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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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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Please Don’t Put Off Late Season AC Repairs for Next Year!

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

wrenchesThis is an important reminder I bring up this time of year because staying on top of repairs for an air conditioning system makes a huge difference for the future of your cooling as well as your budget.

I’ll start with the best kind of analogy I know—a pet analogy! Let’s say you have a loveable pet dog (if you don’t, please look into adopting one!). One day you notice your happy pooch is acting sluggish, or not eating as much, or anything else that seems out of the ordinary. You can choose to wait and just hope the problem goes away. Or you can schedule an appointment with your trusted vet. Which is the better option? The second one, obviously! Waiting on an illness is never a good idea.

I know that you don’t love your air conditioning the same way you love your pets. But you do love what an air conditioner does for you in the summer, and you probably also love having lower utility bills each month and not having to spend money where it’s unnecessary. Because of all this, please always move fast to have air conditioning repair in Loudon, TN done, even if fall weather is right around the corner.

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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

dog-at-fan

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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