ABC Blog

Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify?

a plant near a window in a humid home

When the temperatures start to rise, we can all be very thankful for the invention of the air conditioner. The cool air pouring from the vents brings the inside temperatures down to a livable level. The cool air pouring from the vents brings the inside temps down to a livable level.

Hot air might make you uncomfortable, but high humidity can trigger breathing issues for people with asthma or other disorders. It also can increase the chances of mold growing in your home, which is a whole other problem. So removing that moisture from your home’s air is important for several reasons. Doesn’t the air conditioner do the job?

The short answer is yes, but there is more to it. An air conditioner does reduce the amount of moisture in your home. However, it does so as a secondary benefit to its main job, which is to cool the temperature of the … Read Full Post »

Carpenter Ants Versus Black Ants

a carpenter ant on a piece of wood

Finding ants in your kitchen, bathroom or other areas of your home is a pain. There always seems to be more of them after the first one is dealt with. Most of the time they’re just a nuisance. But, some species like carpenter ants can seriously damage the structure (and value) of your home.

At first glance, it can be difficult to notice the differences between species like the common black ant and the carpenter ant. However, there are a few key features that can help you determine which is in your home.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants, pictured above, are big black ants and typically around a half of an inch long. While they are most often black, they can also be red, brown or a combination of those colors. Known for their powerful jaws and painful bites, carpenter ants inject a bite wound with formic acid. This is what causes an intense … Read Full Post »

Identifying Chigger Bites Versus Mosquito Bites

You are outside, and something feels not quite right on your skin. You start scratching. And scratching. It could be a mosquito bite, or it could be a nip from a chigger. But how can you tell which is which? Bug bites overall look similar, and everyone reacts to them differently. That means it can be tough to know what is in your home or yard, waiting to strike. Here is a quick look at some ways you might differentiate the two.

Chigger Bites

You will generally find chiggers down low: wild plants, gardens, woods or brush, grass fields, shrubbery and lawns that are manicured and cut short. You more than likely won’t actually see them, however. These bugs, also known as berry bugs or harvest mites, are red mites that are so small that they are almost invisible with normal sight. There are more than 50 types of chiggers that feed … Read Full Post »

Why Do My Lights Dim When the AC Turns On?

a gray living room with a white couch

If the lights dim when the AC turns on in your home, it may not be cause for alarm. Your home’s electrical wiring is a limited circuit, so when one appliance draws a lot of power, it’s taking it away from anything else that you have plugged in. It’s also possible, that the dimming lights are a sign of a problem.

Of everything in your home that uses electricity, your heating and cooling system use by far the most. The AC needs a lot of power when it first turns on. In some homes, especially older ones with dated electrical wiring, the lights dim slightly when the AC turns on because a lot of power is being drawn momentarily. In this case, the lights dimming briefly is normal and doesn’t signal a problem.

However, in other homes, the dimming lights do signal a problem. It could be within the AC system or … Read Full Post »

AC Is Cooling but Not Removing Humidity

No one wants to be uncomfortable in their own home, especially when the air-conditioner seems to be working fine but something feels off. You have probably heard people living in desert climates say “It’s a dry heat.” But it’s still hot, and even worse than being hot in your house is sitting in a humid chill. What could be going on with your AC?

Usually, an air conditioner’s refrigerant draws in excess moisture from the indoor air. That vapor then condenses into water droplets. This drains into a pan under the unit’s evaporator coils and through a hose to your yard. If your AC isn’t pulling in that moisture, the humidity is just hanging around, which makes everything feel stuffy even if you are feeling a cool breeze. There are several reasons that your AC might not be dehumidifying. You can always contact a pro for AC problems, but there are … Read Full Post »

Why Does My AC Drain Line Keep Clogging?

a home with a clogged ac drain line

When your AC drain line keeps clogging, it can be frustrating if you don’t know why it’s happening or how to resolve it. Even worse, a clog in the line can lead to even bigger AC problems that require expensive repairs. Fortunately, a clogged condensate drain pipe is a common issue that usually isn’t too complicated to fix. It’s even easier to take some common-sense steps to prevent the line from clogging in the first place.

Here are some signs that your AC drain line is clogged:

  • There is standing water in the drain pan of the AC’s indoor unit.
  • There are damp conditions or water damage near the indoor unit.
  • A moldy, mildew-y or musty smell is coming from the indoor unit or from the AC vents in the house.
  • The AC isn’t working—either it won’t turn on, it shuts off unexpectedly, or it runs but isn’t cooling the home.

One common reason why AC … Read Full Post »

Are There Any Foods That Repel Mosquitoes?

a mosquito biting someone

Many people have heard there are certain foods that repel mosquitoes. The idea is that if you eat lots of these foods, your body will give off a scent that naturally repels mosquitoes. But is there any truth to this claim? Unfortunately, there is no solid scientific evidence to back up this theory.

On the bright side, adding healthful foods to your diet is never a bad idea. The foods that most people claim will repel mosquitoes include garlic, onions, beans, lentils, tomatoes and apple cider vinegar. These are overall nourishing foods that can have a very healthy place in many people’s diets.

Furthermore, there are several types of foods that some say will draw more mosquitoes to you. These include beer, salty foods and sugary foods—all types of foods that many of us would benefit from reducing in our diets. If cutting down on these foods also helps keep mosquitoes away, … Read Full Post »

What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

a homeowner calculating what size air conditioner they need

If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, you’re probably wondering, “What size air conditioner do I need?” Obviously, you don’t want to overspend on a system that’s more than you need. But, at the same time, buying a new air conditioner that can’t keep up with your home isn’t money well spent, either.

While brand reviews, warranties and service agreements are all important factors to consider, they are only really helpful once you’ve determined which products are the right size to do the job.

The two most important factors in determining the size of the air conditioner you need are going to be the size of your home and how much of your home you want covered. Cooling a bedroom in a small home or condo is a very different job that maintaining a pleasant temperature in a large house with an open floor plan. You’ll also want to … Read Full Post »

Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air But Running

a home's ac vent

If you find your air conditioner not blowing cold air but running, there is a problem in your AC system that needs to be fixed. The exact problem depends on whether the AC is blowing warm air or no air at all. If there is no air getting through the system, there may be a blockage somewhere or a bad blower motor. If air is getting through but it’s not cold, there is another issue.

Before you try to figure out what’s going on, it’s a good idea to turn off the AC. Letting it run while there’s an undiagnosed issue could lead to bigger problems. That might mean even more complicated and expensive repairs. After turning off the AC, you can do some troubleshooting. Keep in mind that in the majority of cases, the best course of action is to call a professional to diagnose and repair the problem.

Diagnosing the … Read Full Post »

Types of Crape Myrtles

a miami crape myrtle which is a type of crape myrtle that is tall

Throughout late spring and summer, you may notice trees with multiple slender trunks that have smooth bark, green leaves and branches bursting with clusters of frilly blooms. These trees are crape myrtles, and they add gorgeous splashes of color to any landscape. There are many different types of crape myrtles, so their flowers can range from white to blush pink to cranberry red and even vibrant purple.

These trees also do well in small, confined spaces. They can thrive even when planted in a small strip of yard between the sidewalk and the street, for example. Their versatility makes them a great addition to almost any outdoor space.

In some yards, crape myrtles look more like bushes or shrubs than trees. This may be because they are still young, but it could also be due to the particular variety. The different types of crape myrtles grow to varying heights, ranging from just … Read Full Post »