The Cracked Heater Exchanger in the Furnace: It MUST Be Fixed!

Monday, January 14th, 2019

An example of corrosion creating pinhole leaks in the heat exchanger.

Hi folks. I must go into the full “Serious Olive” mode. The “No Fun” Olive. Because what I’m going to talk about today is serious and no fun. It’s an important furnace safety issue that everyone here at Russell & Abbott needs our customers and potential customers to know about. It’s the cracked heat exchanger in the gas furnace. Since most homes in the area rely on gas furnaces for comfort during the winter, this is advice many people need to hear—because a cracked heat exchanger is an issue that must be fixed as soon as it’s found, or else it can lead to illness and even death in your household!

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What’s a Merry Christmas Without a Warm Furnace?

Monday, 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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You Can Never Know Too Much About Furnace Maintenance

Monday, October 22nd, 2018
autumn-background

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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Olive’s Halloween Safety for Pets

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

olive-pumpkinI love Halloween! It’s true that I’m not a black cat, I’m a black dog, and maybe that doesn’t seem as spooky for the season. But I’ve discovered that over in England, “black dogs” are famous types of ghosts who haunt creepy crossroads and crumbling castles, and they have neat names like “Padfoot” and “Barghest.” Arthur Conan Doyle used these black dog legends for his Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles, and…

Okay, I’m getting off topic. The point is, I love Halloween and so do a lot of pets. But … you need to make sure your furry family members stay safe during this time of year, because there are some potential hazards. And they don’t include spectral ghost dogs. I’ve taken some tips from Pet MD and the ASPCA for Halloween Pet Safety:

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The Most Common Summer AC Repairs

Monday, July 17th, 2017

dog-wearing-sunglassesThis is one of the busiest times of the year for me. True, I’m not the one who’ll actually take on the work of fixing your air conditioner when it’s in trouble (I may be knowledgeable about HVAC equipment, but I have this “no thumbs” thing that makes it hard for me to hold tools). But it’s the high days of summer when people need my advice the most. Nobody wants to get trapped in a hot house when their air conditioner fails! If I can give them some helpful advice to watch for potential repair issues before they get worse, then I’ll have done my important Service Dog work.

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Spring Cleaning Starts with Your Air Conditioning System

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

air-conditioner-on-leavesI recently revealed one of the big dirty secrets of air conditioning problems: DIRT. Yes, that truly is a dirty secret. This is why spring cleaning should include—well, really should begin—with taking care of your air conditioner. You’re going to be using your home’s AC plenty during the coming months, and it’s a serious problem if the air conditioner heads into the summer heat without proper care.

You’ll need our assistance with your air conditioner in Alcoa, TN for the best performance this spring and summer, but let’s take a look at what you can check with your AC before the major heat strikes.

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How to Know You Need Repairs for Your Gas Furnace

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Last week was my focus on safety post. Gas furnace safety is something that’s always on my mind. That’s not because gas furnaces are normally dangerous. But they do have the potential to become dangerous if people don’t remember to keep them regularly maintained and always call for our professionals when it’s time for repairs. Doing combustion analysis is only one part of the ways that our team works hard to make sure that the gas furnace in your house keeps your family warm and safe.

I’d like to focus on that whole “call for repairs” thing. If a furnace simply stops working, you’ll know it’s time to call someone to repair it. You don’t need a dog with a blog to tell you that! But there are other indications that a gas furnace is having trouble that people often ignore, hoping it will somehow just “take care of itself.” It won’t.

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Olive’s Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

santa-oliveIt’s that time of year again. Yep, the time when I put on a Santa Hat and pose for adorable photos!

It’s also the time when you need to make sure that your heating system is in the best working condition. So if you notice problems with your furnace, don’t wait around until your whole house of sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles are freezing. Give our experts a call, and they will be there to get your heater back in order in Alcoa, TN or wherever you live in Blount County.

It’s also the time of year when I give some important advice about protecting your pets during the holidays. It’s no coincidence that baby Jesus was surrounded by animals in the manger: animals play an important part in our lives, and it’s up to us to keep them safe during a season that’s filled with crowded homes, food that isn’t safe for them, and dangerous chilly weather.

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Olive: Super Math Dog on Essential Heat Load Calculations

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know: dog paws can manipulate calculator keys. Not the new calculators that everybody uses on their smart phones today, mind you, but the old fashioned calculators with thick keys you often saw in banks twenty years ago. I asked the staff here if I could have a calculator, and they managed to score one from a garage sale. It’s a Victor 600 series from the 1950s—it’s cool as a classic fin car! Now I can practice my math whiz skills only a short ways away from my favorite couch.

But Olive, you aren’t the company accountant! Why do you need to do math?

Good question. And I’ve got a good answer: doing the math is how we perform heat load calculations here at MK Russell & Abbott. And heat load calculations are the secret to getting a great new heating system.

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MK Russell & Abbott Celebrates National Customer Service Week!

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

It’s October! That means big heaping mounds of leaves! Towering massive wonderful crunchy piles and pyramids of leaves and I’m just going to plow through them and roll around in them until somebody stops me. Hahaha!

Huh… oh sorry, got distracted there. It’s my favorite time of the year. But that’s not only because of the leaves. This first week of October is National Customer Service week! In 1992, Congress proclaimed this as a nationally recognized event, celebrated during the first full week of October. Here’s a part from the proclamation that I particularly like:

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