ABC Blog

Pests in the Attic

Animals and other urban wildlife are always looking for places to breed, store food and hide from predators. Unfortunately, some creatures may choose to take up residence in your attic. They use vents and other small openings to gain entry. Some of them stay inside the attic; others leave during the night to search for food.

An assortment of pests live in attics. They include various insects, rodents, birds and bats. Some raccoons and opossums also appreciate the shelter that an attic provides. Most of these creatures are nocturnal and can carry small parasites, such as fleas and ticks.

Pests often damage the attic and eventually harm other parts of the home. Rodents may chew on telephone or electrical wires. Some animals destroy insulation or air ducts. Raccoons can even tear holes through the roof. This kind of destruction may cause major water leaks or a fire.

Pests can also defecate and urinate … Read Full Post »

Home Invaders: Which Species of Roaches Infest the Indoors?

The hot, humid environment in Texas provides an ideal breeding ground for many insect species, including one of the most hated pests, the cockroach. Several roach species live primarily outdoors and go unnoticed due to their nocturnal habits, but some of these creepy insects enter the home and establish populations within walls or other dark hiding spots. Pest control in Houston is important for residents to eliminate and control these bugs that harbor inside buildings.

Common Roach Species in Houston

German cockroaches are the small species that cause the most problems indoors. Due to their ability to eat anything, hide in tiny crevices and breed at a rapid rate, Houston pest control companies utilize several tactics to eliminate these insects. German roaches live exclusively indoors while contributing to germ distribution, allergies and asthma. American cockroaches are startling when spotted because of their large size. Living both inside homes and outdoors, they are … Read Full Post »

Landscape Lighting Meets Efficiency and Practicality

Landscape lighting can add an elegant touch to an outdoor space, but many homeowners are unaware that this aesthetic feature can also offer functional benefits. Choosing lighting with high-tech features can boost the practicality of lighting and offer energy efficiency.

Energy Sources

Homeowners have a variety of lighting sources to choose from when shopping for outdoor lighting that can highlight beautiful landscaping. Buildipedia.com explains that there are three main energy sources when it comes to outdoor lighting: solar power, electricity and gas.

  • Solar power is energy-efficient because it uses the power of the sun instead of requiring a homeowner to pay for a power source. However, solar power is only reliable in areas that receive a lot of sun during the day on a regular basis.
  • Electricity is hard-wired to the home to provide reliable power, but this option can be expensive.
  • Gas is reliable and provides an aesthetic bonus by making outdoor lighting appear … Read Full Post »

Beware Counterfeit Christmas Lights!

As the holiday season approaches, many Texans will buy new Christmas lights. Sadly, there are a number of serious risks associated with purchasing and installing these decorations. Counterfeit holiday lighting products can cause fires and electrical shocks. Faulty power cords and slippery roofs add to the danger.

Dangerous Lights

Counterfeit Christmas lights usually have poorly manufactured wiring. Although the lights may function properly, the wires can overheat, melt or catch fire at any time. It is often difficult for shoppers to identify counterfeit Christmas lights. Fraudulent brand names, certifications and seals of approval appear on many of the packages.

A variety of retailers sell counterfeit Christmas lights. Some store owners aren’t aware that counterfeiters produce the lights. Such items remain common at discount shops, flea markets and online auctions. Occasionally, they also turn up at yard sales and thrift shops. Some vendors sell them on the street.

Non-counterfeit Christmas lights can also be dangerous. … Read Full Post »

Use Federal Energy Tax Credits for Solar Energy Systems

Converting your home to rely on solar energy helps reduce your impact on the environment while lowering the cost of your electric bill. In the long term, solar power will help save you money and secure sustainable and independent power for your home. It can be expensive to install, however, and this up-front cost is a deterrent for many people who are considering alternative power.

Fortunately, the federal government is helping to reduce the financial impact of Austin solar panel installation by offering tax credits. Until December 31, 2016, all homeowners who make the switch to solar power can enjoy a 30% tax credit with no upper limit. This tax credit applies to both newly constructed homes and upgrades to existing homes. In addition to photovoltaic panel installation, the tax credit applies to other solar upgrades, such as solar water heaters. Any energy-efficient change you make to your home can potentially … Read Full Post »

Houston is a Prime Target for Solar Power

During the summer, Houston can hit triple digit temperatures. Homeowners spend hundreds each month cranking up their air conditioners. Instead of purchasing electricity from the power company, homeowners can completely eliminate their utility bills by switching to solar power and upgrading their homes with energy efficient upgrades.

Cheaper Prices and Bigger Savings

Manufacturing costs associated with solar panels are dropping fast, and homeowners are reaping the rewards. Adjusted for inflation solar panels in 1989 cost $8.78 per watt in 2010 dollars, but the average price per solar panel in 2010 dropped to just $2.79, its cheapest price ever. In that same time period, photovoltaic panel shipments increased 100-fold.

Compared to fossil fuels, photovoltaic technologies offer a reliable and future-proof energy source. Since 2002, coal has nearly doubled in price while petroleum costs five times as much. If current trends continue, solar panels will cost about $1.00 per watt by the end of the … Read Full Post »

Houston Commercial HVAC Energy Saving Tips

Houston Commercial HVAC Systems

 A finely tuned commercial HVAC system works more efficiently and can save your Houston business from costly repairs. There are some free and low cost options for saving on energy and bills that you can implement easily into your business or facility. Some of those include:

 

  • Adjust workplace schedules to reduce energy use during the hours when there is most demand for electricity. If employees start work earlier or have lunch during the hottest hour of the day, a company can save on air conditioning, lighting and other electricity use during the hours of peak electricity demand.
  • Prevent solar entry and air-conditioning loss during the summer. Use shades and blinds to keep the sun out. Close doors to the outside to keep in cooler air.
  • Add controls to the exhaust fan. These fans remove air you have already paid to cool. Ask your air conditioning contractor to install timers and … 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!

 

ADJUST THE THERMOSTAT

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 »

Quick Tips to Save Money on Houston 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 Houston HVAC maintenance solutions, you can keep those heating bills from rising – even in the cold holiday season!

ADJUST THE THERMOSTAT

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 thermostat … Read Full Post »

Where to go for the Best Austin Electrical Contractor

Electrical Contractors in Austin

Finding a qualified Austin Electrical Contractor for your residential or commercial needs can be a confusing task.  Most Austin residents find that using the internet for this task is frustrating.  The first page of the search results for the Best Austin Electrical Contractor is filled with paid advertisements, a small list of local contractors that may or may not be close to your location and which you know nothing about, a listing for the Austin Electrical Contractors Association, a listing for the Austin Division of Consumer Affairs a few private companies and some sites that list row after row of paid listings.  You are left with the same problem you started with, “which one of these companies should I choose?”

ABC Home and Commercial Electrical Contractors

ABC Home and Commercial Services has what we think is a much better approach to finding an electrician to fit your individual needs.  We … Read Full Post »