Olive Explains: The Line Set for Your AC

September 7th, 2020
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Time for another episode where I get to put on my professor hat and explain some of the more technical parts of air conditioning. Not too technical! I promise I won’t scare you off with frightening terms, the kind that our experts at Russell & Abbott know all about so you don’t have to! Today I’m going to be looking at a critical part of your home air conditioning system, one people often don’t think about: the line set.

The Line Set Brings Together the “Split” in a “Split System” Air Conditioner

If you have a standard central AC, you know it has indoor and outdoor parts. That’s why this type of air conditioner is called a split system. But, of course, those two parts must connect at some point: the way the AC cools down your house is by circulating refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor coils, so the refrigerant needs a way to move indoors and outdoors. That’s the job of the line set.

The line set is a pair of flexible copper pipes. One is a smaller pipe called the liquid line, and the other larger one is called the suction line. The smaller of the lines carries liquid refrigerant (you probably guessed based on the name, right?) from the condenser indoors to the evaporator. The suction line carries the hot gaseous refrigerant from the indoor evaporator back to the condenser, where it will be put under pressure and start the cycle over again.

Line Set Sizing and Placement

The line set sounds straightforward: one line to bring refrigerant into the house, another to take it out to the condenser. But I think it’s important for you to know how difficult it actually is to make sure these lines are in the right place and the right size. A mistake in sizing the line set will mean an inefficient air conditioner. Many different factors in an air conditioning system will affect the size of the line set. Also important is the line set placement and the length necessary to connect the condenser to the evaporator. If an amateur tries this job, it won’t end well!

Line Set Repair and Replacement

One common central AC repair in Knoxville, TN we often do is fix refrigerant leaks that occur in the line set. Some line sets are buried and others exposed, and exposed lines can spring leaks due to damage.

When we handle an air conditioning replacement, we’ll have to make an informed decision about whether to replace the line set as well. The new air conditioner may not be able to work with the existing line set, and we’ll always put in the right line set for the system. Disreputable amateurs often won’t do this work and leave an old line set in place. However, if it isn’t necessary to put in a new line set, we won’t force one just to charge more—we’re always honest about our services!

If you have any reason to believe your AC is leaking refrigerant, please call us right away.

Stay cool,

Olive

Russell & Abbott serves Blount, Knox and Loudon Counties and the surrounding areas. Call us for AC repairs of any kind!

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Olive Explains Why Indoor Air Quality Gets Bad

August 24th, 2020

air-ventWe offer services to help improve your indoor air quality in Knoxville, TN, allowing you and your family to breathe the healthiest and most comfortable air possible. If you’re wondering if this is necessary for your house, I can tell you honestly that not all homes have serious IAQ issues. But many do—and poor indoor air quality is more common today than it used to be.

Why is that? There’s a two-part explanation, and since everyone in the office is super busy working for our customers, I’m here alone to handle giving those explanations. But I live for this research stuff. Poor air quality affects pets in homes as much as it does the people! Our canine lungs don’t like dust any more than yours do.

Here are the two reasons why indoor air quality is often poor in modern homes.

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It’s Summer, But My Heat Pump Thinks It’s Winter!

August 10th, 2020

thermometer-going-redLet’s say it’s a hot day here in East Tennessee. And it probably is, because I’m writing this in August, and I’m sweating through my paws, which makes it hard to handle the keys. Anyway, the temperatures outdoors are high and the air is humid, and all you want to do is retreat back to your home and set the thermostat to turn the heater on …

Wait, no, that’s not right. Why would you turn the heater on?

Unfortunately, you may find this is out of your control because you have a heat pump that has developed its own ideas about the time of the year. Instead of moving heat out of the house the way it should during summer, it’s moving heat inside as if it were winter. You’ve got a heat pump that’s trapped in heating mode—and that’s no fun for anybody. Especially not your dogs, who have to pant hard to overcome double heat.

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Watch Out for Rusty AC Coils

July 27th, 2020

ac-coilsNobody wants anything to rust. It’s just not what you want to happen to metal! And yet, I’ve often discovered that people are willing to let “a little rust” get past them when it comes to important appliances like a central air conditioner. “After all,” they say, “What’s a little rust”?

No! I have to put my paw down on this. I’m going to tell you about the problem with rusty/corroded air conditioning coils. If you’ve found your way to my blog because you’re wondering if corroded AC coils are a problem, then you’re already ahead of the game and on your way to scheduling the air conditioning repair in Knoxville, TN to fix the problem.

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Remember to Change Your AC’s Air Filter!

July 13th, 2020

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outdoor-ac-units

Hi everybody! I know you’ve probably got plenty on your mind right now, but this is the time of year when I have to bring up an important topic: changing your AC’s air filter.

I know it sounds odd to compare an air conditioning system to a pet, but this is one case where it makes sense. Pets take care of you in a special way: companionship. And you do something special for them in return: take care of their health. That means food, taking them on walks, water, taking them on walks, petting, taking them on walks, and regular trips to the vet. (Yes, I like going on walks. No, I’m not sorry to point that out!)

Your air conditioner takes care of you in a special way, and you need to take care of its “health” in return. No, put away the leash—you’re not taking your AC for a walk. You’re just going to change its air filter.

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Questions to Ask If You Think You Need a New AC

June 29th, 2020

an-old-air-conditionerI know that a heat wave is the last time when you want to worry about having new air conditioning in Maryville, TN. But when it’s hot here, it’s hot, and having an air conditioning installation isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity!

If you’re right now in the spot where you think it may be time for a new air conditioner, I encourage you to put some serious thought into it, and as soon as possible. Our team is here to help, but as much as I would love to develop canine mind-reading powers, none of us here will know you need our help until you ask for it! I’ve put a list below of some important questions to ask yourself when it looks like you may need an air conditioning replacement. If you have any uncertainties you can’t answer yourself, please call us. We can offer the professional analysis and opinions that will start you off on a solution.

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Thanks for Choosing Us for the Daily Times Readers’ Choice Award!

June 24th, 2020

Wow, what can I say? What can we say? Everyone here at Russell & Abbott is honored and humbled that we’ve been named Best Heating & Air Company in the Maryville Daily Times Readers’ Choice Awards. And not once, not twice, but three years in a row!

It means so much to us to know that we have customers who are confident in our skill, training, and quality service to take care of any of their cooling and heating needs. We’re part of this community, and we pledge to always deliver the best service we can to all the customers who depend on us. We’re going to continue to offer the same top-notch service year after year. As always, just whistle and we’ll come running!

Stay cool,

Olive

Russell & Abbott proudly serves Blount, Knox and Loudon Counties and the surrounding areas.

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Short-Cycling: Why It Happens to an Air Conditioner

June 15th, 2020

air-conditioner-evaporator-coilI have a nice pattern for my life. It’s a bit mellower than for humans, but it keeps me busy. I nap on the couch when the sunlight hits it, I go on regular walks, I have my dinner, and I’ve got my regular blogging duties.

I bring this up because I want to talk to you about what happens when a routine gets interrupted. Not your routine. Your air conditioner’s routine. During the summer, when you have the AC running, it should work in familiar patterns: turning on, running for a stretch, then turning off for another stretch before starting up again. If you keep the thermostat setting steady during the day (which I recommend), these on-and-off patterns should stay about the same. This is called the cycle of the air conditioner.

But when you notice the AC is starting and stopping far more often than normal, you may have a problem called short-cycling. Sorry to say, but this isn’t good!

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Does My Air Conditioner Also Dehumidify the House?

June 1st, 2020

flooding-roomI get plenty of questions about air conditioning systems and how they work. That’s why I have a blog! I could’ve just penned a short FAQ and then gone into retirement on my favorite couch. But I’m a hard-working blogger dog! I see great examples of hard work every day here at Russell & Abbott, and I want to do my part. I take the time to go in-depth on the questions people ask most often. And the question I’m tackling today is: “Does my AC also help dehumidify the house?”

I can answer this by dividing the question into two. “Does my AC lower humidity in my house?” The answer is yes. “Does my AC control humidity enough to make a difference to my comfort?” The answer is no.

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Olive Answers Questions About AC Installation

May 18th, 2020

graduate-oliveLate spring is air conditioning installation season! If you’ve been thinking about getting a new AC to replace the old, tired one in your house, now is the best time to get started—that way you can switch on the new air conditioning system and get a great flow of cool air around your home in time for our hottest and most humid Tennessee days!

It sounds like I’m making it seem so simple. And you know, it kind of is—at least when you leave the work to our awesome team. But you’ve got questions, so I’m going to put on my “Professor Olive” cap and give you the best answers I can. (The only reason I can’t give the best answer is because that answer depends on your particular situation. When you call our team about air conditioning in Knoxville, TN, they can give you those details.)

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