ABC Blog

If One Room Has Bed Bugs, Do They All?

a bed bug crawling up a wall

If you’re like most people, discovering bed bugs in your home is nothing short of a nightmare. Maybe you brought them back home after traveling, or they hitchhiked in on some used furniture picked up at a yard sale. However they arrived in your home, bed bugs multiply quickly, so they need to be eliminated fast, before their population explodes. But how difficult will it be to get rid of them? If one room has bed bugs, do they all?

The short answer is that it’s possible there are bed bugs in more than one room in your house. It depends on your living habits, how long the bed bugs have been there, how extensive the infestation is and how you respond to their presence once you find out about them. Let’s learn more about these pests, including signs of you might have a problem, ways to get rid of them … Read Full Post »

How to Save on Your Heating Bill

a homeowner looking at an energy bill wondering how to save on the heating bill

It’s a fact of life: As winter approaches and outdoor temperatures start to drop, our heating bills start to rise. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank by spring just to stay warm. There are several ways to keep your home comfortable without the high energy bill. Even small acts can go a long way toward saving money over the long winter months. For example, adjusting the thermostat when you’re away may not seem like a big deal, but it can make a difference over the course of a month.

Saving on your heating bill really means finding ways to reduce your energy usage all while still keeping your home warm and comfortable. A good place to start for most homeowners is taking advantage of nature’s heater—the sun. During the daytime, open the blinds or curtains on the windows located on the south side of your home to let the … Read Full Post »

My Heater Is Making Noises: What Is Going On?

a home where the heater is making noises

Heater making noise? If so, it may or may not signal a problem that needs attention from a heating and cooling specialist. Heaters can make all kinds of funny, unexpected sounds in the winter, like rattling, whistling, humming, chirping or banging noises. If your heater starts making a strange sound, what might it mean?

Any strange noise coming from your heater should be investigated since there’s a chance that it means something is wrong. If you wait instead of having the issue diagnosed, it could become a bigger and more expensive problem down the line. To avoid this, it’s almost always best to go ahead and address the issue as soon as possible.

Here’s what may be happening when your heater is making unusual noises.

A Rattling, Clanking, Knocking or Banging Sound

Rattling, clanking, knocking or banging sounds can indicate a loose or broken part somewhere in the heating system. A loud banging sound … Read Full Post »

What Causes Power Surges in a House?

a lightning storm which can cause a power surge

A power surge in a house is a spike of high voltage. These surges last for only a short amount of time. But, they can ruin your electrical appliances and parts of your electrical system. Electronics can handle a specific amount of voltage and can only manage slight changes in voltage. For example, appliances in the U.S. are usually rated to run off of 120 volts of power. Power surges can deliver many more volts than most household equipment can stand.

Power surges in your home can happen due to internal factors, such as from the appliances in your home. They can also happen from external factors, such as when there’s a lightning storm. Let’s dive in a little deeper.

Power Surges From Inside Your Home

Situations inside a home cause around 60% to 80% of power surges in a house. One of the most common causes is any device that switches on … Read Full Post »

My Heater Smells: What’s Going On?

a light colored living room where the heater is blowing smelly air

If your heater has started smelling, all sorts of things could be going on. It could range from a simple issue to a more severe problem. It might mean that your heater needs a tune-up, or it could be something larger like a cracked heat exchanger.

Common heater odors include a burnt dust smell, a musty smell, an oily smell and an electrical burning smell.

If It’s a Burnt Dust Smell

This is one of the most common smells that homeowners notice coming from their heater. It often happens the first cold day or night of the season, when you turn on your furnace after it’s been off for a while.

What causes the smell is usually the burning of dust that has settled on the heater. It typically wears off after the furnace runs for a few hours and the dust has burned off. However, if the smell doesn’t go away, then something … Read Full Post »

Tankless Water Heaters vs. Tank: Which is Best?

tank water heater

When your water heater starts making knocking noises or stops providing adequate hot water for your home—or, worse, it bursts—it’s time to decide on a replacement model that will best fit your needs. When you start looking into the options, however, you might feel overwhelmed by all the choices that are available. Which are better—tankless water heaters or tank water heaters? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type, and which kind is right for your particular home?

If you’re considering making the switch from a traditional tank model to a tankless water heater, it could seem especially daunting to decide whether this is the right move. Tankless heaters typically have higher price tags than tank heaters, though their operating costs over time are lower. Even knowing they’ll likely save money over time, many people balk at the prospect of spending so much money up front.

Of course, there are other … Read Full Post »

Causes of Low Water Pressure in Kitchen Sink

low water pressure in a kitchen sink

If you begin noticing that the water coming out of your kitchen faucet doesn’t have as much pressure as it should, the first thing to check is whether it’s a whole-house issue. Are all the taps affected, or only the kitchen sink? If the kitchen is the only tap with low pressure, it’s time to consider the potential causes of low water pressure in a kitchen sink so you can determine what might be causing it, and fix it.

The most common causes of low water pressure in a kitchen sink are a clogged aerator or a clogged cartridge. The aerator is the part of the faucet that is at the very end of the spout; it is the last thing the water touches before it comes out into the sink. Most aerators become clogged over time due to mineral deposits in hard water. Fortunately, they are simple to clean when … Read Full Post »

Heater Is Not Turning On: Troubleshooting Tips

A chilly, white kitchen because the heater is not turning on

Heater not turning on, no matter what you do to try to get it to work? On a cold day, it can be worrisome to crank up the heat in your home, only to find you’re still feeling chilly. Fortunately, there are a few things a homeowner can do to try to figure out what’s gone wrong. Be forewarned, however—chances are, the problem may be too involved for a simple fix. When this happens, it may be necessary to call in a professional who can diagnose the issue and determine the right way to resolve it. It may turn out to be a small repair, such as a broken part that can be replaced. If it’s a more extensive problem, the entire heater may need replacing, especially if yours is an older model.

When your heater is not turning on, the first thing to check is whether the thermostat on the … Read Full Post »

How To Identify a Rat’s Nest

Three dark-colored immature rats sleeping in a nest made of torn paper and other materials

Spotting a rat’s nest might be the first sign of an infestation in your home. But how do you know if what you’re seeing is the home of one of these hard-to-spot rodents, particularly if you don’t observe the rat itself? Rodents tend to nest in more protected areas that homeowners don’t usually frequent. In addition, different species of rats build nests that typically vary in appearance and can be found in different spots on your property. Generally speaking, a rat’s nest looks like a ball that is 4 to 6 inches in diameter that is loosely woven.

Norway rats, also called sewer rats or brown rats, are stocky rodents that often dig burrows in moist areas, such as under woodpiles or trash, along home foundations, fields or in gardens. They line these nests with fibrous materials, such as cloth or shredded paper. If these rats come into a building, they … Read Full Post »

GFCI Outlet Is Not Working: What Happened?

A red light coming from the outlet which indicates the GFCI outlet is not working

It’s frustrating when you plug something into an outlet and it doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s a small issue that homeowners can easily fix. In other cases, it could also mean you have a bigger problem.

There are a few reasons why GFCI outlets stop working. The outlet might have tripped, there may be a poor electrical connection, the outlet may be defective or the outlet has failed. It’s typically best to contact a licensed electrician to troubleshoot these types of problems. That said, there are some basic steps you might take to try to find out why your outlet isn’t working.

The first step you can take is to check to see if the outlet has tripped. “Tripping” is a built-in safety feature to protect homeowners from electrocution. Each GFCI outlet has a reset and a test button on it. If the reset button has popped out, press the button … Read Full Post »