The True Cost of Home Insecurity

Why a home security system is a sound investment for your property

You should feel that your home is secure whether or not you’re in the house. Without a home security system, however, your Austin property may be vulnerable to break-ins. Professional installation of a state-of-the-art system offers many benefits for you and your family.

Keeps Possessions Safe

The number one reason for a security system is to prevent break-ins and theft. Burglars who hear an alarm when they enter a home know it’s only a matter of time before the police arrive and will usually make a quick getaway without taking anything. Simply having a sign or a sticker outside your home declaring it’s protected by an alarm can help deter potential thieves.

Cheaper Insurance

Safeguarding your home with a security system means your insurance company won’t have to worry as much about potential burglaries. Thus, you can enjoy as much as a 20% … Read Full Post »

Winter Ahead! Is Your HVAC System Ready?

Ensuring that your heating system makes it through the Austin winter

When the chilly days of winter roll in, you don’t want to be worrying about your heating system. Keeping your home’s HVAC in top condition for the coldest months helps guarantee that you and your family stay warm throughout the season.

Getting Your HVAC Ready for Winter

There are several things you can do to prepare your heating system to tackle winter temperatures. One of the most important is to make sure that all components are clean. Start by cleaning or replacing the filter if necessary. Check the air vents to make sure that they’re allowing for proper flow. Blockage or restriction anywhere in the system reduces efficiency and can negatively affect the air quality in your home.

Blower doors should also be checked to determine if the seals are sound. This component of your HVAC system is designed to keep gasses from … Read Full Post »

Simple Guidelines for Selecting a New Water Heater

How to find the right model without paying too much

When properly maintained, your home’s water heater can provide a decade or more of dependable service. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. If your water heater is on its last legs and needs to be replaced, you’ll need to determine which type and brand of heater is right for your home. Here are a few guidelines that you should follow as you make your decision.

Selection Criteria

According to the Department of Energy, you need to base your water heater selection on several key factors:

•    The upfront and ongoing (annualized) cost of the device
•    The size and heating power of the device as it relates to the size and water use of your house
•    The overall efficiency of the device
•    The type of fuel used by the heater

Fuel Types

On the matter of fuel, it’s important to note that not all … Read Full Post »

Are You Overwatering Your Lawn?

Stop drowning the grass and start practicing smart irrigation

Proper lawn care is all about balance. While it’s a good idea to give the grass a drink when it’s looking parched, overdoing it can lead to a host of problems that leave the lawn looking worse than before you watered.

Signs of Overwatering

How can you tell if you’ve been watering too often? One sign is the development of excess thatch. This layer of shallow-rooted plant material is routinely broken down on healthy lawns but can take over in the presence of too much water. Overwatering discourages grass from putting down deep roots, allowing thatch to thrive. Weeds that like damp areas may take up residence as well.

Watering too often promotes the growth of fungus which may appear as bright colors or brown spots. Dampness attracts insect pests that eat away at healthy grasses both above and below the ground, leaving unsightly damage … Read Full Post »

Often-Forgotten Care Tips for Your Washer and Dryer

Save money and stay safe by maintaining your appliances

The National Fire Protection Association reports that America’s washers and dryers sparked nearly 17,000 fires during 2010. The flames destroyed property worth over $230 million. Laundry appliances will operate more safely and last longer if you set aside time to maintain them. These care tips can prevent serious water leaks, fires, explosions, and clothing damage:

1. Inadequate dryer cleaning causes the majority of fires. People often check lint filters but neglect other components. It’s best to disconnect the exhaust duct every 12 months and remove any debris that has accumulated. Clean around the dryer’s motor with a vacuum cleaner.

2. Most importantly, remember to remove lint from the external dryer vent at least once every 180 days. Clean it more often if you have a large family. This will prevent lint fires and ensure that your dryer doesn’t overheat. You can find this vent … Read Full Post »

How Much Money Can You Save with a Heating Upgrade?

Reducing Your Austin Area Heating Bill with a new HVAC System

Austin’s average low temperature might not get much lower than 41°, but this is still more than cold enough to need energy-efficient heating. After all, there’s no viable reason to purposefully pay more for your energy bill than necessary, and it’s also much more eco-friendly to take steps to reduce your energy consumption. Fortunately, there are many techniques that you can utilize to save money and adopt a green approach within your home.

The Perks of Upgrading Your HVAC System

Many people are hesitant to replace their HVAC unit because of the one-time cost that is associated with this process. Sadly, this shows a lack of forethought because the reality is that you can save enough money on your monthly bills to justify the expense within just a few years. In fact, any HVAC unit that is more than 20 years old … Read Full Post »

Unexpected Bee Problems to Be on the Lookout for in Austin

Going Beyond the Sting

When was the last time you suffered a bee sting? For your sake, we hope that it has been a while. Although everyone learns to avoid direct contact with bees at a young age, it seems like these hardy pollinators just can’t keep their wings—and stingers—off of us. What’s more, you might be surprised to learn that bees cause lots of issues that have nothing to do with their ability to inflict pain.

Burrowing Carpenter Bees

If you’ve found some unexplained holes in the side of your house, you might be dealing with a carpenter bee infestation. Unlike honey bees, this species likes to burrow into wood and set up colonies in fully sheltered locations. The potential damage to your home may be further compounded by the presence of hungry woodpeckers that dig deep into your exterior walls in search of tasty larvae. The best course of action is … Read Full Post »

Bobby Jenkins Spoke at AARO Rally to Promote School Attendance

School Attendance Affects Everyone

Do you have kids? If you do, you understand how important the issue of school attendance can be. After all, every day a kid spends in school is a day they’re learning a new skill. It’s also a day they’re not getting into trouble out on the streets. Unfortunately, central Texas has a pretty serious problem with preventable school absences. That’s why Bobby Jenkins (pictured far left), the president and CEO of ABC Home & Commercial Services, recently spoke at an event to raise awareness of the issue.

Who’s Bobby Jenkins and What Did He Say?

As the president of ABC Home & Commercial Services, Bobby Jenkins inspires and guides the highly skilled employees and technicians who have worked for this family-focused business since its beginning. He’s also fully committed to the welfare and prosperity of folks across central Texas.

At a September 3 rally hosted by the E3 Alliance, … Read Full Post »

ABC Named “Best Pest Control” in Austin Chronicle

Service with a smile really does get you noticed

At ABC Home & Commercial Services, we’ve been taking care of our customers since our founding. Homeowners and business owners across the Austin area have been good to us, and we make sure to give back whenever possible. That’s why it’s so gratifying to hear that we’ve been named among the best pest control services in the city by the Austin Chronicle.

Why Are We the Best?

Talk about a loaded question. According to the Chronicle, the “60+ years ABC has been tending to Austin’s residential and commercial needs have given them a definitive advantage over the pests that plague us.” It’s true that our experience is a real asset. We currently employ several generations of pest control specialists, each of whom can learn something from the others.

The Chronicle goes on to say that “the new generation of bug busters [at ABC] continues the … Read Full Post »

The Importance of Pruning Shrubs and Trees

Don’t let your property’s vegetation get out of control

There are plenty of reasons not to prune back the trees and shrubs that populate your property: You might like the privacy that they provide or enjoy lounging in their shade on warm days; you might even be a fan of the “natural look” that’s so popular these days. However, most Austin-area homeowners let their vegetation get out of control simply because they’re too busy to take care of it themselves. We can help with that. Here are a few good reasons why pruning is a good idea in the first place.

It’s Good for Their Health

It sounds counter-intuitive, but smaller, less densely vegetated plants, shrubs and trees tend to be healthier than their overgrown counterparts. Spaced-out leaves allow more sunlight to reach beyond the canopy and nourish every single leaf. The same principle applies to rainwater: If leaves are too dense, plants’ … Read Full Post »