Russell & Abbott Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Maryville’

Olive Explains the Reversing Valve, A Heat Pump’s Secret Trick!

Monday, February 8th, 2021
cold-and-hot-homes

One of the topics I enjoy writing about the most is heat pumps. This is because heat pumps can pull a nifty trick: provide both heating and cooling to a home. And, like the best magic tricks (such as pulling a poodle out of a hat), once you know the secret behind it, it feels both obvious and sorta genius that you have to admire the folks who came up with it. I’d love to take credit, but that would be dishonest and even counting in dog years I can’t stretch my lifetime back that far to the late 1940s. (The actual inventor was Robert C. Webber. Yep, I know that much about HVAC.)

I could go on for a long time about the workings of heat pumps, but I want to look at one special part that makes all the difference—the part that is essential in allowing a heat pump to work as an air conditioner and a forced-air heater. It’s called the reversing valve.

The Reversing Valve Basics

A reversing valve is a metal component that looks like a copper bar with multiple copper tubes intersecting it. In technical terms, this device is an electro-magnetic four-way valve that guides the direction of the refrigerant that comes out of the compressor in the outdoor cabinet of the heat pump. 

Inside the valve is a slider; when it shifts position, it changes the direction of the incoming refrigerant to either move it first toward the indoor coil (which would put it in heating mode) or first to the outdoor coil (which would put it in cooling mode). The slider is moved by connecting electricity to the valve, energizing it. When the valve is de-energized, the slider returns to its first position. In most heat pumps, energized is cooling mode and de-energized is heating mode. 

When you manipulate the thermostat to adjust the heat pump, the thermostat will either send an electrical signal to the reversing valve or de-energize it, which determines which mode it will be in. 

Reversing Valve Troubles

There are plenty more details about the operation of the reversing valve, but I’m not going to go full “Electro-Engineer Olive” on you. What’s important for you to know is what can go wrong with the reversing valve that can lead to heat pump trouble. 

For one, the slider can become stuck, which is what you might expect from any mechanical device with enough wear. It can get stuck either in heating mode or cooling mode.

The other common trouble is when the thermostat loses its connection to the reversing valve. If the thermostat cannot energize the reversing valve, the heat pump will remain in its default de-energeized mode, which in most cases means a heat pump that’s stuck in cooling mode.

Fixing problems with a reversing valve is a standard repair for our great team. Sometimes we can repair the thermostat connection, and other times we’ll need to remove the reversing valve and replace it. No matter what type of heat pump repair in Maryville, TN you need to stay warm/stay cool, you can trust us to do the job.

Stay warm,

Olive

Russell & Abbott serves Blount, Knox, and Loudon Counties and surrounding areas. Just whistle and we’ll come running!

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Olive Explains: Why Your Furnace’s Burners Aren’t Lighting

Monday, January 25th, 2021
gas-jets-in-furnace

Here’s an irritating problem: you set your thermostat for something comfy during winter. I recommend 68°F, even though my nice fur coat lets me set it lower than you would. It’s a cold day, so that means setting the thermostat to that temperature will cause the furnace to come on. But it doesn’t. The fan might turn on, but not warm air. When you go to the furnace, you discover that the customary blue glow from the burners isn’t there—they haven’t ignited. What’s going on?

Well, I can list a few possibilities…

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We Have Ways to Solve Your IAQ Problems

Monday, October 19th, 2020
woman-with-sinus-troubles

In my last post, I wrote about indoor air quality problems you may have in your home during fall. But I know my readers don’t show up just to listen to me give them bad news. They’re looking for help from a smart dog who knows her heating and air conditioning. “I’ve got air quality issues, Olive, but what can you and the Russell & Abbott team do about them?”

Plenty, it turns out. And not just in the obvious ways—we understand that great indoor air quality in a house is connected to having a great HVAC system in prime shape. A few pricey gizmos that make big promises aren’t enough to turn around IAQ troubles. Let’s talk about real solutions!

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Indoor Air Quality Troubles You May Have in Fall

Monday, October 5th, 2020
cardboard-house-sky

Fall is a pretty season—but I’ll admit most of my bias toward the fall is that I love running into big piles of leaves! So much fun.

But I’m talking about being indoors during the fall right now, and when you’re inside your home in the fall, you may run into some indoor air quality issues that can make everything a bit more, well, sneezy. I’m going to look at some of what might be in store for your home’s air this autumn and what you can do about it.

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It’s Summer, But My Heat Pump Thinks It’s Winter!

Monday, August 10th, 2020

thermometer-going-redLet’s say it’s a hot day here in East Tennessee. And it probably is, because I’m writing this in August, and I’m sweating through my paws, which makes it hard to handle the keys. Anyway, the temperatures outdoors are high and the air is humid, and all you want to do is retreat back to your home and set the thermostat to turn the heater on …

Wait, no, that’s not right. Why would you turn the heater on?

Unfortunately, you may find this is out of your control because you have a heat pump that has developed its own ideas about the time of the year. Instead of moving heat out of the house the way it should during summer, it’s moving heat inside as if it were winter. You’ve got a heat pump that’s trapped in heating mode—and that’s no fun for anybody. Especially not your dogs, who have to pant hard to overcome double heat.

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Questions to Ask If You Think You Need a New AC

Monday, June 29th, 2020

an-old-air-conditionerI know that a heat wave is the last time when you want to worry about having new air conditioning in Maryville, TN. But when it’s hot here, it’s hot, and having an air conditioning installation isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity!

If you’re right now in the spot where you think it may be time for a new air conditioner, I encourage you to put some serious thought into it, and as soon as possible. Our team is here to help, but as much as I would love to develop canine mind-reading powers, none of us here will know you need our help until you ask for it! I’ve put a list below of some important questions to ask yourself when it looks like you may need an air conditioning replacement. If you have any uncertainties you can’t answer yourself, please call us. We can offer the professional analysis and opinions that will start you off on a solution.

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Olive Answers Some Basic Questions About Heat Pumps

Monday, June 17th, 2019

sun-and-snowflake-badgeI field plenty of questions from locals about the different types of air conditioning and heating systems we install and service. Most people have a basic idea of what HVAC equipment does, but not many of the specifics. I’ve had the fortune of lounging around on the couch of the Russell & Abbott offices for a good long while, and I’ve learned book-loads about HVAC equipment from listening to the techs. (I know it looks like I’m sleeping, but these big dog ears pick up almost everything.)

Today I want to talk about the heat pump, which causes plenty of confusion—starting with the name.

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Vote for Us in Round 2 of the Daily Times “Readers’ Choice” Poll

Monday, April 8th, 2019

Readers_Choice1_JPGHi everyone! Olive here with some good news—and a new request.

Big thanks to all of our dedicated and satisfied customers who took the time to vote in the Readers’ Choice Poll from the Daily Times last month. You really came through for us, because we’ve passed through the nomination phase! This means we’re on the ballot for people to vote for their favorite businesses in Blount County.

But this also means I have to ask for a bit more. You all turned out to vote for us in the first phase, and now that we’re in Phase 2, we need your votes more than ever! From now until May 4, you can go to the website for the Daily Times and cast your online vote for Russell & Abbott as the best heating and air conditioning company.

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Reminder: “Let It Snow” Means Free HVAC Equipment If It Snows on Christmas!

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

onyx-equipment-presentThis is Olive, doing my End of November Check-In to make sure you know about our big “Let It Snow” promotion.

Here’s the simple pitch: If it snows on Christmas this year, you get free HVAC equipment!

The longer pitch: If you purchase new HVAC equipment from us between now and December 20, 2018, and it snows more than two inches on Christmas Day (that’s as measured at McGhee Tyson Airport), then your purchase is free! That’s right, a total of zero dollars and zero cents, not a single dog biscuit!

Now as we’re getting closer to the Big Day and you’re doing some heavy thinking about shopping—such as shopping for a new heater and air conditioner—you may want to know a bit more about the odds. The current weather forecast from WVLT in Knoxville is predicting a 15% chance of snow on Christmas. Of course, that could go up in the next few weeks. But a 15% chance of getting a free HVAC system are good odds.

And there’s no downside, because no matter what, you end up with terrific new heating and cooling equipment to help see you through many years of comfort!

If you want more information about “Let It Snow” or to schedule any heating service in Maryville, TN or elsewhere in our service area, reach out to us today!

Stay Warm (But Hope for Snow!)

Olive

Schedule great comfort services with Russell & Abbott. Offering service in Blount, Knox, and Loudon Counties and the surrounding areas.

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Our “Dirty Secret” Offer Is Back! (Do You Know the “Dirty Secret”?)

Monday, October 1st, 2018

dirty-secret-campaignThey say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I don’t agree with that at all! Any dog of any age can be taught new tricks. Now I’m not going to tell you my age, but I know an excellent trick: I’m going to bring back a fantastic offer, one that will help you against the #1 reason for HVAC system failures. And what is that #1 cause of comfort systems failing? Ah, that’s the dirty secret, and it’s …

D-I-R-T!

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