We Have Ways to Solve Your IAQ Problems

Monday, October 19th, 2020
woman-with-sinus-troubles

In my last post, I wrote about indoor air quality problems you may have in your home during fall. But I know my readers don’t show up just to listen to me give them bad news. They’re looking for help from a smart dog who knows her heating and air conditioning. “I’ve got air quality issues, Olive, but what can you and the Russell & Abbott team do about them?”

Plenty, it turns out. And not just in the obvious ways—we understand that great indoor air quality in a house is connected to having a great HVAC system in prime shape. A few pricey gizmos that make big promises aren’t enough to turn around IAQ troubles. Let’s talk about real solutions!

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Indoor Air Quality Troubles You May Have in Fall

Monday, October 5th, 2020
cardboard-house-sky

Fall is a pretty season—but I’ll admit most of my bias toward the fall is that I love running into big piles of leaves! So much fun.

But I’m talking about being indoors during the fall right now, and when you’re inside your home in the fall, you may run into some indoor air quality issues that can make everything a bit more, well, sneezy. I’m going to look at some of what might be in store for your home’s air this autumn and what you can do about it.

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Olive Explains Why Indoor Air Quality Gets Bad

Monday, August 24th, 2020

air-ventWe offer services to help improve your indoor air quality in Knoxville, TN, allowing you and your family to breathe the healthiest and most comfortable air possible. If you’re wondering if this is necessary for your house, I can tell you honestly that not all homes have serious IAQ issues. But many do—and poor indoor air quality is more common today than it used to be.

Why is that? There’s a two-part explanation, and since everyone in the office is super busy working for our customers, I’m here alone to handle giving those explanations. But I live for this research stuff. Poor air quality affects pets in homes as much as it does the people! Our canine lungs don’t like dust any more than yours do.

Here are the two reasons why indoor air quality is often poor in modern homes.

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Does My Air Conditioner Also Dehumidify the House?

Monday, June 1st, 2020

flooding-roomI get plenty of questions about air conditioning systems and how they work. That’s why I have a blog! I could’ve just penned a short FAQ and then gone into retirement on my favorite couch. But I’m a hard-working blogger dog! I see great examples of hard work every day here at Russell & Abbott, and I want to do my part. I take the time to go in-depth on the questions people ask most often. And the question I’m tackling today is: “Does my AC also help dehumidify the house?”

I can answer this by dividing the question into two. “Does my AC lower humidity in my house?” The answer is yes. “Does my AC control humidity enough to make a difference to my comfort?” The answer is no.

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Leaving Your Filter in Place Can Make Your Home’s Air Worse

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Greetings everyone! I get plenty busy during fall because this is the season when I look down my long list of topics to help our customers prepare for the winter. Dogs have “winter prep” pretty easy, because we come equipped with a nice fur coat. People have a touch more work to do, such as having their furnaces professionally tuned-up and taking care of spots where their homes can lose heat easily.

In all this hustle before winter weather, people (and this includes you, dear reader) may forget one simple task for their HVAC system—changing the air filter for a new one. I talk about changing the air filter plenty of times on my blog. Usually I focus on how routine air filter changes help the HVAC system perform at higher energy efficiency and provide better levels of heating and cooling. Today, I’m turning to a side-effect of a clogged filter people may not realize: it can make a home’s indoor air quality worse!

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Humidity Can Do More Than Just Make You Feel Hotter

Monday, May 6th, 2019

toxic-mildew-and-moldYou may have heard that we dogs don’t sweat like you humans do. I can tell you, it’s true! We still need to release heat from our bodies when it’s hot, but we go about it a different way. Instead of sweating all through our skin, we sweat through our noses and our paw pads. But mostly, we get rid of all the extra heat in our body by panting. And getting rid of heat is the whole point of sweating!

And this brings me to my important topic today: humidity. We get plenty of that here in East Tennessee during the summer, and it makes the hot weather feel even hotter. This is because it’s harder to release heat through sweat when there’s already too much moisture in the air.

But did you know that humidity can cause other problems than just making the weather muggier? When indoor relative humidity climbs above 60%, you can face trouble like this:

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Olive the Science Hound on Why Humidity Makes You Feel Hot

Monday, 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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Spring Has Sprung: What You Need to Know about Allergies and Air Filters

Monday, March 27th, 2017

pleated-air-filterIt’s spring time! We have officially moved from the winter to the spring. The temperatures may not reflect it all the time, but we’re on the upward slope toward warmer weather.

And we’re also in allergy season. Sorry, but there is a downside to spring arriving! As plants start to bloom with the warmer temperatures, the pollen count in the air rises—and this is bad news for people who suffer from allergies. And with the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve experienced recently, a lot of blossoms are already putting pollen into the East Tennessee air.

I know quite a bit about allergies because there are people who are allergic to me. Spring allergies are a bit different than dog-dander allergies, but the effect on people is similar: wheezing, congestion, eye and nose irritation, headaches, and generally feeling “icky” (a medical term I looked up). And making it worse is that we live in the allergy capital of the South! That’s not something you’ll find on the town website, but it’s true.

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The Forgotten “V” in HVAC: Why Home Ventilation Is Important

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Some things belong in airtight containers, like coffee and a half-finished can of dog food. (I can taste the difference, believe me!) But most things need to have a bit of breathing room—and that includes your home.

If you’re starting to say, “But my home isn’t airtight! There’s doors and windows…”, don’t worry. I don’t mean airtight like your home is sealed up in a gigantic Ziploc bag. But you may be surprised to find out that the level of insulation on your home designed to make it as energy efficient as possible can also lead to poor indoor air quality, particularly in winter.

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Benefits of Having a Whole-House Humidifier

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

I’m not sure if you know this about me and my species, but we don’t sweat the same way you humans do. In fact, dogs in general have a different relationship to humidity, and much of it has to do with our fur and our smaller number of sweat glands.

But make no mistake, even though I’m a dog, I am well studied up on how the human body works when it comes to comfort. It’s my job, after all! This is why I’d like to talk to you about dry air and using a whole-house humidifier.

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