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End of the Dog Days of Summer: Time to Think about Fall Maintenance!

August 15th, 2017

dog-sleeping-on-floorWe’ve nearing the close of the “Dog Days of Summer,” and the moment I started to think about writing my next post, I wondered, “Hey, what does that phrase even mean?” Most people think it means that it’s the time of the year when it’s so hot that dogs lie around lazily panting all the time.  However, that doesn’t sound right to me—I lay around and pant all year!—so I did some research.

It turns out, I was right. The phrase comes to us from the ancient Greeks. Late July is the period when the constellation group Sirius (The Dog) comes up over the horizon just before dawn. The Greeks referred to these days, usually the hottest of the year, as “dog days” because of Sirius. The phrase made it to English eventually, and people have been making up stories about the meaning ever since.

But the dog days are going to come to an end soon, along with the hot weather, and that means it’s time to start thinking of “The Maintenance Days of Fall!” (There isn’t an HVAC constellation, however, so you’ll just have to go with a normal calendar for this.)

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Cool Down at Some Hot Events!

August 1st, 2017

At Russell & Abbott, we’ve always taken immense pride in being part of the local community. That’s why we can deliver such fantastic customer service: the people who call on us are our neighbors, and many of them become friends as well. The air conditioning equipment we supply to homeowners is the same that we use in our own homes—so we know exactly what an individual home needs for the best in comfort.

I’m thrilled to announce that we’re going to be at a number of upcoming late summer events here in Blount County. And we’ll be bringing along our “Ice Box,” a place where you can come inside and chill out with a powerful air conditioning system—just like the many air conditioning systems we install for our customers.

Check out our schedule below! We’d love for you to drop by and help support the community along with us! You can step out of the heat into our Ice Box when you need it!

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The Most Common Summer AC Repairs

July 17th, 2017

dog-wearing-sunglassesThis is one of the busiest times of the year for me. True, I’m not the one who’ll actually take on the work of fixing your air conditioner when it’s in trouble (I may be knowledgeable about HVAC equipment, but I have this “no thumbs” thing that makes for me to hard to hold tools). But it’s the high days of summer when people need my advice the most. Nobody wants to get trapped in a hot house when their air conditioner fails! If I can give them some helpful advice to watch for potential repair issues before they get worse, then I’ll have done my important Service Dog work.

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Top 2 Ways to Save Money on Air Conditioning This Summer

July 3rd, 2017

air-conditioning-grillHoo-boy, it’s starting to get warm. I know that it feels warmer to me because I’m a dog with a thick black coat and have to do all my sweating through my paws or by panting. But we’re only getting into the deeps of summer now, so I know that much hotter and more humid days are coming up, and all you humans are going to need your air conditioner running on a pretty regular basis.

And I also know—because air conditioners are part of my job—that this mean you humans will start to rack up some bigger electrical bills. Air conditioners account for a hefty chunk of any home’s electric use over summer, and there’s not much we can do to change that. But what we can change is the size of that chunk. And I’ve listed the two best ways to lower your costs this summer when it comes to air conditioning.

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The Cool Difference a Ductless AC Can Make

June 19th, 2017

ductless-mini-split-remote-controlAh, June. The time of year when thoughts of spring turn to thoughts of Oh wow it’s too hot and I think I need a better air conditioning system! Or maybe you’re only looking to improve your current AC, get rid of hot spots, adapt to renovations, etc. Whatever the case, the system that might be ideal for you is a ductless system.

Ductless cooling and heating has been around for a while, but it wasn’t until recently it started to enter homes in a big way. If you’re looking to make some cool changes to your house or business, I definitely give my paw print of approval to checking out going ductless.

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Four Steps to Stay Chill This Summer

June 6th, 2017

I took this photo, so I got a neighbor dog, Cranston, to pose for me. I didn’t tell him I was going to turn the fan up THAT high!

The day I wrote this, the temperature outside here in Maryville was  79°F. Pleasant by almost anyone’s standards. Okay, it feels much hotter to me, but keep in mind that I’m a dog wearing a permanent fur coat. A black permanent fur coat. But for the rest of you, it might be necessary to run your air conditioner a bit, but you shouldn’t need it too much.

But … those blistering hot summer days are coming up, and when they set in, your air conditioner is going to work at its hardest, no matter how wise you are with your thermostat. You can expect higher utility bills to come along with those scorching days. Below I’ve listed four steps for homeowners to take to stay chill this summer, while also helping with energy costs.

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What You Should Know before You Buy a Wireless Thermostat

May 23rd, 2017

thermostat-operationHere’s something important I’ve learned in my years as an HVAC dog (aside from which couch in the office is best for napping): HVAC work is about the big picture but also about the tiniest details. A technician needs to know how powerful an air conditioner or heater needs to be to provide proper comfort (Big Picture) but also have a grasp on how much a thermostat model can make to system performance (the details).

Admittedly, a thermostat isn’t a “detail.” It’s essential to communicating to the HVAC system. But we’ve often discovered customers looking at the thermostat as a cool doodad or gizmo and they want the fanciest one because it will do the best job. However, it doesn’t work that way. There are some important things to understand before purchasing a wireless thermostat for your heating and air conditioning system in Maryville, TN.

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Buyer Beware: Low-Cost Services Are Often Bait-and-Switch!

May 8th, 2017

service_blue_markerI’m a bit spoiled when it comes to my food. I only receive breeder-recommended dog food that comes from pet stores. It’s not that I’m a snob about dog food (although wouldn’t it be okay if I were?). It’s that the healthiest dog food comes from specialty pet stores and not from the supermarket shelves. Yes, the food at the supermarket is less expensive… but there’s a reason for that. Most of this inexpensive food contains filler with less meat and less protein. You get what you pay for when it comes to food for your pets, and don’t your pets deserve nutrition that keeps them healthy and ensure they have long lives?

This applies to HVAC companies. No, you can’t get HVAC contractors at the grocery store (I’m not even sure what aisle that would be). But during the spring, many homeowners are swamped with offers for home improvements that might sound like great deals—but are often basically the equivalent of low-cost pet food.

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Spring Cleaning Starts with Your Air Conditioning System

April 25th, 2017

air-conditioner-on-leavesI recently revealed one of the big dirty secrets of air conditioning problems: DIRT. Yes, that truly is a dirty secret. This is why spring cleaning should include—well, really should begin—with taking care of your air conditioner. You’re going to be using your home’s AC plenty during the coming months, and it’s a serious problem if the air conditioner heads into the summer heat without proper care.

You’ll need our assistance with your air conditioner in Alcoa, TN for the best performance this spring and summer, but let’s take a look at what you can check with your AC before the major heat strikes.

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Furnace Noises that Should Disturb You

April 11th, 2017

Yes, you humans jump at loud noises too!

Like almost all dogs (and cats as well), I suffer from a condition called brontophobia.  No, it’s not a fear of Brontosauruses—although it does come from the same Greek root word meaning “thunder.” Betcha didn’t expect Ol’ Olive here to be up on her classical language, right? Well, as I like to say, Amicus hominis canis! Which means a dog is a man’s best friend, and I’m sorry but I couldn’t find anything better with an Internet search.

Anyway, the point is brontophobia means “fear of loud noises.” It’s an important defense from danger if you’re a dog or a cat. But it works for you humans as well! And it especially works when it comes to a home furnace. Noises from a furnace you don’t expect to hear are often warnings the heating system isn’t working the way it should and need repairs. So without further ado, here is my list of furnace noises you don’t want to hear!

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