Russell & Abbott Blog: Posts Tagged ‘air conditioning repairs’

Olive Explains Why Your AC Keeps Shutting Off

Monday, June 27th, 2022
dog-and-fan

I don’t want you to come into this blog thinking that your AC shutting off is weird. Your air conditioning system isn’t supposed to run all the time. It goes through cycles where it runs for long enough to provide cooling, then turns off for a stretch before it needs to come back on. That’s just normal, and it keeps the AC from wearing down and your house getting too cold. I know when I go for walks that sometimes I’d love for the walk to last forever, but I do get tired and need to rest before I’m ready again.

But the “AC shutting off” I’m talking about in this post is when your air conditioner turns off too soon. You’ll know “too soon” because you’ll be too hot! I’ll tell you why this might be happening and what you (or we) can do about it.

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

Monday, September 6th, 2021
thermometers-high-and-low

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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Olive Breaks Apart Myths Other People May Have Told You About Your AC

Monday, August 9th, 2021
dog-at-fan

This is one of my favorite topics: Olive, Shatterer of Myths! It feels epic when I get to take on misconceptions. Yeah, maybe that sounds a bit grandiose, but I love helping people. Not many dogs get a chance to reach as many people as I do.

Anyway, today the myths I’m smashing apart are the sort you may have heard people tell you about air conditioning. These myths have a way of spreading fast even with nothing to back them up. They just sort of “seem” true, even though they aren’t.

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Cheap AC Repair Offers? You’ll Get Cheap Quality as Well!

Monday, July 26th, 2021
coins-in-a-jar

Have you ever heard this saying before? “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.” That was written by none other than Benjamin Franklin, quite a wise man. He listed “an old dog” as one of the most faithful of friends, so I’m bound to trust his word on most things. And when he’s talking about poor quality from poor price, I understand exactly what he means—because everyone here at Russell & Abbott knows how much a cheap HVAC service can end up costing someone. It’s not just about feeling bitter. It’s about feeling too hot or too cold because you got low-quality AC service.

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Olive’s Tips on Helping Beating the Worst of the Heat

Monday, June 28th, 2021

In May I wrote a blog about the limits of your air conditioning’s cooling power and how you can avoid placing too much strain on the AC. A quick recap for those just joining: your air conditioner can lower the temperature by a maximum of 20°F compared to the outside. Since I recommend (as does the US Department of Energy) a setting of 78°F, you shouldn’t have any problem dealing with the heat on most summer days. 

But what about the occasional heat wave? August is our hottest month, with an average high of 88°F. We have humidity to worry about as well, although with the right sized air conditioning system this won’t be as much of a problem in your house. Yet there will be times when it can get so hot that you’ll have to nudge up the thermostat to keep it from constantly running and wearing down. 

We don’t want you to suffer from busted AC in the middle of the summer heat, and we have the air conditioning repair in Farragut, TN to see you’re taken care of. I have tips for what you can do to help keep cool in the worst of the heat so you can raise the thermostat enough to ward off problems.

How You (Humans) Can Get Extra Cool in the Heat

Not all of this applies to me personally: dogs cool off in different ways than people (panting). But please be mindful of your pets during heat waves! Give them lots of water (even put some ice in it) and keep them indoors in the shade. Anyway, on to advice for humans… 

  • Pull down the shades! The sun is sneaky and it will let plenty of heat in through the windows. Close shades and shutters to stop that extra radiant heat. 
  • Don’t add heat with lights and electronics! Use electrical devices as little as possible and turn off any lights you don’t absolutely need. Oh, now is not the time to do laundry or cook a meal!
  • Hydrate! I mentioned how pets need plenty of water. You need liquids as well—but avoid sugary drinks.
  • Close off that super-hot room! You probably have a room in your house that gets hotter than the others, probably because of exterior exposure or low insulation. Close the door to that room, because otherwise the heat will stroll right out of it and into the rest of the house. 
  • Use fans! You probably already thought of this one, but a reminder that fans can help you feel cooler by 8°F. Just be careful you don’t plug in a zillion fans at once and overload a circuit breaker—this can be a problem during heat waves. 
  • Olive’s handmade insta-evaporative cooler: Yeah, this one’s kinda neat. Take ice cubes from the freezer and put them in a bowl. Put that bowl in front of one of the fans. The fan will then blow cooled air at you. It’s temporary, but during a heat wave it feels so good. 

And keep in mind: if you can’t get your house cool enough even when the heat starts to subside, give us a call to look into your AC and see if it needs to be fixed or even replaced. 

Stay cool (please!),

Olive

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

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Olive, Why Do I Hear Water in My AC?

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021
water-droplets

I am always glad to help out my readers when they have questions about air conditioning. Air conditioners are a part of everyday life (at least in summer), but people who aren’t HVAC experts often don’t know much about how they run. 

And that’s fine! Most people drive cars but don’t know how combustion engines work or anything like that. You can say the same thing about pets: you might have a dog, but you won’t be an expert on veterinary medicine. That’s why you take your dog to a good vet! Believe me, we dogs appreciate having good vets, even if we kind of shiver and shake when we wait in the vet’s office. 

Anyway, today I’m going to answer a question I often get about how air conditioning systems run: “Why do I hear water dripping in my AC?” People want to know if this is normal, why there’s water in the AC at all, and where that water goes. Let’s get into it!

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Olive Explains Your AC’s Cooling Limits

Monday, May 17th, 2021
dog-wearing-sunglasses

Greetings everyone! I’ve gotten some questions about just how cool I can be! 

Okay, maybe it wasn’t phrased exactly that way. People want to know just how cool an air conditioning system can make their house. It’s a good question: air conditioners do have limits, the same way that your car can’t do 300 mph no matter how well-built it is. And although we dogs can get super-fast—did you know that Greyhounds can run as fast as 45 mph?—none of us are going to outpace a Bullet Train no matter how healthy we are. Not meant as a criticism! Just basic facts about how things work.

So, what’s your air conditioning system’s “top speed”? I’ll get into that below. Please hang around, this can be helpful with setting your thermostat during summer.

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An Important Reminder About Refrigerant in Your AC

Monday, April 19th, 2021
air-conditioner-evaporator-coil

Ever heard these phrases before? “You need to top off the refrigerant in your AC,” or “It’s time to get a refrigerant refill on your AC.” These are based on very common misunderstandings about how air conditioners work, and sometimes unscrupulous people who claim they are HVAC “technicians” try to use them on homeowners.

Here are the facts, straight from your favorite HVAC blogger dog: the only time you’ll need to have more refrigerant put into your air conditioning system is if there is a refrigerant leak. Otherwise, you can expect the amount of refrigerant in the AC will stay the same and keep circulating through it for the lifetime of the system. 

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Olive Explains: The Line Set for Your AC

Monday, September 7th, 2020
air-conditioning-compressors

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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Watch Out for Rusty AC Coils

Monday, 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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