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Onyx Heating/Cooling Equipment Gets the Green Light, Plus Some Other Cool Features

green light

Green Glow Assures Protection from Power Surges.

Homeowners may be relieved to know that the slightly eerie green glow on outdoor Onyx units is a good thing because it affirms that your surge protector is working properly.

“The electronic boards in today’s heating and cooling systems can ‘fry’ during power surges,  and a damaged board is one of the most common reasons for unit failure,” explained Chris Hurley, president of Russell & Abbott Heating and Cooling. “However, this component can almost always be saved with a surge protector which are standard in every piece of Onyx equipment.”

Hurley said that on a dark night, Onyx owners can to see if the surge protector is functioning.  “Green means you are good to go; a red glow indicates the surge protector is off and you may need to call us for service.” Hurley said.

All Parts are Created Equal, Except When They’re Not.

Another feature that makes Onyx equipment less susceptible to common electrical component failure is its use of American-made capacitors.  Capacitors, which are about the size and shape of a small can of tomato paste, store electrical electrons. Capacitors are attached to the three motors in HVAC units: the compressor, the blower motor and the outside fan. When there is a demand for energy, such as starting a motor, capacitors release energy, allowing the heating/cooling unit to run.

“We’ve found that the majority of HVAC equipment on the market uses cheap–and in my opinion, sub-standard–capacitors that are made in China.  They just don’t hold up and it’s not fair to consumers,” Hurley said. “That’s why we sourced American made capacitors for our line of Onyx equipment.”

Hurley said that American made capacitors have a life expectancy of 10 years, and are warranted for five years.  At Russell & Abbott, capacitors are included as part of the Unbeatable 10-10-10 Warranty.

“Our computerized maintenance management system prompts us to change capacitors at 4.5 and 9 years so that customers don’t have a problem,” Hurley said.

Hot Topic: Microchannel Coils vs. Traditional Spiny or Tube and Fin Coils.

Technicians in the HVAC industry seem to be polarized by a coil type issue.   Individuals either look very favorably on microchannel coils or are strongly opposed to their use.  Russell & Abbott is pro microchannel coils, based on actual failure rates and willingness (or unwillingness) of manufacturers to warrant those failures.

“We have experienced less than one percent failure from microchannel coils in our exclusive Onyx equipment,” Hurley said.  “Tube and fin style in other brands have consistently produced double digit failure rates.”

Consumers might ask why, then, would contractors offer consumers a style of system that has a proven large failure rate? Hurley speculates that most contractors are “stuck with what the major manufacturers are providing to them” on certain brands of equipment.

Industry naysayers to microchannel coil technology cite that microchannel coils are harder to work with because they are more complex.  Hurley insists that working with microchannel coils is no more difficult, just different. “Proper training makes the difference for technicians,” he said.

Plus, Hurley said, consumers benefit from these advantages of a microchannel coil system over a tube and fin or spiny fin system:

  • Smaller coils
  • Increased efficiency
  • Less refrigerant
  • More durable
  • Easier to clean

“At the end of the day, customers want a reliable heating and cooling system for their home.  One way Russell & Abbott provides that is by selecting components that give Onyx an edge over other equipment, and following up with an unbeatable 10-year warranty on labor, all parts, and maintenance.”

For more information about Onyx, visit or call (865) 302-3221 and ask to speak to an equipment replacement specialist.