It’s That Time of Year: Evaluate Your AC’s Performance

Monday, September 21st, 2020
calendar-scheduling-book

September is when I break out one of my old chestnut topics—but it’s a perennial topic for good reasons! The same way I make sure my good readers and Russell & Abbott customers know they need to schedule an air conditioning tune-up in Knoxville, TN each spring, I want you all to know that the start of fall (this week!) is a time to size-up how your air conditioning system performed over the summer.

No, I don’t want you to open the cabinet of your AC and look at it. Leave repairs to our pros. What I want you to do is ask questions about how well the central air conditioner did its job through the hottest months of the season. This will help you with future planning. And those plans may involve getting a new AC!

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Olive Explains: The Line Set for Your AC

Monday, September 7th, 2020
air-conditioning-compressors

Time for another episode where I get to put on my professor hat and explain some of the more technical parts of air conditioning. Not too technical! I promise I won’t scare you off with frightening terms, the kind that our experts at Russell & Abbott know all about so you don’t have to! Today I’m going to be looking at a critical part of your home air conditioning system, one people often don’t think about: the line set.

The Line Set Brings Together the “Split” in a “Split System” Air Conditioner

If you have a standard central AC, you know it has indoor and outdoor parts. That’s why this type of air conditioner is called a split system. But, of course, those two parts must connect at some point: the way the AC cools down your house is by circulating refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor coils, so the refrigerant needs a way to move indoors and outdoors. That’s the job of the line set.

The line set is a pair of flexible copper pipes. One is a smaller pipe called the liquid line, and the other larger one is called the suction line. The smaller of the lines carries liquid refrigerant (you probably guessed based on the name, right?) from the condenser indoors to the evaporator. The suction line carries the hot gaseous refrigerant from the indoor evaporator back to the condenser, where it will be put under pressure and start the cycle over again.

Line Set Sizing and Placement

The line set sounds straightforward: one line to bring refrigerant into the house, another to take it out to the condenser. But I think it’s important for you to know how difficult it actually is to make sure these lines are in the right place and the right size. A mistake in sizing the line set will mean an inefficient air conditioner. Many different factors in an air conditioning system will affect the size of the line set. Also important is the line set placement and the length necessary to connect the condenser to the evaporator. If an amateur tries this job, it won’t end well!

Line Set Repair and Replacement

One common central AC repair in Knoxville, TN we often do is fix refrigerant leaks that occur in the line set. Some line sets are buried and others exposed, and exposed lines can spring leaks due to damage.

When we handle an air conditioning replacement, we’ll have to make an informed decision about whether to replace the line set as well. The new air conditioner may not be able to work with the existing line set, and we’ll always put in the right line set for the system. Disreputable amateurs often won’t do this work and leave an old line set in place. However, if it isn’t necessary to put in a new line set, we won’t force one just to charge more—we’re always honest about our services!

If you have any reason to believe your AC is leaking refrigerant, please call us right away.

Stay cool,

Olive

Russell & Abbott serves Blount, Knox and Loudon Counties and the surrounding areas. Call us for AC repairs of any kind!

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Watch Out for Rusty AC Coils

Monday, July 27th, 2020

ac-coilsNobody wants anything to rust. It’s just not what you want to happen to metal! And yet, I’ve often discovered that people are willing to let “a little rust” get past them when it comes to important appliances like a central air conditioner. “After all,” they say, “What’s a little rust”?

No! I have to put my paw down on this. I’m going to tell you about the problem with rusty/corroded air conditioning coils. If you’ve found your way to my blog because you’re wondering if corroded AC coils are a problem, then you’re already ahead of the game and on your way to scheduling the air conditioning repair in Knoxville, TN to fix the problem.

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Remember to Change Your AC’s Air Filter!

Monday, July 13th, 2020

air-conditioning-units-outdoors-on-slabs

outdoor-ac-units

Hi everybody! I know you’ve probably got plenty on your mind right now, but this is the time of year when I have to bring up an important topic: changing your AC’s air filter.

I know it sounds odd to compare an air conditioning system to a pet, but this is one case where it makes sense. Pets take care of you in a special way: companionship. And you do something special for them in return: take care of their health. That means food, taking them on walks, water, taking them on walks, petting, taking them on walks, and regular trips to the vet. (Yes, I like going on walks. No, I’m not sorry to point that out!)

Your air conditioner takes care of you in a special way, and you need to take care of its “health” in return. No, put away the leash—you’re not taking your AC for a walk. You’re just going to change its air filter.

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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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Short-Cycling: Why It Happens to an Air Conditioner

Monday, June 15th, 2020

air-conditioner-evaporator-coilI have a nice pattern for my life. It’s a bit mellower than for humans, but it keeps me busy. I nap on the couch when the sunlight hits it, I go on regular walks, I have my dinner, and I’ve got my regular blogging duties.

I bring this up because I want to talk to you about what happens when a routine gets interrupted. Not your routine. Your air conditioner’s routine. During the summer, when you have the AC running, it should work in familiar patterns: turning on, running for a stretch, then turning off for another stretch before starting up again. If you keep the thermostat setting steady during the day (which I recommend), these on-and-off patterns should stay about the same. This is called the cycle of the air conditioner.

But when you notice the AC is starting and stopping far more often than normal, you may have a problem called short-cycling. Sorry to say, but this isn’t good!

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Olive Answers Questions About AC Installation

Monday, May 18th, 2020

graduate-oliveLate spring is air conditioning installation season! If you’ve been thinking about getting a new AC to replace the old, tired one in your house, now is the best time to get started—that way you can switch on the new air conditioning system and get a great flow of cool air around your home in time for our hottest and most humid Tennessee days!

It sounds like I’m making it seem so simple. And you know, it kind of is—at least when you leave the work to our awesome team. But you’ve got questions, so I’m going to put on my “Professor Olive” cap and give you the best answers I can. (The only reason I can’t give the best answer is because that answer depends on your particular situation. When you call our team about air conditioning in Knoxville, TN, they can give you those details.)

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Here’s What NOT to Do If Your AC Breaks

Monday, May 4th, 2020

sun-iconThe heat is approaching! We’re going to start seeing the spikes in warm and humid weather strike in May, and it’s time for your air conditioner to earn its keep. That also means it’s time for our great team here to support you when you’ve got an AC emergency. We’re still on the job because we know how vital it is for our clients to have working cooling systems during humid Tennessee days.

In my time as a blogger dog, I’ve heard about plenty of homeowners who make big mistakes when their AC breaks down on them. It’s understandable, but also preventable. Below I’ve listed some things I want you not to do when you’ve got major AC trouble in the coming weeks.

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“Professionalism” Is NOT a Brand: It’s How AC Repairs MUST Be Done!

Monday, April 20th, 2020

Lies that HVAC contractors tellThe word professional gets tossed around a lot in all types of fields. The simple meaning of professional you’ll find in most dictionaries is “following an occupation for the purposes of livelihood”, i.e. doing a job for a living.

But professional can mean many different things when you put it in action. When I say something here like, “You need to have professional repairs for your air conditioning when it breaks,” it doesn’t mean find just anybody who makes money fixing air conditioners. It’s not a “brand” either, which anybody can “sell.” No, professional means people who make a living at AC repair … ­­because they are the only ones who are qualified, trained, and certified to do the work right.

The short version: professional repairs are the only way to do AC repairs. Anything else puts your air conditioner at serious risk of bigger problems.

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Give Your AC Some TLC With a Tune-Up! Plus, Virtual Estimates!

Monday, April 6th, 2020

daffodilsIt’s spring, and it means the time has come around once more for you to schedule a maintenance tune-up and inspection for your air conditioner.

I’ve said it before, but it always merits saying it again each spring and fall: maintenance is the most important service that we offer. Maintenance is not a “special” you might want to add to your HVAC system once in a while. It’s not like giving a dog some extra treats. It’s like remembering to feed your dog and take it to the vet regularly. It’s important for an HVAC system to have a regular tune-up and inspection twice a year. No other service helps keep your family safer and more comfortable with your heating and cooling system, and no other service pays off so much in the long-run.

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