Russell & Abbott Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Air Conditioner Tips’

Questions to Ask Your HVAC Contractor

Monday, August 13th, 2018

technician-shaking-handsI was recently reading articles about questions you should always ask your veterinarian. Like: “Is my pet a healthy weight?” “What flea and tick medication do you recommend?” “Am I feeding my pet the best food?” One question I didn’t notice on these lists was, “Hey, are you a real vet? Do you have a veterinarian’s degree?” And the reason that I didn’t see that question is that you don’t really need to ask it. To get a veterinarian practice started, you must have a degree in the field otherwise you’ll be in serious trouble.

But it’s different in the HVAC field: plenty of people who aren’t licensed or insured masquerade as experts. These are the “Chucks in a Truck” I’ve talked about before—and you don’t want Chuck working on your AC or heating or it could mean serious trouble for your comfort, or worse you may end up liable for damages.

This is why, when I started to think of questions you should ask your HVAC contractor, the first one that came to mind was…

Are you licensed and insured?

A true professional HVAC contractor will be licensed with the state, and that means they are also insured. Licensing means more than just “has the skill to do the job.” It also means a required level of insurance that protects you, the client, in case the contractor causes damage to your property during the work or one of the contractor’s employees sustains an injury. No licensed contractor will mind showing you evidence of licensing and insurance! We’re certainly glad to show that you can trust us!

Now, onto a few other important questions …

How much experience do you have in the industry?

It’s possible for a new contractor to provide quality work—but odds are much stronger on the side of a contractor with many years of history. It’s both a sign of skill and of customer satisfaction. A company with years of history probably has the trust of the community in general.

Do you have guarantees and warranties? How do they work?

If an HVAC contractor is confident in the work its technicians and other employees provide, they’ll back it up with guarantees and warranties. For example, we offer a great 10-10-10 warranty for our own Onyx equipment: that’s 10 years parts, 10 years labor, 10 years maintenance. We provide this because we know our Onyx equipment is that good!

Do you have references from other clients?

It’s a good idea to here straight from other satisfied customers so you know you’re talking to a contractor that people depend on! Any contractor worth hiring will gladly provide you with references.

Feel free to ask our great team any questions you have about our services! We’re licensed and insured, have a long history behind us, have the guarantees and warranties to put your mind at ease, and have some of the happiest customers around. We want you to trust us with your air conditioning service in Knoxville, TN and elsewhere in our service area.

Stay cool,


Ask us anything about your AC and heating needs! Russell & Abbott serves Blount, Knox, and Loudon Counties and the surrounding areas.

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It’s Not Normal to “Top Off” Refrigerant in Your AC System

Monday, June 18th, 2018

air-conditioning-manometer-pressure-refrigerantSomething that keeps me busy all the time in my job as an HVAC Blogger Dog is tracking down myths and misconceptions about home heating and air conditioning systems. There are plenty out there, and I’ve dealt with quite a few before on my blog. Some of these myths are basic misunderstandings that spread around until too many people think they’re the truth. Others, unfortunately, are outright deceptions used by dishonest—and unlicensed—so- called “technicians” who want to trick people out of money by fixing a problem that doesn’t exist.

The myth of needing to “top off refrigerant” in an air conditioning system is usually a misunderstanding. We often receive calls during the summer from customers who think they have to have a bit more refrigerant to get through the summer. In most cases, they don’t. I’ll explain.

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Olive’s 1 Simple Trick to Avoid Air Conditioning Repairs This Year

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

man-in-front-of-fanNobody wants to have to arrange for air conditioning repair work in the middle of a hot summer day. And we don’t want you to have to go through this pain, even though it’s our job to handle the work. We would much rather you hire us to help you prevent air conditioning repairs!

And … oops, I already gave away the One Simple Trick from the title. Darn, I was hoping to build up some suspense about this, slowly pull back the curtain for a “Ta-Da!” moment. But it’s out in the open: the one simple trick for avoiding those pesky AC repair jobs this year is to have our professionals give your system a tune-up before the hot weather arrives. This is often called preventive maintenance, but I like to think of it as good sense. It’s the same as when I go to the vet regularly for check-ups and medicine to make sure I don’t get sick. Think of this as taking your air conditioning to the vet for a check-up, except the vet comes to you and your air conditioner won’t want a treat afterwards.

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Ways to Get the Coolest Cooling from Your AC

Monday, March 26th, 2018

air-conditioner-on-leavesSummer time, wooo! Okay, actually it’s spring time—and the weather isn’t yet at the point where I can start quoting great song lyrics about summer warmth. (Also, I checked: quoting song lyrics is kind of a “no-no,” and I am very law abiding dog.) But, it is spring, and that means I can officially put on my “AC Expert” bandana and give you some advice on how to get your air conditioning system ready for warm weather so you’ll get the most out of it.

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Mowing the Lawn Around Your Air Conditioner: Yep, We Need to Talk about This

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

air-conditioner-units-near-grassWhat would the summer be like, even a lazy late August summer day, without the smell of grass clippings hovering in the air? Well, for one thing it would be a lot easier on some folks’ allergies! (My pals here at Russell & Abbott have great quality air filters that can help with allergies!) For most people and dogs, however, the smell of freshly mowed lawns is just the scent of summer.

If you could ask your air conditioner what it feels about mowing the lawn, it might have a few unpleasant things to say—because the outdoor air conditioner is sorta “allergic” to grass clippings as well!

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Top 2 Ways to Save Money on Air Conditioning This Summer

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

air-conditioning-grillHoo-boy, it’s starting to get warm. I know that it feels warmer to me because I’m a dog with a thick black coat and have to do all my sweating through my paws or by panting. But we’re only getting into the deeps of summer now, so I know that much hotter and more humid days are coming up, and all you humans are going to need your air conditioner running on a pretty regular basis.

And I also know—because air conditioners are part of my job—that this mean you humans will start to rack up some bigger electrical bills. Air conditioners account for a hefty chunk of any home’s electric use over summer, and there’s not much we can do to change that. But what we can change is the size of that chunk. And I’ve listed the two best ways to lower your costs this summer when it comes to air conditioning.

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Four Steps to Stay Chill This Summer

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

I took this photo, so I got a neighbor dog, Cranston, to pose for me. I didn’t tell him I was going to turn the fan up THAT high!

The day I wrote this, the temperature outside here in Maryville was  79°F. Pleasant by almost anyone’s standards. Okay, it feels much hotter to me, but keep in mind that I’m a dog wearing a permanent fur coat. A black permanent fur coat. But for the rest of you, it might be necessary to run your air conditioner a bit, but you shouldn’t need it too much.

But … those blistering hot summer days are coming up, and when they set in, your air conditioner is going to work at its hardest, no matter how wise you are with your thermostat. You can expect higher utility bills to come along with those scorching days. Below I’ve listed four steps for homeowners to take to stay chill this summer, while also helping with energy costs.

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Do I Need to “Top-Off” the Refrigerant in My Air Conditioner?

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Wait, hold on… before we go any further, are you actually attempting to “top-off” the refrigerant in your air conditioner? Or even considering it? Stop right now. If you are concerned that your air conditioner has less refrigerant that it needs, for any reason, you must call on professional repair technicians to look into it. Do not attempt to put refrigerant into the AC yourself.

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Do I Need a Programmable Thermostat for My Air Conditioning System?

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The technology behind thermostats continues to advance each year. The old models of thermostats, which operated off manual dials and switches and mercury heat sensors, have long since been surpassed by digital, programmable, and “smart” models.

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Should I Trim the Hedges around My Outdoor Air Conditioning Unit?

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

One of the questions we often receive from our customers is about the landscaping around the outdoor cabinet of air conditioners. Homeowners have sometimes heard that they should keep hedges and other plants trimmed or removed from the area surrounding the cabinet. However, the outdoor cabinet isn’t the most, well, attractive object to have outside of a home, so it makes sense to have shrubs and other plants strategically planted around it to disguise it. These homeowners want to know the truth: Should they really keep the hedges trimmed and clear of the AC?

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