ABC Blog

5 Money-Saving Secrets to Lowering Energy Costs

In an economy that begs you to save money wherever you can, you should strongly consider ways to become more efficient with your use of energy. By making a few small tweaks, you can save a considerable amount of money going forward. Here are five money-saving secrets that will have you reaping the financial benefits all year long.

1. Use a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats will enable you to save money in a few crucial ways. Because these thermostats are designed to turn on or off automatically, you will not have to worry about running your heating and cooling systems for extended periods of time. To reduce your utility bills even more, try to set your thermostat a bit cooler during the winter. A difference of a few degrees can lead to extra cash each month.

2. Subscribe to a Maintenance Plan

To maximize the efficiency of your home heating system, you should subscribe … Read Full Post »

Winter Prep Tips for Your HVAC System

At ABC Houston, we understand that our friends and neighbors depend on their furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps to get through the winter months. The more prepared your system is, the more comfortable you’ll be. Here are eight steps to prepare your HVAC system for the heating season.

1. Get Reversible Ceiling Fans

During the cooling season, fans help your air conditioners run efficiently by circulating the air that collects near the ceiling. During the heating season, a fan with a reverse setting can do the same for your furnace. For best results, invest in an Energy Star-rated fan.

2. Use a Humidifier

If your home has a forced-air heating system, you’ll find that your indoor air may become uncomfortably dry. A humidifier will help you breathe easier by replacing that lost moisture.

3. New Filters

A dirty filter reduces the efficiency of your furnace by blocking air flow and may lead to other maintenance problems. … Read Full Post »

Air Conditioning History Timeline

air conditioning history timeline

It’s hard to imagine a hot Texas summer with sweltering temperatures consistently topping 100 degrees without air conditioning. As citizens of a modern world, perhaps we’ve become spoiled in our expectations of daily amenities, and this got us thinking: who was the genius that invented the modern air conditioning system?

That question turned out to be a little more difficult to answer than we thought. The “invention” of air conditioning was not so much one single “Aha!” moment, but rather several ideas over a few hundred years that got us to the modern HVAC system that we all know and love. Below is a brief air conditioning history timeline to explain how the air conditioner parts and functions have evolved.

Ancient Egypt: Where It All Got Started?

Ancient Egyptians are vaguely credited as being the first to use evaporative cooling by hanging wet cloth or reeds in windows and doorways. As the wind blew … Read Full Post »

Use the Sun to Cool Your Home This Summer

With another scorching San Antonio summer approaching, you’re probably not looking forward to seeing your electric bills escalate from using your air conditioner. We have a solution that can not only lower your power bills, but also use those sizzling rays to your advantage: a cooling system powered by solar panels.

How Solar Panels Work

Our cooling systems work with photovoltaic panels, also called PV panels, which consist of silicon and non-reflective glass. The PV panels harness and store photons from the sun’s rays and then convert these particles into electrical power. Similar to a battery, the PV panel first converts the photons into DC power, which is sent to an inverter that converts it to AC power that can be used to run an air conditioning unit, as well as other household devices.

How Solar-Powered Cooling Systems Work

Most of our residential customers choose a grid-tied PV system, which uses a combination of … Read Full Post »

Stay Comfortable While Lowering Utility Bills

When cooler temperatures arrive, it can be tempting to turn up the heat in order to keep your home warm and comfortable. While raising the thermostat will keep your house warmer, you will also pay more in utility costs. However, by making some simple changes, you may be able to use less energy and still maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. Here are a few tips for lowering your utility costs and saving energy.

Inspect Your Windows and Doors

Even the smallest cracks around your doors and windows can let cold air into your home and cause your HVAC unit to run more often in order maintain the ideal temperature. Inspect the areas around your windows and doors for signs of cracks or drafts. Sealing the area will help your unit to run more efficiently and make it easier to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home.

Change Your Air Filters

To keep … Read Full Post »

Best Temperature For AC To Save Money: Tips And Tricks

Best Temperature for AC to Save Money

Summers in Texas are longer and hotter than in other areas of the United States. This increased use of air conditioning is one of the primary factors in the increased spending on electricity and natural gas, which means homeowners have less money to spend on other things. It’s not all bad news, though. With the help of some money saving tips and techniques for coping with increased summer temperatures in central Texas, you can save some of your hard earned income. Read on to learn more about the best temperature for AC to save money. By following these simple tips, you can have some extra spending money to use to pay for items your family will really enjoy.

Raise The Temperature

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends keeping the indoor temperature of your home at 78 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce your electricity bill. Although this might seem high at first, it is a … Read Full Post »

Is it Worth Switching to a Tankless Water Heater?

Average Cost of Heating Water

Expenses for air conditioning and heating in San Antonio can be costly and the energy used to heat water can be expensive as well. About 20% of an average family’s energy consumption goes to heating water for household activities like dishwashing, clothes washing, showering, and bathing. Traditional water heaters that store water can cost around $450 to operate every year and about 20% of that cost goes to waste year after year. Those conventional water heaters waste energy because they keep heating water in storage tanks even when nobody is using the water.

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

  • You may qualify for a tax credit if you install an efficient water heater in your home.
  • When you turn on a tap, a tankless unit will supply hot water within five seconds.
  • You never run out of hot water with a tankless heater.
  • A tankless heater requires much less space and … Read Full Post »

What Type of Maintenance Does My Heating and Cooling System Need?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency and its affiliated programs, the average American household pays approximately $2,200 per year on energy. Nearly half of this amount, they report, is put toward the cost of heating and cooling homes. That unbelievable number, however, can be significantly lowered with proper HVAC maintenance and service throughout the year.

Higher energy bills aren’t the only consequence of infrequent maintenance work. The primary cause of equipment failure and diminished performance in heating and cooling systems is neglect. The buildup of dust and fine particles of debris that gather within ducts and equipment can cause irreparable damage to the entire system. Changing your unit’s filter regularly, particularly during the winter and summer, can help to prevent this type of damage, but filter replacement is never intended to stand in the place of professional checkups and maintenance.

Hiring an experienced San Antonio HVAC specialist is the first … Read Full Post »

Easy Ways to Avoid San Antonio HVAC Maintenance

As energy bills rise, it’s tempting to look for the single solution that will shave off a large part of your heating bill, but there are numerous ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home. With these simple and inexpensive San Antonio HVAC maintenance solutions, you can keep those heating bills from rising – even in the cold holiday season!



The most obvious way to reduce your fuel use is to turn down the thermostat. Think of it as a valve between your fuel supplier and your wallet. For every degree you turn it down, you will use up to 3 percent less heating energy. A 10-degree setback overnight or while you’re at work will cut your heating bill by up to 10 percent. Keep in mind that it doesn’t take long to heat your home to a comfortable level – only about 15 minutes. Never adjust the … Read Full Post »

EPA Duct Sealing Tips


Many homeowners choose to hire a professional contractor for duct improvement projects. Most heating and cooling equipment contractors also repair ductwork.

Look for a contractor that will:

  • Inspect the whole duct system, including the attic, crawlspace, garage and basement as needed.
  • Evaluate the system’s supply and return air balance. Many systems have air return ducts that are too small.
  • Repair damaged and disconnected ducts and straighten out flexible ducts that are tangled or crushed.
  • Seal all leaks and connections with mastic, metal tape, or an aerosol-based sealant.
  • Seal all registers and grills tightly to the ducts.
  • Insulate ducts in unconditioned areas with duct insulation that carries an R-value of 6 or higher.
  • Include a new filter as part of any duct system improvement.
  • Evaluate air flow after repairs are completed.
  • Ensure there is no backdrafting of gas or oil-burning appliances, and conduct a combustion safety test after ducts are sealed.


In houses with forced-air heating and … Read Full Post »