Olive's Blog Olive's Blog

Do You Know This Dark and Dirty Secret?

March 13th, 2018

Dirty-secret-oliveOh, I hope I didn’t scare you away with that title! Or maybe … I got your attention? Well, you’re reading this, so it must mean you’re interested in hearing this big secret. Okay, I’m just gonna lay it out there, give you the real dirt, which is that …

DIRT is the #1 reason for HVAC system failure.

It isn’t age! A system wearing down can lead to an AC or heating system failure, but dirt and grime are much more likely to get to it first. Dirty is like a wave of devious little spies getting into the tiny parts of the HVAC system and then sabotaging it. (For my canine friends, think of it like a massive flea attack. Yeah, they’re small, but they’re nasty.) This dirt means an expensive repair call for the system—or worse, an expensive call to replace it.

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Hey Olive, What’s This “Onyx” Stuff?

February 27th, 2018

onyx_logoIf you’ve skimmed around my blog or maybe our site, you’ve probably noticed that I talk about “Onyx” a lot. I recommend it often. I don’t do that for just anything. For example, my taste in dog food runs to the high-quality canned food from specialty pet stores, not the discount cans from the supermarket that hardly have any meat in them. That’s not being ­picky—that’s just being a smart canine consumer and knowing what the best products are.

So what is “Onyx” and why do I recommend it?

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Comfort Club Membership Benefits: The Spring Pay-Off!

February 13th, 2018

tools-on-ac-unit“Wait a minute, Olive, it’s not spring yet—it’s still February.” Oh believe me, I know! I travel everywhere with a nice fur coat, but I can still feel the coldest days down in my skin. But it’s my job as HVAC blogger to always be looking a season ahead, sometimes two, and think about those days when having a black coat means having to pant a lot.

And when I think ahead a season, that puts me deep into spring and our warm, humid weather. I look all around me and hear the whirring sounds of the outdoor air conditioning units. My ears are so sensitive that I can tell which of those ACs haven’t yet received their spring maintenance tune-up just by the sounds they make. You don’t want to have one of those air conditioners that’s already wearing down so early in the year. Now is the time to think about maintenance.

It’s the job of our Comfort Club to see that your air conditioner is prepared for all the hot weather ahead with an early spring tune-up.

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Is That Ductless Heating System Not Working? Let’s Take a Look…

February 6th, 2018

ducltess-mini-split-wall-unitI do a lot of research on furnaces, especially gas-powered ones, because they are the most common type of heating system you find around here. If I were a betting dog, I’d put my money on “furnace” when asked to guess what type of heater a home around here has.

However, I don’t want you good readers who don’t use a furnace to feel left out. There are other heating options, and maybe you’re one of the homeowners who has a ductless mini split heat pump installed. These are great for those older homes that don’t have room for ductwork, or for building a new home without ducts hogging up all that space. It’s always great to have a heating system that also works as an air conditioner during the middle of the year.

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Olive Explains HVAC Filters!

January 30th, 2018

air-fliter-cuTime to talk about filters. No, not the kind you put on your email account to stop spam from flooding your inbox. (As a blogger dog who’s on the internet a lot, I know all about spam. Do you know how much spam I get from shady dog food companies promising me “a shinier coat in 10 days or your money back”?)

The filters I’m interested in are the ones on your HVAC system. These filters don’t do the job of cleaning the air so it’s healthier to breathe. (If you’re interested in air quality, we do offer options for that.) Their job is protecting the interior of the HVAC cabinet to stop dirt and other debris from interfering with the work of the furnace, AC, or heat pump.

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“But Did You Know?” The Most Common Furnace Problem!

January 16th, 2018

question-mark-badgeHere’s a little quiz I came up with to test your furnace knowledge. (Don’t worry, I’m not actually going to grade this! Even if you get it wrong, you’ll learn something important.)

What is the most common trouble furnaces have during the winter?

  1. Children tampering with the thermostat
  2. Cats tampering with the thermostat
  3. Accidentally setting the thermostat to Celsius rather than Fahrenheit
  4. Lack of maintenance

Ready with your answer?

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Wow, My Furnace Is Noisy! Is That a Problem?

January 2nd, 2018

woman-shocked-by-loud-noise“A sound so high-pitched, only dogs can hear it.” You’ve probably heard this phrase before, and it’s true that we dogs have a much better sense of hearing than humans. We can hear four times as far as you and hear high-pitched sounds between a range of 67,000 to 45,000 Hz. By comparison, you humans can hear in the range of 64,000 to 23,000 Hz. We also have a bunch of extra ear muscles so we can track sound direction.

But despite all our great hearing, we can’t actually tell you about noise problems in your furnace. It’s something you’ll have to figure out yourself. When your furnace begins to make odd noises that are a racket to your less sensitive human ears, you’ll probably wonder if you’ve got trouble that needs professional furnace repair in Knoxville, TN.

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There Are No “Guesstimates” When We Do a Heat Load Calculation!

December 19th, 2017

checkmark-green“How powerful a heater should I get?” That’s a question HVAC professionals, and HVAC professional dogs, hear often. The answer you should expect is, “I don’t know right now—but I can find out!” There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to home heating systems (true for air conditioners as well), and it’s extremely important to take extra time to ensure a home receives a correctly sized heater. Not too big, not too small.

When it comes to tonnage (that’s an HVAC term for the amount of heat a system puts out, not how much it weighs), you’ll need to have a professional determine it for you by doing a heat load calculation. I don’t mean to brag—okay, maybe a little bit—but our Russell & Abbott team does great, thorough heat load calculations. No shortcuts, and no “guesstimates”!

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Let It Snow! Get Free HVAC Equipment if It Snows on Christmas

December 6th, 2017

Let_it_Snow_Webslider_v2_002_I know you’re probably super busy right now with the holiday season well underway, so you may have missed our major announcement about our “Let It Snow!” HVAC deal. It breaks down like this:

If it snows on Christmas, you get free HVAC equipment!

I’m not putting you on! I pride myself as an HVAC expert dog on providing only the most accurate information.

Here are the details of how it works: If you purchase new HVAC equipment from us between now and 12/20/17, and then it snows at least two inches on Christmas Day (measured from the McGhee Tyson Airport), then the equipment you purchased is FREE! To participate, you must be a legal resident of Tennessee and 18 years or older. All you need to do is purchase a qualifying heating or cooling system from us before or on December 20, 2017.

Why would we do something like this? Because it’s a great way to celebrate the season of giving. We love our customers, and we want to give them something great during the holiday season.

Even if you think your current heating system is in good shape, maybe you want to take the time to put in a new air conditioner to get ready for next year. If so, now’s the best time to do it! And if you have any reason to think your heater is due for an upgrade, act now and you may end up paying nothing for it! You can celebrate by playing outside in the snow on Christmas Day, then come back into your house knowing that the heat greeting you is coming from a brand-new furnace that’s now FREE.

Contact us to find out more details—and, of course, to purchase your new HVAC equipment!

Stay warm (but hope for snow!)


Russell & Abbott provides air conditioning, heating, indoor air quality and commercial HVAC services for Maryville, Knoxville, Alcoa, Blount County, Knox County and Loudon County.

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Olive’s 5 Signs You May Already Need Heating Repairs

November 21st, 2017

Dog's ear flapping on heating and air ventIt’s not too cold yet—at least not compared to what we’re going to get in the near future—and I know that you’ve turned on your home’s heating system a few times to make sure everybody is cozy and warm. Your furry pets may not need it (my thick black coat is comfort rated to 30°F), but unless you want to bundle up in a many heavy layers of clothes, you’ll need to have your furnace or other heating system giving you some level of heat.

Now, if you’ve been following my blog, you’ve read about my recommendations on scheduling heating maintenance during the fall. In fact, I started reminding you about this at the end of summer: it’s that important. If you haven’t done it, it’s still not too late! We haven’t hit the Big Cold yet, so make sure you’ve got the best Big Heat before it does.

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