A Mid-Season Heating Replacement? Let’s Find Out If You Need One

January 11th, 2022

I know you probably didn’t write down, “Get a new heating system in the middle of the winter”, as one of the things on your list to do for the new year. If you have thought about getting a new heating system, you’d normally plan to have the job done in fall or another time when you wouldn’t have to rely on heat to keep you warm.

But nobody can see perfectly into the future, and even me, your well-informed HVAC blogger dog, isn’t 100% accurate when it comes to predicting the future of a heating system. What I can help you with is what to do now that you think you need a mid-winter heating system replacement. You have a system that’s old and giving you trouble so you want to know if you should replace it right now.

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A Furnace That Blows Out Cold Air: Why It May Happen to You!

December 30th, 2021

Your furnace has a straightforward job: send warm air into your house on cold days. Of course, the actual workings of a furnace aren’t simple, and that’s why sometimes they can malfunction and end up sending out air that doesn’t warm a house at all.

I write about furnaces often and know plenty about how they can run into trouble. The good news is that with the proper HVAC service in Seymour, TN from our team of pros, you can prevent these problems or have them solved fast. Fixing your home comfort problems is what we’re all about!

But now I need to switch over into “Olive the Furnace Professor” mode and talk about why you may have a furnace that’s made your home an icebox and not a cozy retreat.

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Olive Explains the Faulty Flame Sensor in a Furnace

December 13th, 2021

What do you want most from your gas furnace this winter? Warmth! But what happens if you’ve got a furnace that keeps shutting down each time you set your thermostat for it to turn on. Not much warmth, and that’s not much fun.

Gas furnaces that keep shutting down are a common furnace repair in Seymour, TN that our Russell & Abbott team handle. If you’ve got this problem, call us and we’ll find out what’s going on and take care of it.

But many of you would like to know the why of this situation—it’s the reason you come to read my blog. And I love to talk about how HVAC systems work because that’s what being an expert heating-and-cooling blogger dog is all about. So today let me tell you about a common reason for a gas furnace that won’t stay on: a faulty flame sensor.

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Olive’s Top Tips on Heating Savings for the Coming Season

November 15th, 2021

You may not know this, but I’m pretty good with number-crunching on a calculator. I need one of those large, old-style calculators because it works better with my large paws, but I can still whip up a good budget when I need to. But when it comes to finding ways to save money on heating bills during the winter, I don’t need a calculator: I already know all the right techniques you can use to cut down on the cost of staying warm! 

I’ve gathered some of my favorite tips on saving during the winter. A few of these will require the assistance of a team of Seymour, TN, HVAC professionals (by which I mean us!). Others you can get started on as soon as the temperatures drop. Let’s dive in.

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Russell & Abbott is Now Accepting Food Donations for Second Harvest Food Bank, Oct. 26 to Nov. 29th!

October 26th, 2021

Beginning October 26th, you can drop off your non-perishable food donations for the Second Harvest Food Bank at our office at 2124 E Broadway Ave, in Maryville.

We are proud to support such a great cause and wonderful organization during the holiday season! Here are some of the foods that are needed the most this year:

Peanut Butter
Canned Proteins
(tuna, salmon, chicken, beans)
Canned Fruits (pineapples, peaches, pears- in own juices or syrup)
Canned Vegetables (mixed, green beans, corn)
Soups (beef stew, chili, chicken noodle, vegetable)
Staples (rice, dry beans, dry pasta, cereal)


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“Grandma Heat”: How We Find Just the Right Heating for Comfort and Savings

October 18th, 2021

Did your grandma have something like this in her home?

Hey everybody! Happy October, a fun time of the year—but also one where I have to get serious about discussing cold weather. It’s coming up fast and everyone here at Russell & Abbott wants you and your family to be safe and cozy through the season. But we don’t want you to have to pay too much to be cozy, and, unfortunately, many people don’t realize they’re paying for extra heat they don’t need.

That’s where our team comes in! I’m going to explain how we can find the ideal amount of supplemental heat for your heat pump so you can make it through the iciest winter day without burning through your bank account. Except we don’t call it “supplemental heat.” We call it “grandma heat,” and I’ll dig into why below.

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Did You Know Your Gas Furnace Need Electric Power Too?

October 4th, 2021

Have you ever thought to yourself, “It’s a good thing I have a gas-powered furnace, because if the electricity goes out during the winter, I’ll still be able to keep warm!” If you have, I’ve got some important news for you: your gas furnace does burn natural gas to heat the air, but it also requires electricity to run. If you lose power to your house, your furnace will also lose power.

I don’t mean to be a downer dog here. I think gas furnaces are great! They’re one of the best ways to provide comfort to homes during our winters. Many of the negative things you hear about gas furnaces just aren’t true! Gas furnaces aren’t super dangerous and they won’t dry out the air in your house. They also need electricity to run, and I want to get into that in detail because the more you know about your furnace, the more you’ll know what help you need when it comes to heating repair in Walland, TN.

How a gas furnace relies on electricity

At one point, gas furnaces did run without electricity … but that was a long time ago when furnaces were massive cast iron creatures that lived in basements, burnt coal, and just let the heat rise up through a network of pipes. (These ancient furnaces have an appropriate name: octopus furnaces.)

Today’s gas furnaces are more complex, as well as more convenient, energy-efficient, and safe—and much of that comes from several electronic controls and devices that help them operate. Here are several ways a gas furnace relies on electrical power:

  • An electronic ignition system ignites the burners. This replaced the old standing pilot light, which was an energy waste and sometimes went out.
  • A furnace uses a blower fan to move air through it and then into the ventilation system. This is often the same fan used for the air conditioning system. 
  • Many of the furnace functions are regulated through an electronic control board. This board handles the ignition, the blower fan, the gas valve, as well as several important safety features.
  • Most homes use a digital thermostat to control the furnace, and these also won’t run in a power outage. 

The moral of my story here is that the electrical parts of a gas furnace may mean the heater won’t run in case of a blackout, but you wouldn’t want a furnace that didn’t have these parts. They make your furnace run better and keep your family safer. 

If you do have a power outage…

I want to drop in a short safety note at the end, in case you do experience a power outage during winter and your gas furnace won’t work. Please don’t attempt to fiddle with the furnace to see if you can get it working. You won’t be able to, and you may interfere with the safety features that shut off gas flow in case of an outage. If your furnace won’t come back on when power is restored, please call our professionals to investigate. They’ll make sure that all safety mechanisms are working and your furnace will run without hazard.

Stay warm and safe,


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

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Olive’s Big Fall Recommendation: Have Us Maintain Your Heating System!

September 20th, 2021

Ah, it’s here: one of my favorite blog subjects of the year! It’s the Get Your Heating System Maintained blog post! 

Why do I love writing this post so much? Here are a few reasons:

  • Maintenance is the most important service we offer, and the wonders it can do for our customers are immense. 
  • I love writing about all the benefits customers enjoy because it reminds me why I’m in this business in the first place—to help people.
  • It means it’s almost fall and I can soon run and jump into piles of leaves.

I consider this post my annual fight for you to enjoy better heating! I hope I’ll get you super-enthused by the end of this post so you’ll call our team to sign up for the Comfort Club and get on the schedule for heating maintenance in Vonore, TN, or wherever you are in our service area. Fall is the best time to get this job done: take advantage of the slower season and the milder weather.

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

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

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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