Olive's Blog Olive's Blog

Keeping Your AC from the Junkyard (“What Do You Do With an Old AC?”)

October 8th, 2018

dumped-ac-units-scrapyardFall, the time when the air is filled with the sounds of people tossing old air conditioners into the scrapheaps, creating a pleasing metal clang

Okay, I’m making that up. However, fall is a time of the year when many homeowners decide to make changes to their HVAC systems, and that often means having the AC replaced. Of course, we would rather you didn’t have to do that, and we’re making it easier than ever with our “Dirty Secret” campaign: we’re offering our 21-Point Energy and Repair Saver System Tune-Up for only $97 for a limited time. That’s a huge savings off the regular price—and you’ll receive the benefit of keeping your AC from ending up sent to the scrapyard too early.

But that brings up an interesting question, one I often hear: “Hey Olive, do you just throw that old air conditioner into the junkyard?” I’m not a “junkyard dog,” but I am an HVAC expert dog, so I can tell you … the short answer is, “no.” The long answer is interesting, if you’d care to hang with me…

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

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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Fall Is the Right Time to Upgrade Your Air Conditioning System

September 23rd, 2018

onyx-unitI just stuck my sensitive canine nose out the door to test the weather. Yep, it’s still pretty warm out there. But my nose can also sense the approaching change in the weather. It might not be obvious to your human noses yet, but you’ll soon see that change in color in the leaves. (I don’t have the best color vision, but my spectacular sense of smell and hearing really make up for it!)

So what’s this mean for your air conditioning, you want to know? I mean, if it’s soon going to cool down out here, why worry about it? First, it’s important to remember that AC repair in Knoxville, TN is still important as long as you’re running the AC. Second, we’ve got an offer at Russell & Abbott that makes this fall a fantastic time to upgrade your old AC system to something great.

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

September 13th, 2018

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 RussellAndAbbott.com or call (865) 982-5133 and ask to speak to an equipment replacement specialist.

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Olive’s Tips for Making the Most of the End of Summer With Your AC

September 10th, 2018

dont-forget-post-itSeptember always sounds like it’s the fall. The summer months are June, July, and August, after all. But summer doesn’t officially end until the third week of September—and it’s not like the weather pays much attention to actual calendar dates anyway. My point is: we’re still enjoying warm and sometimes hot weather here in East Tennessee, and our air conditioning systems are going to keep doing steady post-Labor Day labor.

As a professional HVAC blogger dog, I’ve gotten to know air conditioners well over the last few summers. I have tips on how you can make the most of your AC during its “2018 September Farewell Tour” before it goes off on fall and winter vacation. Follow this advice to help the air conditioner system stay in good shape and keep your utility bills under control.

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The “Repair or Replace” Question Gets Easier With Our Onyx Equipment Offer!

August 27th, 2018

onyx_logoI recently watched a movie in theaters (as a local celebrity, I get discounts) about how humans and dogs first became friends. The movie shows how we dogs helped humans survive and have better lives. I now feel super-empowered, and I want to make sure I’m doing my canine part to improve the lives of the humans around me and make their struggles easier.

So I’m going to help you with one of the big struggles you and your fellow humans face: Should you repair or replace your old HVAC equipment?

Answering this question is much easier thanks to a tool we can offer you here at Russell & Abbott: right now you can save up to $500 off Onyx Equipment. This makes installing new equipment—the best new equipment—easier and more affordable than ever. If you’re on the edge about whether you should go ahead and retire your old AC or heater, but don’t know if it’s exactly the best choice for your budget, this offer is what you’ve been waiting for.

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Questions to Ask Your HVAC Contractor

August 13th, 2018

technician-shaking-handsI was recently reading articles about questions you should always ask your veterinarian. Like: “Is my pet a healthy weight?” “What flea and tick medication do you recommend?” “Am I feeding my pet the best food?” One question I didn’t notice on these lists was, “Hey, are you a real vet? Do you have a veterinarian’s degree?” And the reason that I didn’t see that question is that you don’t really need to ask it. To get a veterinarian practice started, you must have a degree in the field otherwise you’ll be in serious trouble.

But it’s different in the HVAC field: plenty of people who aren’t licensed or insured masquerade as experts. These are the “Chucks in a Truck” I’ve talked about before—and you don’t want Chuck working on your AC or heating or it could mean serious trouble for your comfort, or worse you may end up liable for damages.

This is why, when I started to think of questions you should ask your HVAC contractor, the first one that came to mind was…

Are you licensed and insured?

A true professional HVAC contractor will be licensed with the state, and that means they are also insured. Licensing means more than just “has the skill to do the job.” It also means a required level of insurance that protects you, the client, in case the contractor causes damage to your property during the work or one of the contractor’s employees sustains an injury. No licensed contractor will mind showing you evidence of licensing and insurance! We’re certainly glad to show that you can trust us!

Now, onto a few other important questions …

How much experience do you have in the industry?

It’s possible for a new contractor to provide quality work—but odds are much stronger on the side of a contractor with many years of history. It’s both a sign of skill and of customer satisfaction. A company with years of history probably has the trust of the community in general.

Do you have guarantees and warranties? How do they work?

If an HVAC contractor is confident in the work its technicians and other employees provide, they’ll back it up with guarantees and warranties. For example, we offer a great 10-10-10 warranty for our own Onyx equipment: that’s 10 years parts, 10 years labor, 10 years maintenance. We provide this because we know our Onyx equipment is that good!

Do you have references from other clients?

It’s a good idea to here straight from other satisfied customers so you know you’re talking to a contractor that people depend on! Any contractor worth hiring will gladly provide you with references.

Feel free to ask our great team any questions you have about our services! We’re licensed and insured, have a long history behind us, have the guarantees and warranties to put your mind at ease, and have some of the happiest customers around. We want you to trust us with your air conditioning service in Knoxville, TN and elsewhere in our service area.

Stay cool,

Olive

Ask us anything about your AC and heating needs! Russell & Abbott serves Blount, Knox, and Loudon Counties and the surrounding areas.

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Miranda Clark Receives Scholarship from Russell & Abbott

August 2nd, 2018

Miranda Clark receives the Russell & Abbott from President Chris Hurley.

Miranda Clark of Maryville is the recipient of Russell & Abbott Heating and Cooling’s essay contest. She received a $500 scholarship toward tuition and books. “The essay topic was about the importance of online reviews for service-based businesses such as heating and cooling companies, and how to engage positive feedback,” said Chris Hurley, Russell & Abbott President. “Miranda did a very good job with her analysis, suggestions and written presentation of her ideas.”

Clark, a 2016 graduate of William Blount High School, is the daughter of John and Kristy Clark, and is a rising junior at the University of Tennessee—Knoxville where she is majoring in accounting. Russell & Abbott Heating and Cooling, now in its 41st year of operation, provides residential heating and air conditioning services in Blount, Knox and Loudon counties. The company is the exclusive vendor for Onyx equipment, which is designed for optimal performance in the East Tennessee climate. Russell & Abbott is located at 2124 East Broadway Ave. in Maryville, directly across from Food City. Business hours are 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, about Russell & Abbott, visit www.RussellAndAbbott.com or go to Facebook.

Click Here to Read the Winning Essay

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Our Slow Season Means Savings for You on Our Onyx Equipment!

August 1st, 2018

onyx-equipment-and-oliveHeads up everybody who 1) wants great air conditioning and heating, and 2) wants to save money on great air conditioning and heating!

I’m guessing that’s just about everybody reading this. Who wants a poor comfort system and end up paying more for it? (Well, maybe a cat. I have never understood cats.)

Starting August 1 and for a limited time, we’re offering $500 off our Onyx Equipment!

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Olive the Science Hound on Why Humidity Makes You Feel Hot

July 30th, 2018

graduate-oliveA good HVAC dog is also a dog who’s up on her science facts. Science is behind everything when it comes to heating and cooling a home. When I explain about how our expert team picks the right size of AC for your home, there’s some serious science behind it. When I talk you about the best temperatures to set your thermostat so you can save money, it backed up by the science of heat loss and heat gain.

Today I’m going to get into some serious science, because I’m putting the science upfront. I’m going to explain one of those mysteries of climate: why does humidity make a hot day feel hotter?

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