditioning leaks

According to Popular Mechanics, if you’re experiencing an air conditioning leak, “it’s likely that the drain pan for the air-conditioning evaporator coil is overflowing due to a blockage in the drain line.” The simple fix is to use a long wire to clear any debris that may be blocking the mouth of the drainpipe.

Don’t hesitate to contact Rusk Heating & Cooling if you have questions about any of these common spring cooling problems. We’re available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Greater Cincinnati: 513-771-4040
Indiana: 812-926-3939
Northern Kentucky: 859-431-4040

Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.