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

Olive Reveals the Dark and Dirty Secret about Your Home Comfort System

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

A lot of folks in my industry don’t really want to talk about the #1 Reason for system failure. But let me give you a hint: when I say it’s a “dark and dirty” secret, I do mean dirty! And trust me, dogs know dirty!

That’s right. It’s not age. Or brand. Or weather hazards. Or constant adjustments of the thermostat. Nope. The #1 Reason for system failure is dirt.

When you think about it, it should be no surprise why this reason isn’t exactly well-known among dog owners, ahem–homeowners.  The fact is, a new system costs thousands of dollars. Yet regular maintenance to prevent system failure is just pennies on the dollar. Get the picture?

So that’s why Russell & Abbott Heating and Cooling is making a strong effort to let this secret out of the bag. 

At Russell & Abbott, we feel it is our ethical duty to show you how to: A) Save money, B) Save time and C) Save you hassle and headaches.  And you can help us help you by clicking to schedule our 21-Point “Energy Saver” Tune-Up. Here’s why…

  • Your system gets fully cleaned, adjusted and reset to factory spec. It’s the same principle as servicing your car on a regular basis or in getting regular vet check-ups for us furry family. It keeps us running in tip-top shape and helps you pinpoint any trouble spots.

Doggone it! What are you waiting on? We have a wonderful offer, but it won’t be around long! Here are just some of the things you’ll receive:

  • You’ll get a carbon monoxide test on your system. This is an odorless gas that puts families in real risk if not detected. (a priceless value that typically costs $97.)
  • A full tune-up. (a $99 value.)
  • Chemical cleaning of indoor and outdoor coils. (a $279 value.)
  • Repair-Free Guarantee. If you need any repairs over the next 90 days after your tune-up, we’ll refund every single penny of the tune-up’s cost!
  • 100% Return on Investment Guaranteed. Save your tune-up cost in energy usage over the next 90 days (compared to the same period last year), or we’ll pay you the difference.

With all the other extras we throw in, your full service tune-up is a $473.00 value – that we’re offering right now for just $97. This special offer expires on May 5, so hurry!

Now that the secret’s out, take the logical step in true home comfort. Do it now before the hot season makes your system work even harder.

Just fill out this form online, email us at or give us a call at (865) 982-5133. It really is that simple!


Stay comfortable,


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Why HVAC Maintenance is so Important.

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Hello! It’s me, Olive, the Comfort Dog.  Summer is fast approaching and that means your HVAC system will work harder to keep your home comfortable. Did you know about half of your monthly energy bill goes to heating and cooling? However, these “comfort costs” can be minimized with regular maintenance.

Think of your HVAC unit as a household appliance—an appliance that runs for a really long time, starts and stops often, and works especially hard during very hot and very cold temperatures. Seasonal wear and tear can lower efficiency and can affect operating safety.

Comfort Club Membership is a great choice to keep your system in top shape. With packages starting as low as $14 per month, you will receive two system tune-ups, once in the fall for heating and once in the spring to ensure flawless cooling. Should you need service in between those maintenance check-ups, my team at MK Russell & Abbott will see that you will receive priority status as a Comfort Club Member. For more information, call 982-5133, or fill out a Comfort Club Membership online by following this link: Comfort Club Member Agreement.

One of the benefits of having Comfort Club membership is that MK Russell & Abbott will maintain an electronic file for your system, noting any recurring areas of concern. To learn more, call (865) 982-5133 or visit

Until next time,

Olive paw


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Air Filter Change: What You Need to Know!

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Hi, Olive the Comfort Dog here. While professional maintenance is necessary, there’s one key thing you can do to help keep your HVAC system operating efficiently.

Replace your HVAC air filters per your manufacturer’s instructions and upon advice from your HVAC service provider. Once is month is not one-size-fits-all.  Some filters need to replaced less frequently; others need to be replaced more often.  Factors, such as having furry family members such as myself inside the house may mean that your filters should be changed more frequently.  Individual  differences in lifestyle will impact the kind of filter that you use. Some kinds of filters do their job so well that you won’t have to dust your home as often, a chore my humans sometimes complain about. Others are very effective at eliminating odors.  If you are unsure what kind of filter to buy, just ask MK Russell & Abbott about the different options, or visit MK Russell & Abbott on YouTube to see a video about air filters.  We’ll also show you how to change the filter when we come out for Comfort Club maintenance!

For those who want to “bone up” on why air filters make a difference, here’s the deal: a clogged air filter prevents airflow, causing pressure drops in the HVAC system, and that means that the fan motor has to work harder and that air circulation through your home suffers. In fact, clogged air filters are the most common cause of costly burnt-out HVAC systems.

When you become a Comfort Club Member at MK Russell & Abbott, we  will maintain an electronic file for your system, noting  your air filter needs and preferences. To learn more about the smart choice of joining Comfort Club or to fill out the Comfort Club Member Agreement, call (865) 982-5133 or visit

Be Comfortable,

Olive paw






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Be sure to get your furnace winter-ready!

Sunday, October 26th, 2014


Ahhh what a summer it was! Filled with walks at the park, and just as fun cool air filled naps at home. I’ve been watching the leaves change color from my favorite spot on the porch, and have recently started to feel the air getting crisper each day. The squirrels are running about getting their homes ready for the upcoming winter, and this inspired me to tell you all about how my people get our home heating system winter ready to ensure cozy warmth all winter long.

Check and clean your vents to ensure the cleanest comfort from your furnace.

Make sure all your vents are clean and clear. If your heating delivery system relies on vents to deliver air into rooms, it’s easy to think of the vents as a less important part of the system. However, vents shouldn’t be blocked by furniture or anything that prevents airflow. They are also known to gather dust in less busy times, so unless you want a coating of hot dust when you first use it, give it a clean!

Change the filters before the cold weather gets here.

Your furnace relies on a good filter to prevent dust, mold and other junk that may have accumulated from being delivered into your home. It is usually at the front of your furnace or somewhere near the bottom. Some of them are reusable, others are disposable. Be sure to clean or replace it before turning your furnace on this season. For the allergy prone, it is recommended to clean or replace your filter monthly through the cold season.

Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector to make for added security for your HVAC system.

Because furnaces are a main cause of toxic CO home leaks, it is vital to have a carbon monoxide detector close to your furnace. It could mean the difference between life and death. CO is denser than air, so it hovers at the bottom. So because a lot of furnaces are located in the basement (A Christmas Story, anyone?), it could take a while for a slow leak to set off a detector in main living areas, which could be fatal. Already took care of it? Make sure to test it!

Get a Professional Cleaning and Inspection for your Heating and Air System

If it’s been a while since your last check up, its a great time to give my people at MK Russell Heating and Air a call. Get your furnace and heating system ready for winter today, and when the cold air finally hits, you’ll be assured that your family is breathing cozy clean air.

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HVAC Myth #2: You Can Maintain Your Heating and Air Unit for only $99/Year!

Friday, September 26th, 2014


How can you know if the maintenance contract with your HVAC company is worth the paper on which it is written? At a minimum, your service technician should provide you a written checklist of what’s being done to your system, and what is covered by your contract. The maintenance agreement that you sign should provide you with a check-up twice each year—once to assure proper heating, and once to ensure flawless cooling.


The most important maintenance for an HVAC system is something homeowners can do themselves—change the filters regularly. The next most important thing is having the system checked by a professional. It takes an experienced technician at least 45 minutes to conduct a thorough check of an HVAC system, plus a minimum of 30 minutes travel time, twice annually. He or she will use very expensive equipment to certify safety. (For example, the ONLY way to assure your natural gas system is safe is by testing with a combustion analysis tool that costs about $2,000.) If your contractor claims to be able to do all that for $99 a year, rest assured shortcuts ARE being taken. MK Russell & Abbott offers comprehensive maintenance agreements starting at just $14 per month and thousands of our satisfied customers believe it’s well worth the peace of mind.


* Variations on this tale include “The $49 Tune-Up” and “The Cheaper Install.” Both offers exist, but you’ll get what you pay for.

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The Importance of HVAC Maintenance

Sunday, July 13th, 2014


Hey there! It’s me Olive. Cuddliest source of air systems knowledge. I was recently having a pleasant conversation over a couple of bones with Russ, a Jack Russell Terrier that lives next door. Naturally, our talk turned to that of air conditioning. I was in the middle of telling him how perfectly cool my summer on the vent has been, until I noticed his sad expression. When I asked him, he told me that he too had been enjoying the cool air, until a week ago when their air conditioner began to have problems. Then, it no longer worked. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. No air conditioner in the middle of summer?! I now had a mission. I had my humans talk to his humans, and not only did they fix their air conditioner, they also taught them the importance of HVAC maintenance to ensure that this terrible ordeal wouldn’t happen again. Once again, my humans are the heroes! So here is what I learned:

1. HVAC system maintenance

It is much less expensive and time consuming to do small check ups at a time, instead of never doing any and being surprised down the road. Maintenance isn’t expensive compare to what you may have to spend if your system begins to break down and ultimately not work at all. Think about it like your car. You do routine oil changes and tire changes, right? You don’t wait till the engine blows! And doesn’t that routine maintenance allow you to keep your car longer, instead of having to replace it sooner? This is what maintenance does for your system. A constant upkeep allows you to keep your unit in tip top shape for as long as possible.

2. How do I start?

The directions are always in the manual! Your HVAC system should come with a manufacturer’s operating and maintenance manual. This is the blueprint to your system! With this you can learn all about your system, and can begin to build an HVAC maintenance plan. If for some reason you don’t have one, you can call the manufacturers of your system, and you can also check out the list below for reference. But be sure to start before the problems rise up! HVAC systems are notoriously only noticed when a problem arises.

3. Do a life-cycle cost analysis

Things simply go wrong sometimes and it may mean a tough decision between repairing or replacing an HVAC system that is older. This is where the life-cycle analysis comes in. You must consider all of the included costs in this. This includes: cost of equipment, maintenance, and the energy that it will take to do the work. You also have to take into account how well you have taken care of the system in the past years. A system that has not been properly taken care of will not continue to work as well despite starting a maintenance routine than one who has had one since the start. With the life-cycle analysis you will see the efficiency of the unit and its current condition. Ideally, the perfect ratio for taking care of your system should be 30 percent corrective maintenance, and 70 percent preventive maintenance.


Here is a helpful checklist when considering what steps to take in your HVAC Maintenance.

  • Inspect inside cooling coil (clean at discounted service rate if necessary).
  • Inspect primary and secondary drains.
  • Clean and test condensate drain.
  • Inspect blower components; clean and/or adjust as necessary.
  • Inspect condenser coil; clean as necessary, water clean only.
  • Lubricate all moving parts (where applicable)
  • Inspect and tighten all loose electrical connections.
  • Monitor air conditioner operating pressures for proper refrigerant charge; add up to one pound of “Freon” and insert dye pack.
  • Monitor voltage and amperage draw all motors.
  • Monitor air conditioning and heating cycles.
  • Inspect heat exchanger and burners; vacuum and/or adjust as necessary.
  • Inspect pilot operation; adjust as necessary.
  • Combustion analysis of flue gases.
  • Inspect and test safety controls.
  • Monitor air flow for proper settings.
  • Inspect thermostat operations.
  • Inspect for cracked heat exchanger.


Call my people at MK Russell and Abbott for a great deal on HVAC maintenance here in Maryville and the surrounding area.  For $14/month you can get 2 precision tune-ups every year, 24 Hour Priority Service, Professional Cleaning, and much more.  Give em a call at 865-982-5133!

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Top 10 Ways Homeowners Ensure Good Indoor Air Quality

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Hey there! Olive the dog here. Lately, I’ve been observing my humans from the cool comfort of my favorite air vent. As the hot summer days of June continue, I’ve noticed they have been taking some steps to ensure my spot stays cool all summer. It’s important to remember to do some preventative maintenance to ensure your A/C is running at peak efficiency. Here are my observations:

  • Vent bathrooms, kitchens, toilets and laundry rooms directly outdoors. Use energy efficient and quiet fans.
  • Avoid locating furnaces, air conditioners and ductwork in garages or other spaces where they can inadvertently draw contaminants into the house. You don’t want those dirty particles in the air you breathe!
  • Properly vent fireplace, wood stoves and other hearth products; use tight doors and outdoor air intakes when possible.
  • Vent clothes dryers and central vacuum cleaners directly outdoors.
  • Store toxic or volatile compounds such  as paints, solvents, cleaners and pesticides out of the occupiable space. That way, those toxic fumes stay away from you and your loved ones.
  • Minimize or avoid unvented combustion sources such as candles, cigarettes, indoor barbecues, decorative combustion appliances, or vent-free heaters.
  • Provide operable windows to accommodate unusual sources or high-polluting events, such as the use of home cleaning products, hobby activities, etc. Enjoy your craft making worry free!
  • Use sealed-combustion, power-vented or condensing water heaters and furnaces. When natural-draft applications must be used, they should be tested for proper venting and should be located outside the occupiable space when possible.
  • Put a good particle filter or air cleaner in your air handling system to keep dirt out of the air and off of your ductwork and heating and cooling components. Do this, and never worry about what might be lurking in your air.
  • Distribute a minimum level of outdoor air throughout the home, using whole house mechanical ventilation.

By following these tips you can ensure that the air inside your home is as fresh as the summer breeze outside.  Call my people at MK Russell and Abbott Heating and Air today, to schedule a checkup for your air conditioning system so you can enjoy the lovely summer weather from the cool comfort of home.

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Check your AC before it gets too hot!

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

604_4345581Summer in Maryville Tn

June in Tennessee is starting off beautifully!  It’s time for long walks and tennis balls!  For most of us the A/C has been running for at least a few weeks and this is a great time to think about whether or not your A/C is running at peak efficiency or not. Preventative maintenance is always better than repairing a broken unit especially with the heat of July and August right around the corner.

What to look for to prevent HVAC replacements?

  •  Your A/C Unit is Contantly Running – is your unit constantly running and never quite catching up to the thermostat
  • Uneven Cooling – Are certain parts of your home constantly uncomfortable? Are you having to cool certain parts of your home more than you would like to make those rooms bearable?
  • Strange Noises or Smells – if you experience strange noises or smells from your unit you should get them checked out by a professional right away to minimize the chance of potentially costly hardware replacements.

Why is now the time to get AC maintenance?

If you are experiencing any of the issues above then you don’t want to wait, especially if you have furry children (we get hotter faster). If the situation is serious then you could be facing a couple of days with box fans and ice cubes while your system is replaced!  When your air conditioning unit isn’t running correctly you are blowing your money (literally) right out the window.  Not to mention that the problems with your A/C unit could be adversely affecting your indoor air quality.  The quick and simple maintenance my humans provide will pay for itself in the long run.

There are a few things you can check yourself such as cleaning the unit, looking for loose or detached duct work, and replacing air filters. If those things do not help the problem, you are in the Blount County area and would like a professional Comfort Specialist to perform an inspection or maintenance on your air conditioning unit give my people a call!

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