Russell & Abbott Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Knoxville’

Time for the Annual Furnace Performance Overview!

Monday, March 22nd, 2021
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When winter comes to an end, it’s time to think about how your furnace managed over the season. This will help you know if you need any important furnace service in Knoxville, TN (such as repairs or a full replacement) during the coming stretch of the year when you won’t need to rely on your heater daily.

This is when I get out my pen and help you go through a checklist “performance overview.” I’d love it if I could tuck the pen behind my ears, but I don’t have stand-up ears like German Shepherds, so I’ll just have to grip the pen in my mouth when not using it. Anyway, let’s get into this informal overview. 

Please note: This casual exercise is not a substitute for annual heating maintenance in fall. When you need actual heating work done, you’ll want our pros to be there to do it!

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A Few Things to Know Running Your Heat Pump in Winter

Monday, January 11th, 2021
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Did you welcome a new addition to your house during the last year—a heat pump? Congratulations! We’re all fans of heat pumps around here, especially the Onyx models we install, which are ideally suited for the winters in East Tennessee. 

But if this is your first winter with a heat pump, there are a couple of things I’d like you to know. If you’ve already run it during the summer, you noticed it didn’t act any different than an AC. That’s just as it should be! But as you change the heat pump over to heating mode for winter, there are a few differences to get used to. After all, a heat pump isn’t a furnace and doesn’t provide heat the same way. Here’s “Olive’s List of Useful Things to Know” about your heat pump in winter.

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Trying to Heat Your Home “Faster” With the Thermostat? That Won’t Work

Monday, December 14th, 2020
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We’ve all been there on a winter night: The house feels awfully cold, and you want to get the rooms warmed up as fast as you can. You look at the thermostat on the wall and see that it can go as high a 90°F. That’s far too hot, of course, but if you crank the thermostat up that high, it will at least mean the house will warm up faster. The heat will come roaring out of the vents!

Except … that’s not how home heating works. And trying to get “faster” heating by pushing the thermostat up so high can be bad news for an HVAC system in Knoxville, TN

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The Heat Load Calculation With a New Furnace—It’s Super Important

Monday, November 30th, 2020
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This is the time to start bundling up. I have my permanent fur coat and don’t need to worry much about that, but I know that humans have it much harder when temperatures start dropping. You might be in the situation where you know you need new heating in Knoxville, TN and you’re ready to schedule a furnace installation.

That’s great—just make sure you call our team because we take all the vital steps to ensure you have a furnace that works effectively and safely. 

There’s one part about our installations that I like to point out, because it’s what sets us apart. It’s the heat load calculation. We take this part of installing a furnace seriously, because if it’s done wrong, you’ll end up with a furnace that either doesn’t heat the home enough or wears down rapidly from strain.

What’s a heat load, Olive?

It’s the HVAC term for the amount of heat a space needs to create a comfortable temperature. When we know the heat load of a house, we know how powerful a furnace to put in. 

A heat load calculation can be done several ways. Many of those ways are bad, I won’t sugarcoat it. Plenty of contractors do a heat calculation quickly and leave in guesswork. There should never be guesstimates when it comes to heat load calculations! There are multiple factors that must be figured, and if a contractor makes a guess at most of them, the chance of getting the final result wrong is high. 

Just to give you an idea of what goes into this calculation, here are some factors we need to know: the size of the house, number of windows and the direction they face, the insulation amount, number of people who live in the house, number of heat-producing appliances, number of lights, and more. We make sure to do this precisely so you’ll have a heater that’s the right size for your home.

What happens if the calculation is done wrong?

You get a furnace that is either too small for your house or too large. I think you can figure out why a furnace that’s too small is trouble: you won’t have the amount of heat you need to stay warm, and the furnace will run and run and run as it tries to reach the temperature you have set on the thermostat.

What about one that’s too big? That can’t be that awful a problem to have. Well, yes it is. An oversized furnace will short-cycle, which means it will shut down early, then turn back on, then shut down early, and on and on. This can lead to early repairs and an early replacement. It can also create uneven heating because the furnace doesn’t run for long enough.

We don’t “guesstimate,” we do it right!

You deserve a furnace that does the exact job you need it to do, and our Russell & Abbott team will see that you get it. Call us for heating options for a new installation, and we’ll do our best work to make sure you have the right heating system for this winter and many more.

Stay warm,

Olive

Russell & Abbott serves Blunt, Knox, and Loudon Counties and surrounding areas. Contact us today if you’re looking for better home heating.

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The Furnace Filter: If Left in Place, Your Furnace May Malfunction!

Monday, November 16th, 2020
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One of the big jobs I take on as an HVAC blogger dog is to fight the misinformation and misconceptions out there about residential heating and cooling. I know I’m only one dog in a big world of the internet, but I think I can make an impact in helping people with the best info so they get the performance they deserve from their HVAC equipment.

And that’s why it’s once again time for me to talk about the furnace filter. The lowdown: You need to change the furnace filter yourself during the coming months at regular intervals, or it will cause trouble for the furnace!

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It’s That Time of Year: Evaluate Your AC’s Performance

Monday, September 21st, 2020
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September is when I break out one of my old chestnut topics—but it’s a perennial topic for good reasons! The same way I make sure my good readers and Russell & Abbott customers know they need to schedule an air conditioning tune-up in Knoxville, TN each spring, I want you all to know that the start of fall (this week!) is a time to size-up how your air conditioning system performed over the summer.

No, I don’t want you to open the cabinet of your AC and look at it. Leave repairs to our pros. What I want you to do is ask questions about how well the central air conditioner did its job through the hottest months of the season. This will help you with future planning. And those plans may involve getting a new AC!

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Olive Explains: The Line Set for Your AC

Monday, 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

Monday, 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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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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Remember to Change Your AC’s Air Filter!

Monday, July 13th, 2020

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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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