Russell & Abbott Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Knoxville’

Olive, Can I Install My Own Air Conditioning System?

Monday, July 12th, 2021
wrenches

No, you cannot. 

I almost feel like ending my post there, because that simple answer can save you time, money, and general headaches. But I have a special obligation as an HVAC blogger dog to provide more information—I’m an “explainer,” so when I give an answer, I back it up with the best info. All around me are professionals who handle great air conditioning installation in Knoxville, TN, so when I need to know why it takes professionals to put in a new air conditioner, I have people I can turn to.

And all of them agree: you should only allow professionals to put in that new central air conditioner! Here are some of the reasons why:

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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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Olive’s Summer Starter Tips for Your AC

Monday, May 3rd, 2021
dog-and-fan

“But Olive, it isn’t summer yet!” That’s true, but I’m here to help you get started for summer, which is not too far away. We can start getting full summer temperatures in May. This is why I encourage all my loyal readers to have any big jobs they need to be done for their HVAC system scheduled now. For example, if you think you need a new AC installation in Knoxville, TN, now is the time to talk to us about it. 

If you don’t have any major HVAC service need, there are still some “summer starter” jobs you can do to help your air conditioning system work its best. Here are a few of my top tips.

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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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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
dog-enjoying-cool-ice

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
cold-man-and-woman-in-parkas

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
calendar-scheduling-book

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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