Olive's Blog Olive's Blog

What’s a Merry Christmas Without a Warm Furnace?

December 17th, 2018

santa-oliveI love this time of year—when I can go running into snow banks, muzzle first, and everybody wants to snap pictures of it and share it online. Let me tell you folks, if you’ve never gotten to be a dog for Christmas, I highly recommend it! You get a fur coat and people want to put Santa hats on you and shower you with attention.

Now I know you can’t actually get to be a dog for a season—and you don’t really need to have a thick coat of fur when you’re indoors because you have a furnace to keep the holidays merry and bright and warm. A furnace isn’t exactly a festive item. After all, nobody puts tinsel and other decorations on their furnace. (And they absolutely shouldn’t! This can create a fire hazard.) But if you lost the use of your furnace during the holidays, you wouldn’t have much of a merry Christmas. Not when your home is as cold as old Scrooge’s place!

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Reminder: “Let It Snow” Means Free HVAC Equipment If It Snows on Christmas!

December 3rd, 2018

onyx-equipment-presentThis is Olive, doing my End of November Check-In to make sure you know about our big “Let It Snow” promotion.

Here’s the simple pitch: If it snows on Christmas this year, you get free HVAC equipment!

The longer pitch: If you purchase new HVAC equipment from us between now and December 20, 2018, and it snows more than two inches on Christmas Day (that’s as measured at McGhee Tyson Airport), then your purchase is free! That’s right, a total of zero dollars and zero cents, not a single dog biscuit!

Now as we’re getting closer to the Big Day and you’re doing some heavy thinking about shopping—such as shopping for a new heater and air conditioner—you may want to know a bit more about the odds. The current weather forecast from WVLT in Knoxville is predicting a 15% chance of snow on Christmas. Of course, that could go up in the next few weeks. But a 15% chance of getting a free HVAC system are good odds.

And there’s no downside, because no matter what, you end up with terrific new heating and cooling equipment to help see you through many years of comfort!

If you want more information about “Let It Snow” or to schedule any heating service in Maryville, TN or elsewhere in our service area, reach out to us today!

Stay Warm (But Hope for Snow!)


Schedule great comfort services with Russell & Abbott. Offering service in Blount, Knox, and Loudon Counties and the surrounding areas.

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A Thanksgiving Reminder and Some Furnace Health Tips

November 19th, 2018

fall-cornucopiaOlive here getting in early on wishing you a happy Thanksgiving—and also reminding you to check out a holiday safety post about Thanksgiving food and your pets I wrote last year. The short version: Don’t use your pets like a garbage disposal after Thanksgiving feasting! Not all of those leftovers are healthy for dogs and cats, and many can be downright dangerous. Stuffing, the seasoning on turkey skin, grapes, artificial sweeteners, meat bones, and any kind of chocolate are all out of the question. Please help make this season a happy one for your household and your pets with this simple guide.

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Let’s Talk Gas Furnace Safety: Combustion Analysis

November 5th, 2018

furnace-oldI have plenty of important roles as the HVAC blogger dog for Russell & Abbott and the community we serve. I keep people informed about ways to save energy with their air conditioning systems, how to improve their heating during the winter, ways to boost their air quality. I even occasionally offer advice about pets—hey, it’s the least I can do for my furry brothers and sisters!

But there’s no HVAC blogging job that’s more important to me, or a subject more important to our Russell & Abbott team than SAFETY. We want all of our customers to have HVAC systems that keep them safe as well as comfortable. That’s why we make combustion analysis an essential part of our service for furnaces.

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Let It Snow! Free HVAC Equipment If It Snows on December 25!

November 1st, 2018

onyx-equipment-presentHave you got your Halloween decorations stashed away and extra candy kept somewhere safe? (I.e. where your dogs can’t get to it? Chocolate is not good for me and my canine pals!) Then that must mean it’s already time to start thinking about the festive winter season.

No, I’m not here to get you stressed early about Christmas shopping. I’m here to make part of your season easier and possibly less expensive. This year we’re again holding our special Let It Snow! event. This is our way of embracing the holiday spirit and the season of giving!

If you purchase HVAC equipment from us between 11/1/18 and 12/20/18, and it snows two inches on Christmas Day (as measured at McGhee Tyson Airport), your purchase is FREE.

If you want more details about our HVAC equipment or you want to schedule installation service, call our offices today. If you’re looking for a new heating option for the coming winter, there’s never been a better time to arrange for it!

Stay warm (and hope for snow),


Russell & Abbott provides heating services in Maryville, Knoxville, Alcoa, Blount County, Knox County and Loudon County.

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You Can Never Know Too Much About Furnace Maintenance

October 22nd, 2018

autumn background

If you follow my blog (and hey, thanks!), then you know one of my favorite fall topics is furnace maintenance. I don’t do this just because I find it interesting—although I do—but because few parts of the job our team at Russell & Abbott do are more important for the comfort and safety of our clients than regular furnace maintenance.

What Does Furnace Maintenance Actually Do?

Plenty! The gas furnaces built today are durable and have high safety standards. Our own Onyx equipment is a good example of this.

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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 …


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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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