Russell & Abbott Blog: Archive for the ‘Air Conditioning’ Category

Olive Explains Why Your AC Keeps Shutting Off

Monday, June 27th, 2022

I don’t want you to come into this blog thinking that your AC shutting off is weird. Your air conditioning system isn’t supposed to run all the time. It goes through cycles where it runs for long enough to provide cooling, then turns off for a stretch before it needs to come back on. That’s just normal, and it keeps the AC from wearing down and your house getting too cold. I know when I go for walks that sometimes I’d love for the walk to last forever, but I do get tired and need to rest before I’m ready again.

But the “AC shutting off” I’m talking about in this post is when your air conditioner turns off too soon. You’ll know “too soon” because you’ll be too hot! I’ll tell you why this might be happening and what you (or we) can do about it.

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The Most Important Service We Offer: Maintenance!

Monday, June 13th, 2022

You may notice that at the end of all my blog posts, I close with “Live worry-free.” This is what all of us at Russell & Abbott want for our customers, and it’s what we aim to deliver with our services. And no service is more important for helping you to live worry-free than regular HVAC maintenance!

It’s almost officially summer, so if you haven’t yet scheduled your air conditioning maintenance in Knoxville, TN with our team, this is when I strongly recommend you have this ticked off your “to-do” list. Sign up for our Comfort Club and you’ll enjoy even greater benefits!

Why is this your most important service?

I’m not exaggerating when I say this! Regular maintenance for your air conditioning system (as well as your heating system) is the secret to avoiding most potential troubles you might face with your home comfort, preventing short-term costs, long-term costs, inconveniences, and comfort emergencies. It’s an all-around huge benefit to your life!

I’ll break this down further to show why regular maintenance is so fantastic.

  • Short-term savings: One of the goals of professional maintenance is to prevent air conditioning malfunctions that require repairs. Maintenance can prevent more than 50% of the repairs you would otherwise have to pay for. Maintenance also keeps the warranty valid for the air conditioner, protecting you from having to pay for repairs that are due to a manufacturer’s fault. 
  • Long-term savings: Maintenance helps save you money in the long-term AC in two ways. First, it stops the AC’s energy efficiency from rapidly declining. Without maintenance, you’ll pay more and more each year for cooling, and could soon be paying 25% more than you should. Second, maintenance helps an air conditioner last for as long as possible, often reaching 15 years before needing a replacement. An early replacement is expensive!
  • Convenience: You don’t want to have your comfort interrupted during the summer heat because the AC has started to work less effectively. You’re unlikely to run into this kind of problem when you have maintenance at the start—you can expect the air conditioner to work at peak capacity. Maintenance also catches potential repair problems early so you can have them fixed at your convenience, rather than the AC forcing you to schedule the repairs.
  • Prevent emergencies: I tend to think of the peace of mind that comes with maintenance as its best benefit. When you have our team tune-up and inspect your AC before the summer heat arrives, the system has the best chance of getting through the season without an emergency breakdown.

The Comfort Club

Our Comfort Club makes maintenance even better. Aside from all the benefits I just talked about, the Comfort Club adds discounts on repairs, priority customer status, and other benefits (depending on which plan you select).

So give us a call today to sign up for membership in the Comfort Club. You can also download the membership form and present it to your technician at the time of your maintenance appointment. 

Live worry-free,


Russell & Abbott serves Maryville, Knoxville, and surrounding areas. Just Whistle and we’ll come running!

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Olive on Choosing the Right Thermostat

Monday, April 25th, 2022

A question I often get from my readers is how to pick a great thermostat. Thermostats can make a huge difference in how well your HVAC system operates. The ideal thermostat will help the HVAC system run efficiently and make life easier.

I’m glad to help because there are many new options when it comes to thermostats—the technology has advanced fast! Below I’ll provide you with advice about picking a thermostat in Knoxville, TN.

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Defend Your HVAC System With a Surge Protector!

Monday, April 4th, 2022

If you’re a regular reader of my blog (and thank you!), then you know my expertise as a blogger dog is in the HVAC world. So you wonder why I’m writing about a surge protector. “Olive, are you also an electrician dog?” Well, not a licensed electrician, but I have some important knowledge about electricity because it applies to HVAC equipment. And that’s why I want to talk to you today about the importance of surge protection—it’s closely connected to your home’s heating and cooling!

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Olive’s Annual End-of-Summer “Analyze Your AC’s Performance” Review

Monday, September 6th, 2021

Welcome to my most popular regular topic of the year! (Well, I’m only guessing. I like it a lot!) This is the post where I ask you, loyal readers, to do your own reviews of the air conditioning systems that have kept you super-cool through summer. This is a “performance review” or a “report card” about how your AC has worked over the last season. You can use this information to help make important decisions about the future of your air conditioning in Vonore, TN, such as:

  • Should you replace the AC with a new one before next summer?
  • Does the AC have a malfunction you haven’t paid much attention to?
  • Do you need to change the way you use the air conditioner to improve its performance and save energy?
  • Seriously, should you replace the AC with a new one?

I put the last one on the list twice, because it’s the most important question to ask about your AC once you’ve had it for several years. You want to make the choice about when to replace the air conditioner—you don’t want the air conditioner to make the choice by breaking down!

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Hedges, Debris, Mulch, Lawn Mowing: Tips to Protect Your Outside AC Cabinet

Monday, August 23rd, 2021

“Olive, what does any of that in the title have to do with my AC?” Yes, I know you may not connect basic gardening with keeping your house cool, but taking proper care of your central air conditioner isn’t all about fretting over technical terms like R-22, R-410A, and THX-1138. (One of those isn’t an AC term at all, can you guess which?*) But activities you may not connect with the air conditioning system can have a big impact on it.

So … let’s get into protecting that outdoor condenser cabinet with good lawn and garden care. We don’t want you to need a new AC installation in Knoxville, TN just because of gardening mishaps!

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Olive Breaks Apart Myths Other People May Have Told You About Your AC

Monday, August 9th, 2021

This is one of my favorite topics: Olive, Shatterer of Myths! It feels epic when I get to take on misconceptions. Yeah, maybe that sounds a bit grandiose, but I love helping people. Not many dogs get a chance to reach as many people as I do.

Anyway, today the myths I’m smashing apart are the sort you may have heard people tell you about air conditioning. These myths have a way of spreading fast even with nothing to back them up. They just sort of “seem” true, even though they aren’t.

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Cheap AC Repair Offers? You’ll Get Cheap Quality as Well!

Monday, July 26th, 2021

Have you ever heard this saying before? “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.” That was written by none other than Benjamin Franklin, quite a wise man. He listed “an old dog” as one of the most faithful of friends, so I’m bound to trust his word on most things. And when he’s talking about poor quality from poor price, I understand exactly what he means—because everyone here at Russell & Abbott knows how much a cheap HVAC service can end up costing someone. It’s not just about feeling bitter. It’s about feeling too hot or too cold because you got low-quality AC service.

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Olive, Can I Install My Own Air Conditioning System?

Monday, July 12th, 2021

No, you cannot. 

I almost feel like ending my post there, because that simple answer can save you time, money, and general headaches. But I have a special obligation as an HVAC blogger dog to provide more information—I’m an “explainer,” so when I give an answer, I back it up with the best info. All around me are professionals who handle great air conditioning installation in Knoxville, TN, so when I need to know why it takes professionals to put in a new air conditioner, I have people I can turn to.

And all of them agree: you should only allow professionals to put in that new central air conditioner! Here are some of the reasons why:

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Olive’s Tips on Helping Beating the Worst of the Heat

Monday, June 28th, 2021

In May I wrote a blog about the limits of your air conditioning’s cooling power and how you can avoid placing too much strain on the AC. A quick recap for those just joining: your air conditioner can lower the temperature by a maximum of 20°F compared to the outside. Since I recommend (as does the US Department of Energy) a setting of 78°F, you shouldn’t have any problem dealing with the heat on most summer days. 

But what about the occasional heat wave? August is our hottest month, with an average high of 88°F. We have humidity to worry about as well, although with the right sized air conditioning system this won’t be as much of a problem in your house. Yet there will be times when it can get so hot that you’ll have to nudge up the thermostat to keep it from constantly running and wearing down. 

We don’t want you to suffer from busted AC in the middle of the summer heat, and we have the air conditioning repair in Farragut, TN to see you’re taken care of. I have tips for what you can do to help keep cool in the worst of the heat so you can raise the thermostat enough to ward off problems.

How You (Humans) Can Get Extra Cool in the Heat

Not all of this applies to me personally: dogs cool off in different ways than people (panting). But please be mindful of your pets during heat waves! Give them lots of water (even put some ice in it) and keep them indoors in the shade. Anyway, on to advice for humans… 

  • Pull down the shades! The sun is sneaky and it will let plenty of heat in through the windows. Close shades and shutters to stop that extra radiant heat. 
  • Don’t add heat with lights and electronics! Use electrical devices as little as possible and turn off any lights you don’t absolutely need. Oh, now is not the time to do laundry or cook a meal!
  • Hydrate! I mentioned how pets need plenty of water. You need liquids as well—but avoid sugary drinks.
  • Close off that super-hot room! You probably have a room in your house that gets hotter than the others, probably because of exterior exposure or low insulation. Close the door to that room, because otherwise the heat will stroll right out of it and into the rest of the house. 
  • Use fans! You probably already thought of this one, but a reminder that fans can help you feel cooler by 8°F. Just be careful you don’t plug in a zillion fans at once and overload a circuit breaker—this can be a problem during heat waves. 
  • Olive’s handmade insta-evaporative cooler: Yeah, this one’s kinda neat. Take ice cubes from the freezer and put them in a bowl. Put that bowl in front of one of the fans. The fan will then blow cooled air at you. It’s temporary, but during a heat wave it feels so good. 

And keep in mind: if you can’t get your house cool enough even when the heat starts to subside, give us a call to look into your AC and see if it needs to be fixed or even replaced. 

Stay cool (please!),


Russell & Abbott serves Maryville, Knoxville, and the surrounding areas. Just whistle and we’ll come running!

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