Watch Out for These AC Scams From Non-Professionals!

Monday, August 26th, 2019

moneyI always want to bring good news to people, because I’m one of those friendly dogs who loves to make folks happy. I’d love nothing better than to tell you all about the specials we offer and the way our team can help you enjoy better cooling in your house.

But I also have to bring bad news at times, because it helps my readers avoid bad news in the future. And the bad news I’ve got today is that not all people who work on air conditioners are as honest or as skilled as the Russell & Abbott team. In fact, there are plenty of non-pros out there who are running scams that aim to part people from their money and leave them with a bad air conditioning system.

I’ve put together a list of some of the scams you might run into. Remember, when you need real professionals who’ll give you honest work done right, just whistle and we’ll come running!

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Capacitors and Contactors: Big Deal Electric Parts of Your AC

Monday, August 12th, 2019

electrical-partsBeing an HVAC blogger dog also means knowing plenty about electrical systems. After all, electricity is what powers most home cooling systems. The standard central AC has numerous electrical parts and wires and connections and other doodads. (I know doodad is not exactly a technical term, but I think it gets the idea across.)

I want to talk to you about two electrical “doodads” that are super-duper important parts of your air conditioning system—the capacitors and the contactors. The reasons I’m bringing these ones up is that both wear down over time and may not last as long as an AC, so you may find that you need to have repairs when one of them fails.

Okay, let’s hop into these important electrical parts that keep your AC cooling your home!

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My List of the Most Common AC Repair Troubles

Monday, July 29th, 2019

checkmark-greenAugust is “late summer,” but it never seems like that to me. As an HVAC blogging dog, I know that the “serious summer” is during August and through September because this is when our team here at Russell & Abbott is the busiest fielding those important customer AC repair calls. It’s not just that it’s really hot this time of year. It’s that air conditioners have already done plenty of hard work in the early parts of the summer, so when the heat ramps up in August, they may be too worn down already.

I know I mention this a lot, but I want to sneak in another shout-out to our regular maintenance program, The Comfort Club. There’s no better way to prepare your air conditioning system for a long summer and a hassle-free August and September than through an annual spring visit from one of our team members!

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

Monday, 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 End of Summer Is No Excuse to Skip AC Repairs!

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Keep your dogs cooler than this—make sure you have your AC repaired!

Are those “dog days of summer” over yet? I’ll have to check on the constellations, I guess, but my sensitive nose can tell we’re heading toward the change of seasons. The official start of fall is a bit over a week away as I write this, and you’ll soon be hearing plenty from me about how you can best get ready for another cold season here in Tennessee.

But… we still have to talk about your air conditioning a bit. It still needs some TLC (technician loving care) at the end of the summer. It’s easy to slip into the mindset that, since the air conditioner is soon to go on its long winter vacation, it’s fine to just “crank it up and forget about it.” And if something starts to go wrong with it, “Ah, whatever, we’ll fix it in spring.”

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Cool Down at Some Hot Events!

Tuesday, 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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Some Last Words on Summer and Air Conditioning Repair

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Hello there, loyal readers! As I write this, it’s the final days of August. I’m getting prepared for Taste of Blount (aren’t you?) and looking over the upcoming schedule for our busy team here at MK Russell & Abbott. We’re about to enter into that all-important period of transition from summer to fall, from thinking about air conditioners to thinking about heaters. I’ve got a packed upcoming blog-writing calendar about the important cold weather prep you’ll need to arrange for your home.

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Ice Is Nice, But Not on Your Heat Pump or Air Conditioner

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

I bet I could be a writer for MythBusters, handling all their stories about the misunderstandings people have about air conditioning and heating in homes. Unfortunately, they’re no longer making new episodes of the program, so you’ll have to enjoy me myth-busting all on my own. (I’m sure the appeal of having a dog on the show explain air conditioning would’ve boosted their ratings!)

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Is the Cost of Coolant Making You Hot Under the Collar?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Every week during warmer weather, MK Russell & Abbott gets calls about adding coolant to air conditioning systems. “It’s time to top off my system?” and “How much is a pound of Freon?” are the questions we hear most often. (“Is Olive there?” is another one. Yes, I’m here! Check the couch.)

Now I’m a specialists a keeping cool, whether that means panting and drinking lots of water, or helping our customers understand how air conditioning works. So let me clear up a few thing: First, your air conditioning unit is a sealed system. If you are having to “top off” coolant periodically, that isn’t normal. It means that you have a leak which needs to be repaired by a qualified company before your system suffers from permanent damaged.

The second thing is the per-pound cost of coolant. If your air conditioner was manufactured before 2010, it could use an AC coolant known as R-22, or “Freon.” The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered the complete phasing out of R-22 by 2020 because of the refrigerant’s ozone-depleting properties. Manufacturers are no longer producing cooling equipment that uses R-22, and the production of R-22 itself has been reduced by more than two-thirds.

The law of supply and demand comes into play (yes, I’m also a bit of an economics dog): When a desired product is scarce, its price increases. There is talk of actually rationing Freon among contractors. A time may come when your heating/cooling company simply won’t be able to get R-22 Freon. If you’re price shopping, it may help to realize that the prices that heating/cooling companies quote you can vary significantly by company based on how much Freon they have stored and how much they paid for it when they purchased it. You can expect to pay $125 to $175 per pound at current market value, making the per-pound cost of R-22 Freon six times as high as it was before the EPA mandate.

Our philosophy at MK Russell & Abbott is to diagnose and fix the leak that has caused your coolant to be low, not just “top it off.” Don’t expect a per-pound price over the phone.

The good news is that a more environmentally friendly refrigerant called R-410A has been developed for newer air conditioning systems and it works very well. Unfortunately, the older R-22-charged units are not compatible with R-410A.

If you do find yourself in a situation where you need to replace a leaking R-22 unit with a more efficient, eco-friendly unit, we’re happy to help you find the system that is right for your home. And we offer easy, affordable financing terms. You can even pre-qualify and schedule an appointment online at

MK Russell & Abbott is here to help you with all your air conditioning needs this summer in Loudon, TN.

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Do I Need to “Top-Off” the Refrigerant in My Air Conditioner?

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Wait, hold on… before we go any further, are you actually attempting to “top-off” the refrigerant in your air conditioner? Or even considering it? Stop right now. If you are concerned that your air conditioner has less refrigerant that it needs, for any reason, you must call on professional repair technicians to look into it. Do not attempt to put refrigerant into the AC yourself.

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