Russell & Abbott Blog: Archive for the ‘Heating’ Category

Olive Explains: Why Your Furnace’s Burners Aren’t Lighting

Monday, January 25th, 2021
gas-jets-in-furnace

Here’s an irritating problem: you set your thermostat for something comfy during winter. I recommend 68°F, even though my nice fur coat lets me set it lower than you would. It’s a cold day, so that means setting the thermostat to that temperature will cause the furnace to come on. But it doesn’t. The fan might turn on, but not warm air. When you go to the furnace, you discover that the customary blue glow from the burners isn’t there—they haven’t ignited. What’s going on?

Well, I can list a few possibilities…

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Trying to Heat Your Home “Faster” With the Thermostat? That Won’t Work

Monday, December 14th, 2020
cold-man-and-woman-in-parkas

We’ve all been there on a winter night: The house feels awfully cold, and you want to get the rooms warmed up as fast as you can. You look at the thermostat on the wall and see that it can go as high a 90°F. That’s far too hot, of course, but if you crank the thermostat up that high, it will at least mean the house will warm up faster. The heat will come roaring out of the vents!

Except … that’s not how home heating works. And trying to get “faster” heating by pushing the thermostat up so high can be bad news for an HVAC system in Knoxville, TN

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The Heat Load Calculation With a New Furnace—It’s Super Important

Monday, November 30th, 2020
calendar-scheduling-book

This is the time to start bundling up. I have my permanent fur coat and don’t need to worry much about that, but I know that humans have it much harder when temperatures start dropping. You might be in the situation where you know you need new heating in Knoxville, TN and you’re ready to schedule a furnace installation.

That’s great—just make sure you call our team because we take all the vital steps to ensure you have a furnace that works effectively and safely. 

There’s one part about our installations that I like to point out, because it’s what sets us apart. It’s the heat load calculation. We take this part of installing a furnace seriously, because if it’s done wrong, you’ll end up with a furnace that either doesn’t heat the home enough or wears down rapidly from strain.

What’s a heat load, Olive?

It’s the HVAC term for the amount of heat a space needs to create a comfortable temperature. When we know the heat load of a house, we know how powerful a furnace to put in. 

A heat load calculation can be done several ways. Many of those ways are bad, I won’t sugarcoat it. Plenty of contractors do a heat calculation quickly and leave in guesswork. There should never be guesstimates when it comes to heat load calculations! There are multiple factors that must be figured, and if a contractor makes a guess at most of them, the chance of getting the final result wrong is high. 

Just to give you an idea of what goes into this calculation, here are some factors we need to know: the size of the house, number of windows and the direction they face, the insulation amount, number of people who live in the house, number of heat-producing appliances, number of lights, and more. We make sure to do this precisely so you’ll have a heater that’s the right size for your home.

What happens if the calculation is done wrong?

You get a furnace that is either too small for your house or too large. I think you can figure out why a furnace that’s too small is trouble: you won’t have the amount of heat you need to stay warm, and the furnace will run and run and run as it tries to reach the temperature you have set on the thermostat.

What about one that’s too big? That can’t be that awful a problem to have. Well, yes it is. An oversized furnace will short-cycle, which means it will shut down early, then turn back on, then shut down early, and on and on. This can lead to early repairs and an early replacement. It can also create uneven heating because the furnace doesn’t run for long enough.

We don’t “guesstimate,” we do it right!

You deserve a furnace that does the exact job you need it to do, and our Russell & Abbott team will see that you get it. Call us for heating options for a new installation, and we’ll do our best work to make sure you have the right heating system for this winter and many more.

Stay warm,

Olive

Russell & Abbott serves Blunt, Knox, and Loudon Counties and surrounding areas. Contact us today if you’re looking for better home heating.

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The Furnace Filter: If Left in Place, Your Furnace May Malfunction!

Monday, November 16th, 2020
air-fliter-cu

One of the big jobs I take on as an HVAC blogger dog is to fight the misinformation and misconceptions out there about residential heating and cooling. I know I’m only one dog in a big world of the internet, but I think I can make an impact in helping people with the best info so they get the performance they deserve from their HVAC equipment.

And that’s why it’s once again time for me to talk about the furnace filter. The lowdown: You need to change the furnace filter yourself during the coming months at regular intervals, or it will cause trouble for the furnace!

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Olive’s Biggest and Best Recommendation: Heating Maintenance!

Monday, November 2nd, 2020
dont-forget-post-it

I put in the hours to make sure my readers know what they need for great comfort. But each fall, I get a bit of a break: a post that’s easy for me to write because it’s about our most important service. The one we know does the most good for our customers. I have plenty of facts at my paw-tips when it comes to talking about this service, which is regular seasonal HVAC maintenance. Or, in the case of the fall, regular heating maintenance

If you haven’t considered maintenance for your home’s furnace or other heating system, now is the time to call us and sign up for our Comfort Club. We’ll get you on the schedule for a convenient appointment for your heater to get it’s annual inspection and service.

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We Did It for Your AC in Fall—Now Let’s Grade Your Furnace in the Spring!

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

checkmark-greenLast fall I had everyone who reads my blogs on the regular (thank you for that!) do a mental exercise. Not too tough, like a Sudoku. All you had to do was give your air conditioning system a grade like in school: A to F. That helps you to plan ahead about your comfort system and take measures during the downtime period.

Now I want all of you to do the same for your furnace. Warmer weather means furnaces will soon go into hibernation—although we can never count out cold surprises during April—and attention starts to move to the AC. So it’s time to give your furnace a grade for the season it just handled, and you’ll have an idea if you need to schedule furnace service in Knoxville, TN during the spring.

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March Doesn’t Mean You Can Let Your Heater Limp to the Finish Line

Monday, March 9th, 2020

dont-forget-post-itI find March a stressful month—because it can never decide if it wants to be winter or early spring, and it swings back and forth. I see our team keep busy helping our customers with their heating systems, and they’re also doing important AC maintenance service for members of our Comfort Club. (If you haven’t signed up yet, enroll today and get on the schedule for your AC care!)

I’m not quite ready to talk about air conditioning systems yet, because heating can still be an urgent affair in March. What I want to talk about today is the heating system you have that isn’t doing its best. Are you thinking of letting it limp on until the warm weather comes to stay? Nobody here recommends that!

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Let’s Talk About a Furnace That’s Just Too Noisy

Monday, February 24th, 2020

woman-shocked-by-loud-noiseWho likes noise in their house? I’m not talking about the sounds of a busy household—we all expect that type of noise. Even as a dog, with my super-hearing, I can adjust to kids and raucous game nights.

But you can always ask people in your house to lower their voices when it gets too loud. What if there’s a piece of equipment in the house that’s making far too much noise, and it’s not something you can shut off when you get tired of it? As you can tell from the title of my blog, I’m talking about a noisy furnace. When it’s cold outside, you don’t have the option to shut off a loud furnace. A noisy furnace also isn’t something to ignore, since it can mean the heater either needs repairs ASAP or must be replaced.

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How an Amateur Repair Can Really Mess Up Your Home’s Heater

Monday, February 10th, 2020

hands-opening-heating-cabinetYou may have read about “Chuck in a Truck” before if you’re a regular at my blog. Chuck in a Truck is a handy term we use at Russell and Abbott for unlicensed, inexperienced amateur HVAC “technicians.” Usually, Chuck in a Truck’s only credential is “has a truck.” Maybe with words and a phone number stenciled on the side for that extra touch of—class, I guess? Trusting Chuck in a Truck to fix your heating system is the same as trusting someone who claims they’re a doctor because they can show you a business card.

“But what can really go wrong, Olive?” Plenty! An amateur accurately and safely fixing your heater is more about luck than anything else. (“Good Luck with Chuck in a Truck.” Hmm, I like that.) Below I’ve listed some of the ways an amateur can mess up your home heating system.

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Misunderstandings About the “Furnace or Heat Pump” Choice

Monday, January 27th, 2020

home-basement-furnaceWhen it’s time to have a new heating system installed, take my advice—don’t make a hasty choice! This isn’t like getting a bad haircut (as I’ve seen happen to some of my poodle friends) where the mistake corrects itself fast. A heating installation is supposed to last for a decade or more. Replacing a heater years early because it wasn’t right for your house is a big inconvenience and expense. Taking time to consider your options and how they’ll work with your house is key to getting the right installation at the start.

I’m pleased to say you don’t have to make the choice on your own! You’ve got me, for one, to give advice. Even better, you have our Russell & Abbott team.

Today, we’re going to offer you new perspectives on one of the big choices for a new heater: the heat pump or the furnace.

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